Travelling the world allows you to encounter a huge variety of people – those in particular that I’m sure you’ve all experienced are the many types of travel snobs…
The people that think they are better than everyone else because of the number of countries they’ve ticked off their list, the people that think that travelling in tours is for losers and that going to the Eiffel Tower is too “touristy”. We’ve all encountered one… Let’s be honest.
So today, I want to give you a few valuable tips that will help you avoid being one of those pretentious travellers; to reduce your traveller ego and simply get down from the traveller’s high horse.
Warning: This topic really gets on my nerve, so please excuse my subtle aggression ?
Don’t discourage others travel choices
My biggest pet peeve in the travel scene is when people wither others for exploring the world in a way that they believe is not “the right way to travel”.
Some people want to travel around SE Asia with nothing but a tiny backpack and bare feet, but that doesn’t mean that every other way of travel is any less important.
Don’t tell people that tours and cruises are only for ‘tourists’
As much as I will continue to argue that Contiki’s are a huge waste of time, I really do think tours are an incredible way to travel!
Having everything planned out for you, and being able to see the major sites for a cheap price is nothing short of amazing – and the same goes for cruises! I do believe that picking the right company is very important to ensure that you spend enough time to truly see a country or destination, but otherwise… If it’s something that interests you, I couldn’t recommend them enough!
Out of the almost 30 countries I’ve visited so far, 3 of those were experienced via organised travel. I don’t want to do them all the time, but would I do it again… Hell yes! Those that discourage this kind of travel simply have an ego too big for their own good.
Don’t argue that travel is only “authentic” when done solo
Solo travel is incredibly fulfilling no doubt, but what’s wrong with experiencing the world with people that you love? Nothing!
I’ve had numerous people ask me if I travel solo, and I frequently feel like I have to explain myself when the answer is often no. It’s ridiculous when I think about it… I’m no less of a ‘traveller’ because I go overseas with other people right?
Exploring the world with a companion is no less life-changing than when done solo… In my eyes anyway!
Don’t have a competition about the number of places you’ve visited
This has happened more times than I can explain; when you start telling a story from your travels and someone tries to top it with something more impressive. Everyone’s experiences around the world are incredibly special; there’s really no need to try and top one another!
Don’t be a hater when people eat western food
We’ve all been in a situation where getting a quick meal from McDonald’s is the easiest option. After a long day of exploring, the thought of having to tackle the language barrier and sit at a restaurant for an hour is not always desirable.
Travel snobs will roll their eyes at you for not eating street food, but in no way does that mean you’ve been a travel fail! It simply means that you want something quick and easy…
Also, eating the same cuisine for an extended period of time gets a little dreary after a while!
Don’t roll your eyes at tourist attractions
“That’s too touristy for me”…
I totally agree that tourism can often damage a countries history and culture, but in places where the landmarks are so iconic (aka. the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, Buckingham Palace etc) it would be crazy not to visit. I will admit that I have skipped out on places around the world because they have been totally irrelevant to what the country is really about, or because they could be something that’s anywhere else in the world.
But for the most part, tourist attractions are popular for a very good reason. Wanting to see them is totally understandable!
Don’t indulge in the ridiculous ‘traveller vs tourist’ debate
Let’s be real… They’re both the same thing.
Sure, there are some things that are more “touristy” than others; like walking around in tour group with 30 people and a flag (I’ve been there don’t worry) or wearing an earpiece to hear a local guide (cough-cough, I’ve also done this too)… But hey, a tourist is technically someone that is travelling for pleasure, isn’t that all of us?
If you like to argue this point, I’m sorry to say that you’re officially one of the travel snobs!!
Don’t disrespect people’s choices NOT to travel
Travel is something that I will always encourage, no matter the person or the destination. It’s something that I strongly believe can only ever benefit one’s life and the lives of those around them.
But of course, some people have no interest in travel. It’s completely understandable, and something that travellers must never disrespect. Home is a very special place for a lot of people, not to mention that travel is simply not an option for so many of the world’s population; making people feel bad about not being able to travel is faaaaaaaar from okay.
As much as I believe that exploring the world is the most incredible gift, it’s important to remember that it’s not about how far you go, rather the experiences you create. Getting out of your comfort zone is what changes you the most.
No matter how it’s done, DO encourage people to travel the world
Sure, there are some things that I personally prefer to do when I’m overseas… I encourage everyone to be as sustainable as possible and to be respectful towards other cultures whilst on the road, but that doesn’t make my version any better than the others.
I have a personal style and a way that I strive to see the world, but if you want to go on Contiki, stay in a resort for 2 weeks or spend your whole trip shopping, that’s okay! Instead of making others feel as though they aren’t good enough, we should be praising each other for simply getting out of the house.
As long as all travellers are compassionate, respectful and considerate towards the people and the countries they visit, “the right way to travel” simply doesn’t exist.
I’d love to know if you’ve encountered any travel snobs on your adventures? Or maybe you classify yourself as one too? Let me know in the comments below!
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