5 Ways to Avoid Looking Like a Tourist*

not a tourist thumbnail


*A work of satire.

Fake it ’til you make it

In the week preceding your trip, obsessively study the local fashion blogs of your destination. Take note of skirt lengths, tie widths, and footwear trends. Is hair messy or groomed? Is makeup heavy or natural? Practice wearing your local-inspired outfits at home, so as to pull off an air of casual ease. Of course you’re wearing this. You always wear outfits like this. You are one of them.

One who wanders, or whatever

Refuse to use a map. Never ask for directions. Order the foods you see others eating. If you must draw directions on your palm, fine. If you are utterly lost and it’s late and you’re hungry, call a cab and have them bring you back to your hotel. Order room service and do better tomorrow.

If you believe…

But never, ever, ever utter the word “hotel” in public. If you need to convey to your friends or family that it’s time to go back, call it “home.” Make them do the same. Insist upon it.

Be the silent, mysterious type

If you cannot speak the native tongue, do not speak at all.

Ew, only tourists go there

Do not visit any museums, monuments, or other tourist (ick!) attractions. Permissible activities while abroad include: grocery shopping, visiting the laundromat, meals at mediocre restaurants, and working on your laptop in your hotel room. If you insist upon visiting some outdoor monument, do so under the cover of night. If you really want to see the special collection of some museum, check online. Most everything is available for view there now, anyway.