Things Tourists Should Stop Doing Abroad

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“The number of people I constantly see doing this is just wild. Show respect.”

If you live in a popular travel destination — from Paris to Shanghai or anywhere in between — you’re probably very used to seeing tons of visitors exploring the city streets, admiring popular sites, and dining in local restaurants.


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And, of course, you’ve probably come across some unfortunate tourist behavior. So Redditor u/Winterbeers asked, “People who live in tourist destinations, what is it you wish tourists would stop doing when visiting? Here’s what people said.

1.

“I live in a small island nation and I wish tourists would please stop aggressively posing with wildlife just for the sake of your Instagram. If you ‘hug’ a resting sea turtle it really stresses out the animal, and if you stand on the coral, it can die. You disrespect is damaging our ecosystems.”


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2.

“I live in the Netherlands, and I wish all tourists would stop smoking weed on our city streets. I wish people would stop thinking that Amsterdam is lawless. People live here and don’t like how dirty and unruly tourists tend to make the city.”


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3.

“I can’t believe the ways in which tourists deface world heritage sites for souvenirs or internet clout. For example, the Colosseum in Rome has graffiti carved into its walls and Stone Henge is closed off to the public because people were chipping pieces off for souvenirs. We must respect these historical places.”


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4.

“In Nova Scotia, there are so many signs to stay off the black rocks at Peggy’s Cove, but tourists still climb them, getting swept out into the Atlantic ocean and risking the lives of first responders. Stop climbing on the rocks!”


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5.

“Eating next to popular tourist sites in Rome. Instead of eating next to the big sites (Palatine Hill, the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, etc.), walk a few blocks away to where people stop speaking English. The food will always be so much better beyond the touristy areas.”


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6.

“If you come to Norway, please remember that we speak English and understand Americans perfectly well when you are talking. Lots of English-speaking tourists assume we don’t understand, but we do.”


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7.

“Being ignorant about the swimming conditions in Hawaii. I see it all the time. ALWAYS check the beach conditions and respect the ocean. You could end up in brown water, getting sucked out to sea, being bashed against the rocks at Oheo Gulch. Also, don’t underestimate the power of the ocean. Small shore breaks can seriously hurt you if you’re not paying attention.”


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8.

“Dressing like it’s always warm in San Francisco. We have fog during the summer (cold arctic current + warm land mass = chilly fog every morning and evening). Bring a sweater or you’ll end up having to buy an overpriced tourist fleece!”


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9.

“Please don’t act like Europe is one big country. Every European country is very different from another. Even when two countries might neighbor one another, they are distinct and unique. We all have our own culture, history, and habits.”


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10.

“Don’t carve your name onto historical buildings or statues. The number of people I see doing this is just wild. Show respect. You are ruining these historic places by trying to leave your mark.”


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11.

“I live in Dubai. I know it’s cool to rent sports cars and I have no problem with it, but when tourists rent these cars and drive 200 kph on a 60 kph road, it puts the rest of us in serious danger. I get that Dubai is a party city, but people live here too.”


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12.

“I live in the Scottish Highlands where tourists are constantly stopping their cars in the middle of the road to take in a view. I have nearly crashed into a ton of them here on the Isle of Skye. Our rural Scottish roads simply can’t take this kind of stupidity, and we simply cannot navigate them the way you might navigate a big, open multi-lane highway in the states.”

13.

“People carve their names in tree trunks and into the leaves of living plants (like giant succulents). In Montjuic in Barcelona, so many of the plants were completely defaced visitors. It makes me so sad to see this popular tourist site treated this way.”


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14.

“Don’t overlook the street food. Lot of people will pick a sit-down restaurant over street food, but the moment you sit at a table, the prices go up (and depending on what country you’re in, you may have to tip). So why even bother with a fancy restaurant sometimes when you can have delicious — and often more authentic — food at a street vendor or counter-service spot? Grab-and-go is almost always cheaper, and there’s something oddly romantic about scarfing a falafel sandwich on a curb while shooing away pigeons.”


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15.

“When you’re a tourist in Hawaii, pull over if you want to admire a view. We have wonderful ocean vistas around every corner, but us locals are so used to them that it’s like corn fields to people from Iowa. I appreciate that tourists don’t have this scenery at home, but don’t slow to 15 mph on a two-lane, no-passing road to gawk. Find a spot to pull over.”


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16.

“I live near a major National Park. In addition to approaching wild animals and littering, I see too many tourists ignoring barriers and fences to get that perfect photo. Those barriers are there for a reason.”


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17.

