Who doesn’t love vacationing? Visiting a new place can be a rewarding, eye-opening experience. However, don’t act like these tourists! From being completely clueless to downright disrespectful, these folks have seen it all from vacationers. These people share the unbelievable things they have witnessed American tourists do in their home country. Content has been edited for clarity.
“Speaking To Americans Was Always A Wild Card”
“I worked at a famous tourist location in the United Kingdom. We had thousands of people from around the globe coming and going on a daily basis. After working there for a couple of months, I grew very accustomed to how different cultures approached the world and new environments.
However, speaking to Americans was always a wild card.
As a general rule, Americans weren’t afraid to start a conversation with me. It didn’t matter if it was a man or woman, they always had a story to share and were always happy to indulge you.
My co-worker and I started a conversation we wished we never would have by making a simple comment about the awful weather.
It was a wet and blustery day, truly one would hope not to come across on their vacation. This kind of weather was humorously expected in the United Kingdom, though.
When I was at work, an American man walked inside and loudly proclaimed, ‘Gee! That’s some weather you guys have here, eh?’
I laughed and replied, ‘I know, right? But don’t worry, we have the heaters on. We also sell drinks in the shop if you would like something a bit more potent.’
The man looked down, smiled, and responded, ‘Oh, no. I don’t want to go down a bad road again, I wouldn’t be able to control myself.’
My co-worker thought he was joking, so he said, ‘No problem, I’m barely holding off the urge to grab a drink myself. I’m sure you know what I mean.’
Suddenly, a look of seriousness swept across the man’s face.
He quietly replied, ‘Yeah, no. It would be a terrible idea. My wife left me and I am still trying to win her back. She left me because of my drinking.’
My co-worker began to apologize, but the man interrupted, ‘No, it’s more complicated than an apology. It wasn’t just the drinking I was into, it was other substances as well. I am still working on cleaning myself up.’
The still dripping umbrella the man was holding lent to the awkwardness of the situation. My co-worker and I met this man only thirty seconds prior, and we were now on the verge of counseling him.
I questioned, ‘Is your wife with you? I imagine you’re doing the right thing, now.’
I instantly regretted asking, as I prolonged my co-worker and I’s suffering.
He sadly responded, ‘No, she’s back in the United States right now. I went on a trip alone to clear my head, you know? I need to try to get my priorities straight.’
‘Understandable. Enjoy the rest of your time here, sir. It is plenty warm inside,’ I kindly replied.
The man grinned and said, ‘Will do. Thank you!’
He proceeded to peruse the shop and paused at the glass cases holding the drinks for an uncomfortable amount of time.
The man turned to me and yelled, ‘Hey! These drinks sure do look great though. I would love to try them.’
I wasn’t sure if he was making an offhand comment or had a genuine interest, so I laughed and quickly turned to latch onto the next customer who walked in. The man walked through the shop and, thankfully, into the main attraction.
I never knew Americans overshared so much until this day.”
The French Fumble
“I previously worked as a taxi driver in France, and I spoke French. One time, I had a man call me and attempt to book a taxi in terrible French.
I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say, so I told him, ‘I can speak English if you would like me to.’
The man curtly responded, ‘I don’t speak English,’ in horrible French.
I continued with the booking in French. He sounded confused, but he accepted the cab anyway.
When I arrived at his location, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and spoke to him in English. I knew he wasn’t fluent in French, and he was silly to lie to me.
At the end of the ride, the man exited the car and exclaimed, ‘Oh, by the way, your English is amazing!’
I replied, ‘Thanks. I spent twenty-three years in England perfecting it.’
I was only twenty-three years old at the time.
He didn’t understand my joke and simply responded, ‘Well, it sure paid off!’ and walked away with his girlfriend.
I spent the rest of the night thinking, ‘How dang old do I look for twenty-three years to not look like my entire life?’
Tourists, we will always be able to tell if French isn’t your first language.”
“She Should Have Just Stayed Home”
“I previously worked at a high-end restaurant in a tourist area. At the restaurant, five or six-course meals were the standards. People typically took their time eating, chatting, and enjoying themselves for at least two or three hours. It was normal to have half an hour of waiting periods between meals. If we served the guests any quicker, the guests would complain about the food being served too fast.
