Sh!t Travelers Hate Hearing

Anyone who loves travel and makes an effort to visit a new destination at least once a year has heard SO many comments: some good and…well, some bad. Some are also just plain stupid. To the travelers: hope you get a chuckle and some of these resonate with you. If you’re not a traveler, well, hopefully you have a sense of humor. 😉

Here is the sh!t (that I’ve personally heard) that travelers hate hearing:


1. “Why would you want to go THERE?”

…Because I haven’t been there? I want to experience other countries? It will be an exciting new experience? Why would you NOT want to go there?


2. “You’re visiting [insert country name.] Isn’t it dangerous over there??”

….Not really unless you lack common sense.


3. “Gee, I wish I had enough money to travel all the time.”

“Gee, Natasha, maybe if you didn’t get wasted 7 days a week you could afford to!” (FYI, No Natasha’s were insulted in any conversation). Money related has to be one of the top things travelers hate hearing. We’re not rich, we just know how to budget what we want. There are a lot of sacrifices various travel-lovers give up to scrimp and save to travel.

Travelers Hate Hearing | Miranda Knudtson


4. “Sounds like a lot of work for a vacation. Just go to a beach.”

Oh yes, I’ve heard this one because I don’t always go to a tropical beachy destination to drink out of a coconut. I enjoy hiking on vacations and doing other exciting things. So sue me.

Travelers Hate Hearing | Wisconsin State Park

5. “Don’t go there. You should go to [insert destination THEY’VE been to 5 million times.]”

Because really, who doesn’t want to go to the same place a couple times a year EVERY YEAR. I’ll admit, some places are definitely worth revisiting…as for now, please let me explore new destinations. Thanks.


6. “Take me with you!”

Honestly, I have no idea how to respond to this one. I’ve heard this so many times, and though it is sometimes (or maybe not) meant to be a joke, the “polite smile” and pity chuckle has definitely worn off.


7. “Can you bring me back a….”

If you’re not my immediate family member, extremely close friend, or significant other.. NO.

Though, I am a pretty giving person, and I enjoy buying stuff for people on my trips. But if you ask or expect it…. let me quietly put that back on the shelf.


8. What’s the point in going to a cold country during wintertime?

-Example: My trip to Iceland January 2014. I could write an entire post on how many people had such an issue with that (insert crying-laughing emoji here). What’s the point? How about the gorgeous Gullfoss waterfall, geysers, amazing mountains, the Blue Lagoon , or even the NORTHERN LIGHTS?!? Honestly, one of the main reasons to go that far north in the wintertime is purely to see the aurora borealis. You gotta deal with a little cold to see a once in a lifetime masterpiece.

Travelers Hate Hearing | Gullfoss waterfall | Miranda Knudtson

9. You should wait to travel until after you have kids, and they’re grown.

Solid advice for a single 23 year old that probably won’t get married until 30, and then might be 55-60 when they’ve all grown up and moved out?? Thanks, but no thanks. I think I’ll stick to travel now before I have kids.


10. OR, just the ever so popular, abrupt and awkward topic change.

You changed the topic AFTER you asked me what I was doing this summer?


To all my fellow travel lovers, what else have you heard that was frustrating? I’m sure this list is endless!

Sh!t travelers hate hearing


  1. Fantastic Post. People often ask if I can carry them in my luggage. Just once I’d love to say, sure lets coordinate that. When I told someone last year that I was going to Panama she responded, “Ewww, who would want to go there? Aren’t you going to get kidnapped?” It’s Panama, seriously??????

  2. Thanks for the giggle. My answer to #9 would be, “Why wouldn’t you give your children the experience of travel while they are still young enough for it to expose them to different cultures and world viewpoints which build empathy? “#WeekendWanderlust

  3. Spot on, this made me smile. My faves are

    – “You went to city/country X? I’ve been to city/country Y!” the Y being the capital of X or a neighboring country. So?
    – “What a nice vacation!” I can’t even…
    – “I’m jealous.” How about, I’m so happy for you?

