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The other day, my especially snarky (and hilarious) friend Scott posted the following Facebook status, which provoked an even greater number of comments than his usual incendiary posts:

Tis the season…to post pics of your plane tickets for your fabulous holiday trip. Remember to only feature your seat number if you’re in first or business class. If you’re in coach, just take a pic of your destination with the rest of your ticket hidden discreetly behind your passport. #humbled #blessed #travelhacks

I laughed out loud and then quietly thought to myself, “Is he talking about me?!” After scrolling through my Instagram account, I realized I do have quite a few first class pics — but then again, this is what I do for a living! And the whole point of my social media posts isn’t to brag about where I’ve been, but more to educate friends and followers so they can travel the same way.

After reading through the hilarious comments, most of which agreed that seeing people upload photos from business and first class is annoying, it got me thinking about how one can share his or her travel experiences without overtly rubbing them in their friend’s faces. It’s a delicate balance, but here are some tips for sharing your travel pictures in a smart, helpful way so you won’t have to worry about your friends talking about you behind your back.

1. Never Share a Picture of Your Boarding Pass

Posting a pic of your boarding pass to highlight a trip is simply too literal, not creative enough and isn’t exactly compelling imagery. Not only that, doing this is a big no-no from a personal security standpoint. So much information can be gleaned from your boarding pass and if someone really wanted to mess with you, they could go so far as to call the airline and wreak havoc on your ticket — or even cancel it! Avoid any possible drama by not posting pictures of your boarding pass, even if you’re proudly seated in 1A.

2. If You’re Going to Upload a Picture of Yourself in First or Business Class, Be Open About How You Booked It

If you’re using miles to make your trip amazing, be proud of that! Many of your friends may not know how to, so try to share your points knowledge by being informative and saying something like, “You may not know this about me, but I’m a points junkie. By simply getting the right credit card and following some great travel blogs like @thepointsguy” — by the way, I’ll try to chime in and reaffirm how cool you are if you do this! — “I’m flying in comfort to Rio tonight. Happy to help you out if you have any questions.”

Now, you may not want to open yourself up to an onslaught of points and miles redemption questions, but I have to think that your friends will respect your hobby and travel savviness. Even if you splurged outright and paid for the seat, just be honest about being excited to fly in a particular airline’s business class on your vacation and let people know some interesting things about it. You don’t need to apologize for flying up front, but you can also explain that travel is your passion and while some people spend money on watches or designer clothes, you save yours up for incredible travel experiences.

3. Don’t Be Basic, Be Creative

Don’t do the usual staged photo where you’re drinking a glass of Champagne (or sparkling wine if you’re flying on a US carrier) and smiling at the camera. Instead, opt for a silly photo or even a Boomerang post highlighting a cool feature of the seat. That way, instead of appearing overly pretentious, you’re adding entertainment to the mix.

Where naughty passengers get stowed for taxi, takeoff and landing #a350 #airbus10000

A video posted by Brian Kelly (@thepointsguy) on

4. Add in Something About Your Destination

Instead of just simply saying “Ooh, look at me in first class,” make it about where you’re going. Calculate the distance to show how far you’re flying — I use Great Circle Mapper to calculate the distances between airports and add more detail to my posts.

Bottom Line

Even if you follow my advice, there may still be haters out there. But after a nasty election and lots of other depressing things in the news, I’m a big believer in sharing the things that make us happy to help bring us together. The more I travel, the more I realize how much we have in common versus the things that divide us, so sharing your travel experiences — whether or not they’re in first class — is a positive thing if you ask me! To make sure you don’t miss any of my humble (or outright) travel brags, follow along with all my travel adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. #blessed

 

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