The Top 10 Complaints About American Tourists

Joseph Zacharia • May 9, 2011 • Travel tipsComments (30)

American Tourist

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30 Responses to “ The Top 10 Complaints About American Tourists ”

  1. derek says:

    Wish I could get precious minutes of my life back, that were wasted by this infographic.

  2. Cory says:

    Wow…the stupid American tourist stereotype. Haven”t seen this one before. Points for originality.

  3. [...] So here we are. Another interesting and informative info-graphic: The Top 10 Complaints About American Tourists. What are the things that people complaint about American tourists? Well lets have a look. Thanks pimsleurapproach.com [...]

  4. Angela says:

    I thought this was excellent; sadly, American tourists” behavior are simply normal American behavior.

  5. Peg says:

    So, I”m supposed to speak the language…which I always try to do. However, I”m not allowed to have my language dictionary out. I don”t know many people who can be fluent or even communicate effectively in many other languages. Some of this post is probably true, but some of it is just cliche.

  6. [...] summer vacation? If you’re traveling outside the U.S., take a look at this interesting list of “The top 10 complaints about American tourists,” which includes our assumptions that all residents would know English and the host country will [...]

  7. Matt says:

    So what you”re saying is because we”re Americans, we can”t act like ourselves? We have to act like we fit in with the people of another country? Sorry, I went to enjoy myself, not to be forced to watch the way I act so I don”t act like an American.

  8. Jackie says:

    @Matt, of course you can act like yourself. But there is a difference between being yourself and acting like a fool and disrespecting the country/culture. It”s not YOUR country. And you are not better just because you”re North American.

  9. Nick says:

    This is probably the most hypocritical thing ive ever seen. This is stuff that every tourist does in every country including people visiting the U.S..

    1.) They’re tourists for a reason, they don’t reside in that country. So does that mean i’m supposed to be an asshole now to any foreigner thats visits here and doesnt speak a lick of english, because thats about 90% of them.

    2.) Just because i’m visiting your country i cant eat a hamburger, just because you say hamburgers are only found in america? Thats weird because any tourist visiting the U.S. can find Italian, Spanish, Greek, French and oriental food pretty damn easy here

    3.) It’s funny you say americans who get wasted when they visit are hooligans. Seeing as the word hooligan relates to a european who gets black out drunk and tries to start trouble. Again hypocritical

    4.) So i cant wear gym shoes unless im in the gym? I’m just supposed to wear dress shoes 24/7 because if i’m on vacation that last thing i plan on doing is working out. Fine, i guess ill just go confront all the people that are studying abroad at my school and yell at them for wearing gym shoes

    5.) I hardly feel this is a real problem with tourists(especially Americans). But if it is, then give them a break for gods sake, they’re probably hungry and dont want to sit down and eat right at that second, because They’re To Busy Site Seeing Your Damn Country.

    6.) Here is the most hypocritical one of them all. It’s ironic you say Americans are ‘Space Hogs’ because from first hand experience Europeans are not only major space hogs not only in our country but in their own, but also dont have the common courtesy to wait in line like the rest of us.

    7.) So you’re saying when we visit your country, we not only shouldnt buy your products but if we do, wait till we get back home to wear them? Ok, sorry for enjoying ourselves in your country.

    8.) It’s detrimental to our health if we wave in your country? Jeez seems like you have bigger problems on your hands then than a couple people trying to be kind to others.

    9.) “Again it’s an American thing” to shake someones hand. Thats highly doubtful, I’ve come across many tourists visiting this country who also would like to shake my hand and talk to me for a little and guess what i have no problem with it. Sometimes its nice to meet and learn about someone from another country.

    10.) Hey guess what, we’re tourists for a reason, because we dont live in that country, so the odds are probably good that we also don’t have the clothes and brands from that country but instead the ones from ours. And wait a second, didnt you say earlier about loving the place to much? So which is it, we can or cant wear your clothes in public or should we just go bare-backing around your country?

