Travel teaches toleration.
– Benjamin Disraeli
Except, I can be pretty grumpy when people are inconsiderate. It is usually fellow travellers that irk me though.
There are always people you dislike when you travel. It is a fact of life. Sam and I put our heads together, and here are our top few, and the equivalent people that we love!
1. Hate: Girls at the airport who wear heels, carry a bag covered in metal (I’m looking at you Paul’s Boutique!) and insist on wearing every piece of jewellery they own despite the fact they are well aware they will be going through a metal detecting device with massive queues. Super long name, because they have wasted a lot of my time. I get that you want to look good when jet-setting. Instagram has created a world where we all should look our best all the time because you never know when that perfect snap might appear. But be sensible about it.
1. Love: Those people that are prepared in the queue. Keep your jewellery in your main bag, or at least take it off whilst you are waiting! Think sensibly about what you do carry in your pockets – and check what is in your hand baggage before you get to the airport. I once followed a guy who went through the metal detector without checking his bag, he was carrying a rather large utility knife. Yay for a massive wait for the rest of us.
We like people that wear sensible shoes, no jewellery and have made sure they aren’t carrying knives in their hand luggage.
2. Hate: The inconsiderate hotel goer/hostel stayer. I probably do not want to be up when you are up. After 8 is totally acceptable, but 6am with music from your cellphone in a shared dorm – I am at risk of stabbing you with my toothbrush. In terms of hotel goers, the people who blast TV or music through the wall… ugh.
2. Love: The considerate hotel goer/hostel stayer. If the music/TV is loud enough for you to hear outside your room, it is too loud. Hotels have this incredible little box thing. It turns the volume down, and really isn’t difficult to use. Just be considerate. People in shared hostel dorms, we love you if you do not play your music (unless you are completely on your own) and generally, if people are sleeping or trying to get to sleep – just keep the noise down. There are common areas for a reason.
We like those people who keep their noise down at night!
3. Hate: The Lads and Lasses. Don’t get me wrong – I have no issue with the Lads/Lasses holiday, what I do take offence to is those groups that insist on shouting football chants/screeching at the tops of their voices/yelling profanities for a whole flight. I get excited, this I don’t begrudge you, but don’t force me to listen to you for 4+ hours. Oh, and please try to keep some dignity… Just an idea?
3. Love: The Lovely Lads and Lasses. You can go on a drinking holiday and still be courteous. We get that you have your own exciting songs, but we don’t need to hear them. Especially not repeated indefinitely. What we don’t mind is the people who help us out when we have 5 kids and 3 buggies to get on the plane, or through a door at the hotel. And we like those people who don’t swear in front of kids – but that’s just basic etiquette.
Go forth and enjoy! Embrace the experience whether it is a round-the-world trip or a stag-do in Amsterdam. But remember that other people are around you, and might not (definitely won’t) want to here you shouting/screaming/swearing/burping/chugging…
4. Hate: The loud and crude family. All families have tifs and kids can be a total handful, but if your kid is screaming his/her head off and you’re ignoring them as if it’s not happening or simply swearing at them and ruining everyone else’s holiday – you need to sort it out. I am probably one of the most sympathetic people to ignoring the undesired behaviour – it’s a fantastic technique for behaviour reinforcement, but it is still important to remember that others around you might not want to be part of the training.
4. Love: The understanding parents. We all know that kids are a handful, and they will at some point throw a tantrum – I work with children everyday, I know exactly what they are like. But just because you are on holiday, doesn’t mean that parenting duties stop! And we know it is your holiday as much as the children’s, but don’t keep them up stupidly late! My parents took my buggy with them till I was about 5. It meant that I had a place to sleep so my parents could stay out later if they really wanted to. But if I cried, they took me back to wherever we were staying and had a night in on the balcony – it was all about finding a balance so we could all enjoy and not affect anyone else.
We do understand that kids can have their nightmare moments! We are all understanding, but also, don’t ruin our holiday!
5. Hate: iPad photographers. I’m not sure I have mentioned it enough, it looks like you are holding a dinner tray in front of your face. And it blocks my shot too. I have no objection to iPads, in fact, I would love to be able to afford one. The objection I have is it being used as a camera. If you insist on using it, then please take the photo and put it down, don’t hold it up and look at this incredible sight through it for the entire day.
5. Love: People who offer to take your photo. There is no international hand gesture for ‘I’ll take your photo if you take mine,’ but I think there should be. I know I have a camera that looks crazy and difficult to use, but I will put it on auto focus if you offer to take a picture of me! It is so difficult getting a decent shot of yourself (or you and your other half) with whatever in the background through selfies, and I love the people that offer to take the picture for me. I will always return this favour. But more often that not, I will be the one to instigate the photo exchange (with some crazy gesturing at cameras, random words in several different languages, and a little hope that people don’t think I am trying to steal their camera very publicly).
Invest in an actual camera, then people won’t want to to hit you and your tray. And lets create an international sign language symbol for ‘let’s do a photo swap.’ Plan?
6. Hate: The ‘you haven’t really travelled if you haven’t walked over hot coals in the antarctic whilst listening to Peruvian tribal panpipes’ people. These guys get a long title, because they tend to talk a lot. About themselves, and about how their travelling is better than yours. This irritates me. I travel because I love it, I do it for me, not to compete with others.
