I'm always very conscious about looking like a tourist when I'm traveling through Europe. Wether it's Paris, Rome, Athens or anything in between the truth is that the service you receive is much better when you're not automatically labeled a tourist. It's also a safety issue for me - thieves and pickpockets generally are more apt to leave you alone if you're not immediately identified as a foreigner. Although the style of dress varies from country to country, I always follow these 5 tips in any european city that I'm visiting and they've always served me well.
1. Wear Closed Toe Shoes
This has definitely become my number one rule when packing footwear for a Eurotrip. While it may be tempting to wear sandals or open-toe shoes when walking around a warm city, try to stick with a closed toe flat. Europeans label sandals exclusively for the beach, so unless you're in a beach town stick to a closed toe. Sleek black leather boots are almost always a safe choice, but if the weather is a little warmer where you are then stick to a comfortable ballet flat.
2. Avoid Showing Your Camera
This is a no-brainer, but it's worth the mention - avoid showing your camera while traveling around different cities in Europe. Not only is it beneficial to keep your camera under wraps while you're on the go, but that also applies to looking through photos when you're stopped. Avoid pulling out your camera to look through photos when you're on any form of public transit; this is typically where pickpockets strike the most, and your camera will make you a huge target.
3. Hide Your Water Bottle
I remember once chatting to a shop owner in Paris, asking her how she identifies tourists and her answer was simple: she always looks for people walking around with a water bottle. While it's practical to travel with a water bottle, especially when it's hot out and you're doing lots of walking, try to carry a bag that is big enough to stash it inside. I have a Longchamp Le Pliage bag in the 'small' size and it's perfect to carry all of your essentials, a camera and
your water bottle.
4. Dress Conservatively
Of course each European country is different, and has a different sense of style but the one thing that is consistent if you want to avoid looking like a tourist is to dress conservatively. Keep your shorts, mini skirts and tube tops at home. Always be mindful of balance, wearing longer sleeves with a shorter skirt or covering your legs when wearing a sleeveless top. Take it from someone who wore shorts while traveling through Paris
- just say no, and dress conservatively.
5. Stick To Neutrals
When it doubt, pack neutrals. Not only will sticking to neutrals make packing so much easier, it also helps to avoid any un-wanted attention that bright, loud colours attract. I like to pack the majority in neutral colours, wait to see what the stye is in the city I'm visiting and purchase a fun accessory in the on-trend colour when I'm there (the last time I was in Paris, it was an orange scarf.) Not only does this process make packing so much easier, but it also leaves you with great souvenirs from your travels.
Traveling trough Europe is an incredible experience, and doing your best to avoid looking like a tourist only adds to that experience. What do you guys think? What are your tips while traveling through Europe? Let me know!