    What i’ve taken from this whole thing is just a bunch of bigot b.s. It just seems to me that you all are just prejudice against Americans. Thats sorry to hear, because we are actually friendly people who would like nothing more than to enjoy our visit to your country. But it seems that you guys are the ones with the problems.

    p.s.- for some odd reason i feel a french person made this.

    • Pimsleur Staff says:

      Thank you for providing this feedback, we’ll certainly consider it when putting together another infographic. Our goal was to provide an entertaining view of what the complaints about American tourists are, but we don’t mean to offend anyone. We do understand your concerns and appreciate you relaying your thoughts.”

    • Sean says:

      Yes, Nick, America does no wrong at all. It is not close-minded to eat American style food when you visit China or France. Speaking of France, all French people are rude, consumed with hating America, and stink (even though you have never really had any interaction with them and wouldn’t know – even though if you reply you will deny this and tell a lie). And it’s completely good manners to wear tennis shoes to a semi-formal restaurant.
      Italians don’t run to Italian restaurants when they visit America – that is the difference. Generally tourists want to actually experience America when they visit Amerca; this differs from most (not all) Americans. Sorry man, its just true. I have resisted seeing the truth before my eyes for years – but it is just simply the case.

      • Ms Pena says:

        I found it all quite interesting. The info-graphic was informative and was helpful to me as to take a look at what to consider when in another country. I have been guilty of many of these items mentioned in the list but am not offended. Facts are facts, some apply to a lot more people than we Americans would like to admit. Funny how we aren’t as tolerant of someone wanting us to speak their language when they visit America. We (many Americans) actually think they should learn to speak enough English to be perfectly understood and are a little critical when they don’t. But I actually like what you had to say Sean.

        • peter says:

          Haha the funny thing is that(since you mention Italians), I work in the biggest tourist destination in San Francisco, and 95% of the people are foreigners. Italians always ask me of I speak Italian and so do Spanish speakers (mostly from Spain). It doesn’t make me mad, just lol. French never do that, I’ll give them that. And neither do Chinese. But they all commit most or many of the other faux pas on this list. I guess tourists lose no matter what. PS. Most San Franciscans can’t get enough of bad mouthing all the tourists, yet they are one of our biggest sources of income. Guess we’ll never be happy. Part of being human?

  10. angela says:

    actually this is probably more accurate for Australian tourists… don’t get me wrong, I love Australians, but… it’s true.

  11. Anon says:

    Leave the baseball cap and the logo-emblazoned shirts at home, and you’re off to a good start.

  12. Sean says:

    I’ve lived in Europe for ten years – some of this is true – some of this is cliche. Funny how some of the responders are fulfilling the cliches they rail against. Basically the whole “America does no wrong and were God’s gift to humanity-suck it”.
    BTW, it was not a French person who wrote this – though all Americans assume the French are the most anti-American, unfriendly, and rude. This is never really based on anything quantitative or even true experiences. The Germans hold those titles I just mentioned actually.
    And Americans ARE the most insular people on Earth – even more than the…wait for it…here it comes…the French – yes, its just true. Bet anyone a million dollars that if you have an American in Berlin standing next to McDs and the wurst stand, 3 out of 4 will enter the golden arches. It’s just true.

    • Portiahardesty says:

      When I lived in Germany and my niece came to visit on a class trip, she appreciated my taking her out to a German restaurant. She said that no matter what country they were in, the meals offered by the tour company were hamburgers, french fries, and peas and carrots, and not very good versions thereof. These were American students from Florida on a senior class trip, who wanted to experience other cultures.

  13. Lynn says:

    All opinions are interesting and though some are personally offensive, there is merit to most. Having traveled around much of the world the one thing I thoroughly enjoyed was the differences of each culture AND the similarities! Apparel like ice cream is a choice of taste.

  14. Riley says:

    Overall, good post. However, Americans visiting other countries can and should still act “American.” I want to enjoy the country I’m visiting, eat local food, drink local wine, and sight see. When I visited Spain, a stranger told me to stop smiling because that’s “an American thing” and I looked “retarded.” ????? I decided to not embrace that custom, but I did embrace many others. That being said, any tourists from any country visiting another country needs to be respectful of different cultures and ideas. I think we need to remember that, when visiting another country, you don’t have to change who you are, but rather enjoy different things. And it’s not just Americans who are disrespectful!

