When it comes to travel why be polite, courteous and considerate of other travellers? When instead you can use annoying habits and outright rudeness to really hack off everyone else.
When you think about it travel is the prime opportunity to really get on the nerves of strangers. Either on a plane/train/boat/coach or just forced into the company of others for a few hours. Everyone is trapped in your presence and now is the time to perform your magic.
Why not play a little game and see how many people you can hack off on each trip? Which trip was your record?
Well after years of travel and observation I’ve accumulated a list of annoying habits of fellow travellers. They may not surprise you as I’m sure you are guilty of some. Well here’s a list just in case any are new to you.
Annoying habits of travellers
Tablet computers – yeah look at me, I’ve got this fancy new iPad/Samsung/rip off thingy with all these videos, games and a wifi connection. I’m going to play with it in this waiting area with the volume turned up loud. Definitely loud since I don’t want you to miss out on every hair pin bend turn I make on Grand Turismo. I’ve got some Beats Headphones but I can’t be bothered to use them. That wouldn’t be fun would it? If I used them then nobody else would know that I’m having so much fun.
Personal stereo – do you remember the days of the walkman, the personal stereo? Well that is so 1980s, I’ve got a really cool iPod now. I also have an absolutely awesome music collection. If I turn the sound up really loud on my headphones, full volume in fact not only will I make myself go deaf but you won’t miss out on that bass and those cool beats. PS means personal stereo? Oops sorry I thought it meant public stereo.
Shut that door – Yes in the famous words of Larry Gration I’m going to shut that door. Okay, maybe I won’t shut it forcibly I’ll just let it swing closed right into your face as you are walking behind me. Of course I know you are there, that is why I did it, hehe.
Elevator – Going up? Oops too bad. I can’t be bothered to press the door hold button so you can get into the lift before the doors close. I know it is a rude annoying habit but hey that miserable French guy in Charles De Gaulle airport did it to The Guy so it must be okay.
No hold on, I’ve been waiting for this lift to arrive. I’ve just got to get on. I’ll just barge my way into the lift as soon as the doors open. Sod letting anyone off. I mean what were they even doing in the elevator anyway?
Can’t sit still – Oh yeah I’m so excited with this travelling an’ all that I’ve got ants in my pants. I just can’t sit still, do you think it is an annoying habit? You know when you are sat across from me and no matter how you try to look away I keep creeping into the corner of your line of vision. There I am shaking a leg, tapping away on my knee. I’m not listening to music or anything like that, well maybe the voices in my head which are telling me to annoy you.
Slurping – Oh this is one of the great annoying habits, you’ll love this one. No matter what drink I have, hot or cold I just can’t have a sip, any sip without a good slurp sound. Didn’t you know that drinks taste a lot better when you slurp? I also can’t be bothered to wait for it to cool down a bit, come on I’ve been waiting ages for this drink and a good slurp.
Eating – yes eating is not so bad is it? Well believe it or not the vast majority of us travellers have this as one of our annoying habits. We just can’t keep quiet whilst munching away, yes we are noisy eaters. Then of course we talk with food in our mouth. But hey why talk? I can just chew with my mouth open, I’m enjoying this food so much I want you to see it being gradually mushed to a pulp right here in my mouth.
But that is not all, far from it. You’ll know this one since the majority of people do it. I’ll just eat like a pig. Yes that is right I’ll eat like a pig and not enjoy the food. Why finish the food already in my mouth? Why do that when I can use my knife and fork to play with my food then stuff more into my mouth when it is already half full. Yum yum, this food is delicious and I just can’t get enough of it. Can I have a bigger mouth please? I can’t get the food in quick enough.
Picking up food – Yes I know this is one of the annoying habits that can be used but the person in front of me did it at the buffet too. There are some tongs right there to help me pick my bread roll or other items of food but why bother? I’ll just use my dirty hands, touch a few of the items of food before deciding which one I want. I’ll leave the rest of the food I’ve touched (covered in my germs) right there for you. I know you’ll like that. Especially after you see what the next of my annoying habits is.
