How not to look like a tourist

How not to look like a tourist

You are a tourist but you need not be so obvious – try the ‘blend in’ tactic.

ryoji-iwata-n31JPLu8_Pw-unsplash

It’s funny that we recognise other tourists when we are travelling, there’s a certain gauche appearance to some, a gawky look to others, a ‘look at me’ image and a ‘I don’t care what the culture is, I’m wearing this’ attitude, and we see someone who had no idea what the weather was going to be like and is inappropriately dressed for the current climate. And then we pass a window and see our reflection . . .eek! Let’s address the dress code.

I can always pick the older Aussie male traveller (and the older Americans too). The big white sneakers and socks pulled half-way up the calf and the men are wearing shorts.

Now, shorts are fine in the tropics, beach resorts or cruise days. But. You are a standout tourist in sophisticated cities.

matt-quinn-Q6-jv031muY-unsplash

For ease and comfort while being a tourist, try to blend in.

nordwood-themes-Nv4QHkTVEaI-unsplash

Wear it well!

Nothing shouts ‘tourist’ more than bulky sneakers, a backpack with a logo, and sometimes a bad hat – think foldable, terry towelling or canvas. And garments sold as ‘vacation wear’ marketed to travellers are dead giveaways. Locals do not wear zip-off pants in khaki or colours as muddy as that.

DSC02840

If you’re travelling for a couple of weeks, invest in a good Panama hat (the authentic Panama’s roll up nicely and you can wear them for years) or wear or a subtle baseball cap. OR just buy a cheap hat in Asia and ditch it before you depart the country.

raychan-T-0TXJ-T_pM-unsplash

And don’t wear loud T-shirts or sweat shirts announcing that you’re an Aussie. No political messages or what you deem amusing either. For men and women, plain T-shirts and cotton classic shirts.

If in a cold country, don’t look as if you’ve never known cold before. A good parka and a classy scarf and warm hat helps you blend in. You don’t need to be in a Michelin Man puffer jacket, unless you’re in Siberia in the winter!

And never wear a bumbag (or as the Americans call them ‘fanny packs’), they not only spell tourist, they spell ‘person with terrible taste’, they are a crime against fashion . . . and humanity.

Conclusion: avoid bright colours and logos, electronic gear in plain sight and glittery jewellery.

IMG_1558

Sometimes we can be rather overdressed.

Pack a couple of smart outfits to wear if you are to attend a concert or splurge on a fancy restaurant. You’d be surprised at how many travellers turn up to the opera in Vienna or at the theatre in London wearing what looks like yesterday’s borrowed bushwalking gear!

apostolos-vamvouras-SfzbMnIocdc-unsplash

Now, this is a good look.

Where you go

The art of blending in is best achieved by quietly fitting in without anyone noticing. Begin without walking around with a giant map in your hands. Use a map on your phone and don’t stop in the middle of the street, road, a crowd to consult your phone map. Find a quiet spot to find your bearings.

ryan-dam-fdcEfjofIr0-unsplash

Slow coach

Embrace the art of ‘slow travel’. Don’t rush everywhere to see everything. Enjoy long, slow breakfasts in local cafes or leisurely picnics in parks. And on the perimeter of tourist sites you’ll be less of a target for pickpockets.

IMG_0086

Sometimes it’s hard to blend in.

Treat yourself

In Paris? London? New York? Book a haircut at a fancy hairdressing salon. You’ll look and feel a million bucks.

Need a new coat? Hit the sales in Los Angeles or Las Vegas at the amazing Outlet stores or sale time in Milan. Yet again, you’ll look as cool as a local and you’ll bring a beautiful garment home with you.

And chaps – ditch the baggy-bum Dad jeans – buy yourself some new jeans (preferably dark blue or black) and some fashionable chinos.

IMG_0085And if you have to wait for a bus in a foreign land, just dress to impress.

Advertisements

Hawaiian Airlines review

A330_DiamondHead2018_4C (1)

ALOHA!

The flagship airline of a country has a lot to live up to; this one goes above and beyond for comfort and service.

Comfort when flying? It’s many things to many people. But, speaking for myself and if I’m not at the pointy end of the plane, which I rarely am, I have to consider what I require to stay sane and flexible for more than four hours on a plane.

