A question often posed to me is what’s your favorite part about travel? While I can give you aseries of reasons why I travel, it’s virtually impossible for me to pick my favorite part. But recently, another question I’ve heard quite a few times is what do you dislike the most about travel? I’m a pretty positive person in general and firmly believe that the benefits of travel far outweigh the negative aspects, but a decade worth of non-stop travel has certainly exposed me to my fair share of annoyances when it comes to airplanes, hotels, sightseeing, and the overall travelsphere. What gets under my skin the most, you say? I’m certain there’s many more out there, but these are the first 15 pet peeves that come to mind. Feel free to chime in with your list in the comments below. 🙂
1) Lack of customer service.
Listen up airlines, airports, etc., you’re nothing without passengers and travelers! Seriously, nothing. If you’re frustrated with something else or another customer, don’t take it out on me. It’s not only unfair and annoying, but it also leaves a terrible lasting impression on me. Most importantly, you’ve now tarnished the reputation of the brand you work for. On the flip side, it also bothers me when I see people yelling at staff, when they’re being nothing but accommodating and pleasant.
2) People who don’t cover their mouths when they cough, yawn, or sneeze, especially in confined spaces such as airplanes.
Seriously, it’s bad manners and just plain disgusting, not to mention an infringement on my personal space.
3) People who approach travel like an itemized grocery list.
I get it, you’ve been around, but instead of telling me how many countries you can cross off a list (and showing me you know how to count), tell me how many languages you speak, what have you learned about other cultures, how have you become a better person because of travel…you get the point. Conversely, don’t tell me you’re a world traveler when you’re from the U.S. and the only traveling you’ve done is to Cancun and back. Nice try.
4) People who wait until the last minute to take out their passport/boarding pass, delaying the flow of traffic.
Seriously, you’ve had all the time in the world while waiting in line to get your documents ready. What did you think they wanted to see when you got to the front–your smiling face?
5) Airports without free WiFi.
This should be illegal according to international law in today’s day and age. I’m particularly annoyed when big hub cities like London don’t offer it. Thankfully, my home hub, Los Angeles recently jumped on board.
6) Unclean facilities at airports and on airplanes.
There’s just no acceptable reason or excuse for unkempt public facilities and airplane seats. I’m really not all that interested in knowing what the person who sat in my airplane seat before me had for lunch.
7) People who need to be told a million times by flight attendants to turn off their phones, put their seats in the upright position, close their tray tables, etc.
I’m not a flight attendant, but my guess is that they’re not talking because they like the sound of their voices. They’re simple directions, just listen the first time!
8) Airline representatives who are sticklers for just a pound or two of overweight luggage, especially when I’m moving from one country to another.
I usually can reason with them, but other times, I might as well be talking to a wall. Don’t we pay enough to begin with, especially if I’ve paid for a business/first class flight??
9) The ever-changing TSA restrictions.
They can’t bloody make up their minds as to what can and can’t be allowed on board and find the need to change the restrictions almost daily.
10) Using your mileage to pay for a destination, only to find out that you still owe many hundreds of dollars in airline taxes and fees.
Not appreciated one bit.
11) Lack of communication from airline agents when there are delays.
I subscribe to a bunch of alerts, but it does not make me happy to receive notice about what’s going on through those instead of the gate agents when I ask them.
12) No complimentary water in hotel rooms.
This absolutely drives me up the wall. After paying $500+ a night, you can’t even provide the most basic necessities?! How is that a home away from home?
13) Paying exorbitant fees for visas.
If you’re trying to promote tourism and fuel your economy, make it more affordable for people. Sure, some will pay no matter what, but for others that have to save every penny before embarking on a trip, it becomes a huge issue.
14) Immigration officers that are on power trips.
If I walk up with a smile, say hello, and have all my documents just as requested, then there is absolutely no need to be rude or to look at me like you’re about to devour me. I get it, your job can be rough, but think about how much better and smoother things would be if you just flashed a smile every once and a while.
15) Lost luggage.
Oh boy, there are few things more irksome than landing in your destination after 30 hours of flying and finding out that your luggage never made it and is still at your original destination. In today’s day and age with all the technology, this one still baffles me. Even more annoying/baffling is when I’m told that they’re unable to locate my baggage. The baggage tickets serve what purpose again?
Honorable mentions: travel snobs who act like they invented travel + people who expect everyone to speak English everywhere.
Surely, this list is not complete, so please feel free to keep the conversation going and let me know what your top travel pet peeves are in the comments section below!
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I’m Nyssa. I started The Cultureur in August 2012, almost a decade after contracting the travel bug while on a Model United Nations conference in Russia and Finland.
And from there, when I took the first step in solo international travel and decided to study abroad in college,
there was no looking back, and I ended up living, studying, working, and volunteering in 6 countries (the U.S., the UK, France, Iceland, India, and Germany) and traveling to 50+ others.