9 Signs You’re That Travel Snob Friend (But You Don’t Know It)

Updated May 16, 2016
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9 Signs You're That travel Snob Friend But You Don't Know It

I saw something on Facebook the other day that made me cringe.

This isn’t exactly unusual, I see multiple things a day that make me question why Facebook’s algorithm thinks I want to see them.

In this case it was someone writing about how they don’t fit in with their old friends because they’re all getting married and having babies and they want new friends who fit into their idea of what life should be at their age. That idea being travelling.

I get it. It happens. People want different things as they get older and sometimes we grow apart from friends as we go in different directions. It’s nice to meet new people who we can share our interests with. My problem wasn’t the subject matter of the message, but the way it was written. It implied the friends who didn’t want to travel had made some horrific mistake with their lives.

Should you write off old friends because they’re making their own life decisions that are different to yours? I don’t think so.

More importantly, does that mean you should put down other peoples life choices because you think yours are superior? Definitely not.

If you do, it might be a sign you’ve become a bit of a travel snob, without even realising it.

So to test the theory, I’ve made a list of some of the things I consider make you a bit of a travel snob, in the sense that you think if other people don’t travel, there’s surely something wrong with them.

Signs you’re becoming a travel snob

  1. All your stories start with “When I was in {insert country/city other than your own here}…”. Or maybe you throw in obscure travel wordsΒ which are cool but no one knows them.
  2. When people tell you they’re going on an all-inclusive vacation or a cruise, you secretly think they’re not a “real traveller”.
  3. When someone tells you they’re going somewhere you’ve already been you declare you are SO glad you went already because now it’s SO much more touristy now and therefore not as good.
  4. You see someone travelling with a suitcase and wonder what’s wrong with them. Real travellers have backpacks.
  5. You actually use the words “real traveller”.
  6. You see people who stay in hotels as wasting money and not having an “authentic experience”.
  7. You’ve fallen into having the ridiculous traveller vs. tourist debate with someone, and thought that clearly “travellers” are superior.
  8. When another friend announces their engagement, new house, pregnancy {insert other important life event here} you think they’ve made a mistake because clearly travelling is the most important thing in life.
  9. You think people who haven’t travelled haven’t lived. It’s entirely possible to travel and stay just as narrow-minded as before. I know. I’ve met some of those people.

The truth is, I’ve thought some of these things at times too! It happened a lot more when I first discovered the joy of travelling the world in my 20s, and I couldn’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want to do it. But now that I’ve had more time to think on it, and watch my friends go in all sorts of different directions, I like to think I’ve come to appreciate the different paths that we can take.

I’m not saying if think the above you’re a bad person, but next time one of these things crosses your mind, think about how great it is that people have the choice to travel at all, not everyone has the privilege and sometimes travel bloggers are the worst culprits in forgetting this!

I’m all for encouraging people to step outside of their comfort zone. Maybe for them going to another country on an all-inclusive trip is just that and a dream come true, or even just choosing the adventure by going to a different town close by. If your friends aren’t travelling but choosing to build their life in one place, well that’s a whole other adventure on it’s own and they should be proud of that too.

The people we meet travelling can become some of the best friends we have, or they can pass in and out of our lives. Don’t discount the ones you leave behind.Β We are all people, striving to live meaningful lives, whether that means travelling or not.

What do you think? Is it okay to want new friends if you’re older friends aren’t interested in the same things? Does this mean you should let them go as friends?

Check out 24 Unusual Travel Words You Should Know to help you be less snobbish (or would that be more…) when talking about travel!

Sonja x

If you liked it, pin it!

