Here is a thought to live by: If you can’t find the annoying person in your travel group, it’s probably you.
Yeah, you heard it here first. There’s no such thing as the perfect group. If you find yourself looking around at your stunningly well-behaved, agreeable travel companions, feeling a little chuffed that you lucked out, and wondering why they all have a penchant for eating dinner alone in their rooms each night (and then turning up hungover at breakfast), wipe that smirk off your face and take a cold, hard look at yourself.
If you want to get through your trip without attracting a whole host of haters, here are a few key things to remember.
No one likes a whinger.
Sore feet? Hot? Bit hungry? Tired? Don’t care. Keep it to yourself. Sure, to everything there is a season, and sure everyone deserves a little rant on occasion, but it can get a bit tiresome to hear about your hardships all day long. You’re on holiday after all! That’s pretty exciting stuff.
No one likes a snappy traveller
Times may be tough. Five o’clock in the morning may not be your strong suit. Buses and pisco hangovers may not work to your advantage. You may have suffered one too many painfully indecisive lunch companions. But peace, friend, you have to keep your cool.
Honestly is always the best policy, but when you’re going to be stuck in a small confined space with a person for 12 hours, maybe hold your thoughts on their over-zealous use of hand sanitizer. If you feel a snap coming, breathe, close your eyes, imagine slow dancing with Bill Murray on a cruise ship and reassess. IS THIS SNAP GOING TO ALIENATE PEOPLE? Probably. IS IT GOING TO STOP SAID OVER-ZEALOUS HAND SANITIZER USER FROM OVER-ZEALOUSLY USING HAND SANITIZER? Probably not.
No one likes the overly enthusiastic guy
Being negative is obviously not becoming, but there is such a thing as being TOO excited and positive. Here are a few examples:
- Waking EVERYONE up before dawn because you hear the sunrise from the top of that unreasonably steep hill is AMAZING, even though it is raining and plainly obvious that there will be no sun worth watching.
- Taking photos of everything and everyone, including yourself. All of the time.
- Singing on the bus. Yes, you’re making your neighbour feel desperately uncomfortable. Please stop.
No one likes the picky eater
When you’re on holiday in a brand new place, surrounded by a whole world of fascinating, delicious, brand new foods, it is kind of a travesty to go hunting for whatever it is you usually eat at home. If you find yourself bypassing all street food because it ‘looks weird’, or taking three hours to find a restaurant for dinner because you really want a plain cheese pizza (in India) – prepare to lose some buddies. Travel is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and embracing new cultures, new people, and best of all, new food.
No one likes the control freak
Trying to control EVERYTHING in an inevitably uncontrollable situation is likely to ruffle feathers. When you’re in a group, in a place that probably has a different perspective on time and a whole different set of rules to what you’re used to, you’re just going to have to go with the flow a little. Trying to force everyone to bend to your whim and micro-managing breakfast on the other hand, will definitely not work out in the end.
No one likes the know-it-all
Do you know the entire history of the rice farming and intricate details of the local culture’s bathing habits? Good for you! That is seriously impressive. Being the guy constantly preaching and correcting people with your superior knowledge is less impressive. It makes others feel bad, and probably a bit bored.
No one likes the just plain lazy dude
Here’s a big holiday tip: kicking around the hotel until midday because you just really like sleeping in, or choosing to miss the market/ hike/ amazing temple because you ‘can’t really be bothered going out’ isn’t going to win you new friends. You’re in a new place, very far from home. Sleep in and mope another day.
No one likes the indecisive cat
Sure being a control freak is challenging, but being totally incapable of making a decision at all is equally trying. Asking every single person in your group what they’re going to do with their spare time, comparing and contrasting and still needing another opinion can get old. You just gotta get out there, take the bull by the horns and embrace the day.
Image c/o Rodrigo Gianesi