    1. Ahhh, unfortunately I as a fellow traveler am guilty of the “you went to city/country X” one. It’s usually my attempt to connect and make socially awkward conversation, but I completely acknowledge that it can be obnoxious.

  4. I’m currently on a 5 day solo-trip to Port-au-Prince and all I heard before coming was, “oh my god, why would you go there? It’s so dangerous.” Yes, Haiti has crime, as does everywhere else (including our glorious US of A *eyeroll*). So far the Haitians I’ve encountered have been nothing short of extremely generous and hospitable to the random “blan” roaming around their capital city.

  5. Haha love this. One I always get asked about is “All you have is that backpack, don’t you need more things? ” ….Err no I don’t need more things, I’m trying to figure out how to carry less!!! Or anoher one you can add is …”Hostels? Aren’t they dangerous, how can you stay in them?


    ….Not really unless you lack common sense. I get this 9/10 times from EVERYONE! ALso, my husband and I are moving to Europe to live out of an RV. That scares the sh!t out of everyone I know. LOL So, yes, lots of naysayers!

  7. How about: “If you didn’t travel that much, you’d probably have (let’s say) a brand new big car by now!” This one is one of my favorites, “what I could have bought, if I didn’t travel”! 😀 I mean, I have a nice car that works well, it’s not that big and “brand new”, but it’s nice and I love it. So, I don’t really get it! 😛 Also, those trips were not sooo expensive that the rest of the world would have to react to “disastrous waste of money”. 😀 Oh well…. Nice post, I had fun reading it! 😉

  8. Kelly

    I relate to all of these on so many levels. I think my least favorite though is when people assume I am rich because I travel a lot. it’s like no. I make a lot of sacrifices and save a lot so that I can do what I love. I wasn’t handed some trust fund, even though I wish that were true. i work hard to travel.

  9. Luckily I’ve managed to avoid most of those but the “take me with you!” one really annoys me – why do people feel the need to say it?! It’s always the people that really would rather not spend a week in my company too/hate going abroad/don’t really like me that say it too… On the plus side, my fake laugh is getting better…

  10. “You went where? What is there to see?” – Yes I went there and I saw something beautiful and different.

    “Don’t you know your a single female?” – WTF

    I’ve heard so many on your list. It is amazing what people say. I usually say “You can’t make this sh*t up”

  11. Once, I was interning at a company in Indianapolis/midwest/where some people have never ever been to anywhere else. My supervisor was planning a trip to India (my birth country) and I over-heard her direct report asking her this “Why are you going to India? Isn’t it dangerous out there?” I silently replied “not as much as it is in certain parts of USA”. I guess a big part of travel is helping to erase stereotypes and ignorance!

  12. Geez these do get annoying! The thing about asking people to bring stuff back for you is that the person you give the thing to still hasn’t been there! Someone asked me to bring them money from a foreign country one time, and I did since I had leftovers, but is it really that cool if you haven’t been there yourself? I guess it depends on what it is and the person you’re giving it to.
    Loved reading this one!

  13. One I have heard a few times (from old friends I maybe bump into once a year) is, ” oh im definitely going to go travelling myself, thinking about doing 6 months in South East Asia next year” … and to this I am very supportive and give them tips and advice etc. But then I see them a year later and they’ve done no travelling .. and they say the exact same thing to me – “oh yeah I’m going to go travelling myself soon…”

    Stop talking about it and GO then !

    I enjoyed this post!

  14. Love your post! We often receive comments such as 1. Dangerous 2. How do you have so much money to travel all the time…3. You are lucky, because you can do it.

    People forgot the serious budgeting we do and that we are not on continuous holiday, not eating out all the time or staying in hotels. And luck has nothing to do with it. Well, maybe for few error fare tickets we needed a bit of luck 🙂

  15. I’ve gotten most of the ones you list here too, and also “You’re going ALONE?” Somehow people seem to think that my husband and I are joined at the hip. After 27 years of marriage, no, that still hasn’t happened and I’ll travel by myself when I wan t to, thank you very much!

