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40 Unpopular Travel Opinions That Might Ruffle The Feathers Of Travel Snobs

"If you want to get the most out of your travel experience, you have to live like the locals! Don’t visit a nation unless you’ve learned the language and immersed yourself in their culture. And never eat anything you could buy in your home country!"

If you’re tired of seasoned travelers gatekeeping and putting unnecessary rules on what you’re allowed to do where, we’ve got the perfect list for you down below, pandas. Unpretentious globetrotters have been sharing their hot takes when it comes to seeing the world, so enjoy reading their thoughts and be sure to upvote all of the replies that relieve some of your vacation-stress. And keep reading to find a conversation with experienced traveler Sarah Hollis, also known as The Pack Mama!

Image credits: Alean92


I'm a mostly solo traveler who doesn't care about making friends/meeting people.

I've never stayed in a hostel.

I don't like traveling more than 2-3 weeks.

I'm buying a magnet from a stupid souvenir shop.

I travel to relax, not to hold myself to rules written by someone else regarding what "real" travel is.

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After a long day of sightseeing, I will happily eat popcorn and watch Netflix in my room rather than experiencing whatever nightlife a destination might have to offer.

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To gain some perspective on this topic from a seasoned traveler, we got in touch with Sarah Hollis, aka The Pack Mama. Sarah is an American expat living in Austria with her husband Eric and their three fur babies, and she was kind enough to share some of her controversial travel opinions with Bored Panda.

One of her hot takes is that every minute of a trip must be planned. "While this way of traveling leaves very little room for spontaneity and relaxation, this is how I make sure I am making the very most of my time in a new place," Sarah explained.

"Waking up at sunrise is my favorite part about visiting a new place. I think 99% of influencers and photographers would agree that exploring a new place extra early in the morning before other tourists are out and about is the best way to spend a morning in a new country," the travel expert continued.


Not sure if snobs think this (maybe the more cocky ‘travellers’), but I don’t really care if someone is slightly ripping me off in a developing country. I am never going to haggle over a couple of dollars. I also don’t care if look like a tourist cause I am one. 

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Sometimes the best way to see a place is to book the tour with the bus and guy with a microphone talking about the scenery.

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My friend calls grocery stores "food museums." I absolutely love going on cultural trips to the food museums. You can learn a lot there It is my must-do/activity simply because I want to browse to see what may be staples within their household, price range, how they market, people watch, etc.

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Sarah also says there is a difference between a tourist trap and a tourist attraction. "Some travelers intentionally skip well-known landmarks and tourist hotspots in favor of discovering lesser-known gems, but there is a reason why certain places are so popular, so go visit them all," she noted. "Just make sure to avoid overpriced stores and people trying to sell you flowers on the street."

"Never ride the camels or donkeys when traveling to places like Jordan, Egypt, or Morocco," Sarah added. "While they make for a great photo for Instagram, you are encouraging animal abuse and child labor."

The Pack Mama also says fancy restaurants are overrated. "A lot of them charge you a sitting fee, and any time I eat at one, I always have to have a second dinner because the portions are so small."


It’s okay for travel to just be some fun hobby, not a mind bending, life altering experience

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I like restaurants that have pictures on the menu... :')

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I usually hit a travel fatigue wall at some point. Usually at the 2-3 week mark. Am I going to sit in my hotel room and watch s****y TV and order room service? You bet I am. Will I feel guilty I’m not ticking things off my list that day? Not in the slightest. I’m an introvert and need decompression time.

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Sarah also noted that budget travel offers a more authentic and adventurous experience. "When you stay in a hostel, eat street food, and use public transportation, you aren’t so shielded by the comforts of a 5-star hotel, fancy restaurant, and private car," she explained.

And you may not agree with this one, but Sarah has observed that many European cities are quite similar. "I would much rather spend time exploring the adventurous side of a new country rather than walking down a cobblestone street to another church," she told Bored Panda.

If you're short on time, the Pack Mama recommends free walking tours. And remember that you need to be able to adapt when exploring. "If you expect Western-style conveniences wherever you go, you will run into a lot of frustrations along your trip," Sarah says.


