TRAVEL
08/12/2015 09:40 am ET Updated Aug 12, 2015

PSA: How To Avoid Being A Dumb Tourist

Behave yourself.

For the most part, humans are pretty great. We’re imaginative, we care about each other, we make love. But when we’re tourists, we go dark.

Something happens when we leave our hometown to explore the big blue marble called Earth. We sometimes slip into a clownish persona where it’s OK to gawk, drink lavishly and bumble down the street, sometimes naked, sometimes breaking things.

We can become maniacs who relish in the excess of travel and live by the idea that whatever happens there, stays there. And unfortunately, it’s true: it stays with the locals. 

From Spain to China, governments are taking notice. Beijing threatened to publicly shame China's worst-behaving tourists, and Barcelona's mayor froze hotel construction permits after locals protested. As the New York Times put it, we are loving these places to death.

So in the effort to be more respectful to our host cultures when we pay them a visit, we at The Huffington Post have made this handy guide -- a PSA, if you will -- to show you how to avoid being a dumb tourist.

Behave yourself out there.

  • DON'T: Create Art On The Side Of Monuments
    If you want to be a good tourist, don't&nbsp;carve your name into the region's sacred temple (<a href="http://www.independent
    Ji Sub Jeong
    If you want to be a good tourist, don't carve your name into the region's sacred temple (like a 15-year old Chinese boy did in Egypt in 2013), or carve your initials into one of the world's most iconic ancient sites (like two Americans allegedly did this year into Rome's Colosseum).We know it's tempting -- with that wall calling your name, you feel the uncontrollable urge to write it there. Resist!
  • DON'T: Fly Your Drone Into The Cathedral
    We&nbsp;<em>know&nbsp;</em>Italian cathedrals are pretty, and that new drone you bought is practically begging for its inaugu
    Ji Sub Jeong
    We know Italian cathedrals are pretty, and that new drone you bought is practically begging for its inaugural flight. But the Cathedral of Milan didn't need the attention when a drone piloted by three Korean tourists crashed into the side, causing damage.
  • DON'T: Take Off Your Clothes On Sacred Mountains
    True: There are plenty of places where you can <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/27/best-nude-beaches_n_7292186.
    Ji Sub Jeong
    True: There are plenty of places where you can be naked and happy. But if you're on a mountain that an entire island nation considers to be sacred, keep your clothes on. A group of Canadians recently bared all on Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia, and some residents believed it angered the spirits of the mountain enough to cause the subsequent 5.9 earthquake that followed.
  • DON'T: Steal Penguins
    This one needs no explanation as to <em>why</em> it's bad, but it still happened.Two Welsh tourists woke up with hangovers th
    This one needs no explanation as to why it's bad, but it still happened.Two Welsh tourists woke up with hangovers the morning after they stole Dirk the penguin from an Australian Sea World.Don't be those guys.(Dirk was happily reunited with its partner, Peaches.)
  • DON'T: Pull Every Finger You See
    Sculptures&nbsp;are beautiful feats of human achievement, and they usually depict seriously attractive people. But don't get
    Sculptures are beautiful feats of human achievement, and they usually depict seriously attractive people. But don't get handsy, like an American tourist did when he measured a hand of Giovanni d'Ambrogio's 600-year-old Virgin Mary and broke a finger off.Luckily, it wasn't part of the original sculpture, but no statue is safe -- this kind of thing has happened before.Don't be the problem, be the solution.

Don't let a friend be a bad tourist. If you see yourself or someone you love showing symptoms, show them the video below:

CONVERSATIONS