Wash your hands – Yes, I’ve just been to the toilet but I really can’t be bothered to wash my hands, does anyone do that any more? Isn’t washing your hands after going for a pee another annoying habit? What sorry, it is an annoying habit that I don’t? But hold on, I want to spread all my urine sprinkles and germs all over the toilet door handle. Then just after you’ve washed your hands you can collect my germs from the handle before you leave the bathroom. Brilliant! 🙂
Of course I could be like that member of staff in the Business Class lounge at Chennai airport. You know the one? He’s the one The Guy saw come out of the cubicle and never washed his hands. He was wearing a chef’s uniform so must have left the lavatory and headed straight towards the kitchen. Of course this was after he spread untold germs on the main toilet door handle. It was okay though. When The Guy complained to the lounge manager the manager was very reassuring. He found it hard to believe that The Guy would make such an allegation, it just can’t be true. However, even if it was true it is okay, the manager is sure that when the chef got back to the kitchen he washed his hands there.
Spitting – oh don’t you just hate it when you’ve got a little bit of phlegm in your mouth or anything really? I know what would be one of the really annoying habits is to spit it out right there and then. No need to be discrete or head to the bathroom or anything. Just get it out, I can’t bear it lingering in my mouth for one more second. Who cares that we are indoors and not going to move from this spot for another half an hour. I’ll just spit here so you’ll always be able to see it. Sweet.
Biting nails – oh this has got to be one of my all time favourite annoying habits of any fellow travellers. I’ll just sit here in the seat directly facing you. Yes that is right, the one where I am directly in your line of vision. Then off I go, got to have a good munch on those nails. Don’t worry about all that dirt under the nails, it provides lots of nourishment don’t you know? I also know you can’t get enough of the sound of my teeth on the nail. Classic.
Cutting nails – You know what, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. I’m not bothered about it being one of my rude annoying habits but it just doesn’t work. I need to shorten this nail and I need to do it now, right in front of you. I can’t be bothered to go into the bathroom to sort it out privately, no I’ll just get my nail clippers out and do it in front of you and everyone else.
Oh that reminds me, do you remember the time we got the train to Manchester? Yes you remember. There I was sat in the seats in the row behind The Guy. Well actually not only was I in the row behind The Guy but my seat was also across the aisle too. It was very impressive though. I was able to cut my nails with the clippers. Isn’t it funny though how you just can’t control where those nail clippings go? It was a classic moment when that nail clipping just flew off and landed on The Guy even though he was so far away. Pure genius.
Can’t you see that I’m on the phone? – Don’t you know that I’ve got this new, really fancy and over priced smart phone? (Though I tend to think the terms smart and phone don’t go well together when the phone won’t even last a year.) Anyway, it is really cool. When someone sends me a text it has this immensely annoying 4 tone whistle sound. You know the one, it seems as though every phone uses it now. I have also loaded an exceptionally irritating ring tone from your least favourite group, well in fact it is actually Lady Gaga since that isn’t annoying, is it?
Anyway, she’s just rung so I better take this call. Sorry, I’m not speaking loud enough for you to hear me from across the waiting area. No problem, I’ll just pace up and down to really annoy you and let you hear every bit of my pathetic conversation. I really don’t know how I used to manage with those old landline phones. Seriously, how did anyone manage to have a conversation without pacing up and down a 20 yard circuit?
Oh, you’ve got to see this, facetime!
Picking nose – oh this is another very popular one of the annoying habits. I don’t need to be alone or driving in my car to do this one. Let’s do it in front of fifty people so everyone can see how determined I am to get that bogey. Let’s move my arm around wildly whilst I dig away for it. Well it’ll take some time since I’ve just shortened my nails. We all know it can get quite messy when things get up your nose. Ah, no hold on, I think I’ve got it! Hmm, I’m hungry.
Trays at the security line – when going through airport security we all have to unload our pockets, take laptops out of our bags and so on. What do we do? Well we put them in the trays to then slide on the conveyor which goes through the security machine. We then collect them at the other end. All very straightforward and easy to understand. So why is it so many people are ignorant of the final step? Yes I’m talking about once you empty your tray that you then lift your tray off the conveyor and put it in the pile at the end (or the rollers running under the conveyor system). How difficult can it be? There are even signs asking you to do this? But no, this is such a mundane task why should you do it? Let’s leave our trays and cause a back log of trays and slow the security line down. After all I thought that passenger behind me in the security queue is really working here and would just love to move that tray for me.
Pushing in – queues, ha why bother? Don’t you know who I am? I’m a jumped up little guy of no importance. I’ve got the cheapest ticket I can find but I’m damned if anyone goes before me. I really can’t be arsed to get there early. I’ll just arrive late and push my way in. I’m far more important than you plebs anyway.
