In some of the world’s most iconic vacation destinations, it may prove difficult to remember that people actually live there. But locals in Cabo, Barcelona and the National Parks have seen all of your bad behaviors and they remember.
Tourists were the topic of conversation in a Quora thread entitled “What are some of the most cringe-worthy things that tourists do in your country?” Locals flooded the thread with some very memorable responses.
One user who lives nearby Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, recounted all the ways city slickers amuse locals with “Top 50 Stupid Questions Asked By Tourists at Banff National Park Gates.” Memorable questions included "How do the Elk know they're supposed to cross at the ‘Elk Crossing’ signs?” and “At what elevation does an Elk become a Moose?”
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In Amsterdam, one local cited “peeing in canals,” “underestimating how strong Dutch marijuana is,” and “speaking German to us” as some of the most annoying and common tourist faux pas.
A Croatian local detailed how tourists, in their infinite wisdom, will go hiking through the mountains in flip flops. Many end up needing to be rescued by the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service. The problem got so bad that in 2016, Plitvice Lakes National Park imposed a ban against the footwear.
But, by far, the most egregious thing that tourists can do is approach new cultures with a closed mind. Several of the Quora commenters noted that they were most offended when tourists mocked or disparaged a group of people, unusual cuisine or obscure tradition. In travel, as in most life aspects, those who have nothing nice to say are generally better saying nothing at all.