Signs you're a travel snob


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  • Reply Michelle May 17, 2016 at 4:58 am

    Hi Sonja – i follow a number of travel blogs and this post is a breath of fresh air in the midst of the chorus of “the world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page” type quotes (repeated ad nauseam). Thank you!!

    i like travelling and have been blessed with plenty of opportunities to do so (which i also blog about but more of as an aide memoire and to be of some use to those going to the same places). i too have longtime friends who are doing very different things (getting married, starting families), and i feel that that is a perfectly valid choice that they are entitled to make (and i, mine). Who are we to judge people who have different priorities and values in life?

    it’s of course ok (and even beneficial) to make new friends, but if you can’t or don’t want to connect with your old friends anymore when you grow apart, then perhaps the very foundation of those friendships needs to be queried – perhaps they just weren’t such good friends to begin with.

    Sorry for going on a bit of a rant, it’s just something that’s been bugging me too. So once again thank you for this!

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 18, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Michelle! I totally agree if you don’t still care about your friends lives because they’re different from yours, maybe the friendships weren’t that strong to begin with. I’m all for rants haha. Sometimes I feel like that’s what my posts end up being!

  • Reply Tatum Skipper May 18, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Wow I love this! Sadly I went through almost every point thinking “shit, I’ve thought/said that before!!” You are right, people choose different paths and that’s okay! I know I joke about all my friends getting engaged, married, etc but secretly want those things too! πŸ™‚ thanks for bringing me back down to reality haha. Love your blog! Xoxo

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 18, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Haha don’t worry I’ve definitely thought them too! I think it’s a point a lot of travellers go through, because when we discover how amazing travel is we can’t quite understand how everyone wouldn’t want to do it. I think I lot of people feel the same with making jokes about marriage etc, me included, because if it’s not something we can necessarily control that much, so it’s easier to say screw it I don’t want it and make jokes than actually admit, be afraid, or deal with the fact it might not happen! Whew, serious talk haha. xx

  • Reply Nikita May 18, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    So many of my friends have gotten pregnant/married/engaged this year, and I think those are all crazy adventures that I can’t wait to be a part of! Elevating travel above all else is no better than being one of those people who says things like “Oh, you’re not married yet? Well that’s fine, I’m sure you’ll find the one soon enough…” as they look at you with pity. Live and let live, and learn to be happy for others! It’s not that hard.

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 18, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Exactly!!! I totally agree, it goes both ways, and no one way is better than the other.

  • Reply Denea May 18, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    So very guilty. Great list and thanks for being such an awesome member of Travel Blogger Tales!

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks Denea, it seems we’re all a little guilty!

  • Reply Shannon May 19, 2016 at 4:37 am

    I’ve definitely been the travel snob on occasion too, Sonja. Haha. I’m especially guilty of #1. It’s hard to identify with friends back home when they sometimes interpret the phrase dropping as you showing off when, in reality, it’s simply the circumstance of part of what’s becaome your everyday life. “When I was at this pub in (insert exotic-sounding city/country here)” is as normal for long-term travelers as “when we were at (insert local hangout from back home)” is to your friends who aren’t traveling.

    I’ve realized that both travelers AND those who don’t travel need to give each other more credit and have more understanding for one another. Part of sharing in each other’s lives means being able to talk about the things that we’re passionate about or experience every day and simply take it as setting the scene for a story. It’s not about one-upping, but rather trying to share an experience with someone as much as you can without the other person having been there with you to experience it firsthand.

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 19, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Me too don’t worry! I hate hearing myself start stories like that, even when I know it’s relevant! I try my best to avoid it if I can. It’s only if someone does it all the time unnecessarily that it’s a bit grating haha. I definitely agree with you about giving more credit. I think we don’t realise as well, most of those locals and people we meet in other countries are like our friends at home who don’t travel, and yet we don’t think badly of them, we think it’s amazing they live where they do!

  • Reply Sonal of Drifter Planet May 19, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    I love this! Actually, I have been guilty of a few of them… oops! hehe

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Thanks!! Me too, how do you think I knew about them?! Haha πŸ˜€

  • Reply Nikki May 19, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Such a great post Sonja, which I whole-heartedly agree with! Everyone has their own paths in life and shouldn’t be told one way is the right way.

