Traveling is a lot of fun and who doesn’t enjoy a trip to somewhere new and exotic? However, there are a lot of do's and don’ts when it comes to traveling and visiting new places. Tourists should always be prepared and pick up on certain habits when they take a vacation. Not only will it keep you safe, but it will also save you from any inconveniences. It can be pretty daunting to go to a new place, but the experience is always worth it. If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ve probably already got a routine down. The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is absolutely true. Once you’ve jetted off to enough new places, you generally pick up what things you need to take care of to make the most of your trip.
However, even if you’re an experienced traveler, have you ever thought about what other people think about you? Especially the locals of an area that you’re visiting? The one rule that all good travelers follow religiously is ‘don’t act like a tourist.’ Even if an area depends on tourism, that doesn’t mean everybody likes it when people come in acting like ignorant fools. You might think that you’re a seasoned pro when it comes to traveling. However, you might still have some annoying habits that you’re not even aware are irritating to other people! Here are 10 annoying travel habits and 10 new ones travelers should pick up instead!
20 Noisy Travelers (Annoying)
Imagine you’re out for a nice breakfast and trying to enjoy the day. All of a sudden a raucous group of people making a huge commotion over the historic statue or monument nearby disrupt the peace. There is little that is worse than trying to spend a day out and about and having the peace ruined by some loud tourists. We get it, you’re enthusiastic about being somewhere new. However, that doesn’t mean you should make a nuisance of yourself to those surrounding you. Remember, you’re in a public place, respect the peace and those around you!
19 Always On That Phone! (Annoying)
If you live in an area that is a popular tourist destination, then you know how annoying it can be when your path is blocked by people taking pictures of something. On the one hand, we’re pleased that someone thinks our city is beautiful and are appreciating it. But it can really get old fast in today’s technology-obsessed world. It seems that every corner we turn people are holding their phones up to take a picture. While it is nice to be able to take a photo of something and to look back at it later and reminisce, it is also nice to put the phone away and take a moment to really enjoy the scenery.
18 Cultural Insensitivities (Annoying)
When you travel, especially to a foreign country, it is always important to look up any cultural tips you might need to know. For example, if you visit America, make sure you tip when you go out to eat. If you visit Japan, it’s rude to stick your chopsticks in your bowl of rice. In the United Arab Nations, public displays of affection are illegal and can be harshly punished. If you visit the South and order unsweet tea, then you are a barbarian. There is nothing worse than being the clueless foreigner that is making cringe-worthy mistakes that could have been easily avoided by some early preparation.
17 Mass Tour Groups (Annoying)
In a survey conducted by Agoda on most annoying travel habits, one of the biggest peeves for people are huge tour groups. People already dislike loud and rowdy tourists and massive tour groups usually contain them in spades. There is a difference between dodging a small group of friends or family, but trying to escape from a group of 40 or more is a whole other story. While some areas rely heavily on tourist income and appreciate large groups, other places that have more locals are not the biggest fans of having their usual routine disrupted by masses of people.
16 Making a Mess (Annoying)
We understand that when you’re on vacation, you want to relax. It’s nice to stay at a hotel and know that you don’t need to worry about making your bed, or preparing dinner and having to worry about the dishes. However, just because you are on vacation, it doesn’t give you the right to be a slob. We’re not saying you need to go to the back of the kitchen and help the staff with the dishes, but just be courteous. Place yourself in the other people’s shoes; would you be annoyed with the mess a group of people left behind? Then that probably means you should tidy up a bit.
15 Penny Pinching (Annoying)
Getting a good deal or saving a bit of cash is always a bonus, especially when it comes to vacations, which can run up quite a tab. However, if you are so focused on saving a few dollars here and there, you might ruin your vacation instead of saving it. How can you or the people with you, enjoy a holiday when you are nagging on every cent spent? How many opportunities and experiences will you miss because you think the price is too much? If money truly is an issue, save for another year so that you have more of a cushion. You’re not going to want to look back on your vacation down the line and only remember the amount spent!
14 Assuming Your Language is Universal (Annoying)
English may be one of the most popular languages in the world, but that still doesn’t mean that everyone in the world can speak it. And yet, some people seem to assume that everyone must know English. We’ve seen some incidents of people trying to insist that by speaking louder, people will suddenly understand their English (or any other language). Don’t be that person, almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and there are plenty of translation apps. Just making an effort to speak the local language will endear you to the locals.
13 Overpacking (Annoying)
This is a regret that everyone always has at some point or another when they travel, over packing. First off, paying the extra cost for overweight luggage isn’t fun. Then, just having to be the person lugging a heavy suitcase is terrible on its own, too. You’ll always end up regretting over packing. When you want to buy something as a souvenir and realize you don’t have enough room in your suitcase and have to decide what to toss out, you’re going to regret adding that extra pair of shoes. You can save a lot of room and effort if you pack smart.
12 Not Willing to Try New Things (Annoying)
If you’re traveling, you should always be open to trying new things. Some of the best memories that you could make are by seeking a unique experience when you’re on vacation. We’re not saying you need to go bungee jumping off the tallest building. But you should always be open to possibilities. When you go to a new place, the locals often take pride in showing off what they are known for. If you’re unwilling even to try the local cuisine or appreciate the local sights, the people are not going to be pleased with you. To them, it will just be insulting, so be adventurous!
