10 Travel Annoyances & Pet Peeves

travel annoyances and pet peeves

Travelling is fun. Of course it is, that’s why we do it. But as with anything there will be things that occasionally get up your nose.

I think most annoyances can be found in the actual journey to and from the destination.

Take the check in desk queues at the airport for example. Why do people have to stand so close to you? Do they think the line will move quicker if they stand one inch behind you? Maybe they think you enjoy their elbows and bags banging into you. And don’t forget, when the person in front of you moves, you better move up straight away to close the gap or they’ll be hot on your heels. It seems that some people have never heard of personal space. Why don’t you just jump on my back while you’re at it?

So there, that is one of my pet peeves about being at the airport. But what about others? Here are some of the annoyances I see mentioned in travel groups, although many of them can apply to day to day life as well.

Are you guilty of any? I am guilty of numbers 2 and 3, and I think possibly in the long distance past I may have been a culprit of number 9!

1. Using devices on loudspeaker

People who watch videos or take phone calls with their speakers on and no headphones. No! Just don’t it. How could they possibly think that anyone else wants to listen to their conversations or listen to the action packed movie they happen to be watching? Who doesn’t have a pair of headphones these days anyway? Rude! 

Solution? Buy some headphones or switch your speaker OFF!

2. Taking shoes off on a flight

I get where people are coming from with this one, but I have taken my shoes off on long haul flights. Eek, sorry! But it is so much more comfortable. However! The issue is if someone takes their shoes off and they have their bare smelly feet out! Now that is a problem and I’m glad I have not had to deal with that one yet! People who want to go barefoot on a plane might want to consider how dirty the plane floor is, and the floors of the toilets, let’s not go there, but I have read plenty of stories from flight attendants about the lack of cleanliness in the toilets. Please at least put some shoes on when venturing into those!

Solution? Take some slipper socks to wear on the plane, or for the love of God make sure you have good foot hygiene before bearing the tootsies.

3. Sick people

People don’t like being around sick people. Fact. Nobody wants to catch your germs so if you have a cold or a cough or anything else contagious please do everyone a favour and stay at home. Stuck on a plane with someone coughing and sneezing? That’s awful but also spare a thought for them, they are probably only there because they really have to be. 

Disclaimer: I was once that sneezing person on a flight from New York to Vegas. And the flight was delayed taking off. I had to sit there for an hour working my way through my tissues trying not to sniff and sneeze too much. It was horrible, I felt really bad for everyone else, but I had no choice.

Solution: Only travel when sick if you have to and maybe wear a mask to contain the germs. 

4. Reclining Seats

This divides A LOT of people. If this subject comes up in the groups you are going to get 100s of comments!

Basically, you’re in one of two camps.

Camp 1. I paid for the chair, it can recline, I’m going to recline.

Camp 2. Planes are not built for reclining now, the rows are too narrow so it is selfish to recline your seat. 

I’m a bit of both. On short haul flights, under say 3 hours I don’t recline. For longer flights, yes I will recline, but I don’t do it throughout the flight and I don’t think I’ve ever reclined all the way out of respect to the person behind me.

I have had people in front of me fully recline throughout the whole flight so I guess they are firmly in camp 1.

Solution: If you are in camp 1 then recline with respect. Avoid mealtimes and avoid reclining at top speed. If you are in camp 2 and really need your space then pick an exit row seat or upgrade your ticket if you can afford to.

5. Unruly children

If there is another subject that gets people going it’s unruly children on flights. Babies who won’t stop screaming and kids allowed to run up and down the plane. I’m totally with people who don’t like children using the plane like it’s their personal playground. We all have to sit down. Sit. If you need to stretch your legs do it then sit back down again. Don’t climb over seats, jump on seats, shout and squeal or kick the seat in front of you for fun.

Babies, that’s a bit different. As long as the parent is doing all they can to calm the child there really isn’t anything else you can do but grin and bear it. 

