Female Travel Hack · Hacks For Wanderlust · Thoughts · Travel Listicle

How To Be An Annoying Traveler

You’re at a museum having a grand time learning about history and admiring phenomenal arts. You’re fully indulged as you walk by paintings and sculptures, pausing in front of some pieces to savor its beauty. You’re a world away, completely transcended to another place and time. When, wait a minute, there’s a big group inhibiting you from moving along. They’re taking a group photo in front of a significant painting. Loudly. And obnoxiously. You smiled at them as a signal that you’re polite enough not to photobomb their shot. They take a couple of shots in different poses as you wait along. Click. Click. Obnoxious laughter. Click. And just when you thought they were done, a couple from the same group decides they aren’t done yet as they bust out their selfie stick.

And just like that, you were transcended back to reality.

Girl, Unspotted

Any traveler, tourists or not, all have the similar tendency to be annoying. (READ: An Honest Comparison of Travelers vs. Tourists) We’ve all seen them, and we’ve all been them at some point. I mean, I’m guilty of obsessively taking photos of my food sometimes. But there are some habits that are quite appalling and irritating that others do so blatantly with zero courtesy. So damn obnoxious it almost ruins the entire experience for you. Sometimes, I wonder if people even realize they’re being rude. I mean, shouldn’t it be common decency to show consideration to your fellow travelers and the locals?

So anyway, whether you’re aware of it or not, here’s a list on how to be an annoying traveler. Let this serve as a guide if you’re feeling too caught up in the moment that you might have forgotten about other people behind you. Or let it also serve as a reminder to snap you right out of it just in case you’ve been doing a few of these things all along. (READ: How To Survive Tourist Spots 101)

1.) Put your small carry on purse on someone else’s overhead bin. Let them worry about theirs. You need every inch of that leg room in front of your seat.

2.) When staying at a dorm room, set your alarm at 4am and keep hitting snooze. Let it go off a few times before you decide to get up. Better yet, just sleep through your alarm.

3.) At night, turn the lights on in your dorm room and completely forget to turn it back off. Someone else will probably turn it off eventually.

4.) Be loud and obnoxious with your large group wherever you are. Even if it’s at a sacred place. People need to know that you’re having a grand time.

5.) Take your time taking pictures of yourself. In front of paintings at a museum, the Tomb Raider tree in Ta Prohm, the summit of a volcano. Who cares if it’s 100 degree. It’s okay to disregard others as long as you get the perfect shot.

6.) At any kind of show, do not forget to put your phone or camera up to record or to snap chat for a good amount of time. Nothing is better than a blocked view.

7.) Besides your cigarette butts, leave your empty bottles and other trash at the beach for the locals to clean up. Toss out your leftover food on the sand. It’s fine. The stray dogs will find it.

8.) Go ahead and download the new episode of Game of Thrones on your laptop with the lobby wifi. The other people you’re slowing down cannot possibly be doing anything more important on the internet than your download.

9.) Have loud, vigorous sex early in the morning in the dorm room. Don’t even try to be quiet. It’s human nature. They’ll get over it.

10.) Feed the animals even if a sign clearly said not to. It’s not like you’re feeding them poison. Touch the turtle just for a quick photo. As long as you do it quick, you won’t get fined.

11.) Push people as you cut the line in the long queue. It doesn’t matter where– at the airport, a long queue to a tourist spot, the bathroom. Your time is much more precious than the others.

12.) Use your iPad or other tablet to take pictures. It earns you respect because people will know how loaded you are.

13.) Disregard what you’ve read about the mistreatment of the animals, support the tourism anyway. Ride the elephant for your profile picture. Ride a malnourished horse to the crater of the volcano. Go pet a drugged up tiger so you look badass in your Instagram.

14.) Disregard a culture at your convenience. For instance, if it’s blazing hot, wear your most comfortable skin-baring attire at a temple. If it’s not your culture, you’re exempted from their beliefs. Also, taking naked pictures in front of famous landmarks is not offensive to the locals. People will praise you not only for your self-confidence, but for your fun, quirky idea.