11 Being Impatient (Annoying)
We get it, you’re traveling and want to do as much stuff as possible, and there is only so much time. However, you don’t need to be rude about it. It is so annoying when guests come into an establishment and demand to be taken care of first, or when they get angry that they have to be in a line for a little while. Each guest is important. However, that doesn’t mean that you have the right to demand better treatment than other people. Also, be careful of any hand gestures you make when you’re abroad. Something that is okay in your country might be an insult in another!
10 Be Prepared as Soon as You Land (Do this instead)
Airports, bus stations, train stations, these are all hubs of transportation. Chances are when you go on a trip somewhere, you will find yourself at one of these locations. Do yourself a favor and make sure to research ahead of time what you will be needing when you arrive. These areas always have so much going on that it is easy to get stressed out. However, if you land or arrive and already know that you need to catch the 798 bus or the green line on the subway, then you will save yourself a lot of hassle and stress.
9 Set Alerts (Do this instead)
If you already know that at some point in time you want to take a trip somewhere, go ahead and set up price alerts. Most travel websites today allow you to subscribe to alerts that will notify you when prices drop on things such as airfare and hotels. This way you’ll be able to keep an eye on the costs and if a great deal comes by you can snag it. The emails will also be a motivation in your inbox that one day this vacation will happen! Being aware of how the prices fluctuate and adjust can help you get the best deal later on when you do book the trip.
8 Make a Checklist (Do this instead)
While you’re planning and packing for your trip, make a checklist of everything that needs to be done and packed. It will make it so much more comfortable in the long run. This way you won’t forget that you need to call the hotel and tell them that you need a late check-in, or to pack an extra set of socks and underwear, or to make sure to call and have a taxi waiting to take you to the airport in the morning. Creating and checking your list means that you will be as prepared as you possibly can, and there are fewer chances of you forgetting something.
7 Be Early (Do this instead)
Tell us this. Would you rather be too early for a flight and have to waste some time in the waiting area, or late and have to deal with rebooking fees and rearranging your entire schedule? We’re going to assume you went with the first option. It is always a good idea to give yourself plenty of cushion time. You never know when something might happen. Freak accidents do happen. What if your car to the airport blows a tire? Anything is possible and the earlier you are, the more time you have to handle any situation.
6 Put an Extra Set of Clothes in Your Carry On (Do this instead)
Let us tell you from experience.; it is not uncommon for the airplane to ‘lose’ your luggage. From being placed on the wrong plane to being detained for a security check, things with luggage happen. Usually, the airline is great with locating the missing suitcase, but they often don’t deliver them till the next day. If you keep a set of clothes, even if it is just underwear and a pair of socks in your carry-on, you won’t have to worry about missing your luggage for a day. You know the saying, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
5 Take Pictures of All Your Travel Details (Do this instead)
It’s funny how much we rely on our smartphones these days. These small portable devices contain our entire lives! From our cameras to social media to even working as our wallets, we depend on them, and it makes sense that we keep our phones close to ourselves. That being said, it is a lot easier to lose a piece of paper than our phones. So use your phones! Snap pictures of all your travel documents, your hotel address, your rental car’s license plate, it can come in handy to have all your information on hand.
4 Don’t Pack the Day Of (Do this instead)
Don’t even try and say that you’re not guilty of this one. We’ll confess and admit that we may have done this once or twice, too. Waiting till the very last minute to make a mad scramble to pack everything means that you are bound to forget something. Why start your vacation with frazzled nerves and stress? Pack the day before so that you can take your time and make sure you get everything you need. If you follow our earlier advice to make a checklist, you won’t have any problems with making sure you have everything you need for a perfect vacation.
3 Pack a Pharmacy (Do this instead)
We’re kidding, don’t actually pack an entire pharmacy into your luggage. Where would you put all your souvenirs? But do bring a few essentials, like some ibuprofen, nausea relief, cold medicine, upset stomachs, and so on. When you travel, there are way too many opportunities to get sick. Airplanes are flying cesspools of germs, and new places have different bacteria that your body is unfamiliar with. You’ll especially appreciate having your own stuff when you’re in a foreign country. Being sick and trying to navigate a pharmacy with a language you can’t understand can be an absolute nightmare.
2 Ask The Locals (Do this instead)
There is a bad habit of places that have high amounts of tourism to adjust the style of food and how the area could make it more “appealing” to the tourists. This often means that instead of authentic cuisine, we’ll still just find the same McDonald’s and Starbucks around us and instead of local goods you’ll only find shop after shop of tourist trinkets. If you really want to experience an area, ask your taxi driver their favorite restaurant or where they like to go to relax and have fun. You’ll get to experience the place like a local and experience some authenticity!
1 Research, Research, Research (Do this instead)
The most significant travel habit that a person should pick up on is to research the area that they are going to visit thoroughly. From looking at how the weather is to what kind of transportation is most accessible, the more you know, the easier the trip will be. You don’t want to be dropped down into the middle of a new place and have zero ideas of what you’re doing. Granted, with smartphones these days all your answers are usually just a few clicks away. However, low battery, lack of Wi-Fi or a stolen phone, are all things that could happen. Travel smart, and you’ll have a great trip.