I love to travel, so recently, I asked the BuzzFeed Community what they wish tourists knew before visiting their countries.

Here are 15 of their top answers:

1."In England, stand on the right of the escalator, walk on the left. Most places only accept payment by card, but corner shops often have a minimum spend for card. In London, don't buy Underground tickets. Use your card and tap it. It is far cheaper."

"You can ask for tap water anywhere that sells alcohol, they must legally give it to you, even if you aren't a customer.

Jaywalking is not a crime. It's perfectly legal. Just do it safely.

With the NHS for tourists or anyone, there is no charge for certain types of treatment, such as A&E outpatient treatment, treatment for infectious diseases specified in the regulations, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and family planning services.

Many large supermarkets are only open for limited hours on Sunday by law."


"Also, pepper spray/mace is illegal."


2."In Britain, if someone says 'you alright,' they mean hello."


3."The UK doesn't just consist of London. I'm not saying don't visit it, but the rest of the UK is waaaaay nicer. Please visit the coast down in Cornwall/Devon/Dorset, the beautiful Peak or Lake District, and the other fun cities that we have."

"And that's just England — Wales and Scotland have SUCH beautiful locations."


4."A few tips for visiting Aotearoa [New Zealand]: Never sit on tables, desks, or kitchen benches. It's tapu (sacred) to Māori (bums where you eat = gross anyway)."

"If you're driving, don't try to go too fast, especially off the main highways. The roads are surprisingly narrow and windy, and in winter, they can be dangerous. All coffees are double shots. You can never say please and thank you too much, and if you're lost or not sure where to eat, just ask someone! We love helping people enjoy our favorite places."


5."The Netherlands are more than Amsterdam. And not everything is about drugs and sex and tulips and windmills. We have beautiful landscapes and cities. We have islands."

"We have so many more fun things to do and to see than get drunk and have sex."


6."Don't treat African countries as interchangeable. Africa is a continent, and it's more than three times the size of the USA. There are over 50 different countries and countless cultures. What is acceptable in one place may not be acceptable in another. Languages differ, climates differ, and cuisines differ."

"Also, try to focus on something other than poverty. Poverty exists the whole world over. Don't participate in poverty tourism so you can post about it on social media and feel better about yourself."


7."If you're going to the US, you can travel a bit from one central location, but you won't be able to see everything. For example, from New York City, you could take a day trip to Philadelphia and have some cheesesteaks, or you could go to Boston for some clam chowder. Chicago or Milwaukee might be a bit far. Better to visit them another time."

"It's not uncommon for people to make eye contact, smile, and say hello. They're just being polite. If you don't want to say anything, you can just smile back and give a head nod. The best food you'll find here is in the little diners or food trucks. Stay away from the big restaurant chains. They're overpriced, overrated, and underwhelming."


8."Puerto Rico is not [just] Old San Juan. And if you don't see the locals in the water at the beach, stay out. There's probably a good reason for that."

"Go to the bakeries for more than bread and pastries (even though the bread and pastries are top tier). You can get great food there for super cheap."


9."The sun is not messing around in Australia. If you plan a day at the beach or out and about, you need to have plenty of sunscreen and reapply it regularly."

"The burns can be so bad, they blister."


10."Swim between the flags! Australia's beaches are dangerous."


11."Australia is very big, and it takes hours to get anywhere. No, you cannot just leave Sydney and go see the Great Barrier Reef in an afternoon."


12."If you're visiting Canada in the winter and are not used to winter driving conditions, please do not drive! Specifically in the Banff/mountain regions. You are a hazard to everyone else on the road."

"Driving in a blizzard or on ice takes practice, and winter conditions can change within minutes. PLEASE take public or hired private transportation."


"And pay attention to road rules! Most of BC requires snow tires from October to the end of April."


13."Canada is huge! Each province is huge! Look at maps and check distances and travel times between cities. If you're only visiting for a week, it's going to be hard to see Vancouver and Calgary and Toronto and Halifax unless you want to pretty much live in the airports."

"It's better to choose a part of the country and really enjoy it."


14."In France, [if someone asks], 'Ca va?,' you simply respond, 'Ca va, et toi?'"


15.And finally: "Pretty sure this will apply to most countries, not just France, but our cities and sight-seeing places are NOT amusement parks! They are actual places where regular people work, go to school, and live. The native people you see walking around are not props or staff workers at your service. YOU are simply a guest visiting. We hope you enjoy your stay and have great memories to share, but please be as respectful as possible."

"Generally, try to simply be conscious of your surroundings and mirror the natives, so talk quietly, try to learn a couple phrases, don't expect everyone to speak your language... If you do find a native who speaks your language, don't hesitate to ask for restaurant recommendations so you can avoid the tourist traps! Oh, and stop wearing high-heels or flip-flops...your feet will hurt walking around for eight hours."


What advice would you give to tourists before they visit the city or country where you live? Share your best tips in the comments!

Note: Some responses have been edited for length/clarity.

2023-12-12T23:26:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd