As 2018 lies behind us, New Year resolutions are underway as people try to embrace 2019 with a fresh start on things. Yet given that 2018 didn’t end that long ago, some elements of it still linger with us even now. Whether it’s about major events, or something more minor, whatever happened in 2018 is certainly going to shape how people perceive 2019 going forward which happens with just about every year in transition to the next one. Though what makes 2019 special is that it’s one year away from 2020, which will signal the start of a new decade: namely, the 2020s.
With such a big time-related milestone on the horizon, some people might feel even more conscious about what happened in 2018 in relation to 2019. This especially applies to the bad things that occurred in 2018, which range from major to relatively minor things depending on what one cares about. For those who either travel for a living or simply enjoy traveling, 2018 had plenty of incidents where tourists didn’t behave themselves at all in the country they were visiting which caused problems for not just the locals, but also the authorities. It also gave travelers from the tourists’ countries of origin a bad reputation, which they might not want to perpetuate further.
25 Ask the guide some crazy questions - there is such a thing as a silly question
With any tour group, there’s bound to be questions asked by tourists to the guide in charge. Depending on the question, though, it can unintentionally reveal how intelligent the person asking is. For instance, if a person asks the tour guide a question which is specific yet related to the topics covered it is assumed the person has been paying attention and genuinely wants to know something extra. But then there are questions like “At what elevation does an Elk become a Moose?” as asked by some tourists at Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, according to Travel + Leisure magazine.
24 Use Canals for relief - they have bathrooms for that
While it’s unclear why certain tourists would choose to speak German in Amsterdam when the language of the Netherlands is Dutch, it seems to imply a great deal of ignorance on the tourists’ part. Sure, the Netherlands borders right alongside Germany geography-wise but that doesn’t mean they speak the same language. Although that’s not the only thing that irritates locals as some tourists have taken to relieving themselves in the canals located throughout Amsterdam. This is not only illegal, but also dangerous as “Every year a dozen tourists” end up falling into the canals by accident according to Quora.
23 Complain About Tipping at Mt. Rushmore - uncomfortable for everyone
Apart from tourists that ask really obvious questions, the ones who complain are arguably more irritating to deal with than the former. It not only makes the non-complaining tourists feel uncomfortable but also it makes the tour guide’s job less easy when they have to take the complaints into consideration no matter how petty they may seem. One such example is tipping, which comes up in places like Mt. Rushmore that are part of a national park, as some choose not to do it according to Quora even though that’s how certain national park services get paid.
22 Annoy the Royal Guards at Buckingham Palace - they are just doing their jobs
Though they may look silly to non-Englishmen, the Royal Guards that stand around the parameters of Buckingham Palace are not to be taken lightly. In fact, “These people are actual soldiers, who have served overseas and been given the privilege to serve her majesty” Quora emphasizes so they don’t just stand around for show. Yet this hasn’t stopped tourists from harassing them constantly. However, “Interfering with their job and irritating them” not only make them unhappy, Quora claims, but it even makes them yell at the people who are responsible as there are plenty of online videos showcasing this.
21 Complain About the Weather in Ireland - it rains 350 days out of the year, so good luck
When traveling anywhere in the world, most of us tend to hope the weather in that location is good during the length of our stay. Of course, weather can be unpredictable in general despite the technologies we’ve developed to predict it better. So if the weather’s not like what we’d expect at the destination-in-question, we naturally complain about it. However, complaining about something that’s beyond one’s control isn’t the best way to handle the situation. This especially applies to places like Ireland, where it rains for most of the year and the temperatures tend to be pretty low.
20 Spray-Paint on a National Monument - We hope she said no
While some things can be repaired, like bricks in a particular structure, it’s a little harder to repair something that’s naturally made. After all, Condé Nast Traveler proclaims “The last thing our world's natural wonders need are tourists trampling all over them for a ‘promposal.’” For those who don’t know what a “Promposal” is, look no further than the above picture where a high-school kid spray-painted the word “Prom…ise?” on a rock in the Colorado National Monument. According to Condé Nast Traveler, “That's a felony” law-wise since National Parks are protected by the government in general.
19 Try to Take Selfies with Bears - Bear-ly worth the effort
Though the act of photographing an animal in its natural habitat may seem harmless, it can be dangerous depending on the type of animal and how far away one is from it. Unless one is a professional wildlife photographer, it’s probably best to not get too close to wild animals that could potentially be harmful if they’re bothered enough. But some like this one traveler who was visiting Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska decided to get closer to some brown bears for the sake of getting “A better picture” Condé Nast Traveler states. Fortunately, the traveler wasn't harmed.
18 Smash Rail Crossing Lights and Leave - not cool at all
Though New Zealand has a long history that’s tied with the neighboring country of Australia, it was arguably not a very popular tourist destination overall until The Lord of the Rings movies came about. Now, lots of people come to scope out all the film locations that were used. But there have been some incidents where tourists behaved badly. One such recurring incident, according to Quora, is tourists who smash things “Like rail crossing light signal boxes” before they “Hightail it fast and get the first plane out of the country and get back to the safety of the USA”.
17 Burn One’s Luggage on Purpose - maybe, not the best way to deal with it
When traveling anywhere, it’s important to keep track of one’s luggage. After all, certain essentials such as clothes toiletries and entertainment stuff are in there which would be problematic to lose or wreck. But this past year, a traveler was stuck at Islamabad International Airport due to “His flight's long layover and eventual cancellation” according to Condé Nast Traveler. In frustration with these developments, the man deliberately burned his own luggage in protest. Now the reason the man’s flight was delayed was “For technical reasons” followed by the cancellation “Over bad weather” as stated by Thrillist. Talk about bad luck!
