We love traveling to distant lands, meeting new people, exploring new cuisine and exploring all a country has to offer.
We backpackers, however, are at times treated differently by the locals due to our foreign nature and this at times is problematic as we are targets for scams and other nefarious activities. This tourism treatment can also prevent you from having an authentic experience in the destination and impact the overall visit.
Read these tips on how you can stay under the radar and avoid getting the tourist treatment.
1. Leave the backpack
Carrying a 50 kg backpack as tall as you are a dead giveaway of yourself as a foreigner.
We recommend carrying a day pack as its subtler and will help you blend with the locals.
2. Fake it till you make it
Confidence is key when traveling and can only be gained by doing a lot of it.
Locals who see such confidence will avoid giving you the tourist’s treatment.
3. Eat where the locals eat
Eating at the local eateries frequented by the locals is bound to give you the best bang for your buck.
4. Drink where the locals drink
Avoiding the tourist bars like the plague and downing a couple of pints at the local pub is a sure way to get treated as a local.
5. Travel as the locals do
Taking the local transport will assist you in blending in and not stick out like a sore thumb.
6. Learn the local lingo
Learning a few words of the local language is bound to endear you to the locals and help you avoid being the recipient of the tourist treatment.
7. Dress like the locals
If blending in and avoiding the tourist treatment is your goal, you have to dress the part.
Observe what the locals wear and shop for the same in a location frequented by the locals.
8. Carry the local currency
Flaunting foreign currency is a sure way to get the tourist treatment and will see you getting scammed with exorbitant sums of money for the simplest goods and services.