How to Be the Type of Tourist That Everybody Hates

How to Be the Type of Tourist That Everybody Hates

That's right, you all know the type, the tourist that really gets under your skin and makes you wonder how it would feel to just accidentally push them off the cliff. You can't escape them, no matter which part of the world you happen to be in, so why not just join their ranks? 

Fortunately for you, there are several models you can choose between when it comes to picking which type of obnoxious tourist you want to be. Now, keep in mind, whatever you choose make sure to pick one that will be most stereotypical of the tourist type which will be found in the location you happen to be visiting. Also, the choices below are merely templates, but feel free to use your imagination to incorporate additional levels of bad behavior to any of the models below.

  1. The Lurker. This is where you don't know anybody, but you decide to follow one random stranger around because they seem to know what they're doing and where they're going. You're not a part of their party, but you do your best to join their party without them knowing it.
  2. The Trash Dispenser. To fully embody this model, you must take a bunch of random items with you, all of which must have disposable parts that you can discard on a whim. Think snacks, items with wrappers, cigarettes, and so on. When you are done with any particular snack or item simply discard the rest of it, or the packaging, or both onto the ground wherever you are standing regardless whether there is any garbage receptacle nearby.
  3. The Noise Maker. This is pretty self-explanatory. Just make as noise as is possible. Talk loud, shout louder, take speakers and force those around you to listen to whatever music choices pop into your head. In general, try to be as much of a disturbance as you can.
  4. The Rule Maker. Signs aren't for you, neither are verbal instructions, nor local laws for that matter. You're on vacation damn it, so you do whatever the hell you want simply because you can and don't let anyone stop you!
  5. The Photo Berserker. The only thing that matters is how many pictures you can shoot in a single period of time. If you see someone with a camera already set up, go stand in front of them so you can get their shot too, because clearly they set up a tripod so you would know where to go stand. Duh. Repeat this as many times as you can in a single day and you'll have had a successful day.
  6. The Animal Provocateur. This is quite possibly my personal favorite. No matter which animal you come across, no matter which country you are in, simply find a way to anger the local wildlife. The closer you come to death, the better, because that means you will have that much better of a story to tell when you get home. Don't believe me? Check out this winning encounter of such behavior in Yellowstone, U.S.A.

Again, feel free to mix and match however much you like and you will probably come up with your own iteration of tourist that everybody can hate with a passion. Remember, the more ways you can find to disrespect the place you are visiting, the culture around you, the authorities managing the area, and the other visitors around you, the better. In fact, if you can find ways to ruin the vacations of as many people as you can find, then that means that you win. You win, something, I'm almost sure of it.

But, of course, if you're one of those freaks who actually wants to be the type of tourist that others find themselves wishing you would return then I suppose you could do that too. Really, in a nutshell, accomplishing this is pretty simple. Just don't make an ass of yourself. We have all been in situations where we are visiting an incredibly unique place in the world, hoping to get that one shot that inspired you to take the trip in the first place, and you find yourself surrounded by others hoping to accomplish the same exact thing. Believe it or not, it is more than feasible for you and the stranger next to you to achieve the exact same goal, I promise. Really, it just means you have to be willing to be more conscientious of your surroundings. Take the time to pick up after yourself, keep your noise levels down, and obey the local laws and any park rules in place.

Also, if there happens to be someone standing exactly where you would like to be in order to take your picture, just go ask to stand next to them! I do it all the time, and have ended up making some pretty great friends as a result. On the random chance that they decline, you can always wait your turn, it simply isn't worth causing any sort of scene. But I am a firm believer that you can make some incredible connections out in the world simply by approaching a stranger and kindly asking to share the view, I have yet to be turned down with such a proposition and I am still in good contact with everyone that I have encountered in such a fashion. Basically, be a good person to the people around you and they will be good to you in return. Positive emotion trumps negative emotion, every time.

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Rex Jones's picture

I love Yellowstone! Have you been to the park before?

David Basden's picture

Yellowstone is one of my most favorite places to be. Saddened though of the news of the killing of wolf 926 recently. I never got photos of her but she was one of the favorites of the Yellowstone wolf watchers. Enjoy your trip.

Geoffrey Gilson's picture

I think somebody just tripped off the cliff at Horseshoe Bend...or maybe it was the wind 😂😂😂

Rex Jones's picture

Haha, oh man, Horseshoe Bend. That place is just classic, particularly on this topic. 😂😂

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

I've just recently found out about Grizzly Man documentary movie. Have to watch that one. ;)

As for the types - my "favorite" ones are: The Noise Maker and The Trash Dispenser. They make my inner beast wake up and look for pray. ;)

Studio 403's picture

Well Rex, your moralizing is notable. I suggest doing a re-write. Your anger and attitude are glaring short of being judgemental. A softer tone in your piece of writing than a rant. Of course, I get it. A tourist does these things as you say. However, we photogs seem to take a toxic "ownership" of a space where we are shooting. I am guilty myself. We are, after all, just humans even if I have a $50,000 gear with me.

Rex Jones's picture

I don't think I'm alone in being unhappy with the blatant display of inconsiderate behavior. It's not even about ownership of space with a camera in hand. It's about keeping places clean and understanding that aberrant in such places is in very, very poor taste.

But I do take your point. The next piece will have a softer tone. :)

Peaceful Pics's picture

You forgot one other type. The tourist photographer at Grand Canyon South Rim that wanted the shot of the lightening storm going into the canyon below. Wondered why he got struck. True story.

Rex Jones's picture

Haha, you're right. I completely forgot about that type!

Chad D's picture

I am from Maui worked in tourism and had to deal with lots of types :) my common thing was how can someone so stupid make enough to come to Maui ever year :)

how dumb ?
question asked:
how deep do we have to dive to get under the island ?

Jordan McChesney's picture

In Japan:

Users of selfi-sticks in a crowded place

People taking selfies with a camera and tripod in a crowded place.

g coll's picture

The people who go to a place such as Auschwitz and do a selfie. Just no.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

One photog did a project of people taking selfies in Berlin Holocaust Memorial Site. Link to one of articles about it:

Bitter Squid's picture

This past summer we approached number 3 while kayaking on the Kalamazoo river. We came around a bend in the river and there he was, music blaring from a Bluetooth speaker and an unbelievably large cooler bungie corded to his kayak. He looked like he was from central casting for a movie role. But at least he was out on the river enjoying the day on not just sitting in his house watching tv. It takes all kinds.

Jason Frels's picture

Aghhh! Rules-are-meant-for-everyone-except-me guy. I hate that guy.