Tips For Being A More Responsible, Likable Tourist

Posted on: 8 October 2020

Tourists sometimes get a bad reputation for being wasteful, disconnected, or unfriendly. If you are about to travel, of course you don't want to project this kind of negative image! So what can you do to be a more responsible, likable tourist that the locals will appreciate having around? Take a look:

Engage with the people you meet.

It's normal to feel a little shy and apprehensive when you are in a new place, but realize that this can come off as you being cold and unfriendly. Do your best to be open and to engage with people you meet in the places you visit. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you at the bar. Talk to the people waiting in line with you for the train. Ask vendors questions about the products you buy from them. Not only will you get to know the area better by getting to know its people, but you will paint a positive picture of tourists in general.

Leave no trace.

"Leave no trace" is the motto of many hiking groups, and it is a good motto to adhere to when you're traveling and touring places, too. Pick up your trash, don't damage spaces or items, and follow any rules that are posted in museums and other attractions. This shows respect for the places you're visiting and ensures that others who visit those places can have the same experience.

Buy from local businesses.

You're visiting a new area to experience something new—not to do the same thing you do at home. As much as possible, you should avoid buying from big chains and big box stores. Focus instead on eating at local restaurants and buying from local shops. Not only will you get a more realistic taste of what the region has to offer, but you'll be directly supporting its local economy.

Research local customs.

This is most important if you are traveling to a different country, although it's still helpful to research regional differences if you're traveling to a different part of your own country. If you're familiar with local customs, you are less likely to accidentally do something that offends the locals. For example, did you know that throughout much of Europe, it is considered impolite to point? 

Tourism can be fun. With the tips above, you can have a good time while also being respectful and responsible.