Don’t be hated by the locals: Travelling tips for a pleasant trip
Whilst it is true that tourism usually contributes to local economies -especially in small towns–, that doesn’t mean that locals have to feel overjoyed with every time a wave of tourists floods their hometown. Luckily, most visitors are still decent and wonderful people who try their best not to annoy the locals while still making the most out of their trip.
Tourism helps local businesses thrive, henceforth visitors are important to these communities and local are usually grateful for this and welcome them kindly. However, some visitors are impolite, inconsiderate or just plain rude, which is why some locals wish the high season ends quickly and the visitors go back home.
From reckless sports cars drivers who seem to disregard the lives of others and their own to people who couldn’t care less about the trails of garbage they leave behind, the list of reasons locals have to be annoyed by the tourists is quite extensive. After the unprecedented backlash against tourists in Europe, where protests have erupted this summer in cities such as Dubrovnik, Venice and Barcelona in rejection of suffocating surge of tourists who disrespect historical sights, disturb the locals daily life, drive up the cost of living, and behave rudely as if they own the place.
If like many other people, you love travelling and try to be respectful of the local culture of your destinations, you might want to start revisiting your behaviour abroad and make a few changes that improve the way you’re perceived by the locals. Although of course, self-awareness is key, the following tips might also help you be hated a little less by the locals.
- Longer stays are key to make friends, establish a more solid reputation amongst the locals and prove that you’re not going there just to party and trash the town in a 2-week trip of binge drinking and reckless behaviour.
- Be extra careful when choosing your accommodations and try to avoid the big chain hotels and resorts. Go for hotels, small inns or B&Bs owned by locals to ensure the money you will be spending, goes straight to the residents of the town.
- Avoid the overcrowded destinations and aim for small towns where tourists haven’t worn out the locals welcome and kindness.
- Try cutting down the snapshots and use your camera to capture really special moments instead of taking a picture of every little thing you come across with. It’s not annoying for the locals only, other travellers will appreciate that you don’t get in the way to get your “perfect shot” or snap a picture every 5 seconds right next to them.
- Learning the language of the place you’re visiting, even if it is on a basically level, shows respect, kindness and interest in the local culture. The locals will appreciate the effort you make even if you’re not totally fluent.
- Be friendly and kind to the locals, show interest in their cultures and the way they do things. The better your relationship with the locals, the bigger your chances of having the time of your life, thanks to the local recommendations.
- Evaluate the goals of your trip and don’t splurge on a trip you will not enjoy to the fullest. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday for resting and recharge, you might want to consider delaying that trip to a hot destination where you will have a thousand touristy things to do and you won’t really have the time to get some proper rest. You’ll spend less money and enjoy yourself a lot more.
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