Debunking ‘Best of’ Travel Lists

This photo shows a globe and a headset

“What’s the best day of the week to book airfare?”

“Where’s the best hotel in Paris?”

“Who has the best lobster roll on Cape Cod?”

When it comes to travel, I often get some variation of these questions from friends and family — and it makes sense at first glance. We work hard and get precious little time off each year, as such, we want to make sure we’re making the most of our vacation. Hence the pursuit of bests — if we’re only getting a week in Jamaica, or a long weekend in San Francisco, we want to make sure we’ll enjoy it and have an ideal experience.

Any and all major magazines have their “10 Best” lists popping up for everything from airlines to airports, hotels to restaurants. (I may even be guilty of having authored a few such stories in my previous life.)

But here’s the secret: Even after 10+ years of studying consumer travel trends, I’m here to tell you that the word “best” is — at best — a fallacy. Think about it: It’s a means of finding a quality experience that will appeal to the most people, across all walks of life. It’s a way to quickly distill something complex and nuanced into an easy-to-digest format. And it’s a method for busy travelers to save time during trip planning — after all, consulting a “best of” list is the quickest way to research a new place.

But by focusing on the generic “best”, ironically, you might miss the experience that would be best for you. So it’s time to remove the term from your Grownup traveler vocabulary.

Get the full story over at Society of Grownups blog.

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