Americans Lose Title as World's Most Obnoxious Tourists


touristWhen I travel, I try my hardest to blend in. Like, when I'm in Paris, I'm sure to don a beret and scarf; or if I'm in Italy, I grow a mustache. Tee-hee.

No, I want to be respectful of another country's practices. I try to learn a few words and phrases, and I don't get piss drunk until I'm back at my hotel and the only person who has to deal with me is my husband.

I'm not trying be all "I'm awesome" or anything, but I kind of thought my behavior wasn't the norm. I've seen my share of Americans in foreign countries being downright rude -- refusing to attempt the language or demanding bread and water at their cafe table. We have all heard the phrase "Ugly American" before, and unfortunately, it's not without cause.

However, according to a poll, turns out Americans aren't the rudest travelers. The Brits are! Part of me is relieved to hear this, but the American in me can't help but think, "Why did we lose?"

The poll, which was conducted by the travel site Sky Scanner, was actually answered by the British. At least we can't say they're full of themselves.

They rank themselves first in the following four categories:

  • Not attempting the language
  • Being drunk and disorderly
  • Not trying the local cuisine
  • Not tipping

The fifth and final category, "Being rude," was nabbed by the Russians.

What the hell, you guys? Not one first place for Americans in this poll? Sure, we got second in "Not attempting the language" and "Being drunk and disorderly," but you know what we here in the U.S. say about second place? It's the first loser.

Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I, single-handedly, with all my "merci beaucoup" and "dov'e il bango?" made America lose this battle of the bad manners. I'm sorry. I thought my desire to be polite and well-liked would trump my inherent American desire to place first in a contest, no matter what kind and no matter what cost. Alas, I must accept defeat and try harder for the number one slot next year. Paris, prepare to see me hammered in your streets when I visit you this August. And don't expect any tips. Au revoir Later, good manners!

What do you think of the British ranking number one in rude tourists?


Image via Ktoine/Flickr

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lovin... lovinangels

plenty of them tip just fine.

DebaLa DebaLa

#2? Um, thinking this is their way of saying "Baby come back!" since Americans aren't traveling, hence spending, as much.

nonmember avatar Kim

Come on..the categories are all wrong! How about being pushy? Cutting lines? Walking slowly in large groups so no one else can pass you on the street? No respecting body space? Working in a heavily visited tourist area, I can tell you a thing or two about Japanese, Italian, German tourists etc.... Americans would be dead last in these categories... With the British also coming in on the bottom.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

The no tipping thing doesn't surprise me at all considering tipping is not normal in the UK at all. When I visit the UK I leave a small tip because leaving my usual 20% freaks people out. The drunken thing and not attempting the language are also very typically British. Most Brits who are traveling abroad go to resorts on package tours where drinks flow freely and all the staff speak English. I know so many people who have gone abroad, taken the shuttle to the resort, and never stepped outside it until it's time to head home.

Never fear, there are plenty of obnoxious americans abroad still. I've been hit over the head with golf bags, randomly accosted for photos, smacked by golf balls while walkng on public paths, and witnessed five American freak outs (that I can remember) after cashiers explained that american money is no use outside of America. That's ignoring the run of the mill stuff like clogging up sidewalks while taking photos and a complete inability to park in a British size parking spot.

Amie Castille

Gah, ever get elbowed out of your spot in "line" (no lines really in Italy) by a litlte old Italian with scary sharp elbows trying to get on a train?  And they look at you with absolute venom as their pointy bone socks you in the ribs?  Or try to get on a bus in Vancouver BC only to have grown men shoulder you out of the doorway so they can get on first and take a seat 2 seconds before an elderly person with heavy bags can claim it?  Or have foreigners as tourists in the US openly mock American food, clothing, voices... if Americans did that in a foreign country we'd be "ugly Americans" and be told to "assimilate" or "accept differences in cultures" -- but foreigners can trample those same rules by insulting anything American, including our culture and religion and habits, and that's supposed to be somehow "different" than Americans doing the same thing?

In college I waited tables in a restaurant that foreign tourists loved.  We would fight for the American tables as certain cultures of tourists were known for their rudeness, lack of tip, feigning disgust with a meal they ate every bite of in order to get it for free, overwhelming drunkenness leading to bill running, etc etc. 

nonmember avatar Angie

No way, is French! they arrive and expect to be treated like royalty, they criticize everything (forgetting some of the bystanders may speak French) understand French, no tipping, rude to waiters and service personnel... I can go on and on...

UneVi... UneVieChic

Tipping is not normal anywhere outside of the U.S.  Having lived in the U.K. and traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Meditteranean I can tell you we're abnormal for tipping, and other countries see us as not paying our staff enough wages. 

I don't know that I buy the rest though.  Most other countries have a stronger emphasis on foreign language.  Brits drink a ton, but unless you're young, it's rarely to an obnoxious drunk point, and the U.K. has such a wide variety of cuisine I find it hard to believe they won't eat things.  I mean, the Scots for God's sake eat all bits of animals.  And England was where I dicovered my love for black pudding!

dwmom... dwmom2008

Two words: French Canadians. I don't know if they go anywhere other than South Florida but they're the worst tourists ever. Plus, they bring their CARS. It's a nightmare. If you have ever been a waitress in S. FL I am saying a prayer for you right now. Can you say gratuity is included with the check?

nonmember avatar michaela

French Canadian comment is Soooo true! Im so glad we are headed into off season here in south florida.

kisse... kisses5050

 Japanese? I have found to be more rude than Brits. This after two summers working at The Magic Kingdom.

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