One of the stresses of going on holiday, particularly on a city break, is the feeling of standing out as a tedious tourist in the eyes of the locals. There are some things you could do avoid
One of the stresses of going on holiday, particularly on a city break, is the feeling of standing out as a tedious tourist in the eyes of the locals. There are some things you could do avoid this happening. If you already have some, then here are some more:
There can be no ambiguity surrounding the intentions of a big, drunk baldy guy lurching around in an England shirt with a sunburst face hidden under a West Ham United bucket hat. He is in a country where he doesn’t live, he is going to get pissed, and everyone is going to know about it. Nobody will like him. Unless you are there playing a professional football match (which I doubt you will be) then I would recommend not wearing athletic attire, especially out for dinner.
It’s a little bit of a slapstick image, but if you are gallivanting around Paris with a giant map, it might as well be a sign which says ‘I’M A TOURIST, TAKE MY THINGS, I’LL NEVER FIND YOU.’ Having an Iphone will probably save you from this, but if you don’t have one then you better have a good sense of direction.
You can always spot a tourist in a city because they look happy and want to be there. This is a mistake. People in cities are generally glum looking as they shuffle to and from work, on and off buses, in and out of shops. The last thing they want to see is some tiresome foreigner (that’s you) skipping around, staring at bog-standard buildings as if they have discovered the lost city of Atlantis. Copy the locals. You might be the happiest you’ve ever been, but be it on the inside.
Being a human foghorn
This relates to point one, only in terms of attitude and not attire. British people have an unfortunate reputation for going abroad and being tumultuous, fleshy fountains of sweat and piss. So go out there and prove those unexpecting Europeans wrong. Nobody wants to hear the quarter of the national anthem that you know anyway.
Don’t be a pale, burnt ginger
I’m from Ireland. Thus, I’m pale and ginger. The slightest exposure to high temperatures and my skin burns, shrivelling violently like a prune with a vendetta. Therefore, it’s pretty hard for me to go on holiday without looking like a tourist. If you’re wondering what relevance this has to you, a potentially non-ginger, well, the locals are never sunburnt, are they?
Don’t try to speak the language (unless you can)
Perhaps the most cliché touristy thing to do, is ordering food/ drinks etc like this: “UNO BEERO PLEEZO, MATE.” The general culprits are dads and arseholes (and most dads are arseholes, I know), before paying for one beer with a 100 euro note, lifted out of a bum-bag (remember them?). Avoid doing that. If you don’t know the language, just say it normally and point at stuff, it normally works. I’m pretty sure the people of France don’t want to watch you regurgitate the embers of the French GCSE you can remember about 10 words of, like some senile French war veteran who can remember nothing but his name and that he likes ham (that is coincidently all that I remember from my GSCE French).
Standing around at tourist attractions with a camera
When people upload photos of their holidays on Facebook, there is always some standard shots of them in front of landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower etc. In the background, there is always other people holding cameras and taking pictures. If you copy these people, then you are going to look like a tourist. Everyone has seen the Eiffel Tower anyway, find something new to take a photo of. Perhaps Liam Neeson jumping off a bridge onto a boat.
Don’t go to Magaluf
Everyone in Magaluf is a tourist. A big, sleazy, burnt tourist. With an STD. This makes it pretty hard to go there and look like a local. That’s if locals actually exist in Magaluf (perhaps they live underground).
Those ‘I LOVE’ T-shirts
You know the ones, ‘I LOVE MADRID’ etc. The people of Madrid don’t wear these because they probably hate Madrid. Everyone hates where they live with a passion, don’t they? Or is that just British people? Therefore they don’t wear these t-shirts, unless they do it with a tedious dousing of hipster irony. It might be a good idea just to check what people wear where you’re going, then you won’t stand out.
If all this fails, then who cares? Just be as touristy as you like, it isn’t a crime. Sure, the locals will think you’re disgusting and wish for you to be mugged/lost in a shady alleyway, but you’re never going to see them again. Plus, their memory of you will just blend into the memory of any other British tourist who has acted the exact same way before you. Problem solved.