How to Avoid Looking Like a Tourist When You Travel
While you are a tourist when you travel, you don't have to look like one. Looking like you're out of place can not only be disruptive to the people in the area, but it can also be unsafe for you. When you look like you're not as familiar with an area, you can be the target for theft as well as more serious crimes. Thankfully, there are ways to blend in.
The first thing you will want to do before you get to your location is to learn about it. Learn about the main roads as well as the areas to avoid. There are many Internet travel sites that can help you with this, giving customer reviews and opinions as well. Try to get at least somewhat familiar with the flavour of the area so that you're not surprised by anything. For example, some countries observe holidays during certain months, so you'll want to avoid going there. Other countries will also have times of the day for rest when you won't be able to go to shops or attractions - learn about that well in advance.
However, you probably won't be able to memorize the map of the area, so you will still need to carry one to get around. Instead of pulling it out each time you get confused, it's a better idea to plan out your day in the morning and learn where you need to go. This way, you don't have to pull out the map at all and draw attention to yourself. Realize that if you get lost, someone will probably be able to guide you to where you need to be.
You will want to dress well when you are travelling, but this doesn't mean that you should wear your finest jewellery. What you want to do is look nice and not sloppy. This will allow you to look as though you are comfortable and maybe even a part of the town. About looking too nice, you will also want to downplay anything valuable that you might be wearing in case thieves are in the area. The best rule? If you'd be upset to lose something that you're wearing, leave it in the safety of your home.
To avoid being picked out as a non-local, you should head to the local restaurants and attractions instead of going right to the touristy areas. While you may want to go to the Eiffel Tower, try to find other smaller venues that will cause you to blend in more. You want to look as though you are a part of the city, rather than just heading to whatever your guide book has told you to do.