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Are you a Travel Snob?

Are you one? Have you met one? Are you an aspiring one?
13 years ago, July 18th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #42237  
B Posts: 104

It's funny when you talk to some travellers how some people are always better and bigger than everyone else! Have you ever found this? Most people I have met this year travelling have been incredible, exciting and interesting people to talk to but there have been some (well at least two!) who have been what I term "a Travel Snob!"

By this I mean, no matter how many places you have seen and new cultures you have experienced they have always gone one better! Like the guy who told me I haven't travelled properly in Asia until I see Nepal.

So fess up, Are you are travel snob or how have you been travel snobbed?!

:-) Reply to this

13 years ago, July 18th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #42266  
I am not so sure I am a travel snob but I certainly prefer the experience of independent travel over other modes of travel. I think independent travel takes a certain degree of confidence and a certain ability to deal with adversity. I am proud to have pushed through the barriers and put myself out there. Is this snobbishness or a preference?

But what is with that guy who said you havent traveled properly in Asia until you have been to Nepal. I kinda wonder if it is the least experienced travellers who make comments like that. They have started travelling and think that the first step out of Western culture is the first step anybody has ever taken out of Western culture. I cant imagine myself saying something like that and I think I am quite well travelled.

To me, part of the pleasure of travel is picking and choosing what will create our own personal travel adventure.

.....how have you been travel snobbed?

I have been travel snobbed by a few who do not know how much I have travelled. :D I suppose I am not somebody who talks about my travels, except on travel websites or when people ask.

One time when I was living with my sister a friend of hers visited. I arrived home and he asked me what I did for the day. I said, some shopping and then I sat at a street cafe people watching. He told me that is sad. Then he proceeded to lecture me that I should do something with my life like he is doing. He was going to Australia on a working holiday. I pointed to around 10 battered Lonely Planet books on my bookshelf and said ''Do you see those travel books up there. Those are mine.'' One would think he would give up at that point since there were books about India, Ecuador, East Africa....... but not him. He said, ''but have you been to any of those countries?''. I didnt know whether to be amused or irritated. I didnt bother to tell him that I would be off to Egypt soon. I really did not want to hear what he would have to say about that. Maybe he would not consider it as good at his trip to Australia or something. :D Mmm! I fancy a trip to Australia. I never seem to make it quite that far. I did have an Australian boyfriend so maybe that is the same thing? :D

Mel Reply to this

13 years ago, July 18th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #42283  
I'm sure you are going to have great answer on this thread...curious to see what's coming!

For me it's simple...live your life, don't judge other...there is a general rule...be thankful for what you live and owe to your own achievement...you will always meet great people...idiot...and pretenders...but who cares! Reply to this

13 years ago, July 22nd 2008 No: 4 Msg: #42693  
Kel and I found that throughout our year abroad we were judged on many occasions by where we stayed and how we stayed. There were times when we were just plain tired and decided to stay in"traditional" hotels instead of hostels, etc. We would then meet people who would tell us we weren't really experiencing a place because of our choice to stay in a sterile hotel. They may have been right for all I know, but I found that our travel experiences didn't really vary that much because of our choice of living arrangements. We made our travel fun, interesting and culturally diverse because we wanted to.

Thanks to the aforementioned "travel snobbery" we did find ourselves questioning whether or not we were true travelers. Because we chose to see much of Europe and never hit Indian or China, were we less adventurous or less fit to be dubbed travelers? I hope not, but who knows? Reply to this

13 years ago, July 22nd 2008 No: 5 Msg: #42711  
Nice comment Michael and Kelley. Had an argument once with a friend who told me if you don't experience street food in dirty places...you don't know the food of the country....that also goes for hotels. The point is to appreciate what you do...and yes, a gourmet meal in a top Thai restaurant is very different than eating at a food stall....nothing to compare...but two different great experiences...when people start to judge others and explain them that because they don't share the same point of you of travelling....that's being a snob...even if some of the snob do live on 2usd a day when travelling...funny contradiction. Reply to this

