These few past years weren’t favorable for the tourism sector, as many are aware. But tourism is slowly going back to its pre-pandemic levels. More and more countries are lifting restrictions and opening borders for tourists for hassle-free travel. It’s estimated that the tourism sector could generate around $8.6 trillion globally this year. That’s just 6.4% below pre-covid levels.
Just ahead of your summer vacation, it’s a good idea to look at some of the most common mistakes tourists make when visiting foreign countries. Locals from around the world joined the thread on Reddit, where they shared the common mistakes tourists make in their country. Scroll down below to get some advice from locals, and who knows, maybe it will help you on your next trip?
More info: Reddit
Image source: DongLaiCha
Australia: Thinking you can drive between Sydney and Perth for a day drip. Not so much
Hong Kong: Thinking it’s a cheap south Asian tourist destination like Thailand. Not so much.
Image source: aimeecurameng
Tourists visiting Los Angeles always underestimate the time it’ll take to get from point A to point B. Our traffic is terrible, and you should add 30 minutes to an hour whenever you want to drive anywhere.
Image source: abedmcnulty
Most tourists who go to Marrakesh book a hotel room, but you should really stay in a riad (a traditional Moroccan house built around a garden) rather than at a hotel or hostel. Riads are a big part of the Marrakech experience. It’s unique and the hospitality is awesome. Usually the staff or owners can show you around the chaotic and bustling medina, which is especially helpful.
Image source: I_hate_traveling
They trust taxi drivers.
Never trust one if you’re in Greece, you’re just asking to be overcharged. Stick to renting a car or at the very least, ask some locals for typical prices beforehand.
Image source: FloppyEaredDog
They mainly visit London. The U.K. has great seasides like Cornwall, Devon, Dorset etc and British seaside holidays have a unique charm. There’s also Scotland and Wales. The north of England has a lot to offer (castles, The Lake District, history etc).
Tourists, don’t snub the north. The North remembers.
Image source: cott1029
Most people who travel to Taiwan just visit the capital, Taipei, or they go down the west coast. But locals will tell you this is a mistake because the magic is in the east. Yilan is an amazing county with all the allures of Taipei plus beautiful waterfalls and mountains, but a fraction of the cost. If you enjoy hiking, Hualien is the best place to see the amazing Taroko Gorge. Best of all, Taiwan’s public transportation makes it easy to see these unique destinations beyond Taipei.
Image source: LeahUK
People think the Royal Guard in London are just men in silly hats that are not allowed to move.
They’re military men who will knock you the f*ck out if you mess with them.
Attempting to spend the whole afternoon shopping in Spain. It’s fairly common for stores to close here from roughly 2–4 p.m. (it’s called the siesta and it’s prime lunch time for Spaniards). So get your shopping done in the morning or wait until stores reopen in the late afternoon.
Image source: Jon-Michael Poff
In Italy, only tourists order their coffee to go. Italians drink their espressos at the bar. You’ll never see a local carrying a tumbler filled with drip coffee, much less a to-go cup from a local café. Oh, and you won’t find any frappuccinos here.
Image source: TheYoupi
Underestimating how expensive the cost of living is in Norway. I’ve seen jaws drop when tourists discover the price of the two beers they ordered.
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Mostly happens at bondi beach but this can happen at any beach all over Australia. People swimming out of the flags, most often these people will get stuck in rips or into waters where there are surfers.
Image source: obr3ptox
I live in Rome. Tourists come and visit only the city centre, neglecting any other interesting historical sites (or other nice things) which are easy to get to, equally nice to visit, yet a bit far from the center.
Image source: GurlinPanteez
“I flew into New York, figured I’d rent a car and take a quick day trip to Miami or Los Angeles.”
Image source: nusrat21
In Japan, tourists speak loudly to others or on the phone in public settings. But that makes you seriously stand out in Japan, where people are generally well-mannered and try not to bother anyone with loud talking, music, or games on their phones. If you have to talk, use your inside voice.
Image source: trumpstinyhandssayhi
Underestimating the size of the country. No you can’t do a day trip to Cairns from Brisbane, it’s like a 2 day drive. Even Sydney is like a 12 hour drive.
Actually, same with NZ. People think you can do the whole country in a week. Spoiler alert, you can’t.
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I’ll do my town, Austin TX.
A major common mistake tourists make here is wasting half a day for Franklin’s BBQ. Look, his brisket is good, but it’s not “waste half a day of your vacation in Austin standing in line” good. There are a plethora of bbq joints with just as good or better brisket that have no wait all day.
Image source: hannahloewentheil
Coming to New York City and spending time in Times Square. Unless they’re going out of necessity to see a Broadway show or something of the sort, tourists avoid this place like the plague. I understand the desire to see Times Square for a few minutes, but make it a quick trip. And don’t even bother having a meal there. You’ll find the same chain restaurants that exist all over America…only the same meal will cost you triple the price.
Image source: DonkeyDD
In Iceland, people don’t realize how expensive everything is here, especially going out to eat. If you’re going to a restaurant, expect $30–50 entrees everywhere. Mix in some cheap street food (like Icelandic hot dogs) or find accommodations with a kitchen so you can cook.
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People come to the US expecting to see too much in one visit. Unless you’re prepared to shell out thousands of dollars on very coordinated flights, you aren’t going to see the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, the Alamo, Hollywood and Yosemite Park all in one week. It’s a big country, so pick a few states and stick to that.
Image source: BaiRuoBing
When you sit down to eat in a restaurant in Portugal, the waiter will usually bring you bread, olives, or some other snacks. I always see tourists get mad when they are charged for eating these seemingly ‘free’ snacks, but that’s just how things work here. If you eat it, expect to pay for it. If you don’t touch it, your waiter will take it away and pretend like [they] never existed.