Wanting to see a lot of touristy places doesn't make me less of a traveler. There's a reason these places attract a lot of people and most of the time it's because they are beautiful.

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I like airports. I arrive early in order to wander around.

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Not all of your friends are compatible to travel with you.

Make sure you have discussions when traveling with friends about things like sleep/ wake times, strict planned agenda vs laid back exploring, eating out vs cooking in, picking attractions you want to see, having time alone to explore, etc before you go.

Even a good destination can be ruined with the wrong person with you.

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We were curious what Sarah's thoughts were on some of the responses in this thread. As far as the ones she agrees with, she shared, "Visiting a McDonald’s in every country is something I thought only I did. To see other people do this is so funny. Currently, I have visited 10 McDonald's around the world, and the McBoat in Germany is high up on my list."

Sarah also seconds the idea that not all of your friends will be compatible travel partners with you.


I take photos of everything and post LOTS on my instagram story and grid. Even if it’s something as mundane as the random street I’m walking on. Or a random building that looks beautiful. Or me in the bus. Why? I treat my instagram like a virtual scrapbook and LOVE looking back at these stories/posts to remind myself how I was able to solo travel even though it can be scary/stressful and how much fun I had. Doesn’t mean im not living in the moment or that i only travel for social media purposes

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It drives me mental when people on here say things like, ‘if you go to _city X_, forget about all the tourist destinations and go wander around the small neighbourhoods, where the ‘real’ city is.’

That’s what I’m going to do, forget the things that draw people from around the world or wherever, and go check out where you go to buy your groceries.

I’m a tourist dammit!

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You can just go to a country or city without having a strict itinerary for each day and without knowing much about the place. You can simply arrive and leave your accommodation in any direction and see where you end up (but you shouldn’t do that in dangerous places obviously)

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As far as an answer in this thread Sarah doesn't agree with, she noted that she doesn't understand people who insist on going to the same place every time they travel. "There are way too many places in the world to keep going to the same place over and over again," she told Bored Panda. "Sure, you can repeat a place if it’s your tradition, but make sure you also travel to more places around the world."


I was staying in Waikiki and made it a point to visit their McDonald's for the Hawaiian style breakfast and fried pies. Some lady commented while I was walking with the bag that she couldn't believe someone would get McDonald's in Hawaii! Joke's on her because those pies were fire.

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My Grandmother lived off McDonalds when she travelled. She was cheap, and didn’t want to spend money on restaurants, however she also said it was “made to a standard”, and so in places where food and water could be sketchy, you could be very confident that you could eat there and not get sick.

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Sometimes I just like to take a short trip to London or Berlin to be in an actual big city for a bit. Mostly for the shopping. And Starbucks.

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At the end of the day, Sarah doesn't believe there should be any strict rules when it comes to traveling. "Traveling is about exploration and personal growth, so imposing hard and fast rules would not be practical or desirable," she shared. "However, I think every person needs to remember they are representing the country in which they come from, so make sure their itinerary respects local customs, has a minimal environmental impact, and represents your country well."

If you'd like to hear about Sarah's own travels or get more travel tips from her, be sure to visit The Pack Mama!


I like all inclusives.
I don’t have to worry about anything or have money/cards on me aside from tip cash. I like chilling on the beach or by the pool. Maybe I’ll do an excursion but likely not.

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* you don't have to learn the language of the country you're visiting, it's okay to speak English everywhere
* in many cases, the locals would prefer you speak English instead of butchering the words in their local language
* I would never buy a crossbody bag or other "anti-pickpocket" tools; just use your common sense and you'll be fine
* Paris is actually good
* you don't have to make connections with the locals, please leave them alone
* the coffee in Italy is mediocre (but it's still better than St*rbucks coffee of course)
* don't try to look "less American" while traveling in Europe, we don't hate Americans over here *(but we hate Bri-ish kids with their stag parties)*

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I like to buy ultra tacky souvenirs with the name of the place on it. Love a good key ring to add to the pile I have too

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I like to return to the same place over and over again if I loved it. While I also value experiencing new places, I love building a deeper connection to a place I love and I find it easier and more relaxing at times to simply show up somewhere familiar vs plan a whole trip around somewhere entirely new.