One time, I was serving a table of mostly local people plus one American woman. The woman was being extremely loud, and she had a thick New York accent.
After every course she was served, she would complain, ‘Where is the rest of the food?’
I explained, ‘We give our guests time to enjoy the plates we have given them first. As a server, I would like to avoid serving my guests too quickly.’
I could tell the woman’s friends felt awkward about her behavior, but she continued complaining.
She whined, ‘I am so disappointed in this restaurant!’
I countered, ‘All of the food we prepare is fresh, and it takes time to prepare. The whole idea of this restaurant is to enjoy the evening with the people you are with.’
The woman was in disbelief. If she wanted fast service, she should have gone to a fast-food restaurant. Better yet, she should have stayed home.”
“They Complained The Entire Bus Ride”
“I am British, and I went to Rome a few years ago on a cruise. Due to traffic, we were told we wouldn’t be able to go inside the Colosseum because the queue was far too long. The situation was upsetting, but we were still able to see it from the outside.
There was one family of American tourists with us who believed they didn’t have to listen to the tour guide. They stood in the queue anyway for almost an hour to get inside, and they left the rest of us on the bus. As result, the rest of us were left stranded and missed a bunch of other sites on our itinerary.
When the tour guide mentioned this, a member of the family yelled, ‘You are singling us out! It isn’t fair we are missing stuff on the tour!’
For the rest of the bus ride, the family began to loudly complain about why all other countries except America were the worst. The family was extremely entitled, and they thought they were the center of the universe.
On the same trip, the Fourth of July occurred.
One of the American tourists stood up at a table and began singing, ‘I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free,’ at the top of their lungs.
We were in the middle of Florence.
The trip was certainly a strange one for me.”
“The Police Rushed In And Temporarily Detained The Student”
“I previously worked as a tour guide in Berlin, German. I showed tourists a certain area of Berlin and explained history, culture, and politics. Sometimes tours were on-foot, bike lead, or even on Segways. One time, I was giving a tour to a group of high school students with their teachers from the United States. They didn’t look like ordinary high school students, as they were wearing a lot of expensive clothing and gear. I thought they might have been from some private school and would behave differently, but they were still teenagers and became easily bored.
The day I gave the tour was a nice summer morning, and the student’s tour was planned to take around three hours. I received a small list from the teachers on what topics to talk about, and of course, World War II was included.
Before I led the students to the Holocaust memorial, I explicitly told them to be respectful, not goof off, and not climb on the stone blocks. Most importantly, I told them not to do any German soldier impressions.
A couple of troublemakers in the group of students refused to heed my warning. They began goofing around, and one of them even did a German soldier salute. Unfortunately, he did it in the sight of police patrol. German soldier salutes were punishable with a fine, or even prison time. The police rushed in and temporarily detained the student, asked him questions, and took down his personal information.
I was able to diffuse the situation by telling the police, ‘They are just tourists, they don’t know anything about Germany and this is only their first day here.’
The police weren’t happy, but seeing how much the situation shocked the other teenagers, they didn’t give the student jail time.
When the police left, the group fell completely silent and the students were totally pale. I told the offending student he was lucky he didn’t get arrested, and that not all of the cops in Germany are as relaxed as the ones who detained him. He and the rest of the students ate lunch, and luckily, behaved well for the remainder of the tour.
As a word of caution to all Americans visiting Germany, please research the laws before you visit and be respectful.”
“I Was Shocked At How Delusional The Woman Acted”
“I previously worked at a pub in Scotland. One night, there was a woman there with her daughter. They were both American, but the daughter had been living in Scotland. The mother refused to pay with anything other than American bills. The situation was extremely uncomfortable, and I had to attempt to calm the woman down. Her daughter tried to pay for their meals with her own card, but the mother kept pulling her hand away from the card machine and wouldn’t allow her to.
The mother screamed, ‘You people adore our cash, our cash is more important and valuable than yours!’
She continued to scream for a solid five to ten minutes until her daughter ended up paying and leaving. The woman attempted to have a go at me for ‘embarrassing her daughter,’ and she even left a poor review of our pub explaining the situation. The manner in which the woman wrote the review made it seem like I was the bad guy.
I had never experienced a situation so mind-boggling before. I was truly shocked at how delusional this woman acted.”