15.) If your flight is delayed, the flight attendants must know how inconvenient this is for you. Start a scene. Speak up for the other passengers. Obscene words are appropriate for unfortunate events like this. And once they realize how unacceptable this is, demand for an upgrade.

16.) Wait until the last minute before you pack your belongings at a hostel dorm. Take your time in the morning when you do it too. Let the sound of plastic rubbing against each other wake other people up. You’re doing them a favor by giving them an early start.

17.) Do everyone a favor by blasting your music on your portable speakers. Make sure you pick a loud track to get everybody on the mood. Why relax when you can start a party right there and then?

18.) As soon as the plane reaches the gate, get up asap and grab your luggage on the overhead bin. Secure your spot and block the aisle with your suitcase. It’s not that you’re in a hurry. But again, you need to let people know just how much more important your time is than theirs.

19.) Let your child kick the seat in front of his and don’t feel bad for it. If the passenger looks back at you, just smile because everything your child does is absolutely cute.

20.) Complaining about how disappointing a place is will entertain people, especially the locals. Perhaps voice out how you find the food unappetizing or how dirty a city is. Reminding them that where you came from is far better than their country will raise awareness. Educate them.

Girl, Unspotted


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29 thoughts on “How To Be An Annoying Traveler

  1. I love this post – great tips mixed with humor. Although I have to comment about #19, being a Mom myself. My two children are well past the age of kicking seats, but I remember one horrifying flight from CT to Seattle for my brother’s wedding when they were small. My two year old son was appropriately strapped into his car seat in an airplane seat that we had paid for as the airline asks us to (can’t have them sit on your lap anymore) and my son kicked the seat in front of him intermittently throughout the flight. Not in a mean spirited, tantrum fashion – just by virtue of being two and moving around the only way he could in a five point harness. There is absolutely nothing a parent can do to stop this – it isn’t bad behavior in the majority of cases, it’s an age thing. As his parent I was embarrassed and upset but there was nothing I could do but apologize to the person in the seat in front of him, who was thankfully very gracious and so must have remembered a time when his own children were small. 99% of the times the parents of small children are fully aware of the inconvenience to others and would be extremely grateful for any kind words or support during a flight.


    1. Hi Deb, thanks for your input! I completely understand and agree with you about children. Being a nurse myself and having my own brother to take care of as a teen, I already have a preview of how crazy I will be when I have a kid of my own. I personally am bemused at people getting mad at the parents for a crying baby. I mean, come on. But in my post, I was referring more to the parents who feels a bit entitled and would not even bother to try or would even throw an attitude when you ask them politely. And those parents who thinks that everything their children does is adorable, even down to their tantrums, that they don’t realize it’s bothering others. For instance, the other day in the movies, a baby kept crying and the mom refuses to go outside. Towards the end, they were playing with the baby which resulted in loud giggles. In the middle of Hunger Games! It was so frustrating.

      Anyway, I appreciate your feedback and would most definitely keep your advice in mind about giving a word of sympathy to parents dealing with err, terrible two’s and the likes! Ironically, toddlerhood is my favorite child age but oh boy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree with you that a big difference is in the parents! I can’t believe a) someone brought an infant to the Hunger Games (???) and b) that they didn’t leave when the noise factor became an issue. That’s one thing I never tried to do – bring an infant to the movies. I would be too stressed although I have seen the occasional infant sleep the whole time! Thanks for replying – I enjoy your blog!


  2. Nice post. I can totally relate to it in several points like having climbed in archaeological site at 40 degrees and want to take a photo like everybody and there are some people that if they don’t get like 40 pictures in front of the site in every pose imaginable they want leave or the ones that simply decided to speak to their phones in front of the site blocking the views to others. My worst is when you are on a plane and reading your book and the person sitting next to you doesn’t leave you by talking to you on the whole flight.


  3. And one could keep adding to this list – but it is a great list. The problem with acknowledging that is that now we have to NOT do those things, because we would never want to be the ‘annoying traveler’.