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While I definitely prefer to solo travel, sometimes taking one of those tour groups (intrepid, g adventures etc) has its merits. Sometimes you just wanna shut your brain off for a while

Coffee in Australia is better than coffee in Italy (maybe not travel snobs but definitely a hot take)

Touristy stuff can be lame sometimes but its also popular for a reason. Dont go to Paris and NOT see the Eiffel tower just because its touristy

There is no such thing as a traveler vs a tourist. We are all travelers and we are all tourists at the same time.

Traveling might help you meet new people, see new things etc but its not gonna fix your problems. You can run away from them by traveling all you want, but they will follow (take it from someone who backpacked for a year to try and avoid dealing with mine

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You don't need to spend a month (or longer) in a country/city to fully experience it. A couple days can be enough depending on where it is.

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I don't mind occasionally eating Mexican food in Italy or Italian food in Greece etc. this whole "you should only eat local food " is dumb. eat whatever you want. I've been to Greece 3 times in the last couple of years, and as much as I enjoy Greek food, I make sure to go to a specific asian restaurant in Athens (went there twice on my first visit) because they have korean food that I LOVE and is not easy to find where I live. I'm going with the family to Greece in May and already planning to go eat there again.

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If I find a restaurant I love I’ll just eat there again instead of trying something else. I also used to scoff at eating the hotel breakfast because I thought it was more authentic to find a cute spot out in town but by the time I actually find one and get to it I’m hungry to the point of being frantic and usually it’s disappointing anyways.

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I stay in one place when I travel. So when I went to London for a week I just went to London (I mean I took a gray line tour to like Bath, but that was it) People get really judgy that I didn't do England, Ireland AND Scotland in the entire week. Like naw, that's not enough time for me and would be too stressful.

And to add to that I'm not renting a car. I'll be taking those tourist buses and grayline for exploring.

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All the guides that tell you how rad travel on a budget is are f*****g lying. All the ways to try to weasel into free or reduced plane/trane seats, the hostels, the off the beaten path stuff, the stuff about going in the off season. The new app to travel-couch-surf or whatever.

As someone who was broke as f**k and did all that, but then got a career and traveled with a real budget ... The two experiences are worlds apart. Poverty travel is NOT fun. You only think it is because you don't know different yet. Getting stranded in a foreign country with no means to get out is TERRIBLE. Hopping six kinds of train to go somewhere is objectively more of a hassle than flying there in a snap. Staying in a filthy hostel with crazy (but sometimes fun) people is objectively worse than staying at a super clean hotel that serves hot breakfast. When you are traveling outside your country, every problem == THROW MONEY AT IT.

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I prefer layovers and ideally in the 3-5 hour range. I can’t afford to fly anything better than economy and it’s nice to be able to stretch my legs, breathe, and have a good meal between the hell that is economy class seats

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Cruises are a great way to see a lot of countries/attractions in a short period of time and for little money. I'm thinking especially of European and Asian cruises. The ship isn't the experience, it's just the vehicle/hotel. They will often take you to great locations you'd never spend the time and money for a dedicated trip to, but are enjoyable regardless.

Plus, it's like a sampler. You get to taste just enough of each area to know if you want to go back and spend more time on a future trip. On our last Mediterranean cruise, I really enjoyed our day in Corsica, but now don't ever need to go back - vs. spending one day in Mallorca convinced me to start saving for a full Balearic Islands trip.

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* I check my bags, I'm trying to relax and I don't want to deal with trying to lift a bag into an overhead that my 5'1 self can't reach

* I pay for business or first class, again, I want to relax

* I stay in nicer hotels, mostly 4-5 star. I want to be comfortable and I like a comfortable place to go back to and rest during the day or have a cocktail

* I will buy that magnet and postcard. Also a cute sticker to go on my luggage.

* I eat both fancy food and cheap local food. I want to try all the flavors of the place I'm visiting.

