How Not to Annoy the Locals


Tourism is a big industry in most countries and generates a lot of income for hardworking people. It is no surprise that locals are usually the ones who operate various tours and attractions. It is thus highly likely that you are going to interact with the locals on your trip. These are hard-working people, trying to make a living. The last thing you should do is annoy them. Unfortunately, tourists can accidentally slip up from time to time. Here are some reminders you may find useful when you next travel:

1.Be Polite

You do not have the right to talk down to or insult the locals simply because they may be from a country that is not as developed as your home. Do not make unreasonable demands or insist on expedited service. You will have to wait your turn like everyone else, just as you would have to wait your turn in your own country. It would also be great to leave a tip if you can, since some of these individuals may not be earning very much. Please also remember that in the tourism industry, one simple complaint from you could cost someone their job.

2.Don’t Assume

One of the most annoying things a tourist can do is assume that the locals do not speak English or are not smart enough to understand what they’re saying. This can often lead to very awkward conversations, and you just never know who you might end up offending. Be mindful that what you see on international news is not a true reflection of the people living in that country. These news syndicates make big bucks glamorizing the worst stories they can lay their hands on.

It would also be wise to not assume that everyone in a developing country is poor or that everyone you meet has a low paying job in the service industry. Avoid assuming that all the locals are your friends. Individuals in the service industry are trained to smile and talk in a way that will put you at ease. The locals you come across who do not work in the service industry, are probably just being polite. That does not mean they want to share their contact details and form a relationship with you. Most tourism companies also have very strict rules about fraternizing with tourists.

3.Don’t Mock Them

It goes without saying that the people you meet in a different country speak and sound different. Please do not laugh at or criticize the way the locals speak. Even if you mean well, it may come across as you making fun of their culture. The best trips are those where you fully immerse yourself in the strange new culture of the people around you. Why not ask them politely to teach you a few lines instead laughing at them? You can make friends quite easily if you learn enough of the language to greet the locals and thank them for their service.

4.Don’t Be Intrusive

Even if you strike up a friendly conversation with some of the locals, do not assume that everyone wants you to ask them a lot of personal questions. Questions about finances, religion, and other sensitive topics are taboo wherever you go. You wouldn’t ask those kinds of questions if you were in your own country so avoid them in strange new environments as well.

5.Don’t Be Too flashy

Many tourists tend to go the extra mile to ensure everyone assumes they are quite wealthy. They brag about all the assets they have back home and tend to flash their cash around. This is a very dangerous habit since not everyone you meet will have your best interest at heart. Plus no one likes obnoxious tourists.

Following these simple tips can ensure you avoid annoying the locals, and that you make the most out of your vacation. Local residents are in the best position to help you get the most of your vacation. They know all the best locations and can help you get discounts. All that is required is that you treat them with respect and don’t demand too much from them.


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