Lessons in Foreign Etiquette: The Top 10 Obnoxious Tourists

The Top 10 Obnoxious Tourists

Tourist Bus by zoetnet, on Flickr

It doesn’t matter if you’re a casual traveler, a global explorer, or someone who’s only dreamed of going someplace new; everyone has witnessed obnoxious tourists. Whether in your home country or abroad, you’re bound to run into people who will make you cringe at the things they say or do.

Catching on to foreign etiquette can be a challenge, but it takes some people longer to adapt than others. Today on GoAbroad, we’ve compiled a list of people who never seem to get the hint – and to better help you keep foreign etiquette in mind, no matter where you may travel to next around the world!

10: The Friend Requester

It’s good to be social and make friends with locals, but this guy is a little too eager. He wants to exchange contact information with each person he meets. He includes himself in everyone’s plans. Because he’s foreign, he feels entitled to friendship. After all, who wouldn’t want to learn ALL about his home country?

9: The Traffic Violator

This person probably won’t be driving a car, but she doesn’t realize that traffic laws also apply to pedestrians. To her, crosswalks merely suggest where to cross the street. Traffic lights are only to be obeyed by vehicles. This person’s life motto is “pedestrians have the right-of-way.” And if she rents a bicycle, you’d better just stay inside.

8: The Avid Photographer

Taking photos is a large part of any travel experience. Some people understand when it is appropriate to take pictures, but this guy does not. He will stop traffic to snap a photo of a bridge. He will ask locals at a restaurant to take a picture of him with his food. When this person visits historical buildings, he ignores signs that forbid cameras. To him, no trip is successful unless at least 3,000 pictures are taken.

7: The Fashion Fiend

This person doesn’t take the dress code of her host country into account when choosing outfits each day. She’ll dress as she pleases and not give the slightest effort of blending in with the locals. Shorts in the Vatican? Why not? Sweatpants to the grocery store? Of course! Whatever is acceptable to wear in this person’s home country is acceptable anywhere.

6: The Home Nation “Rep”

Similar to the fashion fiend, this person ignores local fashion. He takes things one step further by only wearing clothing representative of his home country. He has national pride and shows it off with a wardrobe consisting only of brands or teams from his home land. Armed with Liverpool jerseys, United States of America tees, or gear from whichever region tickle’s his fancy, this person makes sure EVERYONE knows what country his obnoxious antics are associated with.

5: The Etiquette Ignorer

This person did not do her research on local etiquette before venturing to her country of choice. Maybe she stands a little too close or too far away during conversations. She might greet with a kiss in a situation that calls for a handshake. Whatever the case, it’s clear that this person didn’t learn the local manners and has no intention of doing so.

4: The Oblivious Offender

The Top 10 Obnoxious Tourists

Avid Photographers by dmertl, on Flickr

Giving the “thumbs up” sign is not a positive gesture in every country, but this guy never bothered to learn that. He’s flashing peace signs and thumbs up like there’s no tomorrow, completely unaware of how offensive this may be. But this doesn’t matter to him; his only concern is looking good in photos.

3: The Country Comparer

This person can’t enjoy anything about the new country she’s in without comparing it to how things are where she’s from. Rather than basking in a new culture, she needs to constantly remind everyone of how amazing the culture is in her home country. Think her rants are bad now? Wait until she has grandchildren.

2: The Ignorant Traveler

Usually when people go abroad, they take time to research the country they’re visiting and the monuments they plan to see. Not this guy. He doesn’t know anything about his host country’s history, government, or even which languages are common. He makes his ignorance audible with offensive comments that could have easily been avoided by doing a quick Google search on the country he’s visiting.

1: The Monolinguist

Learning a new language is hard, especially when you need to use it with locals. Rather than giving it a try, this person expects everyone to communicate using her native language. She is bewildered when she comes across someone who cannot understand her, but she didn’t even bother to learn basic phrases in her host country’s native tongue.

What types of obnoxious tourists have you had the “pleasure” of meeting? Have you ever been the annoying traveler? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!


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