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I like my western-style hotel, I don't really want to have the "full experience" and sleep in a dirty place with uncomfortable beds. The only exception might be, when I'll finally go to Japan, to stay in those traditional B&Bs. If one day I'm tired of eating spicy food and I just want to room service a club sandwich I want to have the option to do it.

I have no shame to go to McDonald's or other fast foods both for the reason you say (spot the differences) but also because sometimes it's exhausting finding a local place that you like or I'm just tired of the taste of the local food and I want something for a change (a Western-style Steakhouse is a pricey option for this, and you can usually find a good one in every city).

I always buy a magnet.

Touristy places are touristy for a reason, however I'm always open on tips to avoid the worse (e.g. best time to visit with less queue, tips on finding tickets, tours)

Hop on-off buses are great especially if you have a small kid that is grumpy after 2-3 days of sightseeing (or a pregnant wife as it was my case before the small kid :D)

A lot of the "BEWARE SCAMS" are really for people who have lived in some crime-free village of 20 people where people leave the doors unlocked and kids walk alone to school since 3 years old.

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I don’t care about meeting new people. I travel for a lot of reasons and people isn’t one of them. I like food, architecture, nature, animals, history, beaches, warm weather, sports events, quality time with friends and family.

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I've spent half a day in some huge city's and saw everything I wanted to see.

People will say 'you need to stay for days to soak up the culture' nah mate id rather move onto something that's actually interesting than to Stockholm syndrome myself into liking a city.

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I try to take a trip to a particular beach town in the South of France every year. Not Nice, a much smaller one, with naught but a blue-flag beach that's not nearly crowded enough to have to reserve a chair and a boardwalk full of family restaurants and shops that specialise in flipflops and plastic buckets. Yes, yes, travel expands the mind and all that, but sometimes a girl just wants to eat a croissant for breakfast, go to the beach, and then have an ice cream sundae the size of her head in lieu of lunch before heading back to make more vitamin D while working her way through a bottle of cheap, icy cold muscat sec.

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Permanent travel / people who do this for a living are not to be trusted with travel advice. They have lost sight of reality AND they are biased as their paycheck depends on your reactions.

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I don’t care about the nightlife, bar scene, or whatever, after a whole day doing something, I’ll use the evening to sleep and relax.

No hostels, idc to sleep with strangers in a room.

I’ve had one of the best pizzas in Thailand, might not be local, but other cuisines can be amazing too, so I’ll try.

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I find the obsession with getting to know locals, finding locals to hang out with to show them around bizarre and entitled. Like, you get to brag about the cool authentic experience you've had off the beaten tourist path and get to big yourself up as being 'better' than regular tourists, but what's in it for the 'local'? As a local of my own city, I would have no interest really in entertaining a tourist for a significant amount of time beyond giving directions or a short conversation. I have my own life, I have stuff to do, errands to run, friends who actually live in my city that I will see for more than one day in my entire life and can have meaningful friendships with. I also wouldn't know any cool off the beaten path spots that the people who go out seeking 'authentic, local experiences' would want, because I spend a lot of my time at work, or at home, or doing boring everyday stuff. Tourism is an industry with an infrastructure around it - there are people whose job it is to guide you round cities, there's all kinds of walking and food/drink tours. Spend the money paying people to do this rather than feeling entitled to people's time and expecting the people who live in a city to do it for free.

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Stop saying you're backpacking. Buy a bag with wheels and call it a vacation like the rest of us.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing elephant pants in SE Asia. They are thin, comfy, dry quickly, and make sure you don't offend anyone in a temple. If you're backpacking & didn't bring a pair of trousers, they are also normally your only option. People need to stop being such travel snobs about them.

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Popular tourist attractions are popular for a reason.

While I love off the beaten track experiences, when I'm in Paris I'm going to go to the eiffel Tower for example.

Cheaper restaurants provide a more realistic view on a countries food. Eat what the people actually eat, not a 5 star restaurants.

Sometimes you can't do something on the cheap.

Image credits: Bill_Badbody

This post first appeared on How Movie Actors Look Without Their Makeup And Costume, please read the originial post: here

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40 Unpopular Travel Opinions That Might Ruffle The Feathers Of Travel Snobs


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