15 Things We Only Do at Airports

Alice from Teacaketravels made a post about an article from UK edition of Glamour titled 15 things we only do at airports. She posted her comments in a post 11 ways women magazines make you travel like an idiot. I’d like to comment both on the article (using the article photo she provided) and on her comments to it.

Photo taken by Alice.
Photo taken by Alice. Click to read her post.

Glamour: 15 things we only do at airports.

Actually, it’s not true we only do them at airports. Read further. 😉


Actually, I don’t think it’s the magazines fault. People can think and nobody working in the magazines is forcing anybody to do so. If there was a magazine staff forcing somebody with a gun, we’d have heard about it already.

I think the whole point of this article is to absolve the ladies. It’s “ok, we know it’s stupid, but don’t worry, everybody does that, it’s not your fault. Now you should feel better.”.

A: If you do most of these things I’ll slap you round the face with a fish out of my handbag.

Why? It’s got nothing to do with you. Why do you care how somebody travels like? It’s not funny even as a joke. Or perhaps you shouldn’t be travelling since you can’t cope even with that?

A: 1) You cannot make any of these money-wasting, life-sucking mistakes and 2) Instead be a totally amazing, kickass, savvy lady traveller who knows how to travel like a pro.

1) Everybody can. You cannot force others to not do it.

2) Sorry, but some people don’t care/don’t want to travel like a pro. It’s their own choice. They can make all the mistakes they want. It’s their travel and their money.That doesn’t mean I agree with them, but unless it hurts somebody else (and it doesn’t) let them be.

G: 1. Spend 120 pounds at Duty Free (…) saving of 7.59 pounds.

I wouldn’t spend that money. I’m looking at every penny I spend at the airport – it’s less money to spend in my destination. Plus, if you travel a lot, it’s additional weight during the trip. Well, if you’re coming back, and you have leftover money, do what you want. 😉

It’s not only in the airports, it happens also during sales. There are enough of articles about that already, no need to write more.

G: Pick up so many beach reads that you have to buy a new bag to carry them in. Then leave the bag and books at the toilet.

A: What the hell?!  Backpackers who seriously read either use an e-reader or carry one book at a time, buying them second hand in local stores or swapping with fellow travellers.

I’m a bookworm, I could totally understand buying new books. I think the biggest problem in here is not buying the books, but losing them in the toilet. 😉

Nobody said that those ladies are backpackers. Unlikely. I don’t use e-reader, I might have a one book at a time tho in my backpack. So far I have never bought a book in a second hand local shop. Always used bookshop or cheap bookshops. Those are better than pricey tourist-oriented shops. English language books aren’t easily available everywhere. I don’t care about ‘fellow travellers’ so I do not swap books with them either.

G: Have a pint at 8am with a full English breakfast.

A: OK Glamour magazine, I might just have to give you this one.  I’m British.  I get it.  A pint and a full English breakfast is solid gold to us.  If you’re off on your travels and not coming back for some time, you might just want to go out with a bang and eat some seriously good traditional grub because Asians have no idea what an English breakfast is.

I’m not British and I don’t get it (well, eating it would send my flying to the toilet). I don’t eat Polish breakfast at the airport. I find it wasting money. This comes from a person who has to eat often because of health issues. Doesn’t matter if you go for a week, a month or a year – you really don’t have to eat overpriced your-country’s-food at the airport. If you need to eat something, for example while in transit, choose a food that you even look at back home. It’s travel for Gods sake and you should try to be more open about things.

G: Study the two-page language section in a guidebook (…) imagining you will learn the entire language.

A (sites to learn languages).

First of all, I can’t imagine any person with average IQ would have thoughts like Glamour claims. Second, depending on a person and travel the language section in a guidebook could be enough. No need to study on internet courses.

G: Develop an irrational hatred of all parents, small children, large groups and stag dos

A: You need a calm, flexible and open-minded personality for this so if small children are getting on your nerves before you’ve even left the airport, turn right around and go back home.

As I wrote it already, same to you. Sorry but parents not guarding children, children running around everywhere and large loud groups are bothering other travellers/passengers and the situations they make could be potentially accident-prone. Or just very stressful. The rules of behaviour in the public spaces are out there for a reason.

G: Buy miniature versions of every toiletry you’ve ever used (…) ignoring (…) full size-versions in your checked baggage.

A: Come on missy, you’re a backpacker. Buy everything you need when you get to your first destination, when you need it, not all at once. It’s gonna be cheaper and who wants to be carrying round a pharmacy with them?

I don’t think she’s a backpacker. Checked baggage. The problems is buying cute but unnecessary things (happens while not on travels too). “Buy everything you need in the first destination – will be cheaper”? It depends on where are you going. I don’t think shops in Oslo will be cheaper than in Warsaw. Even if you go to Asia, buying the things first thing after coming could be problematic. Especially when you still don’t know local prices and the shop sellers treat you like a walking bank. Yes, of course you can go to the shopping mall where they have prices on the wares, but do you really want to do that?

G: Smile at everyone who is attractive…

A: Nice! Finally something we can agree on! It’s fantastic advice because if you’re travelling solo, you’re gonna have to have the confidence to put yourself out there and make friends. Make friends with locals and you’ll have a unique travel experience ‘tourists’ will never get. Make friends with other travellers and you’ll be there to support each other, share amazing experiences and learn other cool savvy travelling ideas and tips.

I think, Alice, you didn’t notice the text that followed, since it was not bolded. I wouldn’t say it’s a good advice. And seriously, when I had contact with a fellow traveller during my trip to Japan, I was lucky I lost him on the shrine grounds soon afterwards. Not always other travellers, even backpackers, can give you ideas and tips.

G: Desperately look for packets of biscuits and muesli bars for the journey.

A: In fact, food shopping in supermarkets and cooking this stuff yourself in hostels or eating on the street is going to save you heaps of money once you’re travelling.

I do that before going to the airport. Muesli bars and sandwiches. Cooking in hostels take my time out of travelling etc. On Java it was cheaper/better to eat in one of many eateries than shopping in supermarkets/markets and cooking. Eating on the street? It’s not popular everywhere, you are still looking narrowly at things.

G: Feel outraged that you didn’t get an upgrade at check-in

A: Me and the peasants are still sitting at the back and to be honest, that’s where the most fun people are anyway. Hostels and homestays are going to give you a far more fulfilling experience than a white-walled, 5 star, lonely, sanitised hotel room.

Seriously some people are outraged at this? Alice, talk about narrow-minded again. Seriously? There are many things in between and btw, homestay could give you a lot of stress too. Contacts with locals, sure. Being over watch 24/7 – no. Knowing they do special things just for you (the whole family) wasn’t the best way to feel good.

G: Load yourself up with three bikinis, two pairs of sparkly flip flops and a special beach tote (…) regardless if you go on a beach holiday or not.

‘Just in case’ is always a problem. Alice, your ‘how to pack’ doesn’t work everywhere.

G: Suddenly realise that you have not bought…

Bad packing but Alice, refer to my earlier comment…

G: Buy a massive tartan tin of shortbread from the tourist shop because you like the tin

If it’s on the way back, why not? Plus for some it would be a nice souvenir.

G: Start to think that you will quit your job and life in a place you’re headed to.

Living somewhere is different than travelling there. More problems arise even in the countries where you thought ‘people are so friendly’. In some of the countries you can go, even backpackers are walking banks or “having an European (aka “white”) friend” gives them bonus points among their friends. So no, it’s not a great advice Alice (not that was an advice at all).

G: …be the last person to board the plane.

That’s a bad thing to do. For whatever the reason.

What do you think about this article?


    1. You mean the original article?

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