Traveling is an amazing hobby which allows you to visit places you've never been or places that are nothing like where you live. Millions of people travel every year and for good reason. You can see and experience new things and meet new people. But for every traveler don't forget that there are plenty of locals who may have a positive or negative view of them for a variety of reasons.
Travelers sometimes get a bad reputation for being annoying and there are plenty of annoying habits they engage in. Some travelers may only have one or two annoying habits, while some may participate in all 10 entries on this list. Some travelers may be a mix of being annoying and being polite, while some may be little angels and never do anything to annoy anyone while traveling.
Some of the annoying things many travelers do include using their smartphones too much, being loud and obnoxious, not cleaning up after themselves, not educating themselves, and many more. Luckily for every annoying habit, there's a polite habit that can be practiced so you aren't annoying anyone at all and you're setting a good example while making your travel experience more enjoyable and respectable.
20 Annoying: Making A Mess
It's one thing to be a bit messy in your hotel room if you have housekeeping to clean up after you, but some travelers take it too far. Make sure you throw away any trash you are responsible for while you're out and about seeing the sights. Don't just assume someone else will pick up your trash or act like you're better than everyone just because you're traveling there and spending your money. Beaches are one place travelers seem to leave a mess behind so pay careful attention to picking up and throwing away all your rubbish. The same is true if you go camping.
19 Polite: Cleaning Up After Yourself
One of the most polite things you can do as a traveler or tourist is to clean up after yourself. One simple way to do this is by throwing away all your trash. Even if there's nowhere to throw it away where you are, bring it with you to the nearest trash can or receptacle. If you really want to go above and beyond, throw away trash left by others as well. Tourists get a bad reputation by leaving trash behind but doing your part by cleaning up can make a great impression. You might even want to bring around a trash bag with you, it won't take up much room at all when folded up.
18 Annoying: Getting In The Way
Whether it's driving or walking around, many tourists get in the way. In the old days, they would stop to look at a map on a busy street corner or pull over on a road where it's difficult to get around them. Now they are more likely looking at their mobile devices, but some travelers are still guilty of being in the way quite often. You shouldn't be moving too fast or you might miss out on an experience but you should be prepared so you know where you're going and how to get there. Just being more cautious of your surrounding and letting people go by is a good way to overcome this.
17 Polite: Being Patient
If you go to certain tourists attractions there will likely be a large group of people there. Be patient and plan on a big crowd. Take your time and don't try to plan too much in the same day. If something's important for you to experience up close and personal, wait until it's your turn. Don't push your way up to the front or get in someone else's way. That doesn't mean you should be a pushover and let everyone go in front of you, but being patient until it's your turn is an important way to be a polite traveler.
16 Annoying: Not Attempting To Learn The Language
You don't have to be fluent in the local language to travel to another culture, but it does help dramatically to at least learn a bit of it. There are plenty of materials that can help teach you the basic words you'll want to know such as restroom, public transportation, and certain foods. At least have some materials with you or have something up on your phone or mobile device in case you need it in a pinch. If you're going somewhere where more than one language is spoken it can be a bit more difficult, so you may need to narrow down the words you learn or just focus on the main language.
15 Polite: Communicating The Local Way
Those travelers who only speak English or their native language are often annoying to others. Most of the time the only ones they are hurting are themselves because they may not be able to find certain places to get the dishes they want at a local restaurant. Brushing up on the local language so you can at least communicate some basics is important and will make your experience much better. Even doing things like finding a restaurant with pictures can help you communicate so you know what you're getting. Places that get a lot of tourists often cater to them but going above and beyond is a good habit to have.
14 Annoying: Having Too Much Stuff
Many tourists look like they're carrying everything they own with them while they're out seeing the sights. If you want to bring lots of bags with you on your trip that's perfectly fine as long as you don't mind paying the airline baggage fees. It makes sense that you want to bring along certain things like your camera, a jacket, some bottled water, etc. while out and about, but some people overdo it. This can be difficult if you're going to be out all day but a good backpack or travel bag that you can cram a lot of stuff into will certainly help.
13 Polite: Traveling Lightly
Depending on where you're going or how long you're staying for, chances are you'll be bringing a lot of belongings with you. This can be annoying to others in a variety of ways. First of all, if you're that person at the airport with five or six bags you'll be slowing others down who are trying to get to their gate on time. Once you arrive and have everything in your hotel room you'll be fine, but then some people will carry around too much stuff when they're seeing the sights. Try to narrow down what you really need at any given time.
12 Annoying: Not Tipping
Americans have often been characterized as being bad tippers. It's hard to take a whole culture of a country and put them into one category because you have a lot of people who are good tippers and a lot of people who are bad. While traveling there are a lot of people to tip whether it be the bellman, wait staff, valet, or others. Being a good tipper will allow you to do your part because many people depend on tips to make a living. There's also a chance you'll receive better service once they realize you are generous and not going to skimp out.
