How to Be a Travel Snob: The Hierarchy of Travel Destinations
It’s the crème de la crème of travel spots; the coolest of the cool. It’s a place that will put others to shame for mentioning their trip to Florida. Going there is the Medal of Honor for all who call themselves world travellers.
Welcome to the world of travel snobbery.
In this backpack cluttered universe all travel destinations are not created equal. A hierarchy exists that puts the common, the nearby and the convenient at the bottom and the remote exotic at the tippy tip top. Travellers establish themselves as the cool kids by trekking their way to these elitely non-elite places and carry their coveted passport stamps around like a Coach purse.
Bragging rights are not a good reason to travel. Your trips should be solely about where you want to go. It’s petty to go somewhere just for the sake of showing off when you get home and it undermines the true spirit of travel.
Ok now that the disclaimer is out of the way you can admit that sometimes it’s really fun to brag. You may scoff when other people pompously name drop the places they’ve been, but you’ll be amazed how quickly you, too, will join the competition after you’ve been to Lesotho.
But before you jump headlong into the world of comparing plane tickets, you must understand that being a travel snob is like playing poker; you have to learn the art of the game before you bet. To help you become the travel snob you always knew you could be I’ve outlined the most important things to know before you play.
- First: You must be nonchalant about the cool places you’ve been. Admitting that you’re playing the game immediately gets you disqualified. If you get too excited about your trip to Nepal the travellers in your midst will realize you’re an amateur and your cool points will dwindle sharply.
- Second:You must pretend to assume that everyone else has been there, too. The trick is to shame your
audience by acting like you’re shocked they’ve never gone. What? Haven’t you ever been to Palau? Oh, I just assumed you had when you said you travel a lot.
- Third: You must be certain that no one listening has been somewhere cooler than you. There’s nothing worse than having your tales of Venezuela trumped by a trip to Oman. It’s like having a full house when someone else at the table has a royal flush.
- Fourth: You must not mention the same places too many times. You can get away with, say, three stories max about your month in the Congo before you’ve lost your edge. Then it’s time to move on to somewhere more dangerous and daring. Perhaps a war zone? That will definitely earn you your stripes.
In order to help you determine whether you’re playing the bragging game with a pair of two’s or a straight, here are a few defining characteristics of the magical places that will win you respect from fellow travellers.
- Signs are not written in English.
- You have to take multiple types of transportation to get there, including at least one rickety bus that breaks down frequently.
- It is difficult to find on a map.
- There is no reason a regular tourist would want to go there.
- The people who live there want to touch your hair.
- There is a large population of goats or llamas.
- You eat on the floor.
- People there often give you the thumbs up sign.
- There is no ATM or cell phone reception nearby.
- You wash your clothes, dishes and body in a nearby and very cold river.
Now that you know the game and know the rules, hop on a bus to Timbuktu and start a playin’.
What really cool places have you been to that you want to brag about?
Tags: all who call themselves world travellers, bragging rights, cool places you’ve travelled, travel snob
9 responses to “How to Be a Travel Snob: The Hierarchy of Travel Destinations”
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So true! Amazing how travellers feel inclined to prove they are cooler and more cultured than other travellers. Love your tongue in cheek response to “travel snobbery.”
Thanks, Marcus. I also wonder why travellers sometimes feel the need to “one up” others’ stories. Every person’s travel adventures are interesting in their own way! Thanks for reading.
Can I brag for a minute? This was the first, totally free-form trip I ever took with my child (9). No itinerary, no reservations, to wild, unruly CANADA. No really. In an completely uncharted tour of the Canadian Maritimes, we discovered places that we would never have found on the map to begin with, met great, local people through asking questions (and getting lost), were taken under more than one friendly wing, stumbled upon–and stayed–at any number of cool places, all heightened by the “danger” of being unscripted. Matchless!
Sounds like an amazing trip, Clancy! Unscripted trips are often the most rewarding. Glad you were able to share it with your daughter. Who knows, maybe she’ll take you on trips one day!
I was in Cambodia two years ago – amazing!!! I secretly love to bring it up when my friends try to impress me with stories of their trip to Canada! My guilty pleasure!
Haha! I’m glad you enjoyed Cambodia. Can’t wait to visit myself (partly) for the bragging rights! Thanks for the comment.
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Really true, and really funny… I ve learned in the last few years, not to mention to much my travels with people talking about travels portefolio, because the conversion often ends up being pathetic (and I usually win, and am a bad winner). And I find a true humble travel storyteller, I usually let myself being absolbed by his speach, even if I know he does a little bragging along the way!
Haha! I love that you call yourself a bad winner! Thank you for the comment. Hope you have lots more travels to brag about!