It probably goes without saying that one of the most important advantages to blending in when you’re traveling is to keep yourself safe.
Even though you might like to stand out from the crowd at home, this could land you in hot water when you’re traveling in a foreign country. Not only are you advertising yourself as a target for would-be thieves, but you may also be offending the locals with your attire.
However, blending in abroad need not be difficult, it just takes a few extra steps and considerations, which we’ve detailed below:
Although you might want to look stylish while on vacation, this shouldn’t be your primary criteria when packing your suitcase. Instead, practicality and function should be at the forefront of your mind. So, instead of packing expensive clothing and jewelry and impractical bags, leave these at home, opting for items that won’t make you look like a tourist – or, more importantly, a wealthy tourist.
It’s also worthwhile checking out how conservative or religious the country you’re visiting is, so you can pack clothes that will fit in with the local culture. And if you do need to carry anything expensive, make sure no logos are visible and put them in a worn, unappealing bag to carry them around.
Don’t Carry Valuables Around with You
A lot of hotels, like the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, will offer you a safe or locker to put your belongings in. So, while you’re out and about, make sure your laptop, passport, money, and other valuables are locked in there. Only carry what you need while you’re sightseeing as this won’t just keep your things safe but it’ll also make you feel more comfortable and relaxed, too.
Don’t Be Too Overprotective
Even though it’s beneficial to be cautious and protective of your belongings, you can be too overprotective. These defensive signals you’re giving off can be enough for thieves to know you’re carrying something valuable. For example, if you’ve got your expensive camera in your backpack and you’re fiercely holding onto this at all times, jumping every time someone comes near you, anyone watching you will know there’s something you want to protect inside.
So, avoid drawing any attention to the areas where you may have stashed something important – e.g. your pocket or bag. If you relax and go with the flow you’ll give off a much more confident vibe, and one that won’t attract the attention of a thief.
Get to Grips with Local Customs
Finally, to make sure you’re not offending anyone on your travels and you’re definitely blending in, spend some time swatting up on the local customs before you go. You might think a hand gesture you use all the time is universal, but in some cases, they’re most certainly not. For example, do you remember when Richard Nixon got off the plane in Brazil and flashed the “A-OK” sign with both his hands only to find out this had rather the opposite meaning?
To avoid this and any other uncomfortable encounters, always check out what is and isn’t OK in your destination country before jetting off so you avoid any trouble along the way.