Locals beware; the tourists are in town.

5 Thoughts Locals Have When Tourists Take Over

Say you're a student at a college that happens to be historical. Say you live in an older dormitory, where there's no central heat or air so you leave the window open and sleep in minimal clothing. Suppose further that you awake in the morning to routinely find that the wind has blown your curtains open, and tourists are taking photos of your window, leaving you to drop to the floor and roll around until you can either collect enough clothing to be decent or somehow wrangle the curtains closed without being seen.

Look at you—you're not even a full-fledged local, and the tourists are already a nuisance. As fun as it is to go new places and see new things, when you're at home, sometimes you can't help but wish that people were less keen on coming to your place, and seeing your things.

  1. "Nah, that's cool, I didn't need to get to work anyway."
    Tourists complain about locals not seeing the beauty of the place they live, and there's some truth to that. But you know what? They're living their day to day life, and you're not. You're on vacation. So when you stop in the middle of a sidewalk and stare slack-jawed at a skyscraper, an EMT who hit the snooze button one too many times has a tourist in her way as she's trying to run clock in at work.
  2. "If you wanted a good meal, you should have gone to..."
    How ever many Yelp reviews a place may have, you still don't know where the best meals are until you've talked to people who live in the city. Just like internet culture can snowball into a language of its own, online reviews tend to come from the culture of people who write online reviews. You have no way of knowing who's tried all that a city has to offer and is giving you the best feedback. Instead, the review could be by someone who was passing through, saw a place had good reviews, went, and wrote yet another good review.
  3. "See ______, not ______."
    This Reddit thread about advice from locals in tourist destinations turned into several articles, and with good reason. It's full of little tidbits like "Don't go to Liberty Island; go to Staten where you can actually see the Statue," or "Don't go to the Empire State Building; go to 30 Rock because it's bigger and cheaper and there's no wait." People who have lived in a city for awhile have a good sense of what's worth it and what's overblown. Let them help you.
  4. "Seriously, it's not that exciting; you don't need that many pictures."
    With cell phone cameras, it's easier and faster to grab snapshots than ever before. Unfortunately for most people, instead of taking photos five times faster, it just means they take five times as many. And if you happen to live or work near a monument, it means you're either constantly doing that weird crouching run people do when photos are being made, or you've pretended to stop caring but secretly feel guilty in the back of your mind.
  5. "If you like it so much back home, why did you come here?"
    Seriously, if you're going to complain about every little detail of the place you're going, just stay home. Few things are as big a source of pride for as many people as love of home and hearth. Showing up somewhere and talking about how things are better back where you come from is a good way to hurt feelings...and possibly get hurt yourself. Just kidding. But don't test it.
Last Updated: January 14, 2016