“Locals vs. Tourists.” Coming to outdoor street theater near you.
Anti-tourism protests are taking place in cities and towns across Europe, including Mallorca and San Sebastian and Semana Grande in Spain. Locals also marched in Venice, The Guardian this week, protesting rising rents as visitors look on home-sharing sites like Airbnb and HomeAway.com. New York and San Francisco with the influx of visitors staying in Airbnb rentals, which some locals say have pushed up rental prices in popular neighborhoods. New York has stricter rules than San Francisco about short-term rentals.
And they are the least of some residents’ worries every summer when tourists descend on their cities, with public drunkenness and, in some cases, graffiti on historic . Cheap accommodations and low-frills travel have brought bachelor and bachelorette parties to many popular tourist destinations from Miami and New York to Dublin and Barcelona. In fact, an allegedly rowdy (and drunken) bachelorette party was escorted off a Ryanair flight from Liverpool to Alicante to cheers from fellow passengers.
Here are six ways to avoid acting like a jerk and alienating the locals:
Keep it together on the plane
People get excited when they go on vacation. Sometimes, too excited. No-frills airlines do lend themselves to more weekend travel and bachelor and bachelorette parties and, of course, some people like to start their vacations early. On a Ryanair (RYAAY) flight from Manchester to Ibiza earlier this month, one couple decided to either have sex or simulate sex in their seat. Add this to the latest bizarre incidents of airline passengers behaving badly. An 80-year-old woman tossed nine coins toward the engine of a plane at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. One of the coins landed in the engine and the Airbus A320 aircraft was . The woman, who was arrested, said she threw the coins for good luck.
Support the local economy as an ethical traveler
The best way to travel responsibly is to support locally-owned lodging, restaurants and tourist attractions, according to Michael McColl, co-founder of sustainable travel alliance Ethical Traveler. Technology is making it easier than ever to do so, with websites like Airbnb allowing tourists to stay with locals and MealSharing.com allowing travelers to experience home-cooked meals. Services like these ensure tourists give back to the communities and the tourists likely get a better experience as well. “It’s good to know basic facts and concerns about countries we’re traveling through,” said Jeff Greenwald, another co-founder of Ethical Traveler. “What are the people most proud of? What are their concerns? And how can we, as brief visitors, improve their lives in a small way?”
It’s tempting to capture the perfect photo that all your friends will envy, but being rude in the process isn’t a good look. Not only can overzealous selfie-takers ruin others’ experiences by blocking views or holding up foot traffic, they can even cause real damage. Last month, a woman attempted to take a selfie in a Los Angeles art exhibition and ended up knocking some art over, . Tourists in Argentina in January killed a baby dolphin when they pulled it out of the water and And a 51-year-old man trying to take a selfie at Machu Picchu in Peru. There are dozens of deaths each year because of tourists taking photos, according to Conde Nast Traveler. That’s more deaths than
When you stay at a hotel, you’re surrounded by other people who are all on vacation, just like you. But in home-based rentals, your neighbors are likely to be resting after a day at work while you’re getting ready for a night of fun. Whatever you do, don’t bring the party back to your place. In extreme cases, , end with a , or even lead to Those nightmare scenarios are of course the exception rather than the rule. But renting out someone’s house doesn’t give you permission to treat it like a nightclub. What’s more, Airbnb has a “$1 million host guarantee” to reimburse hosts in the rare event of guest damages, but this doesn’t cover cash, collectibles, rare artwork or jewelry, and shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for home insurance.
Who wants to be an ‘ugly American’ tipper?
Part of traveling involves absorbing a new culture — and that includes tipping. While it’s true that some regions have a less generous etiquette than in the U.S. — often because workers are paid higher salaries overall — that doesn’t mean all countries do. And you don’t want to risk looking like an “ugly American,” who is unappreciative of the service. To avoid that faux pas, think through the possible tipping scenarios — tour bus drivers, taxi drivers, hotel bellhops, concierges and beach attendants — and read up on how those people are generally compensated. Also make sure to carry change and small bills, and the right currency — not every server will be appreciative of your American dollar.
Take your computer out of your bag and remove your belt before you get to the security line at the airport. Oh, and leave the guns at home. Travelers brought a record number of guns to American airports in 2016 — 3,391 to be exact, and 83% of them were loaded — even though that’s one of the many items on the . More people have been bringing firearms with them to the airports, up 28% since 2006. There were over 22,000 other dangerous items confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration since 2006, including explosive devices, flares, chemical agents and martial arts items. Even replicas and toys can trick a TSA agent or fellow passenger and cause disruption to a flight or a person’s travels.
WATCH: 'Surprise vacation' destinations are a mystery until you depart (provided by CBS New York)