It’s easy to be a tourist, but it’s not easy to be a good tourist. What most people don’t realize is that tourists are ambassadors to the nations they visit, and can often shape the opinions of a group of people depending on how they act during their visit.
Research is very important when going to a new place, even if it’s just a new city. Learning customs, mannerisms, and even parts of the language are appropriate gestures when visiting. For example, if a tourist is going to Mexico, learning the mannerisms and a few common phrases in Spanish goes a long way, even if the people you are with speak English.
It shows respect and makes them more inclined to help tourists who need it and treat them with respect in turn.
Also, checking the weather before leaving and packing appropriately will also ensure that tourists can spend time outside and take in all the weather appropriate activities that the destination has to offer. Finally, research into clothing styles, historical buildings, and events going on at the time of the trip can also make a tourist feel more like a local.
Dressing like a local can help tourists blend in, and some countries even have dress items that are against the law. Be sure to look up local laws to ensure that the clothing is acceptable both legally and socially.
Respecting the language and culture of the destination can also enhance the tourist experience. Dressing according to the local traditions and monitoring the volume of speech and other activities is respectful. Also participating rather than spectating the events that are in the city, can make locals welcome a tourist as if they are locals themselves.
If safaris or other outdoor areas are in the trip, a respect for wildlife and leaving them alone will ensure that the balance of nature can continue. Don’t feed, touch, or interact with animals unless the area allows tourists to interact with them. Littering is also a massive sign of disrespect for both the country and the environment.
Finally, buying and using local services can help support the country and ensure Tourism stays viable for locals. This can include trying local food, buying local products, and doing local activities with local currency. In many areas, some local businesses do cash only, so it’s beneficial to have some on hand.
The most important thing to remember to be a good tourist is talking to people and listening. The locals know this land and the cool activities and spots that don’t appear on a map, and by using that knowledge, tourists can find some really cool items and experiences.
At the end of the day though, it’s important to put the best foot forward to show the locals what the country the tourists may be coming from is all about and how respectful and open-minded it is. Who knows the locals might even want to do some tourism themselves!