Wanderlust Unfiltered: 14 Travel Opinions That Challenge The Norm

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Travel is one of the best ways to step out of your comfort zone, throw yourself into the unfamiliar and challenge your resolve. But is there a “right” or “normal” way to travel? Like most debates, the answer often lies somewhere in between. Above all, it’s important to stay open-minded. Not everyone will agree with you, and that’s okay.

Read on for 14 controversial travel opinions, as shared by one online forum of frequent flyers. Some views may negate your idea of travel. Others might happen to inspire.

1. Full-Time Travel Can Be Exhausting

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Full-time travel is a common dream, but few actualize this long-term. Being able to afford this lifestyle is a privilege, for sure. However, it’s never just the glamorized version we see on social media and requires constant work. Not to mention having to stay adaptable, vigilant and prepared for unexpected mishaps most of the time.

Take it from a nomad who remained baseless for three years. Having a place to call home and feel safe and settled is a privilege too, but one we don’t appreciate nearly enough!

2. You Don’t Always Find Yourself

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There is a modern notion that we “find ourselves” whilst traveling. While it’s true that exploration and discovery can breed confidence and direction, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it’s possible to lose yourself further, so managing expectations is imperative.

Also, make sure you’re traveling for the right reasons. A trip can only serve as an escape for so long.

3. Take a Bus Tour Right Off The Plane

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How do you avoid jetlag? You don’t. So get your luggage, store it at the hostel or the hotel, and hop on a bus tour. Bus tours are inexpensive mobile tours that cruise you throughout the city and deliver informational tidbits about each landmark or sight you drive by.

By doing this, you ignore the fact that you want to sleep. After a few hours on the bus tour, head to dinner, shower, and head in for an early night. You might sleep longer the first night, setting yourself up for a great, well-rested trip.

Try a bus tour. You will thank yourself later.

4. Not Developed Doesn’t Mean Avoid

Tourist man with hat riding on camel background pyramid of Egyptian Giza, sunset Cairo, Egypt.

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“Just because a place is ‘undeveloped’ doesn’t mean it’s soulless. I often see Americans or other Westerners complaining about undeveloped cities in third-world countries because they don’t see them as authentic enough—super gross behavior,” one globetrotter shares.

5. Solo Travel is The Way

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You know yourself best – what you like to eat daily, what you want to wear, and what you want to do. When you add others to the picture, that plan gets convoluted, and emotions run high. Traveling alone is underrated for a few reasons, but the main one is that people fear going to new places alone.

However, traveling solo allows you to develop an itinerary based solely on your needs and priorities and lets you factor in adjustments later. Plus, you meet incredible people when traveling solo.

6. Don’t Pack Light

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There’s a lot of discourse in the traveling community about whether you should pack three outfits for a week of travel or pack a suitcase for a weekend. But, those on a budget stand by packing light and saving money that would otherwise go to checked-bag fees.

For those who don’t mind spending the extra money to check bags, they say you should pack enough clothes for your vacation. If you pack light and end up unable to access laundry, you won’t be pleased when you show up to a fancy dinner in sweats.

At the end of the day, to each his/her/their own.

7. Wait Your Turn on a Plane

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This shouldn’t be a controversial take, but on every plane I’ve ever been on, as soon as the plane lands and the fasten seatbelt sign goes off, a ding radiates through the aircraft. That ding lets the crew members know it is safe to unload the plane. But to do that, they first need to ensure everything else is in place and open the airplane door.

Apparently, the ding also signals a free-for-all green light to passengers on the plane who “need” to get off first. They stand up, clog the walkways so others can’t get their bags, and ultimately stall the process. Wait for your turn to leave the plane and then exit. Don’t be rude.

8. Not Every Place is For Kids

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The idea that you should bring kids everywhere you go is silly. The most recent example I encountered was when I visited Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum in Boulder City, Nevada. Tom Devlin is a makeup artist and actor who idolizes horror movies.

He concocted his own monster museums full of recreations of his favorite monsters, and he even owns some original props from iconic films such as Gremlins and Scream.

Devlin approaches his work with such detail and specificity that it evokes an eerie feeling in the visitor. The staff plays horror soundtracks and dimly lights the room to add to the ambiance. My friend and I were mulling through the third room of the museum, enthralled in a spiritual experience, when two kids, about three and four, came through the room.

9. Don’t Take Pictures of Locals

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“I hate the taking pictures of locals thing. Most of the pictures look like they were taken with [them] knowing. These people aren’t animals in a zoo. They’re real people,” a frequent traveler writes.

