Travel Insights

The ugly truth: 10 ways to look like a REAL traveller

If Instagram and other travel blogs are anything to go by, female travellers are always sporting the latest fashions, perfect tans and effortlessly elegant hair dos. If they’re to be believed, you can look model-esque even as you’re sweating in the Amazon Basin, or just off a 30 hour flight, or bush-bashing through tropical jungle.

I mean seriously, as much as we aspire to this…

stylish-travellerPhoto courtesy of Stylish Travel Girl.

… Do you ever really look this good on holiday?

The concept of looking good while travelling always eluded me. Does nobody ever wrestle with luggage limit?! Are these superhumans able to carry twice their body weight in their backpacks and not break out in a sweat?

Do these people not have to take 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioners that always leave your hair dull and knotty, ditch make up bags for the first aid kit, or choose clunky hiking sandals over high heels?

But luggage weight isn’t the only conundrum. There’s the zombie phase after long flights, the hangover days, the travel belly assaults, the sunburnt moments…

There are plenty of yuck moments on the road. Travellers in off-the-beaten track Cambodia develop infectious bug bites that ooze pus down their backs. I spent most of my time in Malaysia with some weird fungi on my back and an infected hole in my calf.

And have you ever seen a traveller stricken with Bali Belly schmoozing poolside in kaftan and heels and a cocktail in hand? No, the truth is far closer to the photos you’re gonna see below…

So I’m embracing travel’s less stylish side, flinging off the rose-coloured glasses and the all-too-kind Instagram filters. Hats off to these intrepid travellers willing to show the real, and often ugly, side of travel. Here it is, an ode to the REAL traveller, stricken down by every travel obstacle…

10 ways to look like a real traveller

1. Throw in a bit of motion sickness

When the cruise gets a little bumpy, you won’t see champagne and cute girls perched on the bow…

2. Take jet lag into account

You can’t avoid the zombie phase after long fights, and if you can, you’re not human.

3. Dress like a local

The time when dressing like a local does not make you look cool


4. Forget your umbrella…

Because the weather will always go your way…

It’s a bit wet by Victoria falls with @emilydouthwaite #drenched

A photo posted by James Douthwaite (@jamesadouth) on

5. Get a good dose of travel belly

There’s no way to avoid it, but to ride it out…

6. Have too much fun in the sun

Although it does make for a fun game of spot the Brit…

7. Walk barefoot around sun-baked brick temples

traveler in pain

8. Head to a destination where it’s impossible to feel warm

travelers freezing cold

9. Don’t pretend your backpack is light.

We know it’s not.

Bali is hot… #sunburn and #sweaty #42degrees #gingersandsundontmix #scooterindonesia

A photo posted by Andrew Tranfo (@tranfo_14) on

10. Give the mosquitoes a feast…

Then there was the occasion when a mosquito bit my eyelid, which then swelled to twice its size… (This is obviously not that time).

A photo posted by Amandine (@ah_amandine) on

Guys, I call on you to show us your travel worst. After all, you’re already travelling, there’s no need to make people even more jealous by looking good while you do it.

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  • Reply
    Rebecca stankiewicz
    April 1, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Ahh aj this made me chuckle!!! So so true! Xxx

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