"Earlier this year my wife and I were staying at an all-inclusive resort in Aruba. We're British, but the hotel was mainly patronized by Americans, as we'd expected.
One night, we decided to dine at the resort's Japanese restaurant, Japanese food being a new experience for us. We notice a couple of large tables with cooking hot plates set into them, surrounded by seats, at one end of the restaurant. It transpired that this was where, for an additional payment, a chef would make the dishes that were required by those sitting around in front of them on these hotplates. However, it wasn't just cooking; the 'show' involved entertainment by doing clever things with the ingredients as he cooked, like throwing an egg in the air and playing daft when it didn't return to earth (as he'd caught it in his tall hat), slicing onions in midair and doing triple flips with eggs. Impressive and, as I said, entertaining.
Anyway, we were our usual respectful selves, laughing and joking with the waiting staff and asking if we could try a little sake. They loved that and were rather flattered that we'd shown such in their culture and cuisine. I left a respectable tip. Some nights later we decided to book a table there again. They remembered us and asked if we'd like to sit at one of the special end tables free of charge as there were a couple of unexpected vacancies. Asking for that sake worked!
Now each of these tables seated about 8 people, so the chef's show was pretty personal, virtually one to one, and out he came giving it his all - laughing with each of us, cracking jokes and doing his daft tricks the food. However, there were two American couples at the table who, having introduced themselves and discovered that they'd all once visited the same somewhere or other in Pakistan, talked and talked and talked loudly between themselves the whole meal through. We were mortally ashamed and embarrassed for the chef as he went through his routine, utterly ignored by half his audience. It buggered it up for us as well. I kept wishing the disrespectful pricks would bugger off.
Afterwards, I thanked the chef most profusely in my extra polished English accent, hoping he'd at least realize I wasn't American and didn't subscribe to the hideous behavior of my fellow guests at his table."
"Most tasteless things I’ve seen people do on vacation …
-Waste food shamelessly. Especially at hotel buffets.
-Take extra stuff from the buffet breakfast to keep for their lunch. Worse, when they brazenly scoop up heaps of items from the buffet and sit there making their lunch sandwiches right there at the breakfast table.
-Expect to be served the exact same food in a foreign country that they get in their home country and show disbelief or outrage when that doesn’t happen.
-Get stupidly wasted and behave like a total idiot or pervert. Especially in front of their kids.
-Get stupidly sunburnt and yet still keep trying to suntan more.
-Feel the need to document every single thing they do, every meal they eat, and every single place they go immediately on social media.
-Bring a woman of the night back to their room in a 5-star hotel.
-Steal non-amenity items from hotel rooms or lift fittings from lobbies. You really need to steal that robe and vase. Seriously?
-Flagrantly disregard respectful dress codes when visiting holy sites or go publicly undressed when it’s not permitted.
-Take other peoples’ photos (for example, local people or indigenous tribes) without asking permission.
-Drop litter anywhere other than in a bin.
-Scrawl graffiti à la 'A loves T for ever' or feel the need to carve your initials on a wall or rock.
-Visit zoos, aquariums or participate in ‘have your photo with a tiger/ swim with a dolphin’ kind of set-up which are likely to involve cruelty to animals (exception - visiting genuine legit conservation facilities or animal rescue sanctuaries).
-Damage nature––picking plants, venturing off designated trail paths, taking a dump in open nature without using caution to protect nearby water sources or nature.
-Tell people you’ve visited a country when all you did was stay in your resort and didn’t even go out to see a local town, indigenous nature or support local craft and business."
"Oh boy. I live in a town that is situated near Mt. Rushmore and the world’s largest motorcycle rally in Sturgis, so I see a lot of tourists.
Most tourists are well-behaved, but there are a few behaviors that really stick out.
-Littering. Do you really think it’s okay to throw your trash on the ground? Really?
-Disrespecting Native Americans and their culture. Asking them what their 'Indian names' are is rude. No, they don’t live in tee pees. Stop repeatedly hitting your hand on your mouth as you yell 'ahhhhhhhh.' It’s rude and stupid. Oh, and one of my friends who is Lakota says that no one cares if your great-great grandmother was a Cherokee princess. That family story is bull.
-Southerners, this one is for you. Yes, we know that our sweet tea is not as good as yours. We don’t care if you think unsweetened iced tea is disgusting. Just don’t order it. Going on and on to the waitress is rude. Just order something else, OK?
