Whether you travel for work or for pleasure, you'll inevitably run into people that make you feel like you're being pranked by a hidden camera show. But after you realize Ashton Kutcher is nowhere to be found, you have to face the fact that you're now stuck with the single most annoying person on the planet as your travel companion. Maybe it's your great smelling cologne that attracts them to you, like Miley Cyrus to bad decisions, but whatever the case may be, you are now in for what will surely be a very, very long trip.
Take the classic movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, where John Candy and Steve Martin are forced to endure each other's differences while taking every means of transportation en route to a holiday dinner. This movie is by far the greatest example of everything wrong that can happen when traveling with an annoying person. They nearly kill one another because of John Candy's obnoxious, unmannerly behavior. I think of that movie every time I travel. From loud talking, to odd eating habits, to drunken escapades, it's as if being on the road brings out our dark side.
But have no fear, my fellow travelers, as Modern Manners Guy, awkward situations is my specialty. I've outlined 9 of the most uncomfortable, rude, improper, obnoxious, and downright annoying types of travelers that will make you beg and plead for the trip to come to an end. ASAP. So with that, let's make sure our bags are secure in our overhead compartments and take a wild ride through the seas of travel etiquette. DING!
Annoying Traveler #1: The Latecomer
The Latecomer is the King/Queen of rudeness. Whether it's at work or in your social life, we all know one person who wears this title. So, not surprisingly, when traveling with them, they will screw up your plans. Hope you like sprinting through the airport to catch your flight, because that's what your day will be like when you travel with The Latecomer. When in doubt, always tell The Latecomer to arrive much earlier than you really need to, so as to counter their tardiness.
Annoying Traveler #2: The Over Talker
Silence is golden...just not to everyone. Sure you want to talk to the person you're traveling with, but you also enjoy some quality down time. The Over Talker however, doesn't care if you're reading, listening to your iPod, watching a movie, or even trying to sleep. They will talk your ear off to the point you wish your ears actually DO fall off. This annoying traveler needs stern, clear boundaries. "When I get on a plane, I just like to doze off and go to sleep. OK?"
Annoying Traveler #3: The Selfish Traveler
This travel mate is the best person to travel with if you plan on not doing anything you enjoy. Want to have a crappy time doing everything you had never wanted to do? Well, go ahead and invite the Selfish Traveler along, because you will eat, sleep and play wherever they like. And don't think about suggesting something else. No, no, no, the Selfish Traveler doesn't really feel up to doing that right now.
Annoying Traveler #4: The Lazy Bum
Yes, vacations should be about relaxing, but they should not be about doing absolutely nothing 24/7. Of course it's OK to sit on the beach for hours on end, but the Lazy Bum adds their own unmannerly twist to rest and relaxation. They Lazy Bum likes to sleep in until 11, then have lunch for a couple of hours, then finally make it to the beach, where they'll nap the day away, and you'll be lucky if you even get a night out on the town the entire trip. And a special note here, the Lazy Bum and the Latecomer are kindred spirits, so watch out for a double whammy of unmannerly behavior.
Annoying Traveler #5: The Over Active Traveler
Here we have the polar opposite to the Lazy Bum. But the Over Active Traveler will also ruin your travels in numerous ways. For example, waking up for a 4am hike on a 5,000 foot mountain? Sure! Swimming with the sharks? Sign me up! Base jumping into rocky waters? Just point me in the direction. The Over Active Traveler is not the person you want to bring with you if you plan to lay on the beach, sipping margaritas and working on your tan. In fact, with this character you'll be lucky to even get a drink in at all. I mean, why sit in the sand when you can wrestle an alligator.
Annoying Traveler #6: The Over Packer
A weekend trip does not require three pieces of luggage...for one person! Now, I'm all about having options but when you travel with the Over Packer the only option you'll have is to pay a double bag fee. We live in the 21st century where there are plenty of ways to check the weather at our destination and pack accordingly. Worst case, you have to go shopping and pick up an item or two. But chances are the Over Packer will not have a problem with that because they've brought their entire closet. Who knows, you might need a down jacket on that weekend trip to Phoenix -- in July.
Annoying Traveler #7: The Photographer
A picture can say a thousand words, and when you travel with the Photographer you may only want to use words that consist of four letters. Traveling should be a great time to take photos of unique places, and create some memories, yet there comes a time when you have to put the camera down and just enjoy the moment. The Photographer (who is usually not a real photographer) is obsessed with capturing every single solitary second of the trip. And don't get me started about having to lug around their gigantic camera that looks like it should be an anchor on a cruise boat. Which, mind you, you'll likely end up carrying for them like a newborn.
Annoying Traveler #8: The Over Planner
I'm all about having a plan when I travel, but sometimes it's perfectly okay to take the day as it comes. However, there will always be that one person who has a set itinerary for your entire day that will leave you wondering if you even get a break to use the restroom. When you travel with the Over Planner it's best to beat them at their own game by mentioning (more than once) how much you can't wait to "just relax and not have to worry about where to be and when." Feel free to repeat this phrase as much as possible during the trip too. Vacations are not supposed to be like work, so don't tie yourselves down to a calendar.
Annoying Traveler #9: The Travel Snob
Have you ever tried planning a trip with the Travel Snob? It's pure torture! You can list a dozen hotels and they'll turn their nose up at every one. That great restaurant you read about? Nope, not good enough. The Travel Snob has other plans. In fact, the Travel Snob has been there, done that, and has a snotty view on everything. When dealing with the Travel Snob you have two options: A) you submit to their ego and go with their flow, or B) you beat them to the punch and book things ahead of time.
Now, I want to hear more from you! Have you ever had an annoying travel companion? Share it here! And check out more annoying characters and how to handle them in my new book, Reply All...And Other Ways to Tank Your Career. It's available in paperback, ebook, and even audiobook format!