Happy World Tourism Day: You Know You’re a Tourist When…

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5 telltale signs that you’re not a local

In celebration of World Tourism Day, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the 5 telltale signs that you’re “not from around these parts”. 

Fluorescent visors and bumbags (fanny packs) which match those of the other 29 travellers on your coach, are usually pretty big giveaways.  But for lone travellers and seasoned globe trekkers who try to blend in with the locals, you can still be detected on closer inspection too. Here’s how…

1. You seem obsessively attached to your Lonely Planet / Rough Guides edition

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Don’t pretend you’re not guilty of this.  We’ve all clung onto our books a little too tightly at times and soaked up every word as though it was the be all and end all.  And if you’re not guilty of this, you’re probably one of those travellers who refuses to follow any guidebook just to be different, in which case, you may as well just wear a sign saying, “I’m an experienced traveller.  I know it all.”

2. You always ask for the local speciality at restaurants

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Here we go again – we just have to get involved in all the local things don’t we? If we force ourselves into their culture enough, we’ll finally blend in.  Just kidding.  Of course, I believe that trying local cuisine is the most important part of travel, but as much as we’re doing this to avoid being “touristy”, we’re actually giving ourselves away in a culinary act of desperation. 

3. You’re reading a serious novel in a bar / cafe

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I’m not sure why we do this abroad but we certainly never read at bars and cafes back at home.  We can all kid ourselves and say that we need intellectual stimulation, we can all pretend that we’re just so incomplete without a good book, but deep down we have to admit that a meaningful novel cover is just the international sign for “Educated tourist.  Please do not scam.”

4. You take photographs of ridiculous things

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If you carry a giant camera around with you then that’s alarm bell number one. But what really makes you a tourist is the incessant photo taking of everything and anything, because you tell yourself that you can pick out the best ones and delete the rubbish ones later. 

5.  You consume water like the world’s water supply is running out

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In hot destinations particularly, tourists and travellers are always seen with a bottle of water in their hand due to the endemic fear that they could drop dead from dehydration.  The common mentality is to be prepared as you won’t know where the next convenience store will be – sound familiar? As a result, we end up gulping H20 like there’s no tomorrow. 

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