10. You Don’t Need a Week in Each City

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Bunches of travelers claim you must spend “X amount of time” in each city or country to truly experience it. That thinking is a fallacy and not possible for many people. You might not care to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and that is okay!

Contrary to what some travelers believe, you can maximize trips with limited time; you only need to plan ahead and prioritize.

11. Check Your Luggage

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Raise your hand if an airline ever lost or misplaced your luggage. I’ve been there a few times, and while waiting for bags to return to your clutches stinks, not carrying around 50-pound weights throughout a giant airport is a nice respite.

When you don’t check your luggage, you fight with other passengers for the sacred overhead bin space, hoping your huge suitcase will fit into a cramped pocket. You may have to pay or check your luggage anyway if it doesn’t.

12. Saying Tourist vs Traveler

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Let’s just stop with the “I’m a traveler” versus “I’m a tourist” language. If you don’t live someplace and are touring around to explore new things – the local’s think you’re a tourist. There is nothing wrong with traveling responsibly and respectfully no matter what title you choose to hail. Neither term is bad or wrong. Let’s stop shaming fellow travelers.

13. Paris is Great

Selfie girl in Paris, France. Young tourist woman taking self portrait with Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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A lot of jet setters despise the Parisian landscape, but I don’t understand their grievances. For people who say Paris is dirty, is it really worse than any other big city? Others gripe about the activities Paris offers, like the Eiffel Tower and the Catacombs. Why? I can’t stumble upon an answer. Paris is one of the most incredible cities I ever visited, especially the Catacombs. Paris gets too much animosity.

14. Try Global Food Chains

napoli icecream italy

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Don’t turn your nose up at brands you think you know. For example, McDonalds (and others) might be a global food chain, but I promise they taste different around the world. Its a fun conversation to share with people too – after you’ve tried the food.

What else would you add to the list?

Source: Reddit

15 Countries That Serve up the BEST Street Food Experiences

Woman traveler eating in L.A. restaurant

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There’s something about the vibrance of street food, the richness in flavor, and the rawness of surrounding cultural scenes. Not only is street food more affordable for travelers, but it grants a more authentic experience since this is where natives also gather and convene.

With that said, here are 15 countries serving up the best street food experiences, as voted on by an online foodie forum.

15 Countries That Serve up the BEST Street Food Experiences

The Ultimate Hawaii Bucket List: 14 Epic Things To Do in Hawaii From a Local

Snorkeling paradise Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

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Beaches, hikes, and waterfalls are just the start of the epic things to do in Hawaii. This island paradise welcomes millions of visitors every single year. While some travelers want to soak up the sun on the beach, others plan for adventures through Hawaii’s most treacherous mountains.

There are so many incredible spots in Hawaii that it can be hard to narrow things down to the best of the best. But luckily for you, as a Hawaii local, I’ve weeded out the tourist traps and highlighted the gems. So, without further ado, here are 14 epic things to do in Hawaii.

The Ultimate Hawaii Bucket List: 14 Epic Things To Do in Hawaii From a Local

Worth the Money: 15 of The Neatest Souvenirs From Around the World

Tourist man with hat riding on camel background pyramid of Egyptian Giza, sunset Cairo, Egypt.

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You’ve probably been there before after you come home from a trip and someone asks, “What did you get me?” We all love a good souvenir. It instantly reminds us of the experiences we had while traveling. Here are some fun souvenir ideas from around the world.

Worth the Money: 15 of The Neatest Souvenirs From Around the World

14 Cities in the USA That Are Criminally Underrated According to Americans

Tourist woman visit architecture of Chicago she walking Lincoln Park near lake. Chicago, Illinois, USA.

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Everyone’s idea of a vacation or road trip is a little different. There are certain cities we gravitate towards more often, like San Francisco, NYC, or L.A. Have you considered exploring a new city that’s underrated and, perhaps, under appreciated? Check out these U.S. cities that a popular travel forum voted as “criminally underrated.”

14 Cities in the USA That Are Criminally Underrated According to Americans

12 Countries You Should AVOID as a Solo Woman Traveling According to Travelers

Woman saying no

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Traveling the world is one of life’s biggest joys, but for women embarking on solo journeys, trips to new countries can be stressful and sometimes dangerous. Recently, women met in an online discussion to reveal the countries any solo female traveler should avoid due to a higher likelihood of encountering dangerous situations.

12 Countries You Should AVOID as a Solo Woman Traveling According to Travelers

Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.

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Gabrielle Reeder

1 Comment

  1. Burt Randall on June 12, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    These tips are nice to know. Thanks.

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