  16. HAHA the money one is spot on!!! Well no actually my dad doesn’t fund all of my travels, but thanks!!!!! I also love, “well don’t you want to get a real job??” How is my job any less real just because it’s in a different country? Lol

  17. Ha ha these are so true! I get the “dangerous” thing from my mum – she’s horrified I’m leaving my husband and home to go to Europe by myself! And as for travelling in winter…that’s the best time to go! I’ll be in Iceland at the beginning of winter – and hopefully it should be good northern lights hunting weather. And the whole “Oh don’t get there, go somewhere I’ve been” – yes well it can be all well-meaning but it does get irritating. I’m going to a destination because I WANT TO. Like with Iceland, I don’t care I’m doing the touristy things because I still want to go and see them. I only have a short time there so can’t drive for hours by myself to find somewhere miles out of the way, just because it’s supposedly less touristy. I love heading off the beaten track, but those adventures are best when I’m travelling with my husband. When it’s just me, I’m totally okay to go to the easier options.

  18. The “I wish I could afford to travel” is the one I hear the most. But youre right, all of those people waste money partying, having the latest gadgets and buying takeout (including those overpriced coffee drinks), which ends up being a lot more expensive at the end of the month than most people realize!

  19. Yeah all of those! For 1) I remember getting asked, when I was booking another African wildlife safari, why I’d bother, surely if I’d “seen one elephant backside I’d seen them all?” Uuugh! And for 3) it was nearly always people who earned the same or more than me but spent their money on music, make-up (wow, so much make-up), and yes getting wasted at least twice a week and in London back then it was already £50 a night easily. So, me not doing those things netted me about an extra £200 a month, so £2400 a year. Quite some dosh to put towards travelling, no?!

    1. I think a safari sounds awesome! You get to see them in their natural habitat.. SO different than seeing an elephant backside in a zoo! I’ll admit, I have some vices when it comes to frivolous spending: makeup & Starbucks coffee! I’ve definitely slowed down recently, and boy do my credit card bills look better haha

  20. OH MY GOD so many of these things are spot on. #1 has to be my least and most favorite. On one hand, I love to talk about hidden gems and awesome spots all over the world. On the other hand, I don’t question why you only go to Disney World every summer or the same beach every other weekend. #2 I get a lot when I fly down to Central America. That question won’t stop until I’m robbed at gunpoint or dead or kidnapped. *eye roll*

  21. Omg we must have heard all of these so many times already! Some people just don’t get it though! Some people always try to put a downer on things but we just think it’s down to mild jealously!

  22. Lisa

    My pet peeve during and after my RTW trip with my then 7 year old, few years back now, was when asked “where did you go?” I reeled off the 9 countries and the inevitable response was “oh didn’t you go to …?” Erm no I just told you where we went!!!

  23. This made my laugh! I don’t consider myself a traveler but I’ve still heard this many times, especially the “having enough money to travel” one. I don’t know a single person who just takes off on vacation – it’s all about budgeting. Also the “take me with you” one – what are you supposed to say to that?!

  24. Yep – I’ve heard most of these! Now of course I get “Why would you bother taking your little kids abroad when they won’t remember the trip?” Well, the 3 year old does remember and the 1 year old will still be learning things, even if he doesn’t consciously remember the trip! Plus we get family time together. Some people will always try to grind you down whatever you do!

  25. Helena

    Amen to this! My personal favourite is number 3. Ahhh finances. Most people can travel (where I am from anyway) IF they choose to. They just have to save. It’s pretty rare that enough money for a holiday will just turn up in your bank account. Just save people!

  26. Hahahha oh my gosh. Thank you. Sooo true! Those people are usually very closed minded. My tactic is to kill their cynical comments with so much positivity and smiles they have no choice but to think good on her 😉

  27. Heidi Tiber

    #1, 4, 5, and 9! So spot on… Though #9 for me is usually something like, “How is it a vacation if you take your kids along?” But one of my favorite things is watching the excitement in my kids’ eyes when they get to experience new places and things! I bet half (at least) of their knowledge of the world has come from traveling.

    My other favorite is people who give me grief for not sleeping in on vacation. Like, why would I waste my time sleeping? There are things to be seen and done!

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