Forget about beautiful landscapes – nothing beats watching your bag come down this slide. Photo: Alamy

Lockdown made us all think about the best sights in the world and what we miss. But you can forget about the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower. Here’s a subversive list of the top attractions that really get us excited.


There is no better sight to see when traveling than watching your suitcase tumble down the carousel first – especially for Australians who have often spent 30 hours in transit hoping to get past the quarantine queue. Not a problem if you’re flying in business class and your suitcase is prioritized, but for the rest of us it’s a cross of fingers and eyes on the slide like a dog desperately looking for a treat.


Barcelona, ​​Spain - June 06, 2017: Some people are waiting for the arriving passengers at the exit of the arrival zone of Barcelona Airport.  They have papers with names on them.  iStock image for travelers.  Reuse allowed.  Brian Johnston article about great sights in Travel tra6-online-sights

Photo: iStock

Long journey, jet lag, clutter, worry of being decanted into a shabby airport in developing countries at low tide. Then the tsunami of relief when you spot your name on a plaque held up by a guide or driver. You have the urge to fall into their arms like a passed out Victorian, but best of all not. To them, you’re just another dazed customer who smells like the plane.


Whether at customs, in front of a museum, or at an amusement park, the last thing you want is a long queue, but given the 1.5 billion international tourists who traveled in 2019, this is generally what you get. That makes a short queue one of the most welcome (albeit always more unusual) sights to see while traveling – and one of the few pluses of the COVID era for those who can get anywhere at all.


The traveler’s greatest wish is not to see another cathedral or baroque palace, but a washing machine – or even better a free washing machine – that lurks like a futuristic gadget in a hotel or cruise ship corridor and can change your life. What it actually does. You start out dirty, filthy, and wrinkled, and you end up feeling fresh, glamorous, reborn, and ready for the road.


There is really no more blessed sight than a clean, quiet and tidy hotel room after a day of sightseeing in one of these destinations, which are wonderful, but characterized by chaos and overstimulation. Crowded crowds, horns, dust, heat, color, cacophony, wandering cows, beggars, oversized sights, stormy temples … Then swipe your key card and your hotel room opens like a portal into another world. Bliss.

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Somewhere to hang a towel

Is it too much to hope that hotels will provide adequate towel rails? Or even a hook that is not directly above the toilet or behind the door, where the unventilated towel hangs limp like seaweed? The lack of a rack is especially annoying when you have to reuse your towel. That makes a generous, well-placed towel rail a welcome sight, albeit as rare as snow in the Sahara.


Speaking of hotel rooms, who wouldn’t want to come across a decent coffee maker when checking in? OK, this is one of the newest hotel room must-haves for the ridiculously spoiled, but caffeine deficiency knows no reluctance. You can’t always stop by for coffee, and who wants room service when you’re jet lagged and in dire need of a shower? Bring the coffee pods. Or at least a kettle.


Image with the interior of a German border train, with comfortable modern chairs and a mountain landscape viewed through the window.  iStock image for travelers.  Reuse allowed.  Brian Johnston article about great sights in Travel tra6-online-sights

Photo: iStock

You kicked the soles of your shoes, attacked a foreign language ticket machine, descended into the bowels of the earth, snuck between commuters on a crowded platform … and then you see something better than all the sights of the day combined, an empty seat in one Train transportation. You could almost sob with joy. Just sit down, slide into the tourist coma and feel your feet unfold in relief.


OK, this isn’t the elusive sight it used to be when traveling, but it still has the power to make you grin like you’ve just found a $ 50 bill. What you might save given the prices some hotels and cruise lines charge for WiFi. If an actual sign isn’t there, just keep an eye out for tourists or crew members huddled in a corner like cormorants with their heads bowed over the equipment.


Kingdom of Cambodia Visa in passport iStock image for travelers.  Reuse allowed.  Brian Johnston article about great sights in Travel tra6-online-sights

Photo: iStock

It’s a sweet moment when you open your passport freshly returned to you by a consulate and discover a new full-page visa with the promise of an adventurous trip. I could be a pink and blue Indian visa, a light green Cambodian visa that has Angkor Wat written on it, or an Iranian visa that is splattered with Persian calligraphy. It’s like getting a gold ticket. And it is certainly the sight that we would all like to see again – and soon.

See also: Twenty things you never thought you would miss while traveling

See also: Some of the worst things about travel come back