6. Love: The ‘If you go here, then definitely try out this restaurant/sight/etc.’ people. I love these people, they have just the right amount of knowledge weighed up with recommendations. Please give me recommendations if I meet you and am about to go to somewhere you have been – it is a fantastic way to get to know somewhere!
Knowledge and experience are welcomed. Ramming it down someones throat, one-up-manship and telling people they ‘just have’t travelled’ is not.
7. Hate: The ‘Oh, when I went it was so much more authentic, less touristy, now it’s just a cliché to go there’ people. Of course the Pyramids are touristy, it is an ancient wonder of the world. Of course the Statue of Liberty is touristy, it is a symbol of freedom and of the USA. Of course Waitomo caves are touristy, its the largest cave system with glow worms in the world. Why shouldn’t we get to experience them? To everyone out there, please ignore this type of person: Go to the tourist places, there is a reason why they because tourist hotspots. But also, try for the less touristy places too!
7. Love: The ‘Oh, that place is really touristy, but you have to go – definitely try to go between 9am and 11am because that is when there are the least crowds’ people. Essentially, the nice version of above. Angkor Wat is a prime example – we went and were told it was a cliché. What we weren’t told was that after the sun has risen (at like 5.30-6.00), if you can hold out till 9 or 10am, there is pretty much no-one there. The place was ours, and ours alone! Everyone goes for sunrise, then they either move on to another temple or they head back to their hotel for breakfast (every tour does this) so suddenly, this incredible monument is deserted, and you get to experience on of the busiest monuments in the country completely on your own.
We all know that the big places are touristy, but that is what the tourist industry is all about. If you have any tips on when to go/how to miss the queues/what to look out for that people miss when you are there though, you can carry on talking to us. If you are just going to tell us it is cliché, then just shhhhh!
8. Hate: The kitchen sink packers. This is a pretty specific category – my mum is number one on the hit list. Were talking a 150l suitcase (full) for a long weekend break. For just my mum. Dad then packs the same. The 150l rucksacks irk me too. There is no issue with packing lots, the issue comes when these people use up my bag space in hostels/on overnight trains and moan about their arms/shoulders aching. I have no sympathy, you packed that much. Don’t complain.
8. Love: The packing recommenders (not entirely sure this is a word, but I’m going with it) If you hadn’t noticed, I like recommendations from other people. I love finding out about something new – like when we found out tiger balm soothed itching bites, and when someone told me that I will never need more than 5 pairs of underpants no matter how long the trip. So for all those people that write blogs or give me recommendations, I thank you, and I love all your tips!
If you must pack loads, then don’t moan about it. And if you have any amazing travel tips, let us know? Please?
9. Hate: The ‘I’ll only eat it if I can buy it back home’-ers. There is pretty much no excuse any more – you can buy almost any food in the UK now, so your argument is defunct. But why go to these incredible places, to any foreign country if you aren’t going to eat the local food? OK, you might want to skip certain things (I’m talking the fashion of buying deep-fried tarantulas in Cambodia – the locals don’t eat them, they just think it is hilarious that tourists do!) but there is more to your package holiday in Spain than a full-English fry-up and steak and chips. Go and experience some real tapas, paella: anything actually Spanish! Part of the travel experience is about eating the local cuisine, so enjoy it!
9. Love: The ‘I’ll give it a try’-ers. Food is there to try, just like wines, clothes or anything else in life. You might not like it, but at least you tried it and know that! Sam tried sushi in Japan, he will never eat it again, but he did it. I tried Florida Stone crab when I was in Florida… I will never eat it again as it turns out I am highly allergic to it, but at least I gave it a try!
Try anything authentic. Invest time in researching the best places to eat; speak to locals, other travellers, read guidebooks – they are fonts of knowledge, and you can find some incredible food around the world. But definitely try it, if you don’t like it: at least you can say you tried!
10. Hate: The ‘I don’t need to wear sunscreen’ travellers. Yes, you do. I know that I burn really easily, so its a little hypocritical, but honestly, why would you want to burn? Lobster is not a good colour. And it hurts. A lot. Even if you want to tan: you should still wear sunscreen! And don’t forget to re-apply.
10. Love: The over-protective parents (sunscreen only!). I think it is brilliant when I see parents obsessively sun-creaming their kids – especially when they are in and out of the pool. Children should not be allowed to burn – as an adult we know the risks, as a parent it is your responsibility to keep your children safe from the sun (and of course keep yourselves safe too!) I salute all those hours of squirming and arguing to get your children to wear sun protection. You are awesome parents!
Sun protection is key! Keep your self topped up with suncream, as well as anyone you are with. And don’t forget to hydrate!
11. Hate: The freebie takers. OK, we don’t hate you, we are just incredibly jealous of you. Any of us could have a free upgrade by chance and your day has come. But we’re still gutted that you got to fly first class instead of us!
11. Love: Being a freebie taker. Like I said, we’re jealous of the freebie takers. Because we want to be you. If I am ever given a freebie, I take it with open arms and a very grateful response. If you do get a freebie, please make sure you thank the people that made it happen, it is a massive privilege, not a right (as many frequent flyers seem to think) – there is nothing worse than ungrateful people.
We are jealous of you if you get the freebie, so we think you should give them all to us. Plan? OK, if not, at least give everyone the thanks and respect that they deserve and be appropriately enthusiastic about it!
Would you add anyone else to the list? Who do you love (and love to hate) when you travel?