  15. Molly says:

    All the negative feedback on this really doesn’t surprise me. For some reason, Americans have the hardest time just laughing at themselves! Chill out, seriously and laugh at ourselves a little. Tuck your nerve endings in and view us for what we are, just one country in this huge world with downright goofy ways of doing things.

  16. Bob says:

    I lived in Germany for four years. Do they finally understand the concept of standing in line and not rushing to the front by droves?

    Repeat: in einer Schlange stehen

  17. Greg says:

    Eh, I agree with most of this but two points, 1 and 4. While I don’t encourage people to only speak in English, a lot of people in popular hotspots around the world do. I think you’re underestimating the power of globalization. 70% of Italy’s business comes from tourism and tourism is it’s fastest growing and most profitable market. In Rome, nearly everyone speaks English. If you go to the smaller towns you’ll have issues, but a lot of people do speak English. That being said, you should still try to learn the area’s language.

    About point 4, while I was in Italy over the summer, I saw plenty of Italians wearing shorts and t-shirts. Is this an exception because it was nearly 100 degrees out everyday? Maybe, but I really don’t think people mind what you wear as long as it’s season appropriate.

  18. Roberto says:

    Not a bad set of guidelines to mind while travelling, but it’s quite sophmoric and a true indication of insularity to think that these tips are ignored by only Americans. As a person who has travelled and as a resident of a major intenational tourist destination (NYC), I can say with absolute confidence that other nationalities are equally guilty. The scientific term is jerk, as in, every country has jerks and will embass their fellow nationals when abroad. Why Americans are singled out for this, I am not sure, but I’d wager that the unflattering reasons lay more with the accusers rather than the accused.

    I will say this though. On September 1, 2012, in the Fundacio Miro in Barcelona, there was an American talking way too loud in the museum, making it difficult to reflect and think about Miro’s work, rather than just passing by a series of images like zombies. He had on the typical white sneakers, fanny pack, formless khaki shorts and a blue hiking shirt. The rest of his family was similarly dressed. I am not sure what he was saying, because he was ranting on in what seemed to be fluent French.

  19. Juliette says:

    Thanks for the information about how to behave in other countries. This was helpful and I believe it’s important to respect the culture of other people.

    I would hate to come across as a rude American. It makes for a much more rewarding stay to be respected by the people living in the interesting place that I visit.

  20. Sally says:

    americans travel? thought they are workaholics given their live to work culture, capitalistic nonsense, and money, money, money. they do not even have govt mandated holiday time. sad. those that travel usually do the whopping 9 day cruise tour with other loud and obese americans wolfing down food, doing 4-6h ports of call, and then going to another country. very very few really travel and those that do… are precious.

  21. duano says:

    While “on holiday” we all eventually grow weary of being out of our comfort zones;in the 1980′s my Doc Martins made my dogs bark, drinking warm sludge for beer unsatisfying, begging someone crack the window during a hot steamy public bus ride; choking from the acrid smoke filling my nostrills from fat european “fags”, an elderly lady with a hairnet slammed it shut complaining it “was too drafty”. And I pined for a bathroom with a toilet seat, not just a open drain with an attendent with a broom offering a roll of t.p., motioning me with a cupped hand (wanted money, I think). Last time i went to london mcdonalds for a burger and worried for a year i didnt get mad cow disease. Point being sometimes during a trip re-centering with creature comforts should be ok.

  22. Guilherme says:

    Cool..

    but there’s something much worse and annoying than that…
    Is when you are not an american, not even from an english speaking country, but all the locals in the country you are visiting assume you are, and put all the stupid american stereotypes on me, like, for example, in asia, your eating in a normal restaurant, and locals are complimenting you because you can use chopsticks! and is not eating hamburguers or hot dogs, and ur not american at all.

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