When you travel, there's a lot of obvious advice that everyone with common sense puts into practice. Keep your money in a safety deposit box, hold your purse or wallet tight in a crowd, get vaccinated when traveling anywhere with major tropical diseases, and make sure you're insured before you go.
However, some experienced travelers have opinions and advice about traveling that aren't so obvious. You might even call them "unpopular." One globetrotting internet user started a dialogue by asking, "What's your unpopular travel opinion?" These were some of the best replies.
1. Travel Clothing is Unnecessary
A traveling pro suggests that purchasing brand-new travel clothing is unnecessary. They argue most people already have a perfectly acceptable wardrobe and only buy new clothing for traveling as an excuse to shop. However, they accept that certain types of traveling, such as camping, may require new activity-specific clothing.
Most respondents agree, although one does say that if your traveling involves being outdoors in rainy conditions, jeans, T-shirts, and cotton items won't cut it, so that's an exception to the rule.
2. A Brief Visit Is Often Enough
Are you tired of seeing people saying" "you haven't been to Location X if you haven't spent several weeks there?" A digital nomad suggests getting a good feel for any location in a few days is achievable.
Replies are mixed, with the majority agreeing with the original poster and others suggesting at least a week is required to experience a destination properly. This one is probably down to personal preference and depends on the location.
3. Don't Go Too Far off the Beaten Track
A veteran traveler says that, while visiting some lesser-known sights and destinations is good, don't go too far off the beaten track. They suggest that, while popular destinations can often be crowded and loud, they are well-liked for a reason, and it's usually because they have more to offer than those that aren't.
Most people agree, with one person saying they're often disappointed when going off the beaten track. Another example is that if you go to Rome, it'd be tragic to miss out on seeing the Colosseum and St. Paul's because you wanted somewhere quieter.
4. Do What You Normally Do
When you travel to a new location, it's often instinctive to try new things or do what the locals do. One globetrotter suggests that defying that idea and doing what you usually do is better. They visit bookstores, coffee shops, and bars and talk to locals, even if it means missing out on some of the location's prominent attractions.
5. Don't Travel to Meet People
A solo traveler says there's an expectation that you should socialize when traveling alone. However, when they travel alone, they do it for a reason: they want time to themselves. Just because they're staying in the same hostel or accommodation as you doesn't mean they want to be friends with you.
Numerous nomads agree wholeheartedly, with one saying they're tired of hearing the self-righteous idea that people who don't socialize when traveling are rude and doing it wrong.
6. Don't Try So Hard to Not Look Like a Tourist
Someone suggests not trying so hard to look like a tourist because, in some cases, it can make you stand out even more. Moreover, there's nothing wrong with being a tourist and, as long as you're responsible, there's no danger in looking like one.
7. Don't Ask Locals for Recommendations
When traveling anywhere unfamiliar, it's easy to be tempted to ask locals for recommendations for food and activities. One vacationer says this is a bad idea, especially in big cities, because the person being asked will often freeze and say the first thing that comes to their mind, which is often very basic.
A native New Yorker replied, saying they suck at giving advice when tourists ask them for it. That's because they frequent three or four bars, usually cook their meals at home, and last went to most museums on field trips when they were a kid, which makes a lot of sense.
8. "Must-Dos" Are Not Always a Must
One straight-to-the-point user says the "must-do" attractions at any given location are not always essential activities. They elaborate with the example that if you're not an art fan, don't visit an art museum and feign interest in the exhibits just because common practice dictates you should do so.
However, others disagree, saying it would be silly to go to Agra and not see the Taj Mahal as an example. Others agree, with one saying people probably only go to the Louvre to get photographs of art they care nothing for.
9. Visiting Places Where the Locals Are Poor Is Bad
Someone suggests visiting places where the average local makes in a month what they make in a day isn't nice. They don't say it's morally wrong to do so, but they think people should feel uncomfortable with that kind of inequality and inequity.
While another argues that tourism might be how those people survive, another says that the "White savior" trope is problematic and that the locals might not want that to be the case. It's a delicate subject, regardless of how you choose to look at it.
10. Partying When Traveling Is a Waste of Money
This one will undoubtedly prove controversial to many, but one user says that partying and getting drunk when traveling wastes money because you can do it anywhere. It's also unsafe in some places, especially for women.
It prompted a response from someone who agrees but says unique nightlife and unusual festivals should be considered an exception.
This thread inspired this post.
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