Coffees And Currencies
“The last time I visited Moscow, I had an hour to waste before catching the train to the airport. To pass the time, I went to Starbucks to go get a coffee.
As I was waiting in line, I noticed a Russian tour guide with a group of couples ahead of me. One of the couples attempted to pay for their coffee in American currency, and the Starbucks employee wasn’t having it.
The employee informed the couple, ‘This currency isn’t legal here, I can’t take it.’
The woman replied, ‘This drink costs exactly three bucks in the United States.’
The employee, already annoyed, explained, ‘I’m sorry ma’am, I can only take cards or Russian currency.’
‘You are going to take my money! This is an American company, and I am a paying American citizen!’ the woman cried.
‘I can’t take your money,’ the employee pushed, ‘It won’t work in Russia. If you have a card, you can use it instead.’
The woman continued whining, ‘I am American, and I am paying you three bucks for a coffee which costs three bucks!’
‘Sorry,’ the employee said defeatedly, ‘The fact you are American doesn’t change the price.’
After the employee told the woman this, she began shouting for a manager. After the manager refused to help, she yelled for the tour guide and her husband. They wouldn’t help, either.
I hope the woman learned her lesson.”
“The Americans Were The Most Ridiculous People I Met”
“Previously, I waited tables during busy tourist seasons in Croatia. I held the job for about four years. The career was a great opportunity for me to meet different people, some good, some bad. Americans were by far the most ridiculous people I met. The Polish would come to the restaurant to eat, drink, and laugh. The French and the British drank and laughed, but didn’t tip so well. The Italians were demanding, but their demands were at least reasonable.
However, when the Americans came, they just ruined everything. They asked for food we didn’t have, like chicken nuggets or pizza. The American men attempted to flirt with our waitresses, even when they were told to knock it off. Many Americans left without paying, or even more annoying, they wanted to split the bill.
One time, I had an American man in the restaurant ask, ‘Why is it so loud? You have to do something about it!’
This guy couldn’t eat because the bell at the spiritual center across the street was too loud. He demanded the waiters and cooks confront the guy ringing the bell and tell him to stop. My colleagues and I chased him out and told him to never come back.
He was the absolute worst.”
The Clueless Commuter
“This occurrence wasn’t rude, but it was strange, to say the least.
I was on a flight back to the United Kingdom from the United States. An American woman was sitting next to me, and she started asking me all sorts of questions about England. Mind you, she did this about half an hour before the flight was supposed to land. The woman wasn’t just asking me about basic tourist recommendations, but really basic things like what currency we use.
It appeared the woman had no idea about anything related to the United Kingdom. It blew my mind someone could take a vacation somewhere without doing any prior research about the place they were visiting. Honestly, I was impressed with her confidence to ask these questions.
The woman seemed to believe the United Kingdom was a small place, and everything she needed to see would be right outside of her hotel.
She was very polite and lovely, but extremely naive.”
Mount Fuji Maniac
“One time, I went hiking on Mount Fuji. It was about an eight-hour climb, four-hour descent, and I had to wear three layers of clothing to protect myself from the weather. When I finally arrived at the base of the mountain, I spotted an American tourist. They were holding a selfie stick and were wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
The tourist questioned, ‘Hey! Do you know where Mount Fuji is?’
I confusedly replied, ‘We are on the mountain right now.’
He shook his head and said, ‘No, you’re not understanding. Where is the summit?’
I pointed to the top of the mountain, and I explained to him it was about an eight-hour climb. The tourist thought he could just come totally unprepared, selfie stick in hand, and survive Mount Fuji.
I simply laughed and walked away.”
“A while back, I went to the park with my friends. Next to the park, there was a museum with a fairly tall staircase. On the wall next to the stairs, there were some plaques commemorating the architects of the building. The plaques detailed the architect’s names, where they lived, and a few words about their lives. I thought it was pretty clear what the plaques meant, even if the words on them weren’t in English. Next to the plaques were decorative wreaths as a sign of respect.
My friends and I spotted a group of American tourists hanging out next to the plaques. One of the girls grabbed a wreath attached to the wall and put it on her head. She was pretending it was a tiara and started taking pictures of herself. I walked up to the tourists and told them they were being disrespectful, and it wasn’t what the wreaths were for.
It still baffles me how the tourists couldn’t use context clues to figure out what they were doing was wrong.”