  4. I think number 6 stood out for me the most! It used to be, that when i went to music gigs in the past, there would always be a number the band played which they asked the audience to hold their lighters in the air. Now, everyone’s hands are full with a mobile phone all the time!! lol. And the your dorm room points bring back fond (not) memories… in the end, that’s why I switched over from backpacking to bicycle touring, so I could camp out at night!


  5. I love this post 😀

    Somehow I’m always lucky enough to share a dorm room with people disregarding their alarm clock (last time the girl kept hitting her snooze button for at least one hour) or starting to pack their backpack in the morning. Another favourite of mine: People coming back from a party night, switching the light on and chatting happily for like an eternity. Please, just don’t.


  6. We’re all an annoying traveler at some point but a lot of the stuff in this list are downright disrespectful. 7, 13, 14 17 and 18 brought up specific memories for me!


  7. So damn true, each and every point. Its so irritating. Esp., here in India, our temples are so much filled with heritage and are our holy places. When someone enters in wearing skimpy outfits, takes flash photography and suddenly someone’s phone will ring with a wacky ringtone with max volume, when devotees are engulfed in prayer, its so damn irritating!! Though I’m never into moral policing, once when I took a group of college students to a temple, I made sure to inform them prior to wear decent clothing and put their cellphones in silent mode!!!


  8. One thing that I’d like to add here is how noisy people can sometimes be when at a flight. I mean, half of the people on the plane are probably exhausted and the last thing we need are people chatting at maximum volume for the entire plane to hear.


  9. So true! I can relate to this especially for hostel dorms (could write a book about annoying, rude travellers)…but one thing I remember was at the Pantheon in Rome. I couldn’t believe it, while it was packed with hundreds of people, almost everyone was speaking so loud, as if they were at the stadium, spoiling such a magic atmosphere of the place!


  10. My pet peeves while travelling are two: litterers and photobombers. I really dislike people who take their sweet time at the tourist photo sights when there is a very long line behind this person.


  11. Haha these are really all annoying and seriously, anyone who’d do these probably need attention. Being loud in a sacred place is truly a big no. Frequent complains also turn me off.


  12. Does this mean I’m annoying traveler? Haha! It’s amazing how many of these rules people don’t realize they break on a consistent basis. Goes to show you just how oblivious a lot of people are.


  13. This is definitely true. Some people are just downright insensitive when it comes to these things. You really have to consider the people around you. Like the saying goes, “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want them to do unto you.”


  14. Yep, can definitely relate to experiencing people do most items on this list. Though, if i’m brutally honest, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of one or two back in the day *cringe*


  15. I can relate to quite a few points in this and enjoyed the humour of your post. I’ve been in the situation where I had to try and put my iPod in to drown out the noise of people having sex in a dorm room. NOT ok! I haven’t stayed in dorms for a while now but did when I was a skint backpacker. I think the more these things irritate you, the more you need to question if that style of travel is for you. If dorms are a pain now, switch to your own room/apartment or a smaller room with friends? Large groups at museums can’t be helped and neither can kids. Do deep breathing! Patience is absolutely key when traveling


  16. I can just picture how other people would react when you do this antics. It’s a good thing to do when they start annoying you first but it would always be better to go for world peace. =>


  17. You hit the point here – especially about the noise people (tourists/ travellers) make!
    Recenty I’ve read about the best presents for a travellers – there were portable speakers on the list and I thought: ‘oh, no, don’t buy anything like that!”


  18. Hit the nail on the head!!!! I especially liked #13! Kills me when I tell people about the animal abuse and they say they are going to do it anyway. I have to walk away before I say hateful things to them.


  19. Hit the nail on the head! I especially liked #13. It kills me when I tell people about the animal abuse but they say they are going to do it anyway. I have to walk away before I say hateful things to them.


  20. Well, some travelers are really annoying however they add color to others’ adventure too. Without the annoying travelers, this post won’t be as humorous or sarcastic as it is…nah, it’s lighter actually.


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