-Please do not neglect to tip the wait staff, even if you come from a place where tipping is not the norm. Lecturing the wait staff about 'tipping culture' is not going to pay her electric bill.
For those visiting the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally:
-PICK UP YOUR TRASH.
-Don’t lecture anyone pushing a stroller down Main Street. People live here, you are just visiting.
-Learn the traffic laws and obey them. Lane splitting is illegal here, and is a great way to get into an accident. It’s not a brilliant way to get ahead of traffic when 90% of the traffic consists of motorcycles.
-If you are not staying in Sturgis or in one of the campgrounds, but perhaps renting a house in Rapid, please keep the noise down. People live here and have to get up and go to work in the morning. If you want to party all night, then perhaps one of the campgrounds is a better choice."
"On our honeymoon, my wife and I went to a Sandals resort in St Lucia. Thus far this has been my first and favorite of all the Caribbean islands we’ve visited. Sandals has three resorts on the island and you are able to shuttle bus between them to enjoy the amenities of each unique resort free with your stay (love Sandals for this type of reason).
We are staying in what I would call the more 'laid back' resort––it has the golf course, it has the most restaurants and it’s smaller but it makes it cozy and a really relaxed environment. There is a much larger resort they call the 'party' grand resort, which we checked out on one of our nights. It's more of a 24-hour party. Our resort was filled with mostly newlyweds or aged couples just enjoying each other’s company––really what you want from a honeymoon.
One of the last nights of our stay we had booked the 'super-fancy' dinner their French restaurant, the only one you truly need a reservation for and a stiff dress code. We wait for our table sit in a formal setting and enjoy what feels quite structured in our otherwise calm free-flowing resort.
About halfway through our dinner a couple comes in and sits at the table next to us. I did not see wedding bands, so I’ll call them boyfriend/girlfriend. The boyfriend is dressed up in slacks and a blazer the girlfriend is in a short party dress. They are guided to the table next to us and the girl ends up halfway past her seat before the guy 'honed' her back into her spot. They begin a conversation in Italian and then sprinkle in some English. They order some bubbly and things start to get strange. The girl starts singing and shouting and trying to dance in her seat. The host comes to check on them and the guy apologizes that they have had quite the night. The girl then decides to start bickering at the host in both languages, grabs the bubbly bottle and pours it all over herself. She starts yelling in English that the host can 'bug off if she doesn’t like her behavior.'
To which the guy tried to calm her down. She then turns and yells he can 'bug off like all the peasants for all she cared.'
The boyfriend called the host over and requested that they cancel the food order and that they needed to catch the shuttle bus back to their resort and excused themselves.
The whole interaction was maybe 20 minutes? This happened 6 years ago and it’s still quite vivid. I’ve never seen an interaction like it before or since."
"I didn’t actually see this, but I was told about it by the owner of my local pub in the evening it happened. My local is on a coastal road in Ireland that has a lot of tourist traffic and during summer the road and my local gets quite busy. One day it was raining constantly, not too heavy but it was just constantly coming down. The pub wasn’t that busy when a cyclist arrived in, fairly wet and weather torn. He had left his bike and its bags outside undercover in the porch. He approached the bar and asked the owner for a glass of water. Now he didn’t ask for bottled water or anything that he was paying for, just a glass of water. The owner had no problem with that as he was used to that, and he didn’t mind cyclists coming in, resting for a bit and then moving on. It's just paying it on, creating good hospitality that hopefully encourages them to go home and spread the good word about Irish hospitality.
What happened next though really pushed that hospitality to the limit! The owner (let's call him Sean) saw the guy walking around, looking at the pictures on the walls, the view from the pub and so on. Sean went off to the kitchen to do a few things and about 10 minutes later walked through the bar and passed the snug. Now the snug is a small area that is off the bar and fits about 8–10 people and is usually where a group of people can go to be a little bit away from the main crowd just to have a bit of a chat and a laugh between themselves. It’s a bit of a more intimate gathering, hence the name 'snug.'
Anyway, Sean passes the snug and gave a quick glance inside to make sure that the wood fire was burning okay and to see if it needed tending to. As it turned out, it didn’t because the tourist had thrown a few logs on the fire and had it blazing nicely. Why was he doing this?
He had his socks hanging on the back of a chair and he was thrown back on a comfy chair with his bare feet up in front of the fire!
Now Sean had been in the pub business for over 30 years at that stage, and had never seen anything like this in all those years. As he told me himself, he was actually so stunned that he couldn’t make up his mind as to what he was so annoyed about. Think about it. The guy walks in, buys nothing, is given water and shelter without a word said. He then proceeds to make himself at home, take off his socks, put them on the back of a chair to dry and then put his bare feet up in front of a fire. All of this in the middle of a public house! If he did this in strangers home, he would have gotten the boot straight away. This was in a public house where people could walk in and see this as they approached the bar.
Now I don’t know about anyone else, but if I walk into a bar and see someone drying their socks and feet in front of a fire I don’t form a very good opinion of the place. It’s a question of hygiene for starters, so if the Health and Safety Inspector walked in how do you think that would go down? Another thing is that the guy didn’t even ask for permission to do it. He just decided off his own bat to take over the place and have no regard for other customers and Sean's business. On top of that, why was he even drying his socks as the weather forecast was for heavy rain all day and he later left the pub and cycled off into the rain?
Luckily, through a combination of Sean being so stunned and being in a good mood up to that, he didn’t lose his cool completely. He told the guy to put his socks back on and that he couldn’t do what he was doing. The funny thing is that the tourist couldn’t see what he was doing wrong! At that point, Sean left and got one of his staff to deal with the tourist as he knew that if he stayed on, his Irish hospitality would have gone straight out of the window!
We laugh about it now, but we still wonder as to what was going through the tourist's mind. It's not like he made a cultural or social mistake because he didn’t understand Irish ways. I’m pretty sure that if I just strolled into a pub or are bar anywhere in the world and did what he did I wouldn’t be very welcome either."
"In Cozumel, I once took a snorkeling boat trip to the reef with my wife.
While en route a crew member asked everyone, in perfect English, on a very loud PA system, not to apply sunscreen before getting in the water. Cozumel gets lots of tourists, and sunscreen in the water - as he explained - is bad for the reef.
One guy, who I’d heard speaking English five minute before, proceeded to put on enough sunscreen to turn his whole body white.
In case you find yourself in that position, the consequence was that the captain, not saying a word, did not take us to the reef. All the waters around Cozumel are worth a swim, so I may have been the only tourist on the boat who knew we were in the wrong place. But I’d scuba dived on Cozumel before, and I promise you that NOTHING we saw that day compared with THE LEAST of the reef.
So people, please pay attention and follow the simple rules that are there for everyone’s pleasure and safety."
"My buddy and I went to Mexico to go fishing and camping as we had done many times before. We always stopped for a night in Encinada before driving the last 120 miles to our favorite beach to camp. Encinada is sort of a touristy type town, about an hour from the border where you could shop, party at the local night clubs and watch girls dance and soak up the local activities. We had been to Mexico countless times and had even made good friends there who always looked forward to our visits. We would bring them things they needed, and they taught us the language. We appreciated most the warm and beautiful people we met in Mexico and had a lot of respect for most of them.
In the past, we had seen our fellow visitors from the U.S. partying and usually having a good time while showing reasonable respect for the locals. But not always. For some reason, some people act out and do things they would never do in their own country when they visit another country. Few times we had been embarrassed to witness our fellow Americans or people from all over the globe staggering around town wasted, just acting completely foolish and disrespectful to the locals. But one time, we could not stand there and watch without becoming offended, and we got involved.
They were a group of about 7 guys up on one of the hotel balconies on the second floor, right above the main street, drinking, partying and carrying on in a very belligerent manner. Shouting insults to the local people, throwing cans, food and trash down on the sidewalk and just plain being loud and unpleasant. Several were calling on the women down on the street and telling them what they wanted to do to them, insulting the street vendors and families walking on the street below. The were all very wasted, but there is NEVER an excuse to act out that way when you are a guest in someone’s country or act that way any time to anyone. I doubt they ever acted as rude in their own city but because nobody knew them there, they could be disrespectful, insult the people because they were 'Below them', not worthy of respect because after all, 'We are mighty and rich. We’re better than you. We can do whatever we want here.'
Or so they thought.