13 years ago, July 22nd 2008 No: 6 Msg: #42738  
B Posts: 212
One of the people I met and travelled with for a while in India, she and I came up with the term 'travel w****r' to describe the kind of traveller we sometimes met who would try and compete with you over a) how many countries they'd been to; b) the roughest conditions they slept in/travelled in; c) how much they managed to haggle down a price for a room/rickshaw ride/any other commodity; d) 'dangerous' situations they'd been in..... etc etc etc......
Reminding me of the Monty Python sketch where they're all competing with each other over who had the worst upbringing: 'when we were kids we had no clothes and no food, and worked for shirt buttons.' 'well, you were lucky! We had to lick the road clean with our tongues.'

I think the travelling community is like a mini-society just like any other society, and the same thing comes into play: who's biggest and best at what.

Having said that, I've probably been guilty myself of getting into those kind of conversations sometimes... ego massaging is just too tempting sometimes! 😉
Reply to this

13 years ago, July 23rd 2008 No: 7 Msg: #42799  

Kel and I found that throughout our year abroad we were judged on many occasions by where we stayed and how we stayed.

Speaking of which, has anyone noticed how much people object to budget travellers. It does not matter that I find the 3 Euro per night beach hut or guesthouse room comfortable enough. It is as if I am automatically a scumbag(or something?) because I dont splash out cash on things I dont care about. Is it jealousy?? Maybe others make their lives complicated with all their needs and dont like to see somebody else being able to live simply and be happy with it too? One does not have to work so hard when one is happy with having the things I have. Well, that is what my boyfriend says about it anyway.

We would then meet people who would tell us we weren't really experiencing a place because of our choice to stay in a sterile hotel.

I kinda wonder if the people who say things like that are feeling embarassed because they dont have money for things like that and then try to cover it up with judgemental comments.
I think there is generally some other feeling hiding under judgement.

Thanks to the aforementioned "travel snobbery" we did find ourselves questioning whether or not we were true travelers. Because we chose to see much of Europe and never hit Indian or China, were we less adventurous or less fit to be dubbed travelers? I hope not, but who knows?

I cant understand why travel has to be hardship to be considered real travel. Maybe people unnecessarily insist on the 'no pain no gain philosophy'.

Reply to this

13 years ago, July 23rd 2008 No: 8 Msg: #42812  
I've come across countless 'travel snobs' in my travels, and have probably been a little guilty of it myself sometimes (especially when someone slates a city/country I loved when they've only been there a day or two!)...

The worst country I found for it though was India.... It seems that if you don't dress down considerably you're not 'seeing India', something I found really odd considering how well turned out the local people are... they must be amazed why 'rich' western people always tend to look like crap! As I like to respect local dress I always wore long trousers/jeans and kept myself clean/looking good, which led most people we met to think we'd only been travelling a few weeks when in reality we were at the 11 month mark!

I'm with Mell in thinking that most people don't think you're really travelling unless you're suffering to some degree. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't stay in a single Dorm on our 12 month trip... I'm almost 30 and Married/travelling with my wife, why the hell would I want to sleep with a load of other people when for a few quid more I can have the whole room to myself! 😊 Reply to this

13 years ago, July 23rd 2008 No: 9 Msg: #42823  
B Posts: 580
Philippe Miseree.
The satirical embodiment

There is not a town or city Philippe has not been recently disappointed by. No matter how obscure the destination, you can bet he has been there before you and found it was not half as good as it was in the 1970s;

"You've got to laugh at the sight of tourists shacked up in overpriced, sterile, Western-style hotels. If you really want to experience the true Molvania, you should be homeless. I once spent two weeks on a park bench in Dzrebo covered in cardboard. It's a holiday I'll never forget!"

"I first visited the south of Movania nearly 20 years ago before anyone else had discovered its charms. Back then there were no restaurants, no hotels and not even any potable water. It was a truly authentic travel experience. Now you'll see well-heeled tourists relaxing in soulless, westernized bars and restaurants, oblivious to the fact that I was there first."