  • Reply Mary - A Mary Road May 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Great insight! I wouldn’t lie, I used to be that traveller who would debate about “travellers vs tourists”. Until it got around my head and had a realisation: “travelling is about being open minded and learning to respect everyone’s perspective”. Since then, I adore everyone who travels / non travellers in whatever way they want as long as they are happy <3

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 20, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      Me too Mary! How do you think I know about it? Haha. I can see my past self in many of these but I think I’ve come to realise in the same way that you have each to their own as long as they’re happy.

  • Reply Sara Essop May 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    This is hilarious. I can identify with a few of these points. I’ve scheduled it for Twitter.

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 21, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks Sara! I recognise myself in them too, although I try to move on from that now and realise (most) travel people manage to accomplish and be happy with is great!

  • Reply Brian May 24, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    I really enjoyed the post. There were a lot of spot on things in there, and it inspired me, as a self-admitted travel snob, to write a reply. I’ll be linking back to your’s so I guess you’ll get a ping back in the next couple of days.

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      That’s awesome Brian I look forward to reading your reply! I’ve certainly thought many of these things myself at times!

  • Reply Madeline Potter May 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Love this! I posted it on my own travel page for my friends to see in conjunction with an article I wrote. Great points made here.

  • Reply Melinda DiOrio June 11, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Great perspective! The traveler vs. tourist debate is so interesting to me. Although I to always aim to be more of a “traveler” and less of a “tourist”, after my last trip (6 weeks in Central America/part with an organized group of “travelers” and part solo) I’m no longer sure there’s much of a distinction. Whether you’re staying in a fancy hotel, a cheap hostel, or with a local family…it’s still tourism! We’re all just visitors in the place, and everything we’re partaking in while there is part of the tourism economy. So it’s funny that a lot of “travelers” don’t want to identify themselves with that word! Travel and tourism is really one and the same. Now how you approach the two are a totally different story. πŸ˜‰ I loved the post!

    • Reply Migrating Miss June 12, 2016 at 11:11 am

      I think people equate “tourist” with annoying and disrespectful, but I think that’s a generalisation and not always the case. You’re right, it is all tourism! And even “travellers” can be annoying and disrespectful haha. Thanks!

  • Reply Shannon Kircher June 14, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Love that you shared this! I shared something similar recently. I was totally one of those people (sometimes!) but have begun to realize that the greatest thing about being able to make these choices is that we can all make choices that suit us best. For some people, traveling isn’t a priority and that’s okay, too! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Migrating Miss June 14, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Thanks Shannon! I have definitely thought these, how do you think I knew about them haha. But I also came to realise how lucky we are to even make a choice about travel at all, and to choose if it’s a priority. How boring if we were all the same!

  • Reply Charles Aleksander Ravndal June 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Found your blog through FB πŸ™‚

    Nice post! I would say I’m not a “real traveller”. We travel like twice a year or more if we get extra free time from work. I always make it a point to stay in a nice hotel particularly with a gym, wi-fi and all those amenities. Dine in Michelin star restaurants if there’s any in the area and most of all shopping! People have different priorities and that’s what makes life exciting and beautiful πŸ™‚

    • Reply Migrating Miss June 20, 2016 at 9:52 am

      I agree! It’s nice we can all find a way to travel that suits us and what we want. I’ve never really been on holiday in that way, but I have to say dining in Michelin star restaurants is something I hope to do at some point! Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚

  • Reply Michael Quesada June 23, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Man this was one point! Admittedly, I sometimes struggle with the “When I was in …” scenario, but sometimes it’s just so relevant! But I never wanted to become “that guy”, so I usually stop myself; it’s so pretentious!

    Loved this post, shared to Pinterest!

    • Reply Migrating Miss June 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Thanks Michael! I have a problem with that too. Once you’ve been overseas a lot and adventured a lot overseas it’s difficult not to start stories that way! I’ve taken to just leaving that part out and just telling the story, but then it gets awkward when someone asks more and then I have to say, oh well it was in *such and such* place. Ah well!

