The Surprising Things Europeans Judge American Tourists For
Traveling abroad is extremely exciting. No matter where you go, it’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to soak in different cultures and live life a little differently for a while. However, there are certain American behaviors that the European locals will definitely judge you for.
Read on to find out what not to do on your next European vacation.
1. Not being able to handle your alcohol
If you’ve ever been to London, you know that enjoying a spirit or two (or five) after a long day at work is just a part of the culture. And when you’re on vacation, it’s not unusual to indulge in an extra drink or two. But, as a result, not being able to “handle their alcohol” is on the list of things Europeans judge American tourists for.
Next: American girls are guilty of this one.
2. High pitched female voices
This one is particularly aimed at American girls. Thought Catalog polled Europeans to find out what annoying behaviors give away that a tourist is from America. “For American girls: The high tones of your voice when you greet someone” is at the top of their list.
Next: Brush up on your language skills.
3. Speaking the wrong language
Particularly, this happens with Spanish. “They come here in Brazil and think they can get away speaking Spanish, and we don’t speak Spanish,” says a Reddit user. When traveling to a different country, it doesn’t hurt to at least come prepared with a few appropriate, colloquial phrases.
Next: You’re ordering your coffee wrong.
4. How you order your coffee
Apparently, ordering a “regular cup of coffee” is incorrect in the U.K. “A regular cup of coffee is called an Americano here,” according to the Thought Catalog article. Additionally, asking for oatmeal instead of porridge is a dead giveaway that you’re an American tourist.
Next: Don’t wear this clothing item.
5. White socks
Who knew? White socks are a dead American giveaway, and something the locals will judge you for. The Savvy Backpacker gives advice on what kind of sock to wear when in Europe: “Many Europeans tend to wear socks that match their pants (i.e. not white).”
Next: Slow down.
6. Eating too fast
Europeans like to enjoy long, slow, luxurious meals. Dinner isn’t a time to scarf something down only to move on to the next activity; it’s a time to really enjoy the flavors of a meal and partake in some quality conversation with friends and family. “Wherever you may be visiting (but especially southern Europe), if you sit down to eat with locals, we suggest that you just quietly tell yourself, ‘Slow down,’” advises Budget Travel.
Next: Dress for style over comfort.
7. Dressing like a slob
Budget Travel also warns American tourists (especially men) about dressing too casual when visiting Europe. “While a few decades ago this may not have been the case (I can imagine Don Draper holding his own against an onslaught of silk-suited Florentines), [this] generation has admittedly opted to dress like overgrown boys, and our T-shirts, baggy jeans, and five o’clock shadows scream ‘Yank,’” says writer Robert Firpo-Cappiello.
Next: Lower your voice.
“You hear them before you see them,” says another Reddit user. Americans have a tendency to be loud and excitable, especially when on vacation. Have fun, get excited, but keep an eye on your volume when you’re out to dinner, at a museum, or at the theater.
Next: This one will save you some money.
This is good news! You don’t need to tip everywhere in Europe. If you do tip somewhere that doesn’t practice tipping, it’s a dead giveaway that you’re an American tourist. Thankfully, Europe up Close has a great guide to know where and where not you should tip in Europe.
Next: Save it for when you’re alone in your hotel room
10. Imitating European accents
We get it, European accents are cool and exotic. But mimicking the locals isn’t the most polite or mature thing to do. As Budget Travel puts it, “Chances are, even as you read this, you believe you are the exception to this rule — that your Daniel Craig could fool a native? No.”
Next: Try not to get too excited.
11. Clapping at everything
Turns out, excessive clapping is another American tourist giveaway. “Clapping over really inane stuff … clapping at the end of the plane journey, the bus journey, the end of a film” makes your country of origin a no-brainer, according to another European.
Next: You’re drinking beer wrong.
12. Drinking out of the bottle
Enjoying a beer or soda straight from a bottle or can is an American practice. Most Europeans like to enjoy their beverages in a nice, tall glass.
Next: Don’t smile so much.
13. Expecting a stranger to smile back
The French don’t smile at just anybody. “A Parisian, especially when addressing a stranger, will rarely smile, and this is often misinterpreted by Americans as that legendary (and largely mythical) French rudeness,” says Budget Travel. Tone down the smiling in France, especially at strangers on the train.
Next: Another fashion faux pas
14. Adults in baseball caps
Especially men. Baseball caps are often seen as a juvenile fashion choice in Europe. European locals will definitely judge American tourists for wearing a hat that’s typically worn by children. Thought Catalog adds that it’s especially a fashion faux pas when a baseball cap is worn backwards.
Next: Loosen up a little
15. Being a prude
“In many European cultures, the human body is considered simply, well, the human body. Our fascination with certain anatomical features is not shared by Europeans.” says Budget Travel. In Europe, nudity isn’t so hyper-sexualized or something that’s scandalous. You’ll see it in their art, in bath houses, and on beaches.
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