If you live in a tourist town, you know exactly where we’re going with this. If you don’t, it won’t take much convincing on our part, because the reality is, too many tourists seem to toss their good manners and social skills aside the second they step foot off the plane.
How so? With a frenzy of rude, inconsiderate, and obnoxious comments and questions aimed at locals. And these are some of the worst we’ve ever heard.
1. Excuse me, are you from here (while local is clearly in a rush)?
Well, well, well. Isn’t this just the thing you want to hear as you’re rushing through town on your way to work. Inevitably, during high tourists seasons, locals will get stopped, and they will field a bevy of questions. Now, don’t get us wrong, we love being helpful and doling out information. But people, there’s a time and a place.
Next: Please give me your life story.
2. What made you decide on this place?
If you saw a person on the streets of Los Angeles, would you stop to ask them this question? Probably not, because the reality is, every adult has made a choice at some point in their life about where they want to live. A local shouldn’t be expected to offer up their entire life story to a complete stranger, so don’t ask.
Next: Don’t you have all the stats?
3. How many people live here?
Tourists seem to be obsessed with numbers. How many year-round residents do you have? How big does the population get when tourists are in town? The truth is — just like in any other town — residents probably aren’t going to have that information right offhand. Ask a town official, though, and you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Next: Doesn’t this guy have all the facts!
4. Inaccurate information being given out by a tourist
Here’s the thing about a true resort, seasonal, touristy town. The people who visit once a year think they know it all, and therefore feel inclined to share all their knowledge with first-time tourists. The problem arises as soon as they get a little too confident, all the while being within earshot of a local who actually knows what’s up.
Still confused? Let us explain with a quick example. A guy who visits a ski town once a year is riding the gondola with two other people. Unbeknownst to him, there’s a local on board. Said guy starts firing away about which peak is named what, yet he is so, so wrong. Cue the local’s roll of the eye.
Next: Um, excuse me?
5. What’s your real job?
Although we’re not exactly sure what a “real job” is, this is a question that locals get all too often. Does a salary, health insurance, and a definite career trajectory make for a “real job?” If so, plenty of tourists assume that everyone who lives in a resort town must be in the service industry, and therefore, they have no real job.
However, these unabashed folks may be surprised to know that the guy who’s been serving them drinks all night from behind the bar probably makes more than they do during a busy week. And furthermore, he just may have another job, too.
Next: None of your business
6. How do you afford to live here?
Whenever people bring up money, it’s just rude. But still, tourists do it all the time, as if the regular rules don’t apply in this la-la land (more on that in a minute). Well, they work their butts off to pay their bills, just like anyone else with a roof over their head.
Next: Everyone makes their own choices.
7. Must be nice to live in fantasy land
It’s a common misconception that every individual living in a tourist town has no drive, no dreams, and no determination. And of course, we know this isn’t true. Are there plenty of Peter Pans roaming the streets? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there are in the way of the population. It may be fantasy land for those who are on vacation, but for most who live there, it’s the place they call home.
Next: This may be your spring break, but there are still rules.
8. I can walk around with my beer, right?
Nope. Turns out, rules still apply, and unfortunately for you, Mr. Frat Boy, you’re going to have to leave that last brew behind. Even though you’re on vacation, open container laws do still apply, unless of course you’re in New Orleans, or another place with similar laws.
Next: Do you ever get sick of where you live?
9. Don’t you get sick of it?
Of the stunning views and breathtaking scenery? Nope. Anyone who utters this thought is essentially dead in the eyes of a true local. After all, how in the world could you possibly get tired of a setting like this? Clearly, only a fool with no appreciation for Mother Nature would say something like that.
While we’re on the subject, we could say the same to someone with this kind of attitude: Don’t you get sick of living in a concrete jungle? But we would never, because that wouldn’t be very nice.
Next: You really need to make a plan.
10. Where to next?
This is a tough one. The main reason is that yes, some locals will indeed move away at some point. However, it’s a very personal decision. Whenever any well-liked individual leaves a tightly-knit community, such as those found in ski towns, it’s sad. So, if you’re a tourist, bite your tongue on this one. In fact, do yourself a favor and take a page out of a local’s book and learn to live in the moment.
Next: Nobody asked.
11. Yeah, I could never do it
OK, so don’t. Aside from being super rude, it’s as if you’re telling someone that their lifestyle choices undoubtedly fall short of yours. Again, not very nice, nor necessary. We’re fairly positive that the locals don’t care what you think of their lifestyle, so just keep quiet.
Next: Let us tell you the answer.
12. Why don’t you own a place of your own yet?
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but tons of resort towns are legit in a housing crisis right now. You don’t need to be a real estate expert to know that buying a home in a world-class resort town with very limited options is pretty much impossible.
In fact, the source of the issue is all the second and third homeowners who only spend two weeks a year at their in-town home. So, noodle on that for a moment before asking a local why he doesn’t own a place of his own yet.
Next: No. Just no.
13. Does everyone just hook up with each other?
Totally! (You can sense the sarcasm here, right?) First of all, that’s super obnoxious, not to mention invasive. Although a resort town may seem like a college campus — because let’s face it, most locals do all know each other and spend a lot of time together doing all the fun things the place has to offer — it’s not.
If there were any doubt in your mind, just look at all the successful families living there. With that, let’s move onto our next point.
Next: This is insensitive to say the least.
14. Do you really think this is the best place to raise kids?
“Of course I do, because I’m doing it,” said the person who is, in fact, raising kids in a tourist town. While the local kids may not be exposed to things like Broadway shows or L.A. traffic, some are well on their way to becoming the next Olympic skiers and environmentalist experts. So don’t you worry, resort town kiddos are doing just fine.
Next: Don’t become part of the problem.
15. How do you put up with all the tourists?
You’re kidding, right? In all seriousness, though, locals are well-aware of the fact that their town’s economy relies on tourism. However, that doesn’t mean that tourists have the right to be as obnoxious as they please, because the locals don’t take too kindly to that type of attitude.
With that, we’d like to leave you with this: The next time you find yourself in a tourist town, be sure to think before you speak. Treat every local you meet with respect, and you’ll get it right back — and likely be let in on some locals-only sweet spots, too.
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