Are you an annoying tourist?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 - 11:56am IST | Agency: dna

While most of us love travelling, few take care of the etiquettes that go along with being a good tourist. Most of those who travel rely too heavily on ‘Customer is King’ adage.

Without realising that no matter how much money you are willing to shell out, it still isn’t’ a good enough reason to expect others to put up with your bad behaviour. While some behave badly knowing their faults, some travellers just don’t realises the follies of their ways. Here’s what people think separates a good tourist from an annoying one.

Expecting everyone to understand English: It’s often easy to be in a place where communicating your thoughts is easy, but you have to understand that it may not always be so. In countries like China and France, locals may not understand or speak English. And it will be difficult, but don’t let that hassle you.

Be patient when it comes to asking for directions or any help. Also, don’t let this barrier stop you from interacting with locals. After all, travelling is not just about seeing new place, but it’s also about experiencing new cultures.

Disregard for local rules: It’s the not-in-my-backyard syndrome that annoys a lot of locals when it comes to tourist. Many travellers don’t realise that rules are for everyone and just because you are giving them business by spending money, you aren’t’ above the rules that a country follows.

It’s not alright to jump the line or ignore traffic rules just because you are a tourist. Your disregard for rules is bound to make things difficult for tourists who visit the place after you.

Take pictures of locals without seeking permission: Okay, so you are trying to soak in the local culture with the help of your camera. But it’s not alright to take intrusive pictures without asking a local for permission. Imagine someone taking pictures of you while you go about doing your daily chores.

You can’t go about fiddling with things without checking if it’s okay to do so. While at some places locals may be welcoming and be okay with you taking pictures, the same rule may not apply everywhere.

Commenting on local issues: You may have read a lot about the destination that you are visiting, but that still doesn’t make you an expert on the issues they face. Be careful when you get into a debate with locals about their motherland.

Getting into an ugly fight might be a spoiler that you may want to avoid during a pleasant trip. Be generous with compliments, but when it comes to criticism, don’t go overboard. No one likes a stranger to say bad things about their hometown.

Talking loudly when in a group: It’s great fun to travel in large groups. But most groups tend to be at their noisiest worst when they are travelling. Talking among themselves, these groups create too much noise. Giggling, passing comments and not respecting rules are some of the common complaints that locals have about tourist groups.

Remember that it’s not just about hanging out with your friends, but also about soaking in a whole new experience. It might do you good to break away from your group every now and then to interact with the locals and encourage your friends to do so too.

Constantly picking faults: Constantly comparing the place that you are visiting to your hometown is bound to put the locals off. Why would you want to visit a new place if you want it to be exactly like your hometown? No every place that you visit will be a notch better than the previous.

Don’t compare one travel experience with another. Be open to accepting things for what they are when you are in another country. Picking faults will only spoil your experience in a new place.

Showing dislike for local cuisine/customs: Maybe the norms followed in a particular place don’t impress you, but remember that it’s something that the locals believe in.

Don’t go about showing your dislike for local customs. The same applies to food. Not every cuisine may appeal to your palette. Be open to trying things that you may not love. You can always refuse an offer politely without proclaiming your dislike for it.

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