16 Litter in Himachal Pradesh - littering anywhere is not good
Of the various places to visit in India, one of the more popular states is Himachal Pradesh. Located near the Himalayas, it naturally attracts those who enjoy the outdoors. In fact, “Himachal is one of the cleanest and most beautiful places in India” as claimed by Quora. But as the above picture shows, this isn’t always the case. In fact, littering is a general problem in India due to “Years of apathy, coupled with an economic boom and a worldwide explosion in single use plastic” according to the Times of India. So it doesn’t help when tourists litter as well.
15 Take rocks from a Beach - there is only one Rock that should be traveling
Now this may not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually not good for the environment. At a beach, for instance, the presence of pebbles helps protect the sand underneath from eroding too quickly from the combination of the ocean and the weather which would be bad if it did. So many places now have signs up telling people not to take pebbles from anywhere, yet some choose to ignore them like a man who took pebbles from Cornwall Beach and was “Given an ultimatum: Return the stones or a pay a fine of $1,300” according to Fodor’s Travel.
14 Step on Pink Grass - it has completely disappeared due to selfie-mania
Located in the Binjiang district of Hangzhou, China, this rare pink grass grows in a park. In fact, the grass “Took three years to grow and cultivate” Fodor’s Travel states. Yet because of the grass’ unique coloring, it has attracted tourists who want to take selfies here in a bid to get the best-looking selfie out of the bunch. But this came with significant consequences this past year when “Chinese tourists crossed the rope barriers surrounding the vegetation and flattened it” according to Fodor’s Travel. Compared to the two women that bickered over a selfie, this is arguably worse.
13 Arguments Over a Selfie at the Trevi fountain - selfies are never a reason to argue
Due to the popularity of selfies, there’s an underlying competitive vibe between people who enjoy updating what they’re doing constantly in a bid to prove their life is more interesting than the other whether it’s to prove their self-worth or make money off of it. This can even lead to outright hostility, as was the case with two women who fought over a selfie position in front of Trevi Fountain in Italy. Then once the dust settled, Condé Nast Traveler magazine says, “A Roman city councilor…suggested that visitors only file past the fountain” instead of linger around it.
12 Speak German to Dutch locals - yikes!
Because of the age-old language barrier problem, it can be awkward for tourists heading to a foreign country that don’t speak their native tongue. While certain languages, such as English and Chinese, have become internationally present in various countries outside the original nations that speak it, not all the locals in any given country are familiar with them. So to make things easier for themselves, some tourists will take up learning the native language of the country they visit. But in places like Amsterdam in the Netherlands, locals get annoyed when tourists speak German since their language is Dutch.
11 Protest Another Country’s Particular Delicacy - we don't have to like it to respect it
When going to a foreign country, it is expected that tourists give the country’s cultural standards proper respect while visiting. This even includes the kind of food that’s served, which may be viewed differently depending on the contents of the dish itself. For instance, one of the most controversial food items is dog meat which is eaten in “Many Asian countries” Quora claims. But while most Asian people don’t have a problem with this, people from Western countries do since dogs aren’t typically eaten there. Regardless of the ethics of the meat-in-question, this is clearly a cultural issue.
10 Bother Nocturnal Animals at a Wildlife Sanctuary - let them sleep!
Up until now, we’ve covered travelers who’ve been annoying for minor things like asking ridiculously simple questions or complaining about the weather. Then there have been acts of ignorance, from speaking German in a Dutch-speaking country to protesting Asian dog meat. But regardless of how one feels about these incidents, it is considered rude to bother animals in an enclosed environment no matter what. For instance, at an animal sanctuary near Melbourne, Australia, there were “Heaps of people banging on the windows of nocturnal mammals” despite the signs explaining why this isn’t a good idea as described by Quora.
9 Cause problems with a Ticket Seller - people are just trying to do their jobs
As far as ignorance goes, there are different levels of it. There is the innocent kind, where one is being ignorant without realizing it, and then there’s the type that leads straight into arrogance. An example of the latter comes from Spain, where a woman identified as Marian O. was arrested in August of 2018 “After she allegedly verbally assaulted a ticket seller at the Palma Cathedral for not being able to speak English” according to Travel + Leisure. Now as stated before, just because languages like English are widespread across the world doesn’t mean everyone knows how to speak it.
8 Moon a Sacred Statue
Disrespect for another country’s laws and culture can come in a variety of forms. It can be anywhere from simply disagreeing with the kind of food another country eats, to doing what Joseph and Travis Dasilva did in Thailand. For those unfamiliar with the story, these two men went to Thailand in December of this past year and took a picture of themselves mooning at the Wat Arun temple in front of a statue which they posted online. Before they left the country, “The pair was arrested and fined for indecent exposure” according to Travel + Leisure.
7 Steal a Dolphin - where would they even put it?
Whether one cares about the environment or not, it is undoubtedly wrong to take an animal from its natural environment even if the creature appears to be hurting. It’s generally better if those kind of incidents are dealt with by the experts, who know exactly what they’re doing, instead of taking the creature’s life into one’s own hands. After all, there’s a chance the situation could worsen as was the case when a man decided to take away a dolphin that, “Had washed up on the beach” of Hayling Island, China, Fodor’s Travel states and never came back with it.
6 Attempt to Take Brick from Colosseum - not the sacred bricks!
Apart from taking a live animal from the environment it’s in, another unforgivable act is taking a priceless artifact from a place of historical significance. The Colosseum in Rome, for instance, has been having issues with vandalism as of late such as when “A tourist was caught removing an entire brick” from the structure itself according to Fodor’s Travel. Why they did this is uncertain, but luckily they didn’t make it out of the city with the brick in tow. Instead, “The brick was attained and put back in its rightful place” Fodor’s Travel states. Guess crime really doesn’t pay.