Is it bad to “stand out” as a solo traveller?

In terms of safety predominantly but even just in general. Also I’m not talking common sense stuff like carrying around valuables like expensive jewellery etc.

I’ve seen some travel videos/blogs where people advise to keep a low profile and ‘blend in’ with the locals.. even saw one where they said don’t wear a baseball cap because they’ll know you’re a American.

My own two cents, anyone that’s a local will know you’re not from there pretty quickly even before you open your mouth to speak. Those who want to pickpocket you already saw you walking out of your hotel or taking photos at a tourist site.. multiply that by 100 if you don’t physically look like the locals .. It’s almost futile to try and “blend in”, and even if you could why would you?



  1. I think it’s more important to not look like an easy target. Being comfortable with just ignoring or breaking quickly away from scammers, rather than being too timid or polite to break away from them, for instance, can save you a lot of hassle. Walking around like you know where you’re going and you’re comfortable and not intimidated, rather than looking clueless or lost or scared. Not flashing lots of cash or walking around with your expensive phone hanging out all the time. Being informed about the risks of where you go and the realistic precautions that need to be taken, which can vary a lot from place to place. Basically, it’s fine if you look like a tourist, as long as you look like a tourist who isn’t going to be easily fooled or pickpocketed

  2. I live in Brazil and I often hear travel advice to not speak English in public, to not look like a tourist. It always makes me laugh because it implies that the “locals” don’t get robbed, that the tourists are the targets. What a load of b..s. The thieves here are equal opportunity aggressors.

  3. When I was in Mexico City in 2 months ago, one way to blend in was to wear a mask in public, as almost every local wore one. Only the foreigners/tourists didnt.

  4. Everyone can tell tourists vs. locals. But so what, I am a tourists. Just be mindful of what you do and use common sense like you would at home.

  5. Eh, hard to fit in when I’m a POC. T-shirts, hats, jeans, and decent sneakers, along with a chill attitude has gotten me far. Everyone knows I’m not local, but if I don’t look lost and appear semi-confident in whatever I’m doing, I’ve never had a problem.

    Some scammy dude walks my way? Bam! “No, gracias.” Done. I don’t need to hear your life story bro, i need to go eat.

  6. I’m black and have mostly traveled in Asia and Europe…so I’m not really blending in. Actually in parts of the US South where I’m from, white people stare at me (and actually stop their cars to point) and police have followed me. I say just walk around with a purpose and don’t look like a complete ditz and confused with your personal possessions out in the open.

    And honestly, even the clothes thing isn’t that serious. I dress in super bright colors and I have long colorful braids, and it hasn’t been a problem. I don’t give a lot of eye contact and I don’t talk to randoms on the street or at transportation hubs. That’s been fine for me over 20 countries and living abroad now most of my life.

  7. Depends 100% where you are, where you go, what time and unfortunately if you are a man or a woman.

    Never had any problems with solo-travel and I stand out as a sore thumb when I travel to eastern Asia (Swedish). But then again, I’m a man and I never bumble into the drakest alleyway with cash in hand, engage in heavy drinking (unless cards are involved with locals I already know) or similar.

    I just try to be “smart” about what I do, I don’t try to blend in. Instead I try to look like “I’ve been here before”

  8. Tourists are always going to stand out, due to the things they do (trekking around looking at a fairly narrow range of sights, looking at maps a lot, carrying large cameras, etc) as well as giveaways like the language they speak, their ethnicity in many countries, etc. There’s not much point in trying to blend in.

    Generally speaking, this isn’t a problem. Very few people prey on tourists or care that much about them. You can reduce the likelihood of falling victim to crime through commonsense precautions, but unfortunately it can’t be completely avoided.

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