Pauline Frommer's Tip To Blend In Anywhere As A Tourist Keeps You Safer While Traveling

We hear quite a bit about the things foreigners do that make them stand out when visiting a different country. Most typically relate to what the potential outsider is wearing. For example, Europeans rarely wear athletic or athleisure clothing unless they are actually heading to and from the gym, yet Americans sometimes still wear such clothes while in Europe. These societal norms might initially make us laugh at our differences, but they can also put targets on the backs of sightseers. This could mean attracting scammers who think a tourist is easy to fool or even something more dangerous like a robbery. This is why it is important to avoid looking like a tourist and, instead, blend in.

Blending in extends further than just what you are wearing, however. Pauline Frommer, co-president of the longstanding guidebook company Frommer Media, suggests shopping locally to appear local. While this could mean buying some practical items for your stay, it makes for an added layer of safety.

Carry a bag from a local grocery store or pharmacy to blend in

When speaking to Star Tribune, Pauline Frommer revealed that it was actually Evelyn Hannon from the website Journeywoman who gave her the advice to shop local to appear local. "The first thing she [Hannon] does when she gets to a new destination is shop for something small in a very local grocery store or pharmacy. And then she carries the bag that her purchases came in around with her, because she knows that, no matter how different she looks from others in the place, the bag will mark her as a local — and possibly provide some protection," Frommer explained.

While this advice applies to all travelers, Frommer acknowledged that women are often more vulnerable than men when perceived as tourists. Given that the percentage of women traveling solo is much higher than that of men, this advice is all the more critical. In fact, Condor Ferries reported that nearly ¾ of travel agents saw more women planning solo travel than men. Perhaps a simple grocery bag can give these solo trekkers some extra piece of mind.