This doesn’t just apply to planes – I was on a coach from Bristol to Gatwick and about three quarters into the trip a couple got on with a baby who was screaming its lungs out. They sat directly behind me. This annoyed me more than the screaming baby because there were plenty of empty seats on the coach. Why sit directly behind someone when your child is screaming blue murder? Again, personal space people! The screaming did not stop until they got off.

Solution: Earplugs and a big deep breath. 

6. Queuing Unnecessarily

I don’t know if it’s a British thing or not, I suspect it isn’t, but us Brits do like to queue!

As soon as that flight gets called and usually before that, we are up there queuing and getting in everyone’s way, making sure to eye up anyone you think might be about to try and jump the queue.

I mean come on, if we don’t stand there for thirty minutes waiting to board, the plane might go without us or we might not get our already allocated seat.

On a return flight from Vegas to Gatwick (so probably full of Brits) they were all over the place trying to queue, or whatever their version of a queue was. Even though they had been told it was being boarded in groups they still were all up there blocking the way. The guy had to get on the tannoy and he said, in these exact words “I know you Brits love to queue but please take a seat, the plane will not leave without you”.

I thought he was great. He actually had to tell them twice.

Solution: People, just sit down and wait. Let people who really need to board first board first, like those with disabilities.

7. Manspreading

We all know them. Men who think they can sit with their legs wide apart, not caring whose space the invade. I don’t know, do they think they look cool or something? Keep your legs in your own space men! Not wanting to be sexist, I’m sure there are women who do this too.

Solution: you could pointedly look at them and then their legs in the hope they get the hint, or just push your leg up to theirs to give them the idea. They may enjoy that though.

8. Boarding the plane

People who take ages to find their seat and sit down when boarding.

How hard can it be? Everyone knows how numbers work.  Little numbers at the front, big at the back. They even go sequentially. You know – 1, 2, 3, 4… Why you’re even having a hard time locating your row is baffling.

Sometimes you even get a big clue on your boarding pass to board at the front or the back of the plane. And yes, it does apply to you.

You know the size of your bag, either put it above you or below you. Then sit down and let others pass. Don’t stand there blocking the aisle while you decide to get out your book, take off your coat and fold it up, look for those sweets you really want at the bottom of the bag. Do all this BEFORE you get on the plane.

Solution: There is no solution for no common sense.

9. Smelly Food

People don’t like it when someone eats smelly food in confined spaces! On the list of offending items are:

  • Boiled eggs or egg sandwiches
  • Beef Jerky
  • Strong cheese that smells like nappies
  • Tuna or anything fishy
  • Fried food from the takeaway in the airport

Remember, if you can smell your food, then so can everyone else as it gets passed through all that lovely recycled air, continuously.

Solution: stick to a non offensive ham or cheese sandwich, or something that doesn’t stink anyway.

10. Instagrammers!

Not just Instagrammers, but anyone who spends way too long to take the perfect photo while being totally oblivious to people around them. If you must change your clothes and do your hair and makeup for a photo carry on, but don’t block and obstruct someone else’s view while you do it. And then please don’t spend half an hour clicking 200 photos until you get 1 that you might just like. Everyone pays to travel and to go and visit beautiful places and everyone has a right to be there and admire the views. Places like Bali have become victims of the Instagrammer fame. Some hotels in Turkey even advertise that they have “Instagrammable terraces”. Lovely photos are brilliant to have, but they should not be achieved at other people’s expense.

Solution: go super early or super late to avoid the crowds. Or just have some awareness of people around you. Snap for a few minutes and then step back to let others enjoy the area as well.

I think that is enough to be getting on with.

At the end of the day it’s all about respect and consideration for other people. Do you have any other pet peeves or annoyances while travelling? 

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Iain

    Worrying about whether your suitcase is 1 kg too heavy. If so, then having to take stuff out of it and put it in hand luggage. Because that will make the plane lighter..
    Also having to have your boarding pass when you buy something from the shop. As if you would have sneaked into departures without one, to buy an overpriced Harry Potter wand.

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