When you’re in a new place, be there fully. Don’t compare this beach to that one, or this customer service to what you’re used to at home. You might as well have stayed put. Traveling is about embracing the unknown and being a part of it. Take it from our Trulos, and skip these nails-on-a-chalkboard actions to avoid being “that guy” abroad.
1. Put the Tech Away
It’s awesome to take photos when you’re in a new place, but please, leave the selfie stick at home. Rather choose to interact with people (I know, crazy right?) and don’t have your phone or camera out everywhere you go. Not only are you missing everything, but you’re slapping a big fat TOURIST sign on your forehead, literally asking to A) get pick-pocketed and/or B) get taken advantage of.
2. Avoid the Obvious
Don’t flock to the most scenic eatery spots (in the main piazzas, right smack on the beach, etc.). 99 percent of the time these are the tourist traps where you’ll pay double if not more for less than average food. If you don’t have any Trulos where you are, see if you can initiate relationships with locals you meet along the way and find out where they like to hang out.
3. Turn it Down
More cultures than not enjoy a fairly reserved and demure social environment. It’s good to keep this in mind when you’re engaging with local people. Refrain from loud, obnoxious statements and questions and give people their personal space. Trust us, they’ll thank you for it.
4. No Bar Chants, Please
You’d be surprised at how many times we’ve heard the classic American “bar songs” out in a foreign country. Whether it’s sports team related or drinking chants of your alma mater, repress the urge to musically wave your flag when you’re in bar not on your turf.
5. It’s Not "Wrong"
No, you’re not driving on the wrong side of the road and your coffee is not the wrong size. It’s not wrong, it’s different. And different is great. Please don’t pack your superiority complex when you hop on the plane. It’s gosh darn annoying and downright offensive.
Remember: There's nothing wrong with being a tourist, just don't be an idiot. There is something very special about knowing the culture, the hidden gems and exploring a place from the eyes of a local. Join the Trulo Facebook Community to ask locals from all over the world their favorite places and tips and tricks around their city. We're always happy to share!