Vacationing is supposed to be relaxing, right? Well, unfortunately some people did not pack their common sense when getting ready to travel. Just ask these Quora users.
People on Quora share the dumbest thing they've seen a tourist do. Content has been edited for clarity.
People these days! Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
“It had Been A Problem All Day”
“I was on the Big Island (i.e. in the state of Hawaii) at the time when the new Kupaianaha lava pool was about finished erupting. A lava tube crossed the highway and ended in the ocean, where you could see the pillow lava (also known as lava flowing into the sea). We’d driven up as near as allowed, walked near to the tube, and stood watching that amazing sight, as well as seeing the ‘eye’ on the side of Mauna Loa where the lava came from (it was glowing red – Pele’s eye indeed).
A couple Japanese guys climbed up onto the tube, in sneakers, to take pics! The ranger and some cops had to force the idiots down. Apparently they weren’t the first ones to do so – it had been a problem all day. In fact, the cops closed off the section of the highway closest to the tube completely not long after we visited due to these stupid people!
I mean, lava tubes are unstable, hot, and a person could easily break through to fall into that river of lava in the middle! Climbing on them is just insanity.”
“To see Denali Park in Alaska, most people have to ride in on buses operated by the Park Service. As I recall, it’s at least two hours to the turnaround point. We saw a lot of wildlife that day, and dramatic scenery.
About halfway in, I think it’s called Polychrome Pass, there is a rest stop where passengers can use Port-a Potties and stretch their legs. A number of our fellow passengers wandered up the hill, and I noticed a bunch of them clearly gathered around something. I went up to look and quickly realized that there were about 30 people all within 50 feet of a grizzly bear. Shortly a ranger came up, too, and began urgently moving people away. They had all been given the lecture on the bus about staying away from the wildlife, especially bears, but couldn’t resist the photo op.
That seemed like death wish behavior to me, but paled in comparison to what came next. The ranger shooed the bear away, and as it ambled off it was going to cross a path leading to a little hilltop viewpoint where two people dressed in Tourist Yellow windbreakers were taking photos. They were 100 yards off or so, but turned around and saw the bear. The ranger yelled at them to get down low and stay still, but they decided instead to try to get back to safety along the very path the bear was about to cross.
The ranger repeatedly yelled at them, ‘Don’t run!’ but they ran.
Right into the sight line of the bear, which despite being shortsighted caught sight of these two yummy bright yellow things running along, and decided it had found lunch. It charged! These two fools never stopped running, completely ignoring the poor ranger, who had to put himself between the bear and them and act very fierce and loud to convince it to give up the pursuit. In the end, everybody was safe, but for a few seconds I really thought those two were literally going to be dead meat.”
“He Seemed Very Happy”
“I saw an American Tourist in India, become very friendly with another tourist from Europe. I could not help but notice this, as he flew into India with me and then got on the same connecting flight in India. Well, as he sat behind me on the connecting flight, all I could hear was how he was going to visit the various places, and how much money he had saved for the trip. I could not believe he was telling all this to someone he had just met on the flight. I would not have paid any attention at all had, he not been so loud. He seemed to be oblivious to the fact that there were other people on the flight. The person he was telling this to, was very grubby looking. He spoke so increasingly loud that the passenger across from me told me in Hindi that any chance of sleeping on this flight was gone.
Well, I still could not believe this Tourist had as of now, agreed to take the other fellow with him to a historic temple. The man was telling this person intimate details of this life and how his wife and children had left him. Well, the other tourist now told him that he wanted to stay with him in the same Hotel, to keep him company. He seemed very happy about all this. Well, I figured the situation at hand was going to be his own doing and to get ready for landing. As we disembarked, I noticed that his new friend was taking his coat for him. I saw them collect their luggage and leave the airport. Soon, my luggage came as well.
After getting my luggage, I was ready to depart and I could see my wife waiting and the car upfront. I was outside the Airport now, and I saw the tourist suddenly yelling, his new friend had gone missing and it looks like he took his coat and wallet. Apparently, he was not staying with him in the Hotel or going to keep him company after all.”
“Shouldn’t You Already Know Some Things?”
