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How To Not Be An Annoying Traveller

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

Whether you travel for business or leisure, there’s no doubt that sometimes you’ll run into other travellers who break the unspoken rules of travel. You know the type; bringing pungent snacks onto the aeroplane, taking off socks mid flight, or letting their limbs spill onto your side of the arm rest. What’s worse, you may have even committed one of these travel sins yourself, we’re only human after all! Avoid any travel faux-pas with our handy list of travel no-nos.

1. Respect the unspoken armrest boundary rule

Personal space is never more prized and revered as when one is stuck in an undersized aeroplane seat. Armrest boundaries are not for decoration, they are a fortress protecting your precious space. So for a wayward limb or a sleeping head to spill over the fortress into another’s territory is a terrible crime indeed. Stay in your personal space and the peace will be kept.

The laws of the armrest boundaries are steadfast, and spilling over into your neighbour’s territory is not only an annoying travel sin, it’s just rude!

2. Leave your odorous food at home

You may have a hankering from some hard-boiled eggs or tuna sandwich as a mid-flight snack, and yes, they are perfectly acceptable when you’re lounging around in your own home. But for the sake of the people who are sharing recycled air with you, leave the pungent snacks at home. You might think they smell fine, but chances are your sentiments will not be shared throughout the cabin.

3. Don’t take your shoes and socks off

Yes, we know, it’s always comfier to fly sans shoes. But for the sake of your neighbour’s nose, keep those socks firmly on! No-one wants a whiff of your feet throughout a long journey, nor do they want to spend a long-haul flight looking at someone else’s toes.

Note: If you do need to take your shoes off, make sure you do it after the plane has taken off. It’s actually not allowed during takeoff and landing for safety reasons.

4. Stand up to let your neighbour through

If you’ve nabbed an aisle seat and the person with the window seat boards after you, shuffling your legs to the side just ain’t going to cut it. Nobody wants to squeeze past in a tiny cramped space, pulling down on the chair in front and shoving their derriére it a total stranger’s face. It’s an unpleasant experience in sudden unwanted intimacy for both parties, so please, stand up and let your neighbours through in a more dignified fashion.

5. Bring plenty of activities for your kids

Nothing says excruciating torture like being sat in front of, behind, or next to a bored child who has decided that kicking the seat in front of them, squealing at the top of their lungs or sticking their fingers into other people’s food is a great form of entertainment. Travelling with children is a challenge, and most other travellers empathise with those poor parents trudging an army of kids and luggage around. But we all know that kids need stimulus, so keep them (and your neighbours) happy by packing plenty of treats, books, toys and other goodies to keep the little ones occupied on the journey.

You might also like: 31 Travel Hacks For Your Next Family Holiday

Bring plenty of activities for your kids to keep them entertained so they don’t resort to kicking the seat in front of them for fun

6. Make friends with (quiet) headphones

This should go without saying, yet no doubt you’ve encountered this type of annoying travel behaviour not just on planes, but on the bus, the train or in public spaces. If you’re listening to music, watching TV or using your phone for a game or texting, use headphones! You might enjoy the sounds of Candy Crush, but the people around you are wanting to crush your phone instead. And of course, if you are using headphones, blasting the volume at full whack is not only terrible for your hearing, it will infuriate everyone around you who is now subjected to bad, tinny sounds emitting from you. Headphones are great, just not at full volume.

7. Keep your small bag under the seat in front

Overhead bins are reserved for your larger piece of carry-on luggage, and if you’ve ever been the last to board, you know how infuriating it is when it’s all been taken up, especially by smaller items that actually belong under the seat in front. Be courteous and don’t take up more room than you need. Put your larger piece in the overhead bin, and then your personal items bag can be slipped under the seat in front, and you’ll avoid the death-stare from the person next to you who would have had to put their luggage down the other end of the plane.

8. Recline with care

There’s the age old debate of whether it’s acceptable to recline your seat in ‘cattle class’ at all; the seats are squished enough as it is without the seat in front of you encroaching on your aeroplane real estate. Of course on long-haul flights, reclining is a must – but just be courteous to the person behind you. It doesn’t hurt to check if they have finished their meal first – you won’t make any friends with a sudden jolt back of your seat when their in-flight meal consequently ends up all over their lap.

9. Don’t block the baggage carousel

Yes, everyone is keen to get their bags off the carousel and get out of the airport as quickly as possible. But standing right at the very front with a huge trolley as though you’re guarding The One Ring from the dangers of Mordor and blocking anyone else trying to grab their bag won’t make your luggage appear from behind the luggage curtain any faster. But it will result in other disgruntled passengers who just want to get their bags. Take a step back and walk towards the carousel once your bag appears, Frodo.

How many of these annoying travel traits have you encountered on the road? And what are your pet peeves when travelling? Let us know in the comments box below.

What else is annoying? Getting stuck at the airport without a ride. Ditch the over-expensive taxis and book an airport transfer instead on, so that’s one less annoyance you need to worry about.

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