We’ve all got a few pet peeves and if you travel at all you’ll probably develop some travel pet peeves as well. After being on the road on and off for the last few years and doing lots of travel in the US, I’ve found a few of these travel pet peeves of my own. SO let’s get into it!
Rustling bags and zippers early in the morning
This is basic hostel courtesy. It’s something you probably learn about staying in hostels before you even stay in one. At least I think it should be. If you have an early morning departure, like 8AM or earlier, pack the night before and leave out the things you’ll still need. Keep this plastic bag rustling and backpack zipping to a minimum when people are definitely sleeping.
Pack the night before.
I don’t hate guitars, but I don’t really enjoy when people just start playing in the common area. I’ve even seen people play over already loud music, like, can you not? Or at least turn it off and play? It feels like such a backpacker cliche and I didn’t think I would dislike it this much, but man, I do not enjoy the guitars. If you do bring one, know how to play something other than Wonderwall, and that’s what that guy was actually playing over the music, so that’s cool.
Learn a few songs that aren’t Wonderwall and take into consideration the people around you and the environment you’re in.
Four giant carry on bags
I get carry on travelers. I am one of them. I usually have my 40L backpack and a smaller daypack type thing and put my purse in one of those. My big backpack easily fits in the overhead bins. I’m never shoving and struggling to get in the bin and my small bag goes under the seat. It’s easy. But I hate seeing people with an overstuffed rolling suitcase and then a tote bag or duffle bag the same size as the suitcase plus a giant purse. I’ve seen some giant bags. Know that your bag definitely easily fits into the bin and your other bag fits under the seat to make it a smooth process where you aren’t receiving glares for holding everyone up.
Keep the number of bags to a minimum, like, not four.
Lack of outlets
This can’t be helped by us travelers, but it’s the worst when a hostel dorm has like, ten beds and two outlets. Or a hotel only has outlets that you have to rearrange the room to reach. I like that a lot have USB plugs or outlets on lamps and side table now. That’s super helpful, but not when it comes to hostels. I’ve stayed in a few hostels that have the little pod style things with lights and outlets in each. That’s what’s up!
Find a bed by an outlet and bring a portable charger.
Zion, not Zions
Ugh! This might be the worst. I don’t even know where the extra s comes from. It’s Zion. Four letters. That’s it.
Drop the s.
I noticed this a lot at the markets in Guatemala. People would be bargaining a bracelet down from 15 Quetzals to 12 Quetzals or 10 down to 7. I mean, that’s like 50 cents, if that. I think the people selling the bracelet could use it more than you could. I get that haggling is part of traveling and market experiences, but that always bothered me. I get it if they start the price super high, but still. Paying a few extra cents won’t kill you.
Haggle, but remember sometimes it’s only over a few cents.
When people don’t know where you’re going
This can’t really always be helped either, but oh man does it bother me. Like, I literally just said where I was going and you said completely different words.
Taiwan? “Oh, I have a friend that went to Thailand!”
Then I say, “Oh, I’d like to go there someday, too.”
When you say Central America and people go, “Oh, South America, that’s so cool!”
I never really knew how to handle it, especially Central America. So the above would be said and I would just smile and say “well, Central America, but yeah.” And then they would ask what countries in South America, so it didn’t really help. Sometimes it’s funny after repeating it and they just stick with it, but it still bothers me. There’s only so much that can be done, so it’s just something I’ll have to deal with.
Smile, correct people once or twice, then just go with it if thye don’t get it.
When people stand in front of the thing everyone is there to see like they have all the time in the world
Like everything, there are some exceptions to this, like Seven Magic Mountains outside of Vegas or Cadillac Ranch, people just mill about those, that’s how they work. However, when there is one little waterfall that everyone clearly wants to take pictures of, don’t linger. Get in, take your pictures, get out. Don’t stop to chat and check your email and order some stuff online. Make it quick so other people can enjoy it, too. Delicate Arch is a tough example. Everyone wants their picture in front of it, that’s cool, I get it. Just don’t take a year to get it. And sometimes, you just have to settle for having people in your pictures. I mean, you can always photoshop them out.
Be mindful of the people around you.
Or on old buildings or anything else of historic importance. It’s not cool. Adam 1997 is not cool. It will never be cool when there are names from 100 years (or more) before that, you know, the people that found it or built it. You’re not ‘leaving your mark’. You’re actually just sort of ruining a cool historic thing.
Keep your scratching tools off the stuff.
Walking where you’re definitely not supposed to walk
Ok, the culprit in this was probably a bison, but I do know people have walked onto things they shouldn’t at Yellowstone before. Like the Grand Prismatic Spring. There are signs to stop you from going places for a reason. It’s probably a fragile environment that you could crash through with one wrong step or has a steep ledge that you could fall off of if you happened to trip or slip. I’m not saying don’t ever go off trail, I certainly do, just be mindful of when and where you do it.
Listen to the signs and respect that some places are fragile or dangerous.
Leaving garbage all over
Ugh. I can’t even. Cadillac Ranch was the worst when it comes to garbage. Yes, you can paint on the cars, but pleeeeeeease take your empty spray paint can with you! Painting the cars to add to the coolness then throwing your empty can on the ground is basically just canceling out how cool you just made the car. Just look at the ground in the picture below. The whole area has so much garbage, it almost hurt to see it. I would have loved to get rid of it, but I had no way to do so and if I was back in the area, I might come better prepared. Pack it in, pack it out isn’t just for backpacking in the backcountry.
Clean up after yourself.
Really, don’t scratch your name in the rocks
I mean, look how stupid this looks? Do I even need to say anything else?
On that note, don’t color the rocks with chalk, either
Sure, it’s eye-catching, but why? Paper not good enough? Did you bring chalk all the way into the narrows just to do this? Again, why? It certainly doesn’t add to the beauty of the huge river canyon we’re walking through. This just goes with the point above.
Respect the rocks.
People that think everyone needs to speak English and get mad when others don’t
I’ve seen people get frustrated at not being able to communicate. It’s happened to me, trust me, but don’t expect everyone to speak English. Don’t get frustrated, glare at the girl trying to take your order, dismiss me when I tell you an Americano is basically what you want, then walk away. There may be a language barrier, but people will usually try and get past it to help you anyways. I had lunch with some old guys on my tour in Taiwan and could only talk with one of them, but the other two were still so nice and welcoming that it didn’t matter when I had no idea what they were telling me.
Get good at charades and come prepared with keywords written down.
What are your biggest pet peeves, travel or not? Can you relate to any of these?