Bad travellers: 10 people to avoid whilst travelling
One of the joys of a round the world trip is meeting new people, and occasionally joining forces with them on the journey. But there are some people you most definitely don’t want to tag along with – and here are ten types you should probably be running a mile from…
He’ll happily waste half a day, traipsing around to save the equivalent of a pound, and he’ll negotiate the price on absolutely everything – even if it means eating into valuable time in which you could be doing something much more interesting. He gets aggressive with anyone he feels isn’t giving him the rock bottom local price on everything, rules out anything that looks fun but is ‘too expensive’ and will force you into hours of circuitous public transport rather than cutting the time spent by two-thirds in exchange for a couple of extra coins in a taxi.
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BOOK YOUR OWN ADVENTUREThe following sites are usually my first port of call when booking a trip - so I recommend them as somewhere to start when booking your own holiday.
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CAR HIRE: Car Rentals (£)
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The Time Filler
“So we’re all agreed: Up at 6.30am for the coastal walk, then Museum X as soon as it opens at 9am, straight to Museum Y at 11.30am, the boat cruise at 2.30pm, Museum Z at 5pm and the ghost tour at 8pm.” The Time Filler hates the thought of wasting a precious moment of her trip, and is intent on filling every minute of every day with some kind of worthy activity. And through sheer force of personality, you’ll be dragged into the whirlwind, feeling as though you’re on some sort of well-meaning cultural death march.
The Spare Wheel
If you’re travelling as a couple, as much as you may love your partner, sometimes it’s nice to come across some alternative company. It’s only natural, therefore, to end up chatting to someone travelling on their own and perhaps hang out with them for an evening or two. The problem comes when this person suddenly decides that you’ve become a trio and hangs on limpet-like for longer than is strictly welcome. Expect to tell The Spare Wheel where you’re off to next as a brush-off, only to be met with: “Cool, well I’ve got no firm plans – I may as well join you.”
The Voice of Experience
He’s been to the country numerous times, he’s seen all there is to see in it and over the years he’s developed a detailed mental guide to where everyone should go and where they shouldn’t. Anyone who deviates from this rigid itinerary that has been plotted through years of experience is an idiot, any sites that might look fun are dismissed as “touristy” and suggesting anything that’s on the beaten track will be met with scorn. The Voice of Experience knows what’s best, and while some of his tips may be useful, spend too much time with him and you’ll be denied the joy of exploring anything for yourself.
The Happy Shopper
Travel for The Happy Shopper is not about what you see, do or learn, but what you can buy on the way. That doesn’t just mean the occasional market – it means every time there’s an opportunity to while an afternoon away on a mall or a high street, and every time she encounters a table selling ‘handicrafts’ (ie. Mass-produced tat made solely for gullible tourists). Of course, magpies need somewhere to store such treasures. And once her bag is full, they’re going in yours.
The Party Animal
For shopping, substitute drinking. The Party Animal cares about little else other than having a big night out. Every night. This leads to feeling like a physical wreck for much of the trip, a permanently empty wallet and that nagging feeling that you’ve experienced little but the bottom of a beer bottle. None of that is great, but the Party Animal is at his most excruciating when he’s trying to whip up enthusiasm amongst people who are just not in the mood for his brand of enforced fun that night. And if you’re travelling with him, you’ll be tainted by association.
It’s a perfectly reasonable two hours to get ready in the morning, and another two to get ready in the evening. She’ll not stay anywhere that might be the slightest bit run down or in any area that has had any semblance of a crime committed in it within the last 30 years. Walking more than a block is not on, and it has to be a taxi rather than public transport. Meanwhile, evening drinks are strictly cocktails rather than a local beer. If The Princess is in your group, expect to do virtually nothing and pay an inordinately high price for the privilege.
The Cultural Dictator
He’s seen the world, and come to the conclusion that his way is best. Now it’s simply a case of convincing the untamed savages of this. Of course, this manifests itself in a bloody-minded refusal to take the “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” approach in any situation. He doesn’t care that it’s the local custom or the done thing, he’s not giving way and bowing down to such absurd foibles. Cue awkward moment after awkward moment for the duration of the trip.
The Lost Sheep
She’s not really comfortable with anything that mummy doesn’t do for her, she’s hardly ever ventured within 50 miles of her home town and in terms of organising things, she’s as useless as soluble life raft. The Lost Sheep will end up being a constant source of frustration throughout the trip, whether it’s leaving passports and tickets behind, panicking at being asked to read a map or a general inability to apply common sense to any given situation. Imagine travelling with a helpless baby that you need to do absolutely everything for – not much fun, is it?
The Spiritual Creative
Perhaps the absolute worst person to be stuck with of the lot, The Spiritual Creative has come away to find himself. In practice, this means taking everything ultra-seriously, regular trips to stare at impoverished villagers (“real travel”), solemn chin-stroking at every traditional cultural performance and a desire to wear a tea cosy over his newly-braided hair. And just when you think he couldn’t be more of a pretentious stereotype, he’ll get his guitar out in order to play completely unsolicited and unimaginably poor cover versions of Jack Johnson songs.
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