Comedy Genius!
...a selection of travel types Anyone you recognise? Reply to this

13 years ago, July 23rd 2008 No: 10 Msg: #42830  
HaHa! This brings something to mind. At least we are all still putting some thought into what makes a person a 'travel snob' and only sterotyping in a good humoured semi serious way. How long do you think it will take for the term 'travel snob' to become as abused as the word 'fundamentalist'? :D I mean, will there come a time when we will not be able to express a preference for going off the beaten track(or whatever will be typically considered snobbish) without being put in the same heap as the obnoxious types we are describing on this thread.
Reply to this

13 years ago, July 24th 2008 No: 11 Msg: #42921  
B Posts: 104

Michael & Kelley - We have had exactly the same thing happen! Mike and I stay in private rooms, with the exception of a couple of nights in dorms when there has been no option. We have had quite a few people judging us for it! I have taken Michael & Faye's stance & just lapped up all the privacy!!! :-) (Mike & Sarah, Michael & Kelley, Michael & Faye - Oh, isn't that alot of Michael's - it's like an overload!!) :-)

Mell, as I've been around backpackers and long term travellers alot I haven't found people judging budget travellers - well not within the community of travellers anyway. However I do have a laugh inside when people look at Mike and I as if we have no money at all when we ask for discount on a room etc, such is life I guess.

Oh and I don't think the term "travel snob" would come anywhere close to being categorised the same as Fundamentalist.

I'd much rather be a "Glampacker" than a travel snob!! I define Glampacker as more me being a backpacker with a "healthy" budget as opposed, to one with hairstraightners, heels and a bagboy in toe (you know the kinds fella who carries the oversized pink croc suitcase around Thailand!!) which for the record I don't have.

So I have now decided to look on the "travel snob" I meet with the same distain that I look at people at home who I call "social climbers" - I don't let them get to me. Who cares if they think I am loosing out by not getting bedbugs (!!). Little do they know, I have seen some amazing places, met some very cool people & have lots of great memories to cushion my old age!


PS. I think Philippe Miseree is an As*hole. Though I do see the benefits of sleeping in night vision goggles and baracading myself in the hotel room at night like Tina Payne! Oh now that is a new aspect to privacy away from dorms! Jason, Is that site for real?!?!

Reply to this

13 years ago, July 24th 2008 No: 12 Msg: #42960  

I'd much rather be a "Glampacker"

Can I be a Glampacker too? Well, mostly because I like the word. :D
Reply to this

13 years ago, July 25th 2008 No: 13 Msg: #43021  
B Posts: 104
Hee hee! Let's start a club mell!x Reply to this

13 years ago, July 25th 2008 No: 14 Msg: #43047  

Hee hee! Let's start a club mell!x

Yeah, that will give us a safety in numbers thing so nobody will dare to critisize glampackers because there are at least 2 of us. :D
Now that we have a club I can confess that I sometimes take perfume with me when I travel. I no longer have to try to fit in with the grubby backpacker image now that we have our own group. :D

When I was in Rio there was an American girl in my hostel dorm. She was embarassed that she brought her nail polish because she thought that propper backpackers dont carry things like that. This was her first trip out of the US. I used to hang out with her and a couple of others in the hostel branded us as both being newbie travellers because I didnt look like a typical backpacker. When I asked them questions like where they have been travelling in Brazil they brushed me off with comments like 'no place you would be going''. That is being snobbed at isnt it? Well, at the time I was pregnant so didnt in fact venture far from Rio, but did they have to be so dismissive?? Reply to this