“At a convenience store, a small group of German backpacker/tourists were in line in front of me. Not one of them spoke any English.
As they were paying for their items, each one of them held out all their money to pay. They were clueless how much money was needed to buy their stuff. They are relying on the cashier for total honesty. I kept my head down slightly and used my peripheral vision to glance at the cashier. The items bought weren’t costly, just a can of soda and chips or a candy bar.
With the last person left to ring up, I noticed the cashier had taken a $20 bill instead of the ten. The customer was walking away without his change and the cashier didn’t have a problem with that! He was keeping the change from all of tourists.
I spoke up to all the tourists. I asked them to show me what currency they paid with in front of the cashier. I made that cashier give back the remainder of their change.
If you’re going to another country, shouldn’t you already know some things about that country before you go? Small currency exchanges? Speaking enough of the language for certain things? Asking where the restroom is? Telephone numbers? Addresses? Currency exchanges?”
“This Woman Needed To Speak French”
“Some years ago in the French Caribbean at the airport in Guadeloupe, a woman from New Jersey became upset with a local woman bartender when she did not understand what the tourist wanted at the bar. She yelled in my general direction and other American tourists, ‘This woman is not even trying to speak English!’
In an attempt to calm down the tourist and help the barista (I speak French), I explained to the woman that she was in another country and culture where they spoke another language as a matter of course. Also, if this French woman was in New Jersey, and ordering in French, the New Jersey woman would make no attempt to please her in French. Unfortunately, she was having none of this logic and basically stuck to her dumb attitude that as a customer she was always right, and this woman needs to be able to speak English to please her and too bad for her culture and any foreign language.
At this outburst, in French I apologized to the French bartender whose reaction and reply was to roll her eyes and be embarrassed at the same time. I ordered another drink and left her a good tip. However, my friend with me wanted to tell off the American tourist, but I persuaded him not to as I pointed out her dumbness was impervious probably to any shame and that she was really so stupid it would not be worth his breath.”
“Tourists Were Running Towards Them”
“In Red Lodge, Montana, we often had a bull or a cow with calf come to town for the ‘snacks’ in neighborhood yards. As they foraged and moved from one block to another, tourist folks were curious. It’s as though they are magnets.
Now, moose are exceptionally large deer, very large, actually….huge. Their attack style is to charge and raise their hooves high—reminiscent of a prancing horse. Except these beasts are not asking you to waltz with them, they do the Can-Can.
They are trying to kill you. The bull saves its rack for more equal challenges such as another bull, not a puny human. The cow, let’s see how to say this—she isn’t playing around, though she’ll Can-Can you to death.
Now toy magnets have two ends. Arrange them with like polarity, they repel and attract when opposites come within range. One day, I was in position to see our magnets in action.
A cow and calf were in town. Tourists were running toward and residents going in the other direction. Just like toy magnets.
Now there is an enhancement to the magnetic effect when a tourist ventures near the baby or, OH God, gets between momma and baby. The cow starts after the tourist raising its hooves as it prances in to kill. But it doesn’t stop when the tourist backed away. Oh no! It really wants to ‘connect.’ The magnetic field has been turned up.
That day nobody was hurt. Fences knocked down, trees and bushes roughed up. and a scratches for escapees. The escaping tourists? Well they suddenly found their polarities reversed, like to the town’s folk.”
“Where Are Your Parents?”
“She was eight years old, and was standing on the outside ledge of her hotel balcony.
I had just popped outside for a breath of fresh air and found myself face to face with this lunatic child.
‘What the heck are you doing? You could be killed. Get back inside right now,’ I ordered.
She was totally unfazed. Then I spotted her older sister trying to duck out of sight on the balcony.
‘Hold on to her,’ I yelled, with as much authority as I could muster.
She looked a bit sheepish, and explained that they had locked themselves outside and couldn’t get back in.
To be honest, I’d done this a couple of times myself, and had to yell or phone for someone on the inside to come and open the door.
‘Where are your parents?’ I asked.
‘Gone to lunch. Can you call someone to come and open our front door?’ she responded.
‘Yes, just as soon as you pull your little sister back onto the balcony,’ I commanded.
