Collaborative Guest Post
When you travel abroad, it’s easier than you think to make the wrong assumptions.
Whether that’s about the people you encounter, the attractions you visit or general mistakes about traveling, misconceptions can hamper your experience somewhat.
To ensure you don’t make the same mistakes as many others, check out our list of common misconceptions tourists make:
Everyone will speak English
In popular tourist destinations, it’s likely you’ll be able to talk to everyone in English. But head further away from the hubs, and you’d be wrong to assume locals will always understand you.
It’s good to learn a few key phrases in the local language to use in these instances. It’s also a great way of showing you’re willing to immerse yourself more than the average tourist.
No-one will try and rip you off
Unfortunately, tourists can be a target for petty criminals. Assuming everyone is your friend won’t end well. Common tricks used to fool tourists abroad include paying for demonstrations, slow counting cash, fake police, and phony charity petitions. For more scams you could fall victim to, check out Rick Steves for the warning signs.
Misunderstanding the country they’re visiting
Not knowing London’s Big Ben refers to the actual clock inside, not the entire clock tower, or assuming everyone in Paris wears a beret – there are a lot of ways a tourist can misunderstand the place they’re visiting (here are some of the most common misconceptions according to The Odyssey Online).
It’s dangerous to head off the beaten track
There’s a temptation to stick to the well-traveled routes of many tourists. Whether it’s a fear over safety or a general lack of knowledge, it leads people to seeing the same sights and attractions. Instead, you should be brave and venture off into the unknown somewhat. It’s how you’ll have the best experiences as a tourist abroad, rather than the same memories as everyone else.
They’ll be covered by insurance if they leave items behind
You get on the plane and realize you’ve left your camera behind. You left it with the hotel concierge for safekeeping, but forgot to head back and pick it up before you left for the airport. Think your insurance will cover you? Think again.
Insurance typically won’t reimburse you for belongings you’ve left behind – no matter how valuable they are to you. Insurance covers you for things like luggage delay, car crime, bag theft, water damage, and pick pocketing, according to TINZ.
What mistakes have you made as a tourist? Share your misconceptions with us.