The looks, the aura, the twinkle in their eyes—tourists exude curiosity and excitement. With their lust for adventure, they often over prepare. Their travel gear makes them stick out like a sore thumb.
Nothing screams ‘tourist’ like a map in your hand, a camera strapped to your neck, a knapsack hugging you from behind, and a fanny pack fastened around your waist.
A tourist wants to hop from one place to another without the fear of getting lost. Thus, it is common practice for them to hire a travel agency. So when they travel, they usually come in groups led by a tourist guide.
What really sets tourists apart from the locals and the travelers are their quirks. No matter where you go, tourists stand out because of the weird and slightly embarrassing acts they do. Nevertheless, they have fun, and they get to make their travels even more memorable.
How Tourists Behave in Tourist Attractions
1. Take cliché photos
Tourists won’t miss the chance to capture fun photographs because they believe that their trip to a certain country is a first and last.
The cheesy tourist photos start when the plane takes off.
Most of the time, these obligatory airplane shots are photographs of the plane’s wing with fluffy clouds in the background. Occasionally, someone manages to snap breathtaking aerial shots of concrete jungles, rugged mountain cliffs, or vast bodies of water.
These photos, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. These are nothing compared to the photos people take in tourist spots.
A tourist, unlike the traveler who takes photographs of anything that’s relevant to the local culture, can make the leaning tower of Pisa look like a scene from a Michael Jackson music video.
Whether you’re in Pisa or Paris, you will see numerous tourists trying to pinch, push, or hold these tall structures.
Even Beyonce can’t stop herself from doing touristy activities!
2. Get excited over the local mode of transportation
Tourists always look for exciting things to do before their travels. They want to try new things, but they aren’t as daring as travelers. They are very cautious.
You will hear them complain about how unsafe the transportations systems are.
But, they will take the ride anyway.
3. Munch on the local cuisine
Tourists are no Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern. They cringe at strange and bizarre cuisines.
They won’t try just about anything. They will look for information about the local cuisine in travel guides, or they will browse through reviews made by fellow tourists. So, before they even reach their destination, they already know the local delicacies they want to try.
Most of the time, they will go for the well-known delicacies. And, this does have an upside. It spares them the trouble of an upset stomach.
4. Can’t get their noses out of their phones
Travelers usually blog because they use it as a platform to earn a living. They use their travel blogs to fund their adventures. Tourists, on the other hand, are fond of using social media to rant about their travels.
They won’t post everything at once. They love leaving hints and teasers.
It always starts with the window shot from the plane. It’s a subtle way of telling their followers that they’re on the move, and that they should expect more updates. When they reach their destination, the photos gradually progress into a photo series about their hotel, the food, and the places they’ve been to.
When they get home from their trip, that’s when they photo-binge. That’s when they upload all the random, strange, and crazy photos in their trip. Unlike the traveler, they are usually in all of the photographs they upload.
Without a doubt, tourists are different from travelers. But one is not necessarily better than the other.
Should you travel like a tourist?
People often berate a tourist’s way of traveling because of how one appears to be—ignorant. Tourists aren’t ignorant; they are cautious.
The world poses a multitude of differences in terms of belief, religion, tradition, and culture. Even the best travelers haven’t seen it all. Yes, even they can experience culture shock.
Before anyone gets to assimilate to a new culture, one becomes a tourist who sees the culture as it is before deciding to plunge in.
In honor of World Tourism Day, which is celebrated every 27th of September, I implore you to embody the spirit of traveling. It’s never too late to start an adventure. So, pack your bags, and live the adventure you’ve been dying to experience.
P.S. If you’re looking for ways to finance your travels, check out this photography guide. Learn how to make a business out of those photographs.