‘I think I can make it over to your side,’ pipes up the eight-year-old with a death wish.
‘No, you’ll just fall and break your legs. If not, I will break them when you get over here – now get back inside!’ I screamed.
Turns out this family had an all-inclusive deal with the hotel next door. However, the two little girls had been banned for throwing food around the buffet. Unbelievably, nobody banned the parents, who continued to eat there while leaving the kids behind.
You can’t make this stuff up. Within two days, the whole family had been thrown out of the apartment next to mine and normal service was resumed.
What I remember most about this incident – apart from the physical sensation that I was having a heart attack – was that my short-lived next-door neighbors were the worst parents I had ever met.
They were trashed at breakfast and stayed that way morning, noon and night, when they started to fight and throw things from the balcony into the pool. I had been furious with their little girl when in fact, she’d never stood a chance.”
“Conversations Were Stopped”
“This happened at a posh restaurant downtown, during lunch. I was on a work lunch. The place was pretty full. There was a family (I won’t mention from where) who was sitting at the table near us. Their son, who looked about eight or nine years old, wanted to go to the bathroom so the grandmother took him to the back. Apparently the toilets were full. So they came back and began discussing what the next best solution might be. While I didn’t understand the language, it looked like they were discussing options.
So the grandmother takes the boy out to the garden, just outside the restaurant. The restaurant had glass walls and doors so people inside could look out and vice versa. In the row of plants outside, the boy pulls his pants right down and begins urinating. He was facing the other way, so people inside got a full view of his buttocks and the stream emanating from the front. He stood there for a minute or maybe more.
Those who saw what was happening outside were stunned, conversations were stopped. The grandmother meanwhile waved to her family seated at the table and the family waved back, relieved that they found a ‘solution.’
Within a few minutes, I saw the restaurant manager rush outside but the deed was already done and the grandmother and the boy were already walking inside.
I saw somebody from the restaurant approach their table and talk to them. The family looked surprised and appeared to wonder why they were getting such attention. They genuinely seemed to have no clue as to why they were being spoken to like that.”
“I Can’t Taste Cinnamon”
“I went on a guided 4×4 tour in one of the natural parks of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe with some other folks a while back. Our guide was a pretty tough looking fellow who was very well versed in the natural world. He was happy to point out the various flora and fauna we passed as we drove through the parks and, at one point, were poled along the Okavango swamps in low canoes called mokoros.
But we did have one American woman on the trip who really had come to Africa utterly clueless. Her first question when we came across a pod of hippos was ‘Where do the hippos lay their eggs?’
Uh…hippos are mammals, ma’am. They don’t lay eggs.
At one point, we came to an incredibly beautiful desolate area where there were ancient baobab trees on the edge of magnificent salt pans, or flats. They are called ‘Baines’ Baobabs’ after the famous naturalist Thomas Baines who painted these in 1862. These magnificent trees are up to 4,000 years old and have changed little over the years. They are surely a sight of a lifetime, and as I sat sipping a drink with the guide and taking this in, I reflected on how lucky I was to see this beautiful sight.
This woman sat there, saying ‘These trees are ugly. This is all so ugly.’
The guide was getting a bit impatient with her, and as we drove on the next day we came across elephant dung in the road…it is literally everywhere because elephants are so plentiful in Botswana.
The guide pointed at it and then said, offhandedly, ‘The elephants came by here pretty recently, we should see them later.’
The woman looked at the dung wide-eyed and said, ‘How long ago did they pass by?’
The guide had had it by then.
It’s pretty obvious that wet looking dung is recent dung and dry dung is old dung, but instead of calmly explaining this to her, he jumped out of the jeep and bent over the dung, sniffed it, and then stuck a finger in it and cleverly licked his middle (non-dung covered) finger, and said, ‘I think they came by 23 minutes ago. They are close.’
The woman was amazed at this ancient tracking knowledge. ‘How can you know this, to the last minute?’ she questioned.
‘Fresh dung tastes like cinnamon,’ he replied.
This woman jumped out of the truck, stuck her finger in the dung, and licked it. We were amazed.
‘I can’t taste cinnamon?’ she inquired.