“Just Do It The American Way Instead”
“One time, an American tourist came into the supermarketing I worked at.
The man asked, ‘I notice you don’t have any weapons for sale. What kind of supermarket is this?’
Clearly, he didn’t realize he was in Australia, not America.
On a different occasion, I was a college exchange student in The Netherlands. I encountered an American tourist who was backpacking in Europe.
He asked, ‘So, how did you get into college?’
I explained the process to him, and he proceeded to go on an arrogant spiel.
He pried, ‘The Australian education system is way more complicated than the United States. Australia should just do it the American way instead.’
I replied, ‘Well, Australians understand the system, so it works for us.’
‘Well, clearly it doesn’t work, because I don’t understand it,’ the man responded.
I don’t know which situation was more ridiculous, but they were the worst ones I had ever experienced.”
“It Is So Infuriating Here”
“I once had dinner with an American in China.
He asked the waiter, ‘Can you get me some water?’ in English, and the waiter didn’t understand.
The American started talking louder in a patronizingly slow voice. But again, the waiter wasn’t able to speak English, so he didn’t understand. I asked for the water in Chinese, and the waiter left.
The American then said, ‘It is so infuriating here sometimes.”
While I agreed that some things could be annoying and inconvenient in China, he shouldn’t have expected everyone to know English. After all, he was in China. Simply expecting people to understand his language was extremely unreasonable.”
The Safari Struggle
“I was born and raised in South Africa. When Americans visited, they had a habit of climbing out of their vehicles in the middle of a game reserve. Consequentially, they would get attacked by the wild animals who reside in the reserve. The tourists were so selfish and wanted to pet the animals so badly, that they would risk their lives to do so.
I thought people who came from a country with grizzly bears and mountain lions would know better and be a bit more cautious.
Also, the shock American tourists experienced when they realized there are cities in South Africa was hilarious. Some Americans really believed everyone in Africa lived in mud huts.”
“They Were Furious About English Not Being The Native Language”
“I am from Iceland. Tourism has boomed in previous years, and about half of the tourists we get are American. Typically, the visiting Americans were ignorant and refused to accept things work much differently here. While people in Iceland spoke English to some degree, there were a few tourists that were furious about English not being the native language. Heaven forbid people to speak their own language in Iceland.
Oh, and don’t get me started on the Northern Lights. There are a ton of Americans who seem to think we can just flick a switch and have the Northern Lights appear.”
Turkey Dinner Troubles
“At the restaurant, I worked at, my co-worker had an American tourist order a turkey dinner.
The tourist flagged down one of my co-workers and snidely stated, ‘Um, you forgot my cranberry sauce.’
My co-worker came back to her table with the cranberry sauce in a small dish.
After the tourist finished her meal, someone at the table pointed to her dish and said, ‘Oh, it looks like you forgot to use the sauce you asked for.’
The woman replied, ‘I don’t even like cranberry sauce.’
The person at the table questioned, ‘Then why did you even ask the server to bring you some?’
The woman shrugged and said, ‘Because it was supposed to come with the meal anyway.’
American’s perception of customer service in other countries is so skewed.”
Terrible Village Tourists
“In the Netherlands, there is a place called Giethoorn. Giethoorn was a nice, typical, Dutch village with a lot of waterways and canals. Tourists were able to rents boats and explore the waterways and villages.
However, tourists often forgot the village was an actual place where normal people lived. The village wasn’t just one big theme park exclusive to the tourists. They would often park their boats in a resident’s backyard, walk around their garden, and peek in their windows. It was creepy!
The residents got used to it, but it didn’t make the tourist’s behavior any less rude.”
The Misbehaving Mother
“A few years ago, I visited England as an American tourist. One day on my trip, I decided to visit the Tower of London.
At the attraction, there was a cannon roped off behind a ‘Do Not Touch Or Climb,’ sign.
While I was standing there, I watched an American woman lift the rope and tell her child to sit on the cannon.
The mother cried, ‘Come on, do it! I just want to take your picture!’
The child protested, ‘No, I don’t want to. Don’t you see the sign, mom?’
The mother replied, ‘I don’t care about the sign. Go sit on the cannon, or else you will be grounded!’
I was in complete shock. As an American, I wish we were more respectful to other countries’ cultures and history.”