5 Annoying Things People Do When Travelling

Selfies in Macau

Annoying travellers everywhere? Tell me about it. Sometimes, I’m an annoying traveller, too. For example, in the past, I have lost my temper at an innocent hotel receptionist when my accommodation booking did not turn out well. I believe we’ve all been to a point where we too were annoying to the people around us when travelling.

Of all the things that can annoy me and have annoyed me, these are the 5 annoying things people do when travelling, for which I have less tolerance.

1. Take countless of annoying selfies (and the same pictures over and over again)

I understand that taking selfies is fun especially when you do it with friends. I take selfies too, simply because I always travel alone. It would be nice to have someone to take my photos. But for someone who always travels solo (like me), I always need to take photos on my own.

Of course, when you do it yourself, the photos don’t always look at their best. You may need to take photos multiple times, and for many others, they need to do it a million, gazillion times.

Annoying crowd in Macau

It’s okay. You won’t be the only one doing that. I’m pretty sure that when you look around you, there will be hundreds of people doing the same thing, too. And when you’re done taking selfies, all you want is another few shots of the beautiful monuments around you.

But you’ll have to wait until it’s finally your turn to take photos. You’re not fully satisfied, though. That’s because there are too many strangers in your shots. The selfie addicts around you are also not done taking pictures. 

Here’s a solution: Come again tomorrow, and you better get there earlier than the rest!

2. Complaining (all the freakin’ time) and think that everything should work how it does back home

I have encountered many travellers who were constantly complaining about petty things and comparing the things that annoyed them when they were abroad. For example, they complained about other people who didn’t speak English.

Assuming that the rest of the world speaks English is absurd to me. Even in a country like Malaysia (where English is our 2nd language), you’ll still find folks who can’t speak proper English or don’t speak English at all!

Also, how things work in your country may not always work the same way in other countries. You can’t assume that everything in the world runs with just one type of system!

Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Not forgetting people who keep telling others that certain places aren’t worth visiting because they’re already “ruined”. “Don’t waste your time. It’s not the same as before. It’s spoiled by tourists.” Does this sound familiar to you?

Honestly, I don’t really care if the destination that I intend to visit isn’t really as how it was before or if it’s flooded with tourists. The main point is I haven’t been there and I want to go there.

Touristy destinations don’t always bother me. If a place is touristy, I’ll try to avoid the areas that are crowded with people and explore further where there are fewer people, or perhaps nobody at all. Many times, I’ve found hidden gems that, to me, did not look spoiled or were flooded with people.

3. Insensitive about other cultures

Ask any traveller why he/she travels, and I bet one of the answers is to learn and experience other cultures. If that’s so true, why is it that we often stumble upon people who are dressed inappropriately in certain places, such as religious sites and conservative areas? 

Is it because they’ve not done any research about the places they’re going beforehand, or is it because they simply don’t care?

There was once when I was in one of the hotels in Laos and I came across a traveller who got annoyed by the hotel staff when he was asked to open his shoes prior to entering the hotel. Why was he so upset?

Temple in Bangkok

I have been insensitive towards other cultures before, too. As you can see, I was wearing a pair of mini shorts to a temple in Bangkok, Thailand. The reason was I didn’t plan to actually visit the temple. I stumbled upon it and accompanied my friend who wanted to take a look at it. I was aware that I was dressed in shorts, so I didn’t get inside the temple and stayed outside instead.

Some people have told me that it’s okay to wear shorts or sleeveless as long as one does not enter the religious building. Since then, I’ve always worn trousers or shorts that are below my knees.

There are also many travellers who have said that they don’t like to read about their destinations beforehand because it’s more fun when there are surprises and surprises are just a part of their adventures. Well, I don’t see how a visit to a Buddhist temple or a mosque is adventurous, though.

4. Misuse the word “backpackers”

I’ve got a friend who backpacks around the world and hates to be labelled a backpacker. I guess he’s probably annoyed by many of the annoying ones he has encountered on the road those who weren’t actually real backpackers. These are the individuals who call themselves backpackers just because they travel with a backpack on their backs. You’ll find “backpackers” like them splurging on unnecessary things, dining only in fancy places, or staying only in fine hotels and resorts.

Honestly, I don’t usually stay in fancy places when I travel. One of the reasons is because it’s just a waste of money especially for a broke traveller like me. But when I do, I do it for a special occasion. Say, it’s my birthday.

Gili Trawangan beach

It won’t be surprising to find backpackers in nice resorts, too. Maybe they’ve got good deals from somewhere and are just spending very little money for the fancy places they’re staying. Why not? Furthermore, with a company like Traveloka that gives 70% hotel discounts on every Friday, even budget travellers can now afford to stay in fancy hotels, anytime.

For those who have spent a long time on the road just on travelling, a treat to a nice staycation is not such a bad thing after all.

But sharing Instagram pictures and telling the whole world that you are a backpacker (when in reality you’re not) is rather pretentious and kind of narcissistic.

5. Getting overly upset over unforeseen circumstances

Travelling is never easy. Even when all your needs are taken care by your tour agents, you’re never really comfortable. There’s always something that can bother you. For example, unforeseen circumstances.

I’ve been on trips with travellers who were easy to travel with and those who were uneasy to tolerate at all.

The patient ones are usually calm because they either understand that unforeseen circumstances are usually beyond anybody’s control, or they’re prepared for the unexpected troubles that they might get into, simply because they understand that these are just the ups and downs of travel. As for those who easily get overly upset, they tend to complain, blame everything on others, mop around, get stressed out, and eventually make others feel stressed out, too.

On a ferry to Bali, Indonesia

I remember vividly when the speedboat from Gili Trawangan in Indonesia couldn’t take me and its other passengers back to Bali due to the strong waves that day. We were all transferred to a local ferry, which was painfully slow especially when one needs to catch time. The trip took about 6 hours. Instead of reaching Bali at 1pm, all of us arrived at 11pm! All the waiting got us late. I was really tired that day. But there was nothing much I could do. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I made a new friend that day. And because we had a good conversation together, we felt as though time has flown faster.

There was another time when I had to experience an unforeseen occurrence. It happened in Malaysia. The bus which I took from Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara had to stop half way due to an unexpected road block. The annoying group of travellers who sat just behind me on the bus then approached the bus driver and started complaining. One of them said “But sir, we’ve paid so much money for this.” And the bus driver said “I know you have, but so did everybody else.”


What about you? What annoying things have other travellers done to annoy you when travelling? It’s okay if you too have done any one of the things mentioned above. That’s why travelling is a learning experience. It helps us to be more aware of everything around us and helps us to appreciate other people’s cultures, beliefs, and differences .

Liszt The Walking Writer
Liszt is always thirsty for new adventures. Apart from music, she’s also passionate about travel, art and entrepreneurship.