I Feel Uncomfortable by Ugly Tourists Who…
…Will Not Try New Foods.
They are the ones you find eating at well known fast food franchises instead of local cuisine. Or who ask for traditional dishes from their home country whether or not it is on the menu. Personally for me to experience a culture you have to experience their food. We had the opportunity to live in Hawaii for a few years which is rich in a variety of Asian restaurants. My sons still have a great love for dim sum, pho, pancit, and sushi to name a few. However, we had people visit us who would not even allow us to take them to a restaurant that did not serve ‘American food’ (their quote not mine). I grew up in a family that moved and traveled in Europe through out my childhood. We took a trip to Poland and ordered blindly off a menu and ate whatever came. I highly suggest putting the experience over the comfort because you can always eat at home what you would eat normally.
…Who Expect Different Portion Sizes.
This may be more geared towards the ‘Ugly Americans’ opposed to tourists from other nations. It is no secret that many Americans are overweight and it is brought up in conversation with me by people here in the UK. Food portions outside of America in other countries can be much smaller. Even when it comes to drinks you have to remember glass sizes will be smaller and without refills. If you are still hungry or still thirsty you can always order more.
…Are Not Modest.
Many places that tourists go to visit when on vacation include places of worship. However not all tourists are familiar with the modesty rules to go inside these places. If you are female you more than likely will not be admitted inside if you are wearing short skirts or shorts and if your shoulders are not covered. Some places also may request that the female covers her head with a shawl. Last year in a church in Italy I lost count of how many times our guide had to interrupt himself to stop a female tourist from coming inside due to modesty issues. The best thing to do is to plan your trip and then dress accordingly to the day. Some places will provide shawls that you can use to cover your shoulders, but you should not rely on that assumption.
…Dress Like A Slob.
Obvious to most you should really wear clean clothes. However you really can stick out as a tourist by looking like a slob in context to the country you are visiting. If you are traveling to Europe the rule of thumb is to wear well tailored clothes and only wear tennis shoes if you are going to the gym. That does not mean you have to wear a suit when on vacation. Just take a look online of what the locals wear in the country and dress to impress. As a traveler you only get a first impression by locals when interacting in the country. In this case appearances do mean something.
…Brings Their Obnoxious Attitudes.
I dislike to point fingers but when I found out that the cast of the Jersey Shore was going to Italy I immediately cringed. Having grown up in Italy twice I never met anyone who acted and spoke the way the Jersey Shore cast does, despite their Italian heritage. Know that you are a guest in the host country and you will be watched and judged accordingly. You are representing your whole country back home when abroad so be the best representation of it. Dial down the personality as you resepect the country you are visiting.
…Do No Respect A Country’s History.
Those tourists who see things and then make remarks about how they have ‘old thing’s back home too. Or who bring up the past history and make very rude remarks or questions to the locals. Tread carefully and do not compare your home country to the host country. It is very beneficial to read up about the country before you travel. It will give you a new found respect and make you more informed about the country instead of only knowing about the beach or party scene of that location.
…Feels Entitled In Their Host Country.
I remember being on my honeymoon in Cozumel, Mexico and it was my husband’s first time out of the United States and Canada. The US Coast Guard was there and we unfortunately kept running into them at the hotel or out in town. I say unfortunately because they were the young naive tourist type who spoke and acted very loudly. We remember one such loud conversation they had with the hotel concierge about not getting the right room on the argument of ‘but WE are the US Coast Guard!’.
…Criticizes Cultural Differences And Customs as Strange.
Remember that you are a guest. People will watch and listen to you more carefully because of that fact. Especially if you are in a group. The slight comments you make when you dont understand the culture or find something strange, keep to the hotel room. You will not only be offending people and the country but coming across as very rude. Just because something is different does not make it wrong.
…Speak Loudly To Non English Speaking People In English.
It does not matter how loud you talk or how loud and slowly you yell people will not understand you better. They will only understand how rude you are. I was in a 7-Eleven buying water in Thailand when an American family was talking louder and louder to the shop keeper. At the point where their tone got angry as well as loud I put down my water and took my business elsewhere. No one wants to be around that.
…Get Frustrated With the Locals For Not Speaking English.
Which leads us to the next point of do not get upset just because the locals do not speak your language. While it can be frustrating and even a bit scary to not be able to communicate, keep your attitude in check. It is not a written rule that everyone should speak English or which ever language you are trying to speak. Take a breath and move on.
…Expect The Host Country To Be Like The USA.
People and customs differ from country to country. It can be easy to assume small things will be the same in the host country, so do not get frustrated when things end up being different. I smiled kindly to a waitress after having a family member visiting asking for ice for her drink. Do not expect to always find things like ice cubes, air conditioning, central heating, king size beds, flat sheets, english menus, etc when in the host country. Further more asking for it or asking why it is not available is not the best way to act. Accept the differences and focus on the perks of the host country.
Whether you learned something or just shook your head in remembrance of an Ugly Tourist you have met let me know what you thought in the comment section below.