13 years ago, July 26th 2008 No: 15 Msg: #43161  
B Posts: 228
Man I wish i had been reading this thread earlier, this is a great one! I think that you can be a travel snob in so many ways, as discussed. I have done both the backpacker thing (when i had no choice as I was a student with very little money) an the "pay way too much but splurging on a 5-star hotel" thing. I have gotten "snobbery" at both ends. I have had people who assume because of my age (and I look even younger than i am) that I haven't experienced much of the world or that I don't know what it really is to travel. I have also had people that think that I don't get the "real experience" because I stay in nicer hotels a lot of the time. I think really, travel is what you get out of it. Some people need a mind-blowing, thrilling adventure to consider it "really traveling". Others are, as Mel pointed out and as I do a lot, happy to sit in a cafe, soak in the local culture and just enjoy the unique surroundings. I think that as long as you take away what you are looking for, it's worth traveling. No one is going to know and experience everything about every destination unless you have lived there or spent an extensive amount of time there, so regardless of how you travel, you are bound to be "missing something". The thing that really bothers me is when people make a judgement on your type of travel before they've tried it. I certainly have my preferences, but i have those because i've done a lot of travel, both budget and not-so-budget, to a wide variety of places, and I know what I tend to enjoy the most and get the most out of.

I have to say, I think sometimes I might appear a "travel snob" because of the types of trips I take, but it is really just that those are the types of trips that interest me. I am way more likely to be traveling to Asia or Europe or really anywhere that requires a bit of a long flight and a little culture shock. It's just because I love being exposed to different cultures. I am way less likely to sit on the beach at an all-inclusive in the Bahamas. It's not because i don't think that's a worthy vacation, it certainly is, it's really just because i cannot sit still on a beach for all that long and need to be moving and exploring a lot! I never put down this type of trip though, I think it's great. It just isn't the type of trip I would personally chose, just as they may not choose skydiving in New Zealand or Haggling in the markets in Bangkok.

And btw, I love the term glampackers as well :-) Reply to this

13 years ago, July 26th 2008 No: 16 Msg: #43175  

.......you are bound to be "missing something".

and sometimes there is a reason we are ''missing something''. It is often because it is something that does not appeal to us. But it causes those ''what are you doing here then'' comments which are a pain to keep evading. :D

And btw, I love the term glampackers as well :-)

Welcome to the club, Maya. :D
Reply to this

13 years ago, July 26th 2008 No: 17 Msg: #43181  
B Posts: 228
I agree on the "what are you doing here then" comments. Everyone has their preferences and we don't need to see/experience everything that others think we should. If we get out of a destination what we're looking for, I think it's a worthy trip! I think some people just always need to feel like they know more than others or have had a better experience than others b/c they don't have the confidence that some of us have and they feel that questioning others and having "better" experiences somehow validates them. Reply to this

13 years ago, July 27th 2008 No: 18 Msg: #43184  
Hi Everyone, I just started reading this forum - I'm enjoying it very much! I definitely come for the "GP" side of the discussion. I don't like using a toilet unless it flushes, I prefer a good mattress, and I like food that I can easily identify. I prefer not to be miserable in order to seem "hardcore". My philosophy is travel the way and to where it suits you -- just be kind to the locals, learn something new from them, and tip well!

Also. all you"GP's" out there - I'm working on a book about style for travel -- if you have experiences, knowledge, or advice to share, I'd love to hear it. Thanks! Reply to this

13 years ago, July 27th 2008 No: 19 Msg: #43234  
2 posts moved to this new topic: Style for travelling Reply to this

13 years ago, July 28th 2008 No: 20 Msg: #43330  
I have to confess, I think I may have travel snobbed someone - but not for where they slept; hostel or 5 star, for me that's neither here nor there.

I met a couple of guys in my hostel in Rome. They were great guys, very chatty and I had a few drinks with them and started sharing travel stories, as you do. They'd been travelling for 4 months, but the only thing they could tell me about all the countries they'd been to was what the bars were like and how pissed they'd been. During the four days I spent in that hostel, if I made a pit stop back in the afternoon, I'd run into them just getting out of bed, and in the evenings they were always at the bar.

I know that long term travellers need time off to rest, but I got the feeling that their whole holiday was like that - nothing but an international pub crawl. I mean, I like to party as much as the next person, but I don't need a round the world ticket to get drunk in a bar.

So yes, I travel snobbed them! I just thought they were wasting their time. Getting obliterated every night should be saved for those of us who are between travels and can't handle the boredom! Reply to this

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