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24 Unpopular Travel Opinions That Seasoned Travelers Are Finally Getting Off Their Chest

"All the guides that tell you this are lying."

There are unfortunately a lot of expectations and unspoken rules about how you're "supposed" to travel and explore new places. Sometimes I'm still embarrassed to admit some of the best sushi I had was in Rome. And one of the worst pizzas I had? Also Rome.

a scene from eat, pray, love of julia roberts eating pizza

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw Redditor u/Alean92 ask the r/travel community, "What’s your travel opinion/habit that travel snobs would rip you apart for?" Here are some of the hot takes people had.

1. "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."

a tour bus in london

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

u/yezoob

3. "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."

a mcdonald's store front surrounded by palm trees

4. "I've spent half a day in some huge cities and saw everything I wanted to see. People will say you need to stay for days to soak up the culture. Nah, mate. I'd rather move onto something that's actually interesting than to Stockholm syndrome myself into liking a city."

u/_BreadBoy

5. "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, 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 that I was able to solo travel even though it can be scary/stressful and how much fun I had."

two people taking a photo together in front of a historical site

6. "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."

u/NataschaTata

7. "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 bin that my 5'1 self can't reach. I pay for business or first class because, again, I want to relax and I stay in nicer hotels, mostly four or five stars. I want to be comfortable and I like a comfortable place to go back to and rest during the day or have a cocktail."

a suitcase being weighed at airport check in

8. "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, and quality time with friends and family."

u/ik101

9. "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."

fridge magnets from different countries and cities

10. "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)."

u/bieserkopf

11. "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 isn't about going to the grocery store to purchase food, it's my must-do activity simply because I want to browse to see what may be staples within their household, the price range, how they market, people watch, etc."

someone standing in front of the produce shelf at a grocery store

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

u/Tableforoneperson

"I've traveled so much (for work and for myself) and have probably seen hundreds of airports. But I've never lost that excitement of being in an airport. Every time I'm in one I just get that sense of adventure and seeing the world. I love to wander around and explore. Even just checking out the departure boards to see where planes are coming and going to is exciting."

u/saugoof

13. "I usually hit a travel fatigue wall at some point, usually at the two to three-week mark. Am I going to sit in my hotel room and watch shitty 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."

someone pouring themselves orange juice while in a robe

14. "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."

u/StrangerInTheCon

15. "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 anyway."

a group of people eating together at a table with several plates of food and toasting

16. "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."

u/anthonymakey

17. "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 versus spending one day in Mallorca which convinced me to start saving for a full Balearic Islands trip."

two docked cruise ships

18. "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. I find it easier and more relaxing at times to simply show up somewhere familiar rather than planning a whole trip around somewhere entirely new."

u/Sweet_peach88

19. "I don't mind occasionally eating Mexican food in Italy, Italian food in Greece, etc. This whole idea that 'you should only eat local food' is dumb. Eat whatever you want. I've been to Greece three 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 plan to eat there again."

a bowl of bibimbap with a fried egg on tog

20. "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."

u/slothface27

21. "I stay in one place when I travel. When I went to London for a week, I just went to London (I took a Gray Line tour to Bath, but that was it). People get really judgy that I didn't do England, Ireland, AND Scotland in the entire week. That's not enough time for me and would've been too stressful. And to add to that, I'm not renting a car. I'll be taking those tourist buses and Gray Line for exploring."

a view from the River Thames in London of the palace of westminster and big ben

22. "All the guides that tell you how rad travel on a budget is are lying. All the ways to try to weasel into free or reduced plane/train seats, the hostels, the off-the-beaten-path stuff, and the stuff about going in the offseason. As someone who was broke as fuck and did all that, but then got a career and traveled with a real budget, the two experiences are worlds apart. Getting stranded in a foreign country with no means to get out is TERRIBLE. Hopping six different trains to go somewhere is objectively more of a hassle than flying there in a snap. Staying in a filthy hostel is objectively worse than staying at a super clean hotel that serves hot breakfast."

u/06210311200805012006

23. "I prefer layovers and ideally in the three to five-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."

someone sitting in an airport with their feet up on their suitcase

24. "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, because I am one."

u/No-Raspberry7840

"I agree. If I’m willing to pay $x for an item, then that’s what it’s worth to me. If that is more than the locals pay, I’m okay with that. They need my tourist money and I’m there to experience the place and spend money. As long as I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth, I’m not going to stress about whether I’m ‘overpaying’."

u/ISeeDeadDaleks

Do you agree with any of these or have any controversial travel opinions of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.