7 Ways To Be A Good Tourist

Hello my wonderful traveller friends! With the holiday season kicking in, I am sure lot of you have ...

Hello my wonderful traveller friends! With the holiday season kicking in, I am sure lot of you have plans of travelling. With the year coming to an end, it's time to mark it with some crazy travel experiences! I have often heard people rant about the difficulties of travelling to a foreign land and being discriminated as foreigners. This often happens especially when we look, sound, and act like typical tourists. But when one makes an effort to gel with the locals, the whole travel experience becomes awarding. So here are a few things you can do to be a good tourist and have fun during your travel to a new destination.


1. Food Creates Bonds

Every culture around the world boasts of its unique cuisine and as locals, people love to showcase their specialty to the world. When they find a foreigner trying out and enjoying their food, an immediate unseen bond is built between the two cultures! So try out local food with the locals and enjoy something new hitting your taste buds, and end up connecting with a new culture.


2. Give Respect & See It Boomerang

It is important to know and follow the local customs. If the culture demands conservative dressing, don't go hopping around in your hot-pants and flip flops. You need not follow the customs completely(like wearing a hijab in a Middle Eastern country) but do not be ignorant about it. When you are a tourist, respect their culture and the locals will also return the respect and be warmer in their welcome.


3. Getting Along Is More Important Than Standing Out

There is no denying the fact that you cannot blend into a foreign pack in a short while. But shouting out your foreignness is not a good idea in an unknown place. While eating at a local joint, communicating with fellow diners or even the owner of the place helps you to know the place better. As mentioned in the previous point, don't try to act all foreign and stand out in the crowd.


4. Speak The Local Language

Often, a simple phrase in the local language can make all the difference in your travel experience. People often appreciate foreigners who try to speak their language. Imagine a German conversing with you with a few Hindi phrases in between. It will make him a notch dearer to us! So along with planning your trips, also begin learning a few phrases of the local tongue.


5. Visit Public Institutions

It is obvious that as a tourist, you will be interested in visiting all the major attractions of your travel destination. But, if you really want to know the people and their way of living, visit public institutions like schools, libraries, local parks, etc. The little children will be able to enlighten you more than a professional guide; the mothers with their kids in the park will be able to share more about their daily lives than a google web search on lifestyle; and an old clerk will be a treasure trove of anecdotes and stories.


6. Have An Open Mind

This is probably the most important thing in your 'Being a good tourist' tips. When visiting a new place, you need to be like a sponge absorbing new ways of life, instead of staying aloof. Having an open mind will help you to understand and accommodate the local way of living and embracing it during your stay in the particular place, city, state, or country. It will make for a novel experience that will add to your story bag of adventure!


7. Take Interest In Local Events

Often when during your stay at a place, you may be fortunate to witness some traditional affair like a community dance, a wedding, or some other festival. Take a keen interest in their community activities to bond with the locals and have fun. An evening with the Masais of Africa or a meal with the Jarowas of Andaman or being part of Tibetan Dragon Dance is indeed an indelible experience of a lifetime and it secures you the title of a good tourist.


Now that you have some good tourist tips, go on and explore new cultures and make new friends in distant lands!

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Contributed By: Kriti Mazumdar

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