Traveling can be part of a vacation or just a necessary evil of getting from point A to point B. Although many people enjoy traveling, for many of us, it can be a hectic, frustrating, and annoying process.
Over the past 3 years I have traveled all over the country, traveling to places including San Francisco, Chicago, Fresno, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas, and Gulf Shores, Alabama. Through my travels I have encountered an infinite number of annoyances, but I have been able to solve a few, which I will share in the list below. This article highlights my top 10 annoying pet peeves while traveling.
10. Clothing That Beeps
Bracelets, rings, watches, belts, and nearly everything seems to set off the alarm at the security check area at the airport. I once had an embarrassing moment at the Atlanta airport where I had to nearly strip completely due to setting off the security check alarm with my belt. There have been some innovations in jewelry and clothing to prevent this from happening. Travel product website Plucky Penguin has ceramic no-beep watches, no-beep belts, and other items that make this avoidable. The full body scanners are a little more reliable at letting you keep your dignity and clothes on, but many airports still use the old fashioned metal detecting screeners.
9. The Variable of Uncertainty
Does it ever seem like unfortunate things always happen to you while traveling? My wife locked our rental car keys in the trunk of the rental during our honeymoon. On the same trip, we missed our flight home because the time of departure had been changed and I had not received a notice, and had failed to double check the time the night before. Uncertainty comes in many different forms when you are traveling, and these instances rarely seem to end up in your favor, and are much more annoying than exciting.
8. Eating in Hotel Rooms
Most of my travel is done alone for business purposes. Due to not wanting to sit at a table for one, I often order carry out or pick something up nearby. Most hotel rooms are ill-equipped to accommodate something as simple as a meal. There is no silverware or plates available, no proper place to sit and eat except for the bed or possibly a business desk, and there are no refrigerators or sinks outside of the small one in or near the bathroom. There aren’t many ways to solve this problem other than stuffing a kitchen set in your suitcase or sit at a table for one at a nearby restaurant as the patrons give you sad puppy dog looks like you don’t have a friend in the world. Although I am not planning on bringing dishes with me on my next flight, I do plan to have a travel spork!
We all have certain things, like this list of pet peeves, which we will often speak up about when maybe we should just turn away and forget about it, but there is something especially annoying about those people who complain about EVERYTHING. I have been stuck behind people arguing with the TSA about something that they can obviously not bring security, and then argue with the attendants at the check-in area because they cannot bring their oversized bag onto the small plane. The worst cases of complaining are usually between a traveler and a person that had nothing to do with the issue that is being complained about. Can’t we just be nice while traveling and understand that not everything is going to go our way?
6. Noisy Passengers
I welcome a friendly conversation with a passenger, but if you happen to be sitting five rows away from a loved one or friend, don’t try to carry out a 20 minute conversation. From playing music on a computer without headphones to having inappropriate conversations that the rest of the travelers can hear, you will most likely run into overly noisy passengers on every flight. My favorite solution to this problem is an airplane survival kit with a sleep mask, ear plugs, and a neck pillow. Ear plugs, or at least headphones, should be a staple of your travel accessories.
5. Water Options
When your two options to get a drink of water while traveling are a dirty fountain that sprays everywhere or a bottle of water for $6, this can be an annoyance and a costly way to stay hydrated. The invention of filtered water bottles has helped to deal with this problem. Airports can be more expensive than amusement parks when it comes to food and drinks, but charging $6 for a bottle of water should be illegal.
4. Uncomfortable Seats
With all of the money brought in by the travel industry, why is it that there are no comfortable seats? Trains, busses, and airplanes all seem to fail at providing a seat that can provide me with comfort for any amount of time. Added to the uncomfortable nature of the actual seat is the lack of leg room and arm space. My long arms are not suited to share an arm rest with another person. Loud music or sleeping may help you temporarily ignore the terrible seats, that is until you wake up and need a chiropractic adjustment.
3. Rule Benders
Outside of every airplane boarding gate is a box that gives an example of how big your carry-on luggage can be to take with you on the plane. You would think that people would start to recognize that they are not going to get away with a bag that is twice the size of the allowed bag, but that doesn’t stop them from trying and then arguing after being told that they will have to check the bag. This is just one example of the rule benders that make traveling difficult and annoying for the rest of us. The rule bender category includes people who won’t shut their phone off on the plane, check out of hotel rooms 2 hours after the final checkout time, park in illegal parking spaces, and beg borrow and steal to get any kind of travel bonus, discount, or complimentary service.
2. Food Options
Am I the only one who is annoyed by the food options for travelers? I am denied taking certain foods with me in my carry-on luggage, but airports and hotels offer very limited options at highly inflated prices. As mentioned above, eating out of a hotel room is awkward and annoying as well. Unless you have an unlimited food budget, time to travel to a restaurant in the area you are traveling to, and a willing local or concierge to direct you where to go, finding food while traveling that matches your budget and preferences is a pain. There are good food finding services available online, but this is still one of my biggest travel pet peeves.
1. Those Who Take Advantage of Travelers
People prey on travelers and tourists, and it sickens me. There is a difference between asking for money and trying to con someone out of it, and I have encountered both on nearly every vacation and business trip to a major city or while traveling abroad. I have had my shoes ‘cleaned,’ fortune read, begged to donate to a ‘food bank,’ sung to, and had an unwanted local open my cab door to carry my one small suitcase several feet only to ask for $20. Make sure to travel safe and to be skeptical of anyone offering you a product or service outside of a respectable business.
Traveling is fun and can come with memories that last a lifetime, but it can also be a nightmare. Make sure to respect visitors to your neck of the woods, and be respectful to people who may be traveling while you are traveling. Although I will try to relax a little bit more and not be so uptight about these pet peeves, it is hard to ignore these downfalls of travel.