It’s easy to offer advice on how to be a better, more well-rounded traveler. But here are some fine points to note when trying to be an overall ineffective traveler.
1. Dream trip fantasies – TV and movies are usually excellent predictors of reality. Choose your favorite film and base your travel expectations on that completely. TV doesn’t lie and if everything seems perfect and wonderful on celluloid, then it almost certainly is in real life. Also, put so much pressure on yourself to have that dream trip that it becomes all-consuming, to the point where the actual trip can in no way live up to your expectations. Now that’s what I call winning.
2. Mortgage your home – Ignore all of the great travel deals and bargains available and instead pay full price for your travel adventure. Paying full freight will ensure that you don’t get to do nearly as much while on your trip and it’s doubtful you’ll be able to afford another vacation anytime soon. This doesn’t only include airfare and hotels, but it also extends to the trip itself. Seek out the most expensive restaurants, preferably near major tourist sites, and break the bank on a mediocre meal. The worst thing you could possibly do is find a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, removed from the major tourist areas. The only advantage to these hidden treasures are less expensive but superior food.
3. Distrust new food – Things are bad enough when you’re away from home, everything is strange, different and unfamiliar. There is no reason to add to your discomfort by trying new foods that look alien with equally bizarre names. Instead of stopping by a fast food chain just once or twice on your trip, be sure to eat at McDonald’s or KFC for every meal. That way you won’t have to experience local cuisine and you can pretend that you never left home.
4. Refuse to tolerate – One of the most important qualities of an ineffective traveler is the refusal to deal with any sort of adversity. No matter how much you plan, the unexpected will always occur on a trip, usually to great annoyance. When confronted with a missed train or a hotel that is less than inspiring, be sure to get very angry and loud and make your displeasure known to as many people as possible. Rather than learn from the experience, instead vow to never leave home again.
5. Thinking inside the box – Before you leave home, memorize your travel guide and don’t even consider deviating from its suggestions. Throughout your sprint through town, be sure to tick off each item on the list and get upset when something isn’t seen or done. Ideally you won’t have to think from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. Whatever you do, don’t explore on your own, it’s probably dangerous and boring anyway.
6. The world is your resort – Whether we like it or not, whenever we travel we are citizen ambassadors. If we travel within our own country, then we are the unofficial representatives of our region and internationally, we become the de facto ambassadors for our nation. This is a unique opportunity to build cultural ties and change misconceptions people may possess, both for the traveler as well as the local denizens. Rather than accept this responsibility with any level of sobriety, instead treat everyone as if they were your employees. I call this resort mentality, when travelers consider everyone with the same consideration of a pool boy and expect them to be on demand for their needs. Being short tempered and rude are necessary accompaniments to this attitude, which is sure to make a strong impression on everyone the traveler meets.
7. Stay home – The world is a scary place and a quick scan of the day’s news should be more than enough to convince you to just stay home. There’s no reason to take the chance that your plane might crash, boat sink or hotel explode. There’s very little possibility that your home will crash, sink or explode (unless you’re using one of those turkey fryers) – so why leave? The only benefit is that you might experience places you never dreamed existed; meet people who will change your life forever and lead a happier, healthier life. Pshaw to that, plant yourself on the couch and watch the Travel Channel I say.