An inexperienced tourist is easy to spot in a crowd of locals. How not to look too touristy and bring back only good memories from your vacation, not stories about how you were cheated, robbed or taken to the wrong place.
We share tips on how not to look too touristy and bring only good memories from your vacation, and not stories about how you were cheated, robbed or taken to the wrong place.
Replace paper maps and guides with electronic ones
There is no better signal for a scammer than a confused person running his finger over a paper map. Especially in Asian countries, where a local resident will promptly come to “help” such a tourist. As a result, instead of a planned sightseeing tour, you can go on a tour of the souvenir shops and jewelry workshops that pay such “helpers” for each client they bring.
Fortunately, today it is easy to replace a paper map with an electronic one. There are many applications for smartphones with detailed map sets, the ability to get directions and determine your location. And a person who studies something on his phone for a long time does not attract attention at all in the modern world.
Throw away the waist bag
In most countries, a waist bag means one of two things: you are either a market trader or a tourist. Without touching the aesthetic value of this item (many travelers prefer comfort to beauty, and rightly so), let's move on to safety. The fact is that a bag on a belt is a thing that speaks. “Here is all my money and documents,” she tells everyone she meets.
It is much safer not to "put all your eggs in one basket". It is better to store documents separately; by themselves, they are unlikely to interest a thief. And the cash should be divided into several parts, using the deepest pockets of a bag or backpack, as well as the pockets of clothing closest to the body (but definitely not the back pockets of trousers!). A good alternative to a waist bag is a belt with a secret pocket that can hold up to $1,000 or euros.
Learn how local money looks like
Not in all countries the denominations of coins are familiar and obvious at first glance. In some places, for example, in the Middle East, you will not find the usual numbers on them at all, only Arabic ones. Real Arabic, and not those that are considered to be such in our country. Ask in advance what the currency of the country you are going to looks like. Then you will not only protect yourself from the possibility of being cheated by any merchant who noticed your confusion when trying to pay, but also save the locals from having to stand in line while you painfully count unfamiliar coins.
Learn a few phrases in the local language
Yes, English is an international language and it is misunderstood even in the most remote corners of the world. However, a few simple phrases in the local language can make your travel life much easier. A merchant is more willing to give a discount if you greet him in his native language, and a street pester will quickly get rid of you if you ask him to leave you alone in the same language or threaten you with the police. And the sincere smiles and goodwill of the locals are definitely worth the time spent learning the words of greeting, goodbye and gratitude.
This is more ethical than safety advice. No matter how your mind is struck by a bearded man in a pink dress and a green wig walking towards you or a beach full of sunbathing topless girls, you should not freeze like a pillar, point your finger or frantically grab the camera. Perhaps this is commonplace here, and your behavior will betray you not only as a tourist, but also as an ill-mannered savage.
Don't rush to put on the "I love Bangkok" souvenir T-shirt in Bangkok
This inscription translates something like this: "I am a foreigner, a tourist and recently visited a souvenir shop." Which, in turn, serves as an excuse for all the surrounding merchants to redouble their efforts to lure you into their stores. And for all kinds of scammers, it gives you an inexperienced tourist from whom you can profit.
Avoid clothes with national symbols
Are you Russian and want to declare it to the whole world, walking abroad in a T-shirt with the inscription "Russia" or "USSR"? This is your right, but in this case, you will have to forget about disguising "as a local". And, perhaps, to learn something that you would prefer not to know about the attitude towards "Russo tourist" in other countries.
The last and main advice: “When in Rome do like Romans”, which in approximate translation means “You don’t go to a strange monastery with your charter.” For some reason, this golden rule is often forgotten by our compatriots on vacation. But it is precisely this that helps not to look like a black sheep in the eyes of the local population and get the maximum pleasure from communicating with a new country and its culture.