18 Signs You’re a Travel Snob

Travel snob

By Isabel Clift  (Twitter: @Isabel_Clift)

I’ve got a confession: I can be guilty of a little snootiness when I travel. Whether it’s cringing at loud tour groups, or battling through a chili-laden tom yum while the next table eats chips, sometimes I define my experiences by how much of a ‘better’ traveller I’m being than others. It’s pretty stupid (and rather contradictory of the whole freedom and tolerence thing backpacking’s about), but it happens.

What’s funny to me is, the longer you travel, the more tourist sounds like a dirty word. And the more you can slip into thinking there’s a right way to do this ‘visiting different cultures and looking about’ lark. That’s where travel snobbery comes in.

old tourists

I had a think and came up with a few clanging signs you’re … whisper it … a bit of a travel snob. How many are you guilty of?

Signs you’re a travel snob

  1. You roll your eyes when an old school friend Facebooks about their ah-mazing all-inclusive package holiday to Malia.
  2. You eat street food when you’re dying for a Big Mac.
  3. You’d rather be run over by a tour bus than get on it.Tour bus
  4. Any hostel conversation can slip into a one-upping match.
  5. You judge backpacker girls who pack high heels.
  6. You judge traveller guys who still shave.
  7. You get culture shock when you go back home. Why does everyone care so much about Game of Thrones?
  8. You’d only ever get on a cruise ship ironically.
  9. A friend who’s never been to South East Asia asks for recommendations. You immediately say “Don’t go to Ankor Wat… there are way less-overcrowded temples I can tell you about… and tubing? Ugh, don’t bother – that scene was over five years ago anyway.”Party travellers
  10. You despise neon-braceletted party-travellers, but will trek down dodgy backstreets to find the most ‘authentic’ club in town.
  11. You get second-hand embarrassment watching people take selfies outside the Eiffel Tower, leaning tower of Pisa etc.
  12. You think anyone who stays in a five-star hotel is a pampered WASP/yuppie type or a business trip weirdo. Fact.
  13. When co-workers say they just “want to get away and do nothing” for two weeks, you die a little inside.Tourists
  14. You can name all the countries your backpack has been on command – and yes, transfer airports count.
  15. You do an internal air-punch when your group are the only non-locals in the restaurant.
  16. The longer, more strange and uncomfortable the journey, the bigger the bragging rights. To the chicken bus!
  17. You complain your passport is nearly full of stamps. Poor you!
  18. You’ve seen some seriously terrible travel tattoos in your time. Luckily, yours is beautiful.

What did I miss? Or am I way off the mark? Tell us in the comments…

Thanks to Juris_louwesgarryknight, Elvert Barnes, PTICA10 and Klearchos Kapoutsis for the images off Flickr. Please note, all images were held under the Creative Commons licence at the time of publication.

20 Responses to “18 Signs You’re a Travel Snob”

  1. If you behave like described in the story above, you’re a saddo. You’re the travelling equivalent of someone who buys a Mercedes BECAUSE his neighbour bought a BMW, so HA! I’m one-up on you.

    Get a life, travelling is about having fun, not about ticking off 34353 castles and as many countries as possible, even if that means you only spent 5 hours in the country, 2 of those waiting for the bus to get out again.

  2. Traveling is exactly what you want it to be. True travelers don’t care what a bunch of dirty backpackers think. They are chameleons and blend in the environment they are surrounded. The girls have found a way to carry whatever it takes to achieve this…including high heels if necessary. They could one-up all day but they don’t because it belongs to them. I’ve become such a travel snob that i hate it when people call me a backpacker. I’m a traveler and I shave (sometimes). Just because you travel the world doesn’t doesn’t mean you have to look like you just crawled out of a garbage heap.

  3. Jo @ Indiana Jo Reply

    “I’m not a tourist, I’m a traveller!” How many times I’ve heard this yet the definition of a tourist is a person who is travelling, especially for pleasure. Think that makes me a tourist, even in my home town.

    All of that said, I confess I’ve sat in McD’s punishing myself for not eating street food and hoping to God another backpacker doesn’t catch me in the act!

    Nice article 🙂

  4. I have been traveling the world for over 27 years (since I was 8)and each vacation or adventure is different. Am I a travel snob? HELL YES!! That doesn’t mean I follow the above listed items however. My husband and I are D.I.N.K.S. and proud of it. We take 2-4 vacations a year be it within the USA or outside if it. We’ve stayed in all inclusives “doing nothing” for weeks, and we’ve backpacked through Italy & Ireland. We did Paris, Berlin, Garmisch & Frankfurt in under 17 days driving and staying in hotels. We’ve been blessed to be able to see 4 countries in 7 days on a cruise ship. For us, yes it is about seeing and exploring and getting that passport stamp. It’s about learning new cultures and seeing what over 90% of the people in the USA will never be able to say they’ve seen. Travel is different for everyone and we are snobs in our own way. Seeing people with brand new luggage getting upset when it gets a scuff on it at the airport makes us laugh. Watching people is part of the fun and we’re new to every place we go and I’m sure lots of people laughed at us trying to read the crazy maps of Paris and trying to determine which street to drive on in Ireland being they are only 6 feet wide if that. I enjoyed the article nonetheless. Travel well!

  5. I love travelling and I think we all have the right to travel the way we want, we can and/or we like. I have already come across a few articles -authored by the Hostel Bookers bloggers- in the style of the one above, and in all honesty, I find that these kind of articles provide an incentive for people to be judgmental. I think we should try to be doing all the opposite. To live and let live….to travel and let travel:-)

  6. It´s a funny article but in the end what is important for regions is the consuption you spent in the countries to let tourism brings development for people, and of course, responsible consuption. To be honest backpackers don´t really care get anything or to contribuite buying local things even if the could. From my experience; I prefered this type of peolple how envolves with Barcelonas shirts than a backpacker who looks for barging any coin from poor locals; this type of tourism don´t contribuite with the tourism chain at any level.

  7. When you think about it… well, I didn’t have to… I am like the above-described traveler. Peace out, y’all!

  8. I wonder if “travelers” realize the local preference for tourists in many countries. At least tourists don’t muddle in everyday life as much, or pat themselves on the back for finding an “authentic” restaurant only to loudly wish there was an English version of the menu. The only snobbery I have is when I can tell people are doing something for the story rather than the experience and/or their own true desire to do it. I like living my life in various places, which means yes, I’ll pack pretty dresses and my velvet blazer, if that’s the trip I’m going for. I’ve gotten back from many trips, considered vacations and holidays by people back home, only to want to sleep for a week because I was so exhausted from living life to the fullest for six weeks. That’s why all-inclusive beach getaways have their time and place. 🙂

  9. I didn’t think I was a travel snob, but I have found myself doing and thinking most of these things. I think there are different kinds of travelers and you should do what you love and experience what you want to experience on your travels and at the same time allow others to do the same thing. Traveling is beautiful no matter how it is done!

  10. There is a vacation for everyone… Who am I (or anyone else) to question your taste in travelling? (And, what gives anyone else the right to question my choices?) There seems to be an inverse proportion rule when it comes to travel. Either you have lots of time and little money or plenty of money and little time. Your article is shallow and embarrassing. It had a great start but you should keep your judgment of others to yourself – it’s not attractive.

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