  • Reply Rohini June 26, 2016 at 1:14 am

    I think it is perfectly fine to have friends who have different priorities. If we keep having friends who are interested only in travel , then it is kind of lessening our perspective as well . After all being a traveller we should be able to look at the bigger picture of things – isn’t it ? πŸ™‚
    For me , most of my friend have at least one kid and that becomes their priority – I still jel with them and have good time when ever I get to meet them ( which is the only trouble ! )

    I liked ” When I was in ….. πŸ™‚ ! … Good one

    • Reply Migrating Miss June 27, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Thanks Rohini! I agree we should definitely be able to see the bigger picture, especially because so many of the local we meet when we travel are basically our friends back home. So why would we judge our friends at home? I’m the same, I love to catch up with my friends at home, when I can!!

  • Reply Naty September 24, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Such a good post! When I first started travelling and left home for a year when I was 16, I got back and lost almost all of my friends because of that. I was horrible, didn’t really keep in contact because everything else was more exciting than those ‘boring’ people back home. Over the years I realized that it wasn’t their fault for staying home, it was mine for thinking that I’m somehow better than them.
    Now it’s really different, I have lots of friends in my old hometown and I keep them updated on my travels while they keep me updated on the things they do, and as soon as I’m close by, they visit me. They still go to their all inclusive resorts in Egypt every year, but they’re happy and now I can finally accept that that’s enough.
    Thanks for putting into words what I never could!

    • Reply Migrating Miss September 26, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Thanks Naty! It’s funny how things change as we get older and we realise that diversity is a great thing, especially amongst our friends. We can all learn something from each other I think!

  • Reply Roxanne Reid September 24, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Great to get some of those comments out there. As you say, we’re probably all guilty of one or two of those at some time, but being aware is the first step. And you;re right, I’m so over that traveller/tourist debate. What’s wrong with being both in different places and at different times?

    • Reply Migrating Miss September 26, 2016 at 11:08 am

      I’m definitely guilty! The more I’ve travelled though the more I realise we should just do whatever works for us at the time as long as we’re happy, nd we shouldn’t judge anyone else for doing what makes them happy!

  • Reply Elisa Martinez September 24, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Snob friend, maybe, snob cousin, maybe too. So many people/friends/family I know had gotten married, engaged, and pregnant. I am jealous but the things you say, I sometimes say those too in my mind when traveling. The people I used to be around with changed, their priority such as kids and school and work. I used to be engaged and had never travel before, looking back, I was like wow, I did not travel when I got engaged. After breaking up terribly, I began traveling to heal my pains and damn I think everyone should travel before settling down to find themselves. The more I travel, the old friends became stranger and gotten jealous of me. Its pretty sad that I couldn’t come home to share my trip with except for my younger cousins. they look up to me and wish they were in my shoes to travel. My older cousins are also jealous, wishing they had travel before settling down. They didn’t know it was a big deal until today, wishing it. I like the “when i was in..” part.

    • Reply Migrating Miss September 26, 2016 at 11:07 am

      I think there’s benefits to both settling down and travelling, as long as we’re happy with what we’re doing and realise that it’s not going to be the same for everyone. I’m so happy you’d been able to find yourself travelling and hope you can sort things out with your friends and cousins so you can both appreciate each other’s point of view and lifestyle and learn from it πŸ™‚

  • Reply Sally September 25, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Nice post! I used to be that backpacking travel snob, and then I had kids. Staying in a hotel now is far more preferable to rolling the old sleeping bag out on platform 9!

    • Reply Migrating Miss September 26, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Thanks! I expect travelling with kids is so so different! I think in the end no one way is best it’s whatever works for us at the time πŸ™‚

  • Reply Katie @ The Katie Show Blog September 25, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Oh no, I’ve said some of those things! I think it’s natural and not necessarily a bad thing to grow apart from people if your lifestyles are drastically different as long as you are not on a high and mighty horse thinking you’re better than them. That judgement perspective doesn’t do the world any good does it?

    • Reply Migrating Miss September 26, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Exactly! Sometimes we grow apart from friends, and that’s ok. It’s the thinking one way of life is better than the other that gets me!

