PhotoIf you happen to live in a place that gets a lot of tourists,  you learn how to spot them pretty quickly.

New York tourists, for example, are constantly looking up at skyscrapers or they'll walk way too slowly, forcing you to alter your usual pace. Or, they'll wear those darn "I Love New York" t-shirts, which might as well say "I love to be mugged." 

Simply put, no matter where you live in the United States, you've probably seen a tourist who did a horrible job of blending in.

But it happens when Americans travel out of the country too.

Learning to blend

Many of us will travel to a foreign country and act like it's not foreign, by wearing the things we usually wear, doing the things we usually do and so on.

Ruth Yunker, frequent traveler and author of the book "Paris, I've Grown Accustomed to Your Ways," says blending in with the locals isn't just about safety; it's about getting the best travel experience too.

"When I travel to a foreign country I automatically strive to be the best American I can be, an American who is willing to learn to do things the local's way," she said.  "This will always make for a more rewarding experience. You'll find the people are friendlier [and] the vibe is positive. You are trying to live the culture instead of simply viewing it as a spectator."

 Travel Editor for CBS's The Early Show, Peter Greenburg agrees.

He says learning to speak a little bit of the local language will add to your experience and dressing like the locals do will help you out as well.

"Where is it in a manual that you have to wear the ugliest pair of plaid golf pants that somebody gave you he said," in an interview with ConsumerAffairs.

Greenburg was speaking about what to do when traveling to Mexico, but he gave advice about traveling to other countries too.

"Go down there, learn a little Spanish," he says. "As I would expect you to do if you're going to Paris -- learn a little bit of French. Or a little Italian if you're going to Rome. Immerse yourself in the neighborhoods and the culture, and you'll find that people are open, warm and welcoming and you'll have a great time."

You're wearing THAT?

PhotoA good way to immerse yourself, according to the site, is to get a sense of how people dress in the country you're visiting.

For example, when traveling to Europe avoid wearing American style clothing, namely athletic wear or sneakers.

"Unless they're doing something athletic, most Europeans don't wear athletic shoes," wrote the Savvy Backpacker, who only goes by James. "This doesn't mean you have to wear nice dress shoes, but you should avoid the solely athletic style shoes. If nothing else, avoid white shoes. White shoes are the calling card for American tourists."

In addition, experts say that not everyone dresses in t-shirts and jeans, so if you're going to Paris, let's say, dress sort of business casual. This will allow you to blend in with the locals much better.

Plus, avoid wearing things like New York Yankee caps and football jerseys. Wearing these things will only make you stand out that much more.

Behave yourself

But it's not only how you dress that can make you stand out in a foreign country, it's how you act too.

Experts say it's important not to get annoyed or show frustration once you notice things work differently. This means, be patient if the restaurant staff doesn't jump to attention when you walk through the door.

And you certainly shouldn't make any comments about how America is better at this or that and avoid asking the locals a bunch of annoying questions. If you need directions or other information, speak to an officer or place that deals with tourists.

Yunker says it's important to learn at least some of the local ways when you travel.

"Learn what you can about a country's habits, pet peeves, ingrained ways of being, before you go," she advises. 

What to do

PhotoYunker says to follow these tips as well:

Leave the fanny packs at home, she says. Being concerned about carrying  around a wallet isn't a good reason to ever wear one of those things. 

"I always carry a large shoulder purse, because it fits everything I'll need during the day, including whatever valuables I want to keep close," she says. "I carry it clutched tightly to my body. I observe the local women, and carry my purse like they carry theirs."

Don't be so loud when you're in a foreign country, says Yunker. In many places people speak quietly, so be mindful of how loud you're talking. Plus, you don't always want the locals to know that you're a foreigner and a loud conversation in English will certainly give that away.

Even learning things like how people tip in a particular country will allow you to blend in better.

"Look up the customs on tipping in the country you're visiting," she says. "For instance, tips are not expected in Parisian restaurants. In fact, tipping a waiter there simply brands the unaware tourist as a stupid one."

And Yunker agrees with the Savvy Backpacker about wearing white sneakers in places like Europe. It's a big no-no, she says.

"If you must wear sneakers, wear dark ones that will attempt to masquerade as regular closed-toed shoes. Try to find comfortable walking shoes with a little bit of style and your feet will announce you as the polite, indeed savvy, visitor."

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