Things to remember to avoid looking like a tourist

Don’t stress; here are the tips to respect culture but enjoy the trip too.

How not to be a tourist when away

No one wants to be labelled a stupid tourist with little idea or respect for culture while travelling abroad.

Whether it be pulling out a map, asking for directions or walking around aimlessly, it’s no fun to feel like a vacationer when you’re striving to fit in.

Don’t sweat it; here is some advice to ensure that you don’t look like a clueless visitor while out and about overseas.

1. France: say ‘hi’ when entering a shop
Whether you know it or not, it is a vital part of French culture to greet the shop owner when entering their stores.

You may be unproblematic in the shop and have a calm demeanour, but if you do not greet the owner, their attitude towards you can become very cold, leaving you wondering what you might have done wrong.

It is usually polite to do this everywhere, but in Australia, if a shop assistant is busy, it’s no big deal if a greeting is missed.

But make sure you give your warmest when entering a shop to avoid awkward confrontations when purchasing something later on.

2. London: stand on the right
Here in Australia, we were born and raised with everything done on the left side: walking, running and even bike riding.

However, it is the complete opposite in London, despite the fact that they also drive on the left side of the road.

In such a busy city, it is easy to get caught up in the rush of the underground, and self-consciously move to the left, but remember that Londoners do it differently and you are the tourist!

You’ll want to avoid the bustle of a busy peak hour, so you’ll have to mentally work hard at staying on the right side while negotiating those pedestrian paths.

3. USA: Expect to pay more than the price tag
Unlike Australia where whatever price is labelled is the price you have to pay, in the United States, the sales tax is added after the item is scanned at the register.

This may be unhelpful if you are eager to offload some extra coinage, as it forces tourists to use bigger bills on something they thought they could pay for with loose change.

While it is illogical and may be a hassle to deal with, be prepared to pay more than expected or just bring some credit cards along. It could save you the embarrassment of not having enough cash when you really need it!

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Lizzy
    6th Jan 2018
    8:54am
    Re number 2 - we grew up in central Victoria - and were taught to stay on the right if on foot - so you see the traffic coming, and on the left if on a bike - as you are now part of the traffic.
    ph
    6th Jan 2018
    10:43am
    In most parts of the world, when riding an escalator, people stand on one side and leave the other side for those that want to walk up or down. In Australian people think it's ok to block the entire step by standing 2 and 3 abreast, and seem put out when someone asks politely to get past.
    zeus
    6th Jan 2018
    10:46am
    Prising is very annoying when travelling through US and Canada. You always have to fork out more money than the displayed price. Even when buying simple things like an icecream for instance, you get charged extra for tax, vat and so on. Still don't understand why they can't include everything in the price.
    ph
    6th Jan 2018
    11:55am
    From what i have been told, tax is kept off the sticker price so you become very aware of how much tax you are paying, seperated by both federal and state, or provincial in the case of Canada.
    zeus
    6th Jan 2018
    12:42pm
    Yeah, that may be true, but what difference does it make whether or not you know the amount of tax. After all, there's only two certainties in life...taxes and death! Nothing more annoying than waiting in line to buy an icecream displayed as US$ 4.00, holding the correct amount in hand, only to be told it's actually US$ 4.60! and that happened many times in both US and Canada. And then you have to think about tipping as well...but that's another subject...
    ph
    6th Jan 2018
    1:44pm
    I don't disagree that if you are not prepared for the extra cost it can be annoying. That said, once you become acclimatised it's not so bad knowing exactly who is levying the tax and for how much. Tipping is a compensation for extremely low wages. You too would want tips if your hourly rate is around $7, this is slated to increase to around $10 by the end of 2018.
    ph
    6th Jan 2018
    2:09pm
    and, I have been informed, if there is tipping involved, there is no legal obligation on the employer to pay that minimum wage. People can be payed as little as $3 and $4 an hour, plus tips. Not to mention from a consumer point of view, the food being about half the cost of what it is here.
    zeus
    6th Jan 2018
    2:27pm
    That's a good point Ph and I tend to agree. Still, annoying as it may be for the tourist, I reckon it's a terribly unfair system for the local worker. I'd rather pay a bit more for goods and service and tip as I see fit.


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