Traveling is one of the best things that money can buy. We all have the awesome friend on Facebook who gets to travel the world and we delight on his/her pictures. That one person who truly seems to grasp the essence of what it is to travel. And then we have the obnoxious acquaintance that we wonder why does he/she even bother spending money in leaving their hometown. Many of us have also been travelers for some time. However, did we make any of these obnoxious mistakes that so many travelers seem to be making nowadays.
Spend Too Much Time on Electronics
We’re living in the era of technology. Just think about your ordinary day, think about how much time you spend on a screen. I bet it’s most of the day. When you’re not on the screen of your computer, you’re on the screen of your phone, or on the screen of your tablet.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always stop when someone is traveling. You’re waiting in the airport and you´re on your phone just scrolling around your social media to keep yourself entertained, or doing whatever it is that you do on your tech devices. You arrive at your destination and every minute that you´re not being entertained by the world around you, you seek entertainment in your phone. What happened to putting the phone down and talking to people? Or gazing at the world around us? This is one very nasty habit of the modern traveling people. Just look around next time you go on vacation and see the people around you with their eyes fixed on their phones, missing out on everything else around them.
2. Take Too Many Photos
We’re not just talking about the selfie invasion but about people who will take pictures of absolutely everything! Their meal, their drive, the sky, their room, their hands, their feet, and absolutely everything!
Yes! You want to keep proof of the experience so it can last for eternity. But this is actually a horrible habit that people make. They’re so focused on taking pictures to keep the memories that they’re forgetting about actually creating a memory. People are limiting their traveling experience by spending large amounts of time taking pictures! Just think about how much time is spent trying to take the perfect snap? Now think how much time is spent to take the perfect snap of all the pictures that people take? It´s not just one picture a day, it’s hundreds! Traveling then becomes solely a photo experience in a foreign place.
3. Avoid Connecting with The Locals
One of the beauties of traveling is getting to know people somewhere else. Their culture, their mindset, their perspective on life and much more. Many people make the mistake of keeping to themselves, going to the landmarks and sticking to their own group of friends. But they’re actually missing out big on an entirely different universe of traveling, which is connecting with the locals.
It is about having a personal glimpse into someone else’s world and maybe creating a new friendship. Much is learned and discovered when we center our attention on someone else. Avoiding the locals is a way of being a tourist instead of a traveler. A tourist has a limited experience when they go to a place, a traveler has a deeper insight into the place that he/she travels to.
4. Stick to the Famous Landmarks
Yes! Landmarks are famous for several reasons; history, beauty, eccentricity, etc. You see a landmark that characterizes a place and you feel and think that if you don’t get to know that landmark it would be like you never visited the place, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. One of the most famous landmarks in the world.
Nonetheless, there’s much more to a city and a country than just a landmark. Many times a landmark is just a representation of the city and yes, it carries some history to it, but limiting your sightseeing just to the famous places is a very limited way of traveling.
5. Dressing for Fashion Instead of Comfort
Social media has awakened in many the need to be dressed to the nines when they’re traveling, because they want to look super hot and pretty for the photos that they upload on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat.
They’ll put looks over comfort just for the world to see, instead of focusing on what’s better for them which in many cases is being dressed for comfort instead of for fashion.
6. Pack Too Much Stuff
Less in more! especially when you’re traveling. Airlines worldwide have been restricting the amount of weight that you’re allowed to pack in your suitcase, which makes it logical to pack less stuff if you don’t want to pay for overweight costs. But this is not all, when you’re a serious traveler and you’ll be moving around a lot, the worst mistake you can make is packing a lot of stuff! Because you’ll be opening and closing that suitcase many times and you want to make your things accessible and easy to pack for your multiple destinations.
7. Cramp Too Many Activities into Your Schedule
Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t have the luxury of time. Time can be restricted when you’re planning a trip, so many things to see and not enough time, a painful dilemma that many travelers have come across.
But it’s important for travelers to keep in mind that quantity doesn’t equal time. Do not make the annoying mistake of trying to cram an entire country into one week. You’ll end up stressed and with a whole lot of photos but no real experiences. If you have to choose between quality and quantity, go for quality. You might not get to know everything that the city or the country has to offer, but make the best of the few places that you do go to and ENJOY! It’s not a competition.
8. Sharing Too Much of Your Trip
This can be very annoying for the outside world. We get it! You have the luck and fortune to be able to travel to amazing locations. It´s really cool! But there’s always that one traveler that irritates the world of social media by posting endless photos of their trip, of sometimes completely irrelevant and meaningless things, like being on the freaken premier lounge in X airport. One or two photos are fun to see, at least I can speak for myself when I say that I do enjoy seeing awesome photos of my friends’ travels, but then again of stuff that is really cool and not a million of every single place they go to. But having to wake up to a social media newsfeed that is plagued by just ONE person’s photos and activities is extremely annoying.
This is the moment when you realize who travels for fun and who travels to show off. There’s no need for someone to share every photo that they took during their travels, or to be constantly sharing their every move. This takes us to annoying habit number 1, which is spending too much time on electronics!
9. Saying You Know a Country Because You Know a City
You can’t really say you know Mexico because you’ve been to Cancun and didn’t leave the hotel area. That’s not traveling and that’s not knowing a country. People will very lightly say: “I know Mexico because I’ve been to Cancun.” No! You know Cancun which is a part of Mexico, but there’s much more to Mexico than just the hotel area of Cancun, which to be honest is not even Mexico.
In recent times it has become like a competition to get to know as many places as you can. We have travel bloggers claiming to know a hundred and something countries because they spend a couple of days in each one. Do you really think they got to know their culture, their traditions, their food, their way of thinking, etc.? Of course not. They got a stamp on their passport and just because of that they think they know a country.
10. Shopping for Souvenirs at the Airport
You go to South Africa and decide to buy your souvenir in the airport; some ashtrays, lighters and key chains that are made in China but have a cute elephant and spell South Africa, I mean really??? This is not a souvenir! You can actually have that made at your local printer and it would cost you a fraction of what you’re paying at the airport.
Have an eye for detail. Don’t go for the airport souvenirs. Buy handmade crafts from local artisans, something that will have value and can hold memories. Like that amazing mask from a remote village, made by a 90-year-old artisan! Now that’s a souvenir!
11. Taking a Cliché Photo
We’ve covered taking too many photos, but we haven’t really covered how annoying it is to see tourists and travelers taking the typical cliché photo. You know which ones? like the one using perception to make it look like you’re holding The Leaning Tower of Pisa, or using photo perception to make it seem like your grabbing the Eiffel Tower by the tip. It’s just plain annoying!