does this make me look like a tourist?

11 days until we leave and i am starting to get nervous. many things are going through my mind and include, but are not limited to:

1. what if my bag gets lost at the airport?
2. what if i lose my passport?
3. what if i lose lewis in a crowd?
4. what if someone steals my money/ID/bag/etc?
5. what if we run out of money?
6. what if i can’t understand anybody?
7. what if i look like a stupid tourist?
8. the movie “hostel”
9. if i get taken, who is going to save me? because my dad probably won’t and i am pretty sure liam neeson is busy.


anyway, #7 is something that i can control a little bit, which could potentially help control me getting pick-pocketed or robbed. i have been doing some research and am trying to figure out what will make me look less like a tourist. obviously i am american, and unfortunately only speak english, but my skin tone (and lewis’s) may leave those wondering “wait, where are these people actually from?”
regardless, i don’t want to be a target and i also want to look semi-fashionable.

this is a useful diagram that has not only helped me so far, but may help future travelers:

you might be a tourist if..
you might be a tourist if…

i read a few times that shorts are for “moms and americans”, and are inappropriate. safe to say i won’t be packing shorts. as for the fanny pack, i will have to put her in retirement and stick with an under-the-shirt money belt so i don’t get robbed or mistaken for a prostitute in germany.
my trendy iphone will have to do the trick with picture taking, and the itty-bitty go-pro won’t be clunking around our necks. hopefully my selfie stick is still okay…

other tips i have found useful is that it’s easy to point out americans because we wear sneakers when it’s not appropriate (sneakers are generally for running or going to the gym in europe, sneaks clash with outfits) and we tip when unnecessary.

well, don’t have to ask me twice not to tip and i only own one pair of sneakers that i bought for the gym. (ahh that’s a lie, i bought them for work.)

if you’re going to take anything away from this post, let it be this:
don’t wear sneakers and shorts.

any other advice for do’s and don’ts when in europe are much appreciated.

my next post will be what/how i am going to pack for a month-long trip in one (yes, one) backpack. stay tuned?



7 thoughts on “does this make me look like a tourist?

  1. Michael says:

    Assume you’re going to be recognized as a tourist no matter what. The selfie stick is pretty much doing the trick. Then don’t care about what you wear, as long as you’re comfortable with it.

    Being robbed? Are you going to the bad neighborhoods? If not, the odds of getting robbed are not high enough to be concerned about it.

    Backpack – don’t stuff all your money in it and pay attention to your surroundings and you will be fine.

    Shorts – say you’re in France or Italy and it’s over 35 degrees, I promise you you will see plenty of locals (and European tourists) in shorts, sandals and hats. And many will have decent cameras, too – nothing wrong with wanting good photos.

    If anything – ditch the money belt. It’s a great place for a robber to go for, since he/she knows all your valuables are in one place.


    1. ausols says:

      thanks for the advice!

      how do you recommend carrying money? i don’t want to carry a purse amongst everything else i will be carrying. i have had money and my phone snagged out of a purse before without my knowledge. as you can tell, i am a worrier.


      1. Michael says:

        In your pocket? As long as you use the front pocket, there is little chance of it being “snapped”. Besides, how often do you use cash anyway? Almost everywhere you can pay with a card.

        Theft can be a problem, but just paying attention to your stuff goes a long way.


      2. ausols says:

        may sound odd but i don’t generally wear or own a lot of clothing with legitimate pockets, (dresses/rompers, leggings/pants) so this is why i ask.

        appreciative for the responses! 🙂


  2. Jessine says:

    When I was in Europe (two separate trips, 3 weeks each) I met so many people from so many different countries… Their are always tourists everywhere and travelers staying in hostels and that’s just kindof how Europe is! So I wouldn’t worry about it. As far as getting pickpocketed, it never even crossed my mind. I was very aware of my surroundings and the people nearby at all times but not once did I feel unsafe or worried about my purse. It’s the same concept here, just avoid sketchy areas and be aware.

    Ps- Flared/wide leg jeans is a dead give away you’re from the U.S. I figured that one out pretty quick ha. Skinny jeans are the only kind they have there!


    1. ausols says:

      i love hearing positive feedback from others.

      more-so wanted to NOT stick out as the typical, clueless american tourist. wanted to blend in with others more than completely stick out if that makes sense. my back pack and (allegedly) northern accent will be a dead giveaway.



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