Some travelers — and even some travel writers — have a tendency to be rather ‘snobby’ about travel. Perhaps they don’t mean to be so arrogant, but they are.
This can rub other travelers, and locals, the wrong way.
Basically there are two types of Travel Snobs:
The first type are those who constantly compare every facet of their trip — most often unfavorably — with similar places, things, or experiences “back home”. No doubt you’ve seen (and heard) them – as they are often vocal in their comparison. Nothing is ever prepared quite to their liking, their bed is not as comfortable as the one “at home”, their [food/coffee/whatever] is not quite as good as “at home”, they don’t like the weather, crowds, traffic….in fact, pretty much everything is inferior to “back home”.
You’re a Type 1 Travel Snob if you:
- Regularly tell the waiter how you like your food prepared, instead of letting the chef do as he or she intended with the dish;
- Refuse to try something of the local cuisine, choosing instead familiar foods;
- Don’t bother learning any of their language, assuming that everyone speaks yours;
- Get annoyed when you must deal with someone who does not speak your language;
- Continually gripe about drivers on the “wrong side of the road”;
- Whine about the heat/humidity/rain or wind, as if the locals could do something about it;
If you are this type of Travel Snob, please do everyone else a huge favor and just stay at home.
The second type of Travel Snobs are the ones who think that the very act of traveling somehow makes them better than those who don’t, and they are competitive about it – with a “he (or she) who travels most wins” attitude.
You’re a Type 2 Travel Snob if you:
- Compare your travels with other people, ranking some destinations as “better” than others;
- Make it a point to tell people how many countries you’ve visited;
- Frequently remind family and friends that you’ve visited 50+ countries;
- Are quick to point out people’s mistakes when they speak about other countries and cultures;
- Often remark that “most people are tourists and not travelers”;
Yes, as a travel writer you may have more opportunities to travel than most people, but there’s no need to gloat about it! Traveling is a personal choice. People travel to find themselves, to learn about new places and cultures, to write about where they’ve been, to find a new place to live, or any of a limitless number of reasons. There’s no need to constantly compare your travels to another — just travel!
If you find that you are either of these two types of Travel Snob, remember, you have the power to change. And you should. Not just because the rest of us will be grateful, but also because it may be costing you opportunities — includes writing gigs! You never know, that person you offended could work for a publication that you’d like to write for — not anymore!
If you’re a Type 1, see if you can go a whole day without complaining. If you’re a Type 2, when you strike up a conversation, see how long you can go without asking, “…so, how many countries have you visited over the years?” There are plenty of questions you can ask, be creative!
Want to find out about other “travel personalities” – check out this post at TheTravelTart.com – Travel Personalities Explained”
Are you a travel snob? Share your confessions!
I guess I have a tendency to be a travel snob. Oh, how I do like to recall my travels with others! I often find myself wondering how their stay at a Las Vegas hotel and resort compares to my travels. I mean really, Vegas is such a tawdry destination, so unrefined. How much can you eat at a buffet with all of its greasy and fried foods? It’s not like staying at a “posh” London or Parisian hotel. But, that’s me…It’s not others job to change me. That’s up to me, and I think I rather like the circle that I’m in because it suits me.
You know who were the biggest snobs that I encountered while traveling! The backpackers that had to prove who can travel the cheapest. It was the reverse affect of snobbery. It was all about who can travel from point a to point b for the least amount of money. It was so silly, and at a lot of times completely pointless!
Thanks Marina for stopping by TWE. I do agree with you that some backpackers can be a bit snobby because they find the cheapest travel or travel all over the place. It’s their choice…sometimes it’s nice to stay in a bed and breakfast or nice hotel. I’ve done the hostel thing and it was great, but I wouldn’t mind a nice five-star hotel or apartment!
I have been guilty as charged I am afraid. My guilt lies with saying that “people are tourists not travelers.” A lot of my friends go on package vacations and I don’t give them the attention that they deserve when they talk about their trip. Instead I judge and vent to my husband Dave that they aren’t really traveling.
From now on when they talk about their trip to Cuba etc. I will listen intently and say good for you!
Thanks for the reminder to be nice, I am sure that I have rubbed friends the wrong way in the past. Cheers. Deb
Ok, so there’s no way on earth I could be considered a travel snob since I only travel about once every 10 years LOL. I did have to ask though if it is possible for someone to be a Type 1 and a Type 2 Travel snob at THE SAME TIME??? If so, I’ve met one!
I also have to say that I love your attitude when you travel. Never taking a trip for granted and trying to take in as much of the local culture and opportunities as possible! Definitely the way to approach travel if you want to get a lot out of it. You are a lot of fun to be with on a trip (and I can say that from experience)!!
I think that travel snobs kind of shoot themselves in the foot (so to speak)…I mean if you aren’t having fun, why do you travel? If you aren’t looking for new experiences and going into each new trip with new eyes, why go?
Ok, I’m off my soap-box now :) .
OMG Shera you always make me laugh! And thanks for the kind words — I do try to keep an open mind and learn wherever I go. And you are certainly fun to go on a trip with too! I hope we get to do another media trip together someday!
Hugs to you and Charles and the boys!
I’ll add one….the snob thinks the local “play” currency is impossible to figure out, demanding that locals take “real” money.
OK, I admit it, I’m a travel snob… but a third kind not mentioned. I compare every conversation with something I’ve done on my travels. i.e.: If someone says they drove a tiny road in North Carolina, I start talking about the windy narrow roads in Ireland or Scotland.
Also, I tell people how cheap they can go to Europe, and send them to articles (sometimes one I wrote) on how to do it. I am hoping that counteracts some of my snobbiness :)
Never thought of a 3rd type of Travel Snob such as comparing and contrasting travels. Gotta love the winding, narrow roads in Scotland. Haven’t been to Ireland, yet. When I go I’ll make sure to take my own advice and NOT be a Travel Snob :)
@Jon – very good addition! I’ve definitely met more than a few of that type as well….serves them right when they get the wrong change!
@Green Dragon – I imagine many of us are guilty of that – sometimes it’s “one-upmanship” other times it’s just trying to contribute something interesting to a conversation, but I’m sure I’ve done that too :)
@Dave and Deb – doesn’t it feel good to confess? :) Years ago I used to look down my nose at people who did package trips (all inclusives, etc) but now having been on a few like that I must admit…..it’s pretty nice! I work hard to not judge others nowadays but some days it’s more challenging than other days :)
@Marina – I actually know a backpacker just like that….in fact he’s a family member (sshhh! Hope he doesn’t read this :) )
I’ve met a lot of so called “travel snobs”. Some I like and some that I almost detest because of their lack of respect for the country or location that they have visited. What I have learned though is to listen to the veteran traveler(snob #2). They can excite you and inform you to where you may have to plan your next trip using some of their expertise or at least, their travel agent.