Hot answers tagged

71

First there's the obvious - when in a tourist area, don't act too much like a tourist. When I lived in London you could instantly tell the locals from tourists in busy tourist areas, regardless of their looks, from the fact the locals were walking quickly and purposefully and skirting around the crowds (even when lost) while the tourists had more random, ...


35

Here's a trick I've found pretty useful: Wear headphones/earphones. You don't have to listen to anything through them, but just by wearing them, people are more likely to ignore you because you "can't hear them". Worked for me in Beijing's Tiananmen square.


26

I'm French, from Paris. harassed by guys on the street trying to pull a scam of some sort in which they would bend over, pick up some cheap "golden" ring, offer it to me as my "lucky day", and then ask if I could give them some money for it [...] the amount of times I was approached and asked for money (the ring guys were just part of it) was an ...


9

About 10 years ago I was pickpocketed in Paris. I'm reasonably sure that the fact that it was in December and about 40 degrees(F) and I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt was at least a contributing factor to my being chosen as a target. My wallet was in my right front pants pocket, but that didn't help. Thankfully my wallet was recovered within ...


7

I once did a social experiment in India where I dressed like a beggar (barefeet, dirt in the face, torn rags for clothes, old hat) and I was completely ignored. This is of course an extreme measure but the gist is that you look "invisible" just like the sights are invisible to locals, as another commenter said. I always pack a small urban backpack inside my ...


6

Compare these two images of casual-dressed men. The first guy shops at Kohl's in Columbus while the second guy shops at Galeries Lafayette in Nantes. Of the two, each walking nonchalantly down a street in Paris, which one would look like a tourist to other Parisians? Therefore, if you want to blend into the background scene, go into one of the suburbs, ...


5

I used to travel down to Tijuana, Mexico with my friend while I was stationed in San Diego. I am military, my friend is a super geeky looking guy. TJ is very well known for pushy locals on tourists, from cabs to selling candy. Everyone was asking to buy things or get cab rides. We walked together the entire time. The difference? I had on my pissed off ...


5

Since I travel a lot to different countries in Europe, Americas, Africa and Asia, very often I was a target of various scam artists. My way to avoid it is to dress like a man down on his economical luck. My cloths are clean but really basic and wear out. I have plastic sandals or other cheep looking shoes which had never seen a polish. My backpack or bag had ...


5

There is a small musical instruments store in Havana, in a place called "El Boulevard de San Rafael", it's a pedestrian street and the store is about 300 meters from Hotel Inglaterra. If you prefer, you could also post an add on the website revolico.com before traveling there (this is similar to kijiji, craigslist etc, very popular in Cuba) saying "busco ...


4

There are several great answers here, but since this is still a hot thread shown in the SE sidebar, I thought to put my thoughts too. I was pick-pocketed in Paris, and I volunteered to get scammed by the test-your-sight by the shuffling cup trick. Still, I would say I'm pretty good at avoiding scams. There is nothing to get upset if you get scammed I ...


4

I pass in front of the Château de Versailles daily. I am never stopped by the street vendors because: I bike. Possibly with my children. This is not an easy one when you are a tourist (except maybe for the bike, though it is not worth the hassle on short trips (otherwise you have Velib')) I do not look around and have headphones on. This one is not simple ...


4

Very good to try to blend in with the locals when you go around the parts of the city where/when the locals are around in big numbers. If you walk near the tourist destinations, even as a local on the way to your work at a time most people around are tourist, you will be seen as a proper target. When you are between tourists you will be seen as tourist! ...


3

I'm from the US, 56 years old, caucasian, and I've been living in Uganda for the last seven years. When I first got to Uganda, everywhere I would go, maybe five or six times a day, people would try to stop me to ask for money. No matter how I tried to dress or blend in, the money-asking was constant. After a year or so, it just stopped. I didn't do ...


2

The primary reason for doing it on your own is usually lower cost and more flexibility. The primary reason of doing it with a guided tour is the local knowledge that your guide can share with you. So a traveler needs to decide, do they want to save money and just go look at it, or do they want to come away with an insiders understanding of it. And no, ...


2

I used to use Foursquare for that purpose frequently and it never let me down. Recently however, it seems that the user ratings cannot be trusted anymore (biased, falsified etc.). There were some 9+ star restaurants I visited in different cities and was totally disappointed with both the quality of the food and the price (aka tourist trap). So, I usually ...


2

I found this recently and it gives a good set of tips. Basically it answers the question the other way around. Not how to find a good restaurant but how to avoid a bad one. One kf the most intersting is the one that relates the quality of the menu print with restaurant quality. There are several intersting tips: ...


2

What a great question! I have given 'free walking tours' in London for a long time. Also in England (e.g., Yorkshire). Also in France. And from time-to-time I guide a 'free tour' on the Route Napoléon which involves either cars or motorcycles and lasts several days. They are all heavily oriented to history and/or literature. I have also guided free ...


1

If you were not talking on the phone/listening to music a moment ago, answer in sign language, pretending to be deaf. You probably don't know SL, but neither do they. So you just smile awkwardly and make random hand gestures, ocasionally pointing to your ears untill the harasser has anough and leaves. This works also in your home country, when you are ...


1

What I advise tourists to my home town of New York City is, don't look like a curious person having a good time. You don't have to pass yourself off as a local as much as you need to be an "anti-tourist." The mentality that you might adopt is that of a sentry near enemy territory, patrolling the ground for trouble. If a stranger approaches you, a sentry ...



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