My friend and I watched them for a while. There was really nothing we could do, but yell up at them to try to shame them but that just made them louder and another can landed a few feet away from me. The general public around us were annoyed but just ignoring their ugly display of manners. Occasionally someone would shout up at them to back off. For the moment, I felt ashamed to be a 'tourist.' I didn’t want to be associated with them in any way. What could we do?
Later that night, while we were having drinks at a night club and playing dominoes with the locals, we heard them coming from down the street. Loud and rowdy as ever. They attempted to enter the bar, but we and several others blocked their way and we refused them to enter. We told them what a shame they were to be called guests and told them they needed to leave ASAP. Several very large locals appeared right behind them out of the dark so they were crowded between us and the other men. They fell silent and suddenly very sober and scared. We had no intention of harming them in any way except their egos. We told them they were no longer welcome and to leave first thing in the morning...or else.
One of them began throwing up in the curb which triggered his friend to become sick also. The others were obviously very shaken up. They weren’t so brave and loud when confronted in the dark on the street. I hope to never see people like this again in a place where you ARE a guest and you should show respect to the different ways and cultures of good people. The patience these people showed to these ugly tourists amazed me. They were lucky to walk back over the border to wherever they came from intact."
"I was on a cruise a couple of years ago, and we took an excursion that involved a small boat that took us offshore to examine the local underwater life. There were about twenty of us on the boat, along with the Captain and two other guys, one who helped with the boat, and the other was in the water, diving down and pulling up various sea creatures for us to check out.
With us on this expedition was a large (three generations, numbering about 3/4s of the tourists) family, from an Asian country (probably India). From the minute that we left the port to explore our excursion destination, the head of this family pretty much took over the boat.
Every aquatic animal, he grabbed as soon as it was aboard. He made sure that he and his family got all the pictures that they wanted. At one point, he physically shoved the Captain out of his seat, so that he could get his picture, at the helm of this little boat.
His wife seemed to be mortified, I didn’t blame her, he was the worst example of a tourist who thinks that they are entitled.
We were in the back of the boat, so we humored it all. Whatever, let’s have a look at the starfish before returning it to the sea.
At the end of the excursion, the Captain mentions that they appreciate the tips! I expect that the guy who has claimed our excursion as his own, will pony up some cash for the crew, and I watch…
He doesn’t give them a dime.
I tipped them twice what I normally would have, and apologized for these pricks, who were stiffing them.
On the way back to the cruise ship, I watched the family elder jump on a jet ski, which was not his, for another photo opportunity just because he could.
And that’s the most tasteless thing that I’ve ever seen a person on vacation do."
"My wife and I travel a lot. We never go with groups but usually arrange our own trips, sometimes with a guide but often just the two of us and a map on the smartphone.
It has been mentioned by others, but I can just not for my life understand why 'some' tourists, usually well into adulthood, INSIST on speaking loudly where nobody else feels the need to.
We were just in Jerusalem, last week, meeting some friends. One of our carefully chosen dinner-date at a well-reputed Arabic restaurant was marred by the presence of four tourists at the table next to us. They insisted that talking louder would make the servers understand them better or give better service.
The food was not what they expected and sent back, to be replaced by something else that they loudly proclaimed was hardly edible.
Not all wait staff around the world speak English, nor can you get your 'homeland cooking' everywhere, even if one page of the menu is in English.
On the way out, I 'kindly' suggested to the group that 'perhaps you should have gone to McDonald's instead of here, there is one around the corner.'
He looked at me as if I came from the moon.
Oh, for the many times tourists just speak too loudly. Do they all have a faulty hearing?
Why do people from other countries, who also have English as their first language not speak so loudly or demand English language skills from 'all' so vehemently?"
"Don't take selfies at places like the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Memorial of Murdered Jews in Europe, and the 9/11 Memorial. Seriously, why do people even do this?!
It’s not 'cool' or tasteful to begin with.
You probably already know what these places all have in common, but I’m going to remind you once more. These are not your typical tourist sites. They’re meant to commemorate genocide and suffering. The destruction of millions of innocents’ lives as well as those of their families. These museums and memorials were built to educate people on those historical events so that they are never repeated.
When people do stuff like smile with a Snapchat filter, jump, and do handstands on a wall, it’s disrespectful towards the victims who were once at the hands of these tragic events. It’s even more heartless if done intentionally.
If you want to take a smiling selfie, visit somewhere like the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty, but not these places."