In the category of “Who Knew?”. Today is actually National Tourist Appreciation Day. However, I’m choosing to approach today from a different angle. Therefore, I’m celebrating by calling it Tacky Tourist Day, and highlighting the many ways we tourists misbehave. And, encouraging all of us to be a little less….well, tacky!
Happy Tacky Tourist Day
I don’t care how many times you have visited a city. Unless it’s like 100 times or more, you are a tourist. You don’t live there. Probably, you didn’t grow up there. Honestly, you don’t REALLY understand what’s it like to LIVE there. After all, your experiences have been while on vacation. And while I wish every day was like vacation, it’s not. So, as distasteful as it might feel, we are all tourists. Let’s not be a tacky tourist, if we can help it!
Tip #1: It’s going to be different. Embrace it!
I will never forget the day I was walking through Rome, in the morning, headed toward a spot I know serving amazing coffee. While en route, I passed a family, clearly frustrated, and in need of caffeine. How did I know that? Because the dad in the group was wondering, loudly, WHERE they could find a Starbucks. Palm-to-forehead. Starbucks? In Rome? Attention tacky tourist: the coffee in Rome is ah-mazing! Embrace the opportunity to try something new!
Tip #2: Um….your “underpinnings” are showing
On this Tacky Tourist Day, I don’t want y’all to think I’m up on my high horse of perfection over here. I’ve made PLENTY of tacky tourist mistakes. I shared some of those in this post. But, I do often cringe at what people wear. Out in public. It’s not that I’m a prude, or a fashion critic. It’s more that the inappropriately dressed tacky tourists are really showing a high level of disrespect toward the people who live in the city where they are visiting. See-through tops, crazy short shorts and skirts. Tank tops. Wow. Save all that for your backyard BBQ. Err on the side of being a teensy bit more modest. Trust me, everyone will thank you!
You know what else is tacky? Forgetting to pack something! I’m certainly guilty! I’ve got a FREE packing list that will help you MAKE SURE everything is in your suitcase! Click on the image below to get your downloadable and printable packing check list!
Tip #3: Happy Tacky Tourist Day….Greet everyone you encounter,
all day long!
Most tourists are spending their time at sites filled to the brim with tourists. And all the people who work at those sites deal with tourists all day long, every day. Think about how many questions they get asked! How many different languages they encounter. How many totally clueless people they have to keep moving along. And, yes, it’s their job, but think how nice it might be to receive a friendly good morning, or good afternoon once in a while. In fact, in many countries it’s considered rude not to start off with a “Good Day” before you ask them, for the millionth time that morning, where the bathroom is. A greeting in their own language? Bonus points!
Tip #4: Expecting everyone to speak English
If you find yourself speaking LOUDER, because loud English is easier to understand than quiet English, you are a tacky tourist Hall-of-Famer. First of all, think how many different accents there are in the world. All my friends up North have to really concentrate when I’m talking….I know y’all do! And English is our first language. Imagine if English is NOT your first language. Talk about having to concentrate. Give everyone a break! Speak slowly! Speak clearly. Don’t YELL. Lordy, don’t do that! I can promise you, you are not the first tourist to ask that same question! They want to answer your question, because then you will go away! Help them help you! Make it a Happy Tacky Tourist Day for everyone!
Tip #5: Full Recline the minute your plane takes off
This makes me crazy! Yes, you are certainly entitled to fully recline…it’s your seat. But have you ever stopped to think about what your fully reclined seat does to the person behind you? There’s barely any room to begin with. Be a lamb, and maybe only recline half-way, particularly during meal time! We are all in this together. Let’s be considerate of one another. Don’t be the tacky tourist on the plane!
Tip #6: Flash Photography…STOP IT!
I groan internally, and sometimes externally, when tacky tourists snap photos with a flash. Oh….so you missed the 800 signs warning you not to? Didn’t hear the site employees telling you not to? You didn’t realize your flash was on? Pa-lease. I can’t think of a single historic site, museum, or church that ALLOWS flash photography. Just don’t do it! Let’s not argue about how credible the risk to precious art is…let’s just all follow the rule, shall we?
Tip #7: Politics and Religion are not subjects for polite company
You want to argue about the United States’ position on the politics of the country you are visiting? Great! Do that at home. You want to debate about the “legitimacy” of a certain religious practice? Do it with your friends and family at home. Do NOT visit a foreign country and start debating them on politics or religion. Unless you are the Secretary of State, and if you are… thank you for reading my Blog. Realistically, tourists are probably not in a position to make substantive changes. Certainly not while on vacation. So zip it! Be polite. Have another gelato! Relax!
Tip #8: Inflexible adherence to Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan, Organic-only
Maybe just stay home.
Happy Tacky Tourist Day, y’all!
For another perspective on being a tacky tourist, this article in Insider has some interesting ideas!
P.S. The WINNER of my April Refer-A-Friend Giveaway is Cindy Mosby! She is receiving a fabulous needlepoint canvas, which you can see in this post. I’m giving away more great goodies this month! Be sure and Refer Some Friends to my Blog by clicking here!