Things tourists DO but should NOT

There are obnoxious people everywhere – on flights, airport queues, in parks, trams, metro, restaurants…
They annoy you endlessly but there is little you can do but grin and bear. The danger is that they are everywhere too!

I am writing this for a reason – on my recent trip to Europe, I met a whole lot of them. Surprising because I had always assumed people who “toured” Europe would be, in the least, a little more socially aware than those who continually focused on cheaper destinations like south east Asia. But that could just be my bias.

Here are a few “bad tourist” habits –

1. Behaving as though they owned the place – Yes. Those! They turn up at a restaurant or a cathedral and act as though it belonged to them! They are not the ones to wait in queue or wait to be seated – they just have to have it now – even if it means cutting the line, barging ahead of everyone else and hogging space.

2. Dressing up to fit a “tourist” mold – Then there are those who want to look like tourists – shorts, camera around the necks, fancy sun glasses, sneakers, fancy water bottles, tank tops, loud patterns – in other words dressing up for the pictures and to give off the  “oh, look I am such a cool tourist” appearance. I think there is absolutely no reason to stand out like Ronald McDonald!!! I have been guilty of this too – see pic!Chinese queen

3. Hogging public space – Yes, most tourists are guilty of this crime! They arrive in groups, hog the crucial spaces and NEVER leave. Never mind that others are waiting their turn – they just wont leave. They will take endless number of pictures, at least a dozen in every pose, followed by selfies and group pics…I might sound racist when I say this, but I say this from experience. Recently this happened at the Neuschwanstien Castle in Germany when I found that my friend and I (and a majority of other tourists) had to wait so long to -1. board the horse cart because people kept cutting in 2. take pics of the castle from the vantage points because the Chinese tourists refused to move on 3. people jumped off the platform and ran across the lines to the buses up the castle while the rest of use use the normal exit and thus ended up having to wait for the next bus to arrive 4. crowding the vending machines on the platforms, sticking their hands through the line to get ahead!

Well, these are just few examples.

Image courtesy: google

Image courtesy: google

4. Tourists who think tour guides work “exclusively” for them – These are the ones with the maximum questions – some highly unnecessary – as though others did not matter.

5. The language snoot – Tourists who think poorly of people who do not speak their tongue, namely “English.”. “Oh. you don’t know English?” they say with scorn, “but you should – there are so many tourists here.”

6. Oh, but I am a tourist – These are the ones who break rules because they think rules don’t apply to them because they are tourists.

No. rules are rules. Follow them.

7. Being loud – We meet them all the time. They are the so called loud ones who want to proclaim to the world how happy and funny they are.

I could possible go on and on.



  1. It’s the tour groups that are the worst. Visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia became more of an exercise of trying to stay ahead of them – getting to a temple before they got there and swamped the place.

  2. Another thing that I get really annoyed about is when people are late. When you are in a tour group, at least keep some sense of the time and try to be considerate of everyone else. I have been guilty in the past too but over the years I have definitely learnt my lesson.

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