“I’m from Sydney, and while this happens at beaches all over Australia, it’s specifically a problem at Bondi Beach all the time: People swim out of the flags and then get stuck in rip tides or into the water where they’re surrounded by surfers.”


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18.

“Driving drunk. I live in Sonoma County, California, and I wish all tourists would make sure to have a sober driver. The roads around here are never more dangerous than when the winery tasting rooms close on a sunny weekend.”

19.

“Speaking loudly in public settings in Japan. I always hear tourists speak loudly to others or on the phone on the subway or in cafés, but this makes you seriously stand out in Japan, where people are generally well-mannered and try not to bother anyone with loud talking, music, or games on their phones. If you have to talk, use your inside voice.”


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20.

“I wish tourists would not assume that all New Yorkers are rude or impatient; New York City is a bustling place, and most of us have somewhere we’re trying to get to. We’re always happy to point lost tourists in the right direction, but we usually do so as quickly and efficiently as we can.”


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21.

“From a local who lives near Yellowstone National Park, don’t go to Yellowstone thinking it’s a petting zoo. Every year there are always a handful of tourists who get hurt trying to touch a bison and end up getting hurt. 🤦🏻‍♀️”


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22.

“Clean up your trash!! I used to live in a big spring break destination, which was a small surf town. After spring break, local clean-up crews would find pounds upon pounds of beer cans, broken bottles, used condoms, you name it from the beach. It was completely revolting.”

23.

“Feeding the squirrels at Disney World in Orlando. I worked there for a few years and let me tell you, the squirrels are vicious. Visitors think it’s fun to feed them, but they are completely fearless. They’ll hop right into a stroller and grab food from a child.”


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24.

“I live in Amsterdam and I see tourists walking around obliviously and blindly stepping into the bike lanes. It’s dangerous. We use the bike to get to work, to get groceries, and for all of our day-to-day activities. We’re not just aimlessly cycling around for the fun of it, so please watch yourselves.”


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25.

“I live in a popular vacation town, and it’s become a trend that visitors decide they like it so much here that they purchase our homes for over market value so they can turn them into Airbnbs. This, in turn, prices the locals out of ever owning homes in their own town.”


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26.

“Stop being a belligerent jerk just because you’re in “N’AWLINS.” Just because you’re visiting NOLA doesn’t mean you have an excuse to get blackout drunk, litter, and make hell for food service workers.”


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27.

“A big one in British Columbia is that tourists should learn how to drive in mountainous areas or study up. Most tourists drive way too slow (leading to road rage), and too many don’t know how to stay right on highways. If you don’t know how to drive on twisty roads you should know to pull over and let people pass you.”


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28.

“I’m Parisian and I wish tourists would stop putting ‘love locks’ on our bridges. They are ugly and they can cause serious structural damage because of their weight. In most places either the authorities or just locals have to regularly cut them off and throw them out.”


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29.

“I live in New York City, and I beg that if you need to stop and look at your phone while walking on a busy street, step aside. People are walking and if you abruptly stop it usually results in someone bumping right into you. Also, please do not walk with five people side by side so that nobody can get around you. It is infuriating. But please keep visiting NYC!”


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30.

“I live in Phuket and we see everything here, but please wear at least a t-shirt when you go to a sit-down restaurant or cafe. We see so many bare-chested bros walking right into our cafes sitting there all sweaty while Thai workers are trying to enjoy a nice lunch. Please cover up.”

31.

“This one is specifically for visiting houses that were made famous by movies or TV shows (like Walter White’s house in Breaking Bad or the house from Hocus Pocus). Unless the house is a museum or offers tours, it’s almost certainly someone’s home. Stay off their porch, don’t walk through the yard, and do not trespass.”


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32.

“Messing with the Royal Guard in London. Tourists visiting often think the Royal Guard in London are just men in silly hats that are not allowed to move. Actually, they’re military men who will not put up with you messing with them.”


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33.

“I’m from Iceland, and I see far too many tourists who overestimate their driving abilities. No, your compact rental car cannot drive on the dirt road covered in ice on top of a mountain.”


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34.

“I’m from Las Vegas. Whether it’s your first time here, your 13th time here, whether you’re at a convention, a weekend getaway, or a bachelor party, remember to be a decent human being. Sin City does not mean ‘lawless city.'”


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35.

“Respect the neighborhood and the neighbors. My family had to move out of a highly touristed area because the visitors were out of control. Drinking outside with music blasting at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday because you are on vacation doesn’t mean the other people on the same street are also on vacation.”

If you live in a popular travel destination, what are some things you wish tourists would stop doing? Or what are the things you wish visitors knew before arriving in your home town/city? Tell us in the comments!