11 Polite: Being Generous
There are plenty of people who depend on tips and some of them love tourists while others hate them. Some travelers barely tip at all, while others are often very generous. You don't need to give what you can't afford, but remember that the people who are helping you out on your trip aren't any different than those who help you out in your hometown. You wouldn't want to stiff a server at your favorite restaurant where you are a regular, so you shouldn't do that on a vacation just because you'll likely never be back there again. Being generous is one of the most polite habits anyone can have.
10 Annoying: Traveling In A Large Group
There's nothing wrong with traveling with a group of friends or family members, but some people find large tourist groups to be annoying. Just think about how a large group can get in everybody's way and slow people down. You wouldn't want to drive behind a large tour bus if you were headed to work or school and then have it pull over and let everybody off while you had to wait. It's easy to dodge around one or two tourists but having to get by a group of 20 to 40 isn't as easy. There really isn't anything wrong with being in one of these groups but you might want to think twice.
9 Polite: Thinking Like A Local
Remember that no matter where you travel, the people that live there just want to get on with their day to day lives. That means the more you get in their way or take up their time, the more likely they are to become annoyed and irritated with you. Think of what it would be like to live there and have tourists getting in the way and slowing you down or doing any of the annoying things on this list. Be aware of your surroundings and understanding. If you're on vacation you likely have more time so letting others go first is the polite thing to do.
8 Annoying: Disrespecting Local Culture
Whenever you travel you're likely to encounter a different culture than your own. Even if you are traveling within the same country different places mean different attitudes and traditions. Just think of how different California might be from a state like New York. Going to a culture that speaks a different language, has different cultural norms, or has a different predominant religion means that you'll want to do your homework before you get there so you aren't disrespecting anyone. It doesn't mean you have to agree with what others do or believe, but you just want to try to avoid being insensitive.
7 Polite: Being An Educated Traveler
No matter where you're traveling there's lots of information available on the internet so you should have no excuses when it comes to being educated about where you're headed. Take some time to research the places you want to go and the things you want to do. Another important thing you want to research is the local culture. That includes traditions, language, and religion among other things. You likely won't fit in so your goals should be more about understanding and respect the local culture and not being insensitive about others' preferences. Remember that you are a guest in the area you are visiting so you should respect how things are there.
6 Annoying: Being Too Loud
In certain countries like the United States, people tend to be a bit loud. There are plenty of quiet and thoughtful people, but there is an equal number of people who tend to make a lot of noise. Whether they're intoxicated, excited, or just aren't aware of how loud they talk, tourists being too loud and obnoxious is a common complaint from people who lived infrequently traveled to areas. It makes sense that travelers are happy to be in a new place and many people do tend to drink more than they would at home. Remember that trying to communicate with someone who speaks another language doesn't mean you have to yell.
5 Polite: Keeping Quiet
There are lots of advantages to keeping quiet and not being too loud, especially while you're traveling. People often find tourists and travelers to be too loud and obnoxious. In fact, that's often how they know someone's a tourist. If you stay relatively quiet you'll be more likely to blend in. Keep in mind that sometimes tourists get taken advantage of when it comes to things like prices so being quiet can help you in more ways than one. You also hear things you might miss if you're too busy talking which can come in handy when taking in new experiences.
4 Annoying: Overusing Mobile Devices
In this day and age, a majority of the popular seems to be addicted to their smartphones and other similar devices. While it's one thing to be glued to your device at home, constantly being on it while you're traveling will likely mean you lose out on experiences. It's fine to look up directions or use a language translator but you can wait to check your social media or email until you get back home, or at least until you get back to your room. There are apps that can help travelers, but if you aren't enhancing your experiences you should put your device away.
3 Polite: Using Your Phone Sparingly
Whether they're traveling or not, people are spending more time on their smartphones and mobile devices than ever before. Overusing their devices is one of the biggest complaints when it comes to annoying habits that travelers have. Using your phone more sparingly will make you seem more respectable and you'll be paying more attention to your surroundings which are likely new to you. There are certain reasons to use your phone like looking up directions or using a language translator, but try not to do too much because that can wait until you aren't traveling. Try keeping your phone in your pocket or bag for the most part.
2 Annoying: Taking Too Many Selfies
This is a relatively new problem that annoying others. Travelers have been taking pictures on their vacations since it was practical, but there's a difference between taking a group picture or a photo of an interesting site and taking selfies with everyone and everything. Taking selfies is annoying because travelers will go right up to the front of certain attractions because they need to be up close to make the selfie work. They sometimes cut people off or block the view or even get in the way of others taking actual pictures. If you have to take selfies try to limit them and be respectful of others around you.
1 Polite: Limiting Your Pictures And Selfies
Taking too many selfies is one of the most annoying things travelers can do. Selfie takers often get in the way or force their way up to the front of an attraction just to get a picture with their mug in it. Being a more polite traveler means limiting the number of selfies you take and the number of overall pictures you take as well. You want to remember your trip, but taking one or two good pictures of one scene is better than taking 10 to 20 average pictures. Make sure to leave your selfie stick at home and try waiting for others to leave the area before you have your turn.