June 29, 2024 at 7:26 am

Her Friend Insists They Act Like Locals On Their Trip To France, But She Tells Her That They Will Be Tourists No Matter What They Do

by Ryan McCarthy

Source: Reddit/AITA/Pexels/Pixabay

As someone who has done my fair share of traveling in Europe, you learn one thing pretty quickly: everyone knows that you’re American.

You can learn as much of the country’s language as you want, you can dress exactly like the locals do, you can even avoid the tourist traps, but the Europeans will know.

It’s like a super power that they’re all born with: spotting American tourists!

So when this user’s friend insisted that her and her friends try to act as “local” as possible on their trip to France, OP eventually had to tell her that they WERE tourists, whether she liked it or not!

Was she wrong to put her foot down? Decide for yourself!

AITA for telling my friend we ARE tourists and we shouldn’t act like we’re not?

As a post-graduation trip, me and my friends are going on a trip to France next summer.

This is my first time going to Europe so I’m really excited, and we’re currently in the planning stage. This issue concerns one of my friends, Katie (also 21F).

Katie has never been out of the country, and somehow she’s gotten it in her head that the worst thing someone can be in another country is a tourist.

I think she’s read too many articles and watched too many tiktoks about how Europeans hate American tourists.

But Katie started getting on the group’s nerves when she began changing their vacation to try and avoid looking like a tourist…

Anyways, she’s now trying to change our trip to be as un-touristy as possible.

For example, she’s sent the rest of the group pictures of French street fashion and is insisting that we can only pack outfits that look like it.

When one person said she didn’t have clothes that looked like that, Katie just said “guess you’ll need to go shopping.”

She also says that Europeans do not wear sneakers and will immediately label us as tourists if we’re seen wearing them, so we can’t bring them (even though we’ll be walking a lot).

And it wasn’t just their fashion, Katie was refusing all of the locations OP’s group wanted to visit!

Additionally, when I tried to suggest places for us to visit (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Versailles, etc), Katie immediately shot them down.

She said that those are too “touristy” and we should try and find other places to go.

When I asked her what kinds of places, she pulled up some French residential neighborhoods and local shops.

Apparently we would be better off spending our time there since it’s more “authentic.”

To be clear, she’s not concerned about avoiding pickpockets since we’ve already purchased pickpocket-proof pouches. It’s JUST about “looking like tourists.”

At a certain point, OP had had enough, and told Katie that they were tourists whether Katie liked it or not…

In my view, there’s nothing wrong with being a tourist and doing touristy things as long as we’re respectful of the locals and French culture.

Besides, if I’m only getting a limited time in France, I don’t want to be spending it all just walking around random people’s houses and looking at them like they’re zoo animals.

I told this to Katie and she got upset and said I was the reason why Europeans hate tourists so much. I told her we ARE tourists, why try to hide it?

I’m pretty sure French people would be MORE annoyed if we tried to act like locals instead of just being respectful visitors.

But Katie would apparently rather not go to France at all then go to France as a tourist!

Katie got even more upset and said that if I want to be disrespectful of French culture so bad, I can go to France on my own time. She then left our planning session.

The rest of our group is kind of split on this issue.

Most of them agree with me and think it’s a waste of time to walk around residential neighborhoods instead of seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

But on the other hand, they also are very afraid of being perceived as annoying Americans. So I’d like to get some more perspectives on if I’m TA here.

So going to see the most famous iconic locations of France is offensive to the French people, but skulking around their neighborhood pretending to be French isn’t?

Reddit assured OP that she wasn’t a jerk for wanting to experience France’s most classic attractions, and said Katie was acting just like the American tourists she despised so much.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This user said that pretending to be a local was more disrespectful than just acting like a normal tourist.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Many said that if OP hadn’t realized this already, that Katie was not someone she wanted to go on a trip with!

Source: Reddit/AITA

Finally, this user said that Katie was welcome to travel however she wanted, but she couldn’t dictate how other people acted on vacation.

Source: Reddit/AITA

She couldn’t even speak French! What was her plan?

Thought that was satisfying? Check out what this employee did when their manager refused to pay for their time while they were traveling for business.