  • Reply Anya Carion September 25, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Oh gosh I love this! It’s so important to have a little check every once in a while to avoid being the travel snob… or at least to stop showing it!

    • Reply Migrating Miss September 26, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Haha it’s so easy to do! I think we should be proud of our travels, but just not expect that everyone else should do the same πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kristine Aarsheim November 2, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Great post! I have found myself feeling sorry for my friends who decided to get married and have babies, and then realized I’m being kind of a douche bag for pitying them for choosing a different lifestyle. It’s okay to be different, and it’s okay to have all sorts of friends – travelers or not πŸ™‚

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 2, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      I know exactly what you mean, I used to feel the same a few years ago until I stopped and realised that everyone is living their own path and who’s to say which is better! We all go through different stages and decide different things. We might be stuck at home with kids while they’re travelling once theirs have grown. Who knows! And I think having different friends really enriches our lives πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jess - Expat Getaways November 11, 2016 at 1:30 am

    So true, I lived on the road as a tour guide for over three years. All my stories started with “so when I was in Cairns/the Whitsundays/Siem Reap/Halong Bay/insert exotic location here” so I actually made a conscious effort to omit where the story took place unless it was actually really relevant. Because let face it, the few days I was home nothing cool happened as I was so tired I spent all my time on the couch!

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 11, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      I was the same! When I realised it was easy to omit the place unless it was relevant I think that people were actually more happy to hear about my stories haha.

  • Reply Jaimee December 1, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I honestly hate the whole “real traveler” / “traveler vs tourist” thing. I absolutely don’t get it. Travel is travel. πŸ™‚ I do catch myself thinking that my friends who have lived in the same town all their lives are missing out a bit, though. I just want them to experience the world like I have because it’s changed my life. But I guess that’s kind of demeaning of me to think – not everyone NEEDS to travel. :p

    • Reply Migrating Miss December 1, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      I know what you mean about thinking that people are missing out though! I think that is why it’s so easy to become a travel snob haha. Because once we realise how amazing it is we can’t see why other people wouldn’t want to do it too! But it really is each to their own in the end I think. πŸ™‚

  • Reply David January 1, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Sonja,

    I came across your blog looking for the term “travel snob”. (It happens to occur in the name of my blog) Your post seems to straddle two issues;

    You started the post discussing being single (or a couple) with no kids – this is tough because our lives take very different paths and these are two very different paths. My wife and I lament how once our married friends conceive, we seem to have no part in their lives…

    As for the term “travel snob”, I have yet to meet any travellers who do not suffer from this affliction to some degree. This is so for the three groups (travellers, vacationers and business). See how I am not sharing my travel history here, that how you avoid revealing yourself as one….

    Great work, keep it up and enjoy your travels!

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 3, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Hi David,

      Thanks! That’s really a shame that you don’t have a place in your friends lives :(. I think it is a difficult thing because peoples lives can be so different and we can naturally gravitate towards people in the same situation as us, but I don’t think that’s a reason not to be in touch with old friends too! I have definitely suffered from being a travel snob haha. It’s hard not to I think. Especially when you just get past the initial stages and have confidence in your ability to travel and handle the world. It’s hard not to boast about it and to see why people wouldn’t want to do something so awesome! But I think the longer I have then travelled and the older I’ve got the more I have been able to recognise the different paths people take etc. I just don’t think travel snobbery should be a way to put others down for their choices! I really could go on about this all over again… oops.

  • Reply Jimmy June 29, 2019 at 2:57 am

    I think it’s natural and ok for us to want to talk about our travel adventures because it is what we love! I have friends that always talk about their cats, kids, real estate, video games….the things they are passionate about. When I share about my trips I’m not bragging….I’m sharing my dreams that have come true…and I love when others do the same with me.

    • Reply Sonja - Migrating Miss July 3, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      Agreed! It definitely is natural to talk about what you’re passionate about. This is just tongue-in-cheek because I know some people think we talk about it too much!! πŸ˜€

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