First, there’s the fare. I do look around but cheapest is not always the bestest! But early booking and keeping an eye on seasonal newsletters and talking to your travel agent can often yield a damn good fare.

Second – the seat. Now, I’m about 167c tall so I go for extra space and comfort in economy. Various airlines have premium seating which offers space and comfort and often a heftier price tag than the experience warrants.

2J9A3088 Rae Huo photo 6/18.
A330 Extra Comfort guests

My sweet comfort spot was found last year when I flew to the USA from Sydney via Honolulu with Hawaiian Airlines. They had me at ‘comfort seat’.

And I repeated the experience again this year. Recently I tried another option to entering the US and I am a happy traveller.

I flew from Sydney to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines (grabbed a couple of days in Hawaii) and then flew on to the States and instead of landing at LAX, I landed in Long Beach.

I had a three-day stopover on Maui (flew to Maui on Hawaiian Airlines too). From Honolulu the next leg was fab because I was about to land in an airport that wasn’t going to do my head in – as Los Angeles does.

Hawaiian now flies into Long Beach and it’s a breath of fresh air. The flight takes five and a half hours and there’s a flight daily.

At nine at night the airport is calm and welcoming.

Credit Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau-Airport (2)IMG_7037

0-2

Long Beach Airport.

Touch down is Long Beach Airport. What a dream. We landed after 10pm and the airport was cool, calm and we collected our baggage with very little drama. And because all the passport formalities are taken care of in Hawaii – this being a domestic port – a smooth walk through to find a taxi.

Long Beach Airport is a fantastic place for Australians travelling to California for the usual destinations, (particularly good for families heading to Anaheim for Disneyland as the airport is easier to navigate the family through). To fly there with Hawaiian via Hawaii gives you the opportunity to have a couple of little holidays on the way to the main event. Stopover in Honolulu for fun, the beach and shopping, and experience the charm of Long Beach.

2J9A3067 Rae Huo photo 6/18.
Female guest and Male flight attendant, Keawe

Always, service with a smile.

Now back to the flight. Hawaiian Airlines premium product, Extra Comfort is just that. The Extra Comfort seats on the Airbus A330 and A321neo aircraft offer extra leg room, priority services and additional amenities to make the travel experience more comfortable. Se, back to comfort again.

For guest sitting in Extra Comfort there’s your personal electrical power outlet for convenient charging devices; a comfort kit provides ear phones, ear plugs, an eyeshade, toothbrush and paste, hydrating mist, lotion, lip balm, tissue, a bamboo comb and a Hawaiian Airlines pen, all contained in a cute canvas bag.

Extra Comfort personal amenities kit

And you get Priority Security, the line is a separate line from the general security line. They still go through the TSA security screening process but is usually a shorter and faster line than the general security line. Available in Boston, Honolulu, Long Beach, New York, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Extra Comfort is priced per flight sector. The current pricing for Extra Comfort SYD-HNL is AUD$179 if bought online (that is – prior to arrival at airport) and the HNL-LGB sector is priced at AUD$105. FYI – Extra Comfort pricing varies per sector. And the best news on this flight is the luggage allowance. YAY! It’s 64kg (2 x 32kg).

Travellers love shopping in Honolulu. There is a wonderful variety of goods to gather and the amazing Ala Moana Shopping Center and outlet malls have quality goods, clothes, accessories, sports shoes, kids clothes and so much more.

So, to take only a few things with you and fill up those lonely luggage spaces on holidays without the worry of paying excess at the airport is inspiring for the expert shopper.

Hawaiian Airlines is a total destination carrier that exudes the culture of the islands and a fine way to get to mainland USA.

All announcements on the flight ended with the word ‘mahalo’ which is an expression of thanks or respect and an acknowledgment that we were flying Hawaiian airlines. (Hawaiians are conservative and polite so they’d never dream of not saying Mahalo when it is appropriate. If you want to be formal and show that are feeling grateful you would say: “Mahalo Nui Loa.”)

So I’ll say “Mahalo Nui Loa”.

And there’s more . . . sorry, no steak knives but . . .

Hawaiian Airlines now has a five-day-a-week service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) its second East Coast gateway for Australian travellers visiting the United States Mainland.

So, what’s that I hear? Boston is on the agenda for the next US holiday?

Hawaiian Airlines ticks the boxes for value for money and Extra Comfort.

The writer flew courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, and the review is independent.