You had to have known this was coming eventually, right? The selfie stick started as a travel joke, only considered by the most shamelessly touristy of tourists, but has rapidly grown into a popular getaway must-have in major destination cities. While your first impression may be something along the lines of “omg… are those people actually using… is that… oh I can’t look… but I can’t not look… but I can’t look make it stop” I urge you to set your social anxieties aside, push past the embarrassment and just go ahead and not care how touristy you look… because they’re actually really fun.

There’s no way to not laugh at yourself while using it, so all of your smiles will be the real deal. It’s great for solo travelers who want a nice picture that looks like someone else took it without having to hand their phone over to a stranger (no, you can’t see the stick in the pics), and it’s perfect for groups too because the distance means everyone can actually fit in the shot (including the monument you’re posing in front of). It’s usually cheap and it’s simple to work, I’m forever nervous about my phone falling out but haven’t had a problem so far. It’s a bit tacky, I know, but I think if you can sort of read the room and know when the right time to use it is, you’ll be fine. Outside in the big piazza, a high up vantage point with a panoramic view, a iconic and tourist friendly monument like the Colosseum… sure, have at it… a fancy museum, old timey church or a crowded close-tabled restaurant… be polite, probably not now, I mean it’s not exactly subtle.

selfie stick

Photo via Flickr/Gabriela Stevens

Pros

  • Arm-free selfies
  • Fit more than your overly excited face in the picture, your friends, that monument, the guy on the metro doing that weird thing you want evidence of for stories later…
  • Great for solo travelers and large groups
  • No worries about handing your phone off to a stranger to get a reasonably distanced picture
  • Doubles as a back scratcher or high-up-stuff getter
  • See / take pics of events from the back of the crowd
  • No it’s like actually fun though, it is

Cons

  • Everyone around you will hate you
  • What if your phone falls out and breaks?
  • Being over age 15 and using this = being over age 15 and still having your mom drop you off on the wrong side of the mall so she doesn’t see that you’re actually meeting up with Jeremy, not Becky and Amanda … even though she totally knows
  • Now there’s little men who follow me around when I go to the coffee bar or walk to work trying to sell me these… at least when it was roses I could pretend someone was in love with me

Verdict

Is it silly? Yes. Is it useful? Also yes. Obviously if you’re the type to take pictures of where you travel, and not you traveling where, this is not worth the 10 bucks for you, it’ll take up space in your carry on and you’ll never even use it, so no. If you like the selfies though, and by selfies you mean nice, scenic, well structured photos of yourself and not like the upper angle weird face close-up selfies, then yeah why not? It’s easy for group shots and solo travelers and ultimately allows you to get clear shots of your adventures for memories when the trip is done.

 

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Will you capture travel moments with the selfie stick?

American by chance, but Roman by choice, Sarah is currently feeding her adventurous soul with expatriatism and pizza. Her finest moments are always on the wrong bus with a backpack and an upside down map, waiting to see what the world’s got for her next, so long as she can blog about it. She likes writing more than talking, dolphins more than humans, old movies more than new, and Rome more than anything else.

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