Traveling abroad should be a perfect opportunity to soak in a culture, enjoy different cuisine, and remind yourself that the world is an amazing, diverse place. Unfortunately, a lot of tourists engage in annoying and frustrating behaviors that give all of the well-meaning travelers a bad name. Do you live in a city that sees a lot of tourism? Do they ever drive you nuts? Here’s a look at 10 common problems that tourists create.
1. Plane Seat Negotiator
Being the type who plans things carefully, you book an aisle seat so that you don’t have to disrupt the people you’re sandwiched in between every time you want to get up. Or perhaps you book a window seat so that you can enjoy looking out at the clouds or whatever. Either way, there’s nothing worse than having a fellow traveler try to coax you into switching seats because they were too lazy to plan ahead… or even worse, after you board the plane you find them “mistakenly” sitting in your seat in hopes that it will make the negotiation process easier for them.
2. “Well, Where I’m From Blah Blah Blah…”
In your country, you have your ways of doing things. When you eat sandwiches, you forgo buns altogether and just eat two large fried chicken patties with cheese and bacon in between. Awesome! But when you’re abroad, please don’t be that guy who has to constantly remind the locals how the food, culture, politics, and general way of life is so much “better” where you’re from. The entire point of an overseas trip should be to keep an open mind and accept (and even appreciate!) the differences.
3. “I’m in Your Country, But You Should Speak My Language”
When you’re abroad, there’s nothing wrong with hoping that the locals speak your language, especially if you need help. But to be annoyed over the fact that they don’t ALL speak English is pretty ridiculous. Learning some phrases is both practical and demonstrates a sign of respect. Admittedly, it can backfire sometimes. As a frequent visitor of Poland, I know the basics of ordering food and buying a train ticket. But when they start asking additional questions, I’m all puzzled and then they end up having to switch to English.
4. The McTraveler
You get on the plane and fly 4,000 miles all the way to Paris… and then spend your vacation going to McDonalds, Burger King and Starbucks, and that’s only because they don’t have Taco Bells there. If it’s an extended vacation then, yeah, I suppose I can understand an occasional Big Mac. But there are tons of travelers who only eat at places that they also have back home and in the process really miss out on the amazing and unique culinary experiences.