10 ways to avoid being a bogan abroad

Published December 5th, 2012
How not to be a bogan traveller Don't look like this while overseas

No one likes a bogan abroad. A person that drinks and pillages their way through a city with no real interest in a destination other than the local beer and tanning machines. But never fear, there are steps we can all take to avoid being such a detested traveller. Unless you were a cast member of The Shire. Then I’m sorry but the bogan disease is terminal and there’s nothing we can do.



1.       Don’t urinate in public

It’s probably the biggest rule when it comes to being a non-bogan traveller. No one likes someone pissing on their city. Keep it in your pants and learn the local word for toilet.

2.       Aim to live like a local, not a tourist

It’s not as tricky as it sounds. Even if you’re just visiting a city for a day, by all means see all of the tourist attractions, but when it comes time for lunch, make an effort to look a little further. Ask someone  where they recommend, order something unusual off the menu and wander around for a couple of minutes and make your own discoveries.


3.       Cover up that southern-cross tattoo

In fact, don’t ever leave your hotel room without wearing a shirt (beaches an exception). And no an Australian flag does not constitute a shirt. Or a towel. Or a cape.  I'm serious, see:

4.       Avoid Australian pubs with a vengeance

Why pay thousands of dollars to fly to London to party in an Aussie pub, when you can just stay home and drink XXXX for a couple of dollars? Financially it just doesn't make sense.


5.       Fall in love with the history – not just the pool

Don’t get me wrong, I love a resort pool as much as the next Billy Madison, but pools are a dime a dozen in Australia. You know what we don’t have in Oz though? History! Buildings that are thousands of years old and stories of war and famine and scandals to tell. When travelling, embrace the history. Make friends with it. Fall in love with it and have a baby. History is one of the best parts of travelling. It will make you realise just how young Australia really is!

6.       Know the difference between ANZAC Day and Oktoberfest

ANZAC Day, especially when spent abroad, is a time to remember and learn about our soldiers and the battles they have fought. Not a day to get maggot and play two-up while wearing board shorts (there’s a little rhyme for ya). If you are travelling to the sacred land of Gallipoli for the momentous day, respect the land, respect the past and respect you liver.


7.       Make friends with the flight attendant

Flight attendants are there to attend to you, not be your slaves. Be nice to them. Smile, don’t drink too much, say thank you and if you need something, press the help button. Just yelling out ‘oi mate!’ or clicking your fingers will get you this face:


8.       Respect your surroundings

Think of travelling as like going to a cool party where everything is new. New people, new drinks, new stories, new surroundings. As such, act like the guest everyone loves. Charming, polite, sociable, respectful. Don’t be the guest who has too much wine, dances badly, breaks everything and ultimately overstays their welcome. No one will like you and you will look like this: 

9.       Don’t get braids in Bali

Anyone under the age of 12 with Bali braids is cute. Anyone over the age of 12 with Bali braids is a bogan.

10.       Step outside your comfort zone

Travelling is all about new experiences. Instead of bar hopping all night and recovering the next day, make the most of every hour you have. Seek out the new and unusual. Make new friends. See something unexpected. Eat something strange. Do something adventurous. Once you step outside of your comfort zone the possibilities are endless!


Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.