The guide silently got back into the truck, shaking his head. We were all clapping. The elephants were indeed pretty close. The woman never mentioned this moment again.”
“Wild Animals Are Wild”
“One trip to Yellowstone National Park, I saw two things that rate very high on the stupid meter. Several cars, our also, were stopped by the road to watch a grizzly bear dig in the sand near the lake. We were 500–600 yards away. One tourist decide he wanted to get a better picture and took off down the hill to the bear. Maybe a selfie with the bear? Oh, hungry grizzly bears just love that! A Game Warden was there, yelling at the man, who kept saying he was fine, just wanted a better picture.
The Warden had to run after him, yelling to stop. He would not stop until the Warden grabbed him and forced him back up the hill to his car, arguing. They got with in maybe a 100 yards of the bear. Grizzlys can run as fast as a horse for a short distance, and can weigh close to a ton. Even shot in the heart with a large loaded weapon, they can still run a 100 yards, destroying everything in their path.
The other thing I saw was a young boy, maybe six or eight years old, chasing a moose in a parking lot, with the proud daddy following with a camcorder, yelling ‘Get that moose!’
Ok, again a moose is a wild, large animal. This moose would stand his ground, snort, shake his head, then run off when the kid got close. But at any second that moose could have stomped the child to death or attacked anyone else in the area. Wild animals are, well, wild. They live life and death every single day. They either run, or fight. If they fight it is to kill. And almost any animal has means to do that to some degree. A rabbit will bite and those long legs have sharp claws that can require stitches. A moose, bear, buffalo, or deer all have the means to hurt or kill you, maybe eat you, at least part of you while you are still alive.”
“Very Tense Few Moments”
“It was the summer of 2009. Michael Jackson had just died and my mom and I were in Peru leading a group to see the Inti Raymi Festival in Cusco.
Before we headed out to Machu Picchu, we took a trip around the Urubamba Valley to various archeological sites and village markets. Our last stop was to be Moray, an Incan ruin that consists of terraced platforms that were most likely used to farm.
Unfortunately for us, the day had gotten longer than expected and by the time we pulled up, it was getting too dark for us to walk down. There is no electricity at a site like this, and no one wanted to take a risk hiking down and back up in the dark. Pretty sure it would have been illegal for us to do so anyway. We just kind of made due with looking down from the marked path and seeing what we could.
Except one guy.
He had to cross over the non-existent barriers (they were literally ankle high) and get as close as he could to the edge of the cliff to take a picture of the site. You can’t tell from this pic, but the cliff was actually quite steep and far down. It would have been a death sentence to fall off. My mom screamed at him to stop and get back from the edge. His wife screamed at him to stop and get back from the edge. The guide screamed at him to get back from the edge. The whole group was screaming at him too.
He did not get back from the edge, he just went further.
My mom couldn’t take it anymore. She had to turn away. She didn’t want to see someone die, let alone one of her clients (We’ve never had one of our clients pass away on a trip we’ve organized, here’s hoping no one ever does.) It was a very tense few moments, but thank goodness he didn’t fall down.
If he had, we would have been stuck on top of the mountain in the freezing cold (June is winter in the Southern Hemisphere) for hours waiting for the police to take his body away. Can you imagine?
A picture is never ever worth risking your life.”
“An Amazing But Frightening Experience”
“In South Africa there are game reserves which you drive through in your own vehicle. This is the animal’s natural environment, and you could see nothing at all. Or if you have patience and time, you will see Elephants crossing the road in front of you. Or a group of Giraffe standing next to the road eating. These wild animals are amazing to see right next to your vehicle.
In one of the smaller reserves, a group of Lions was walking on the road past the vehicles who had stopped to stare at them. An amazing site but naturally you are not allowed out of your vehicle. Normally in a case like this, everyone sits nervously and remains very still in their car, just taking pictures. An amazing if not a bit of a frightening experience, to be so close to these huge predators. An American tourist in this particular reserve insisted on opening the window and leaning out of the car, so that she could take pictures. A lion attacked her and pulled her out of the car through the window. The tour guide who was with her tried desperately to maneuver the car between her and the lion. Sadly, he suffered a heart attack in the process.
Nothing helped, and the American tourist died from the attack.”