Personal space – okay so that didn’t work. I got found out on the pushing in bit and I have to join the queue like everyone else. Don’t worry though I’ve yet another of my annoying habits, I’ll just encroach on your personal space. That’s right, instead of forming a line and standing behind you I’ll stand by your shoulder. Then you’ll always be fearful of me trying to nudge in again like I did before. Don’t worry though, instead of keeping a few inches away I’ll stay really close so you’ll know I’m here. I’ll stay close enough so you can smell my bad breathe and all my clothes which stink of cigarette smoke. Hmm, don’t you just love it?
Whistle/Sing a song – Oh I’m such a jolly old chap, I really am in a great mood. I think this is a queue for me to share my joy with the world. I’ll just happily whistle away (maybe out of tune) or sing along to myself, but aloud in a very public place. I know you’d rather pay to see a professional singer/performer but that is okay. No tickets needed, this a free show.
Chewing gum – I’ll also stay really close to you whilst I chew some gum. Chewing gum is great isn’t it? There’s nothing quite like it. Don’t you know that I often eat in a civil manner, you know the way, with my mouth closed an’ all. But nah, can’t do that with gum. I’ve got to move my jaws around violently and leave my lips open. Of course I do otherwise how can you see and hear all that saliva and gum moving around in my mouth? No don’t worry, I’m only joking. I maybe in my late twenties or early thirties but it isn’t chewing gum. It is actually bubble gum. What do you mean that is for kids? No it isn’t. Just look, let’s see how big a bubble I can blow.
Flip Flops – I’m also a fashion guru don’t you know? I’m traipsing around these airports and I really can’t be bothered to wear sensible or even quiet footwear. No I’ll wear these stupid flat shoes which only have a grip between 2 of my toes. No heel or grip at the back. That way you can always hear me with that really annoying flip-flip-flip sound as I walk on this tiled floor. Music to my ears. Don’t worry though if I ever forget my flip flops I’ll just slide my feet on the floor. I really can’t be bothered to lift my feet and walk properly.
Shoulder bags – rucksacks aren’t they great? All that stuff you can carry and just hang it off your shoulder. Even better get one of those full length traveller backpacks. Then as I walk down the aisle when boarding the plane I’ll leave it on my shoulder. It is great fun then to walk to my seat bashing everyone in the aisle seats with my rucksack. Hehe. Carry your bag in front of you whilst walking down a narrow aisle is for wimps.
Can’t wait – Can’t you see that I’m in a rush? Come on man hurry up! No forget it I’ll just rudely force my way past you, with this rucksack on my back so I can whack you at the same time too. I don’t care that you are half way to putting your bag in the overhead bin. Seriously, I need to get to my seat and get there now! Come on this plane is about to take off. The cabin crew aren’t going to wait for me to find my seat now are they? Oh, hold on…..
Too much carry on – well I had to have this bag on my back didn’t I? Well no actually maybe not. I’ll just pile up my 2-3 items of carry on luggage onto this roller bag. Don’t worry about the airline’s one carry on policy. Nobody adheres to that, do they? Suckers! Why pay for check-in luggage when I can hog all the cabin storage space. Forget about that woman and child who arrive late to the gate and they have to store all her baby stuff miles away from her seat.
Put your feet up – yes I’m travelling. I’m going to really relax and enjoy the ride. I’ll just put my feet up. It is great actually since I got this baulk head seat so I’ll just put my feet up and place them on the wall in front of me. It’s really rude isn’t it but who cares, I’m not at home. It’s just like being on that train when I rested my feet on the seat in front of me. Dirty shoes? Oh don’t worry about that, they have cleaners don’t they?
Phone addiction – ah the mobile phone, the greatest invention of the 20th century. I really don’t know how we managed without it. Such a great way of communicating and developing annoying habits. Do you know what? I’ve been sat waiting at that gate for over an hour. I was bored stiff. God I hate waiting. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It’s okay though I’m on the plane now and we are about to take off. I’ll just get my phone out and make a quick call. It’ll be fine.
Rude to staff – “What? I can’t hear you mate this air stewardess is driving me nuts.” What is it with stewardess’ barking out instructions. Get off the phone, fasten your seat belt we are about to take off. Who do they think they are telling me what to do? They are not my mother you know. I don’t care if I’ve put her in a bad mood. I’ve paid for this trip and I’ll do what the hell I like.
Complaints and Upgrades – okay so the stewardess is in a bad mood. What is her problem? She is paid to serve. I don’t quite get it that she doesn’t understand that my seat will not recline that extra 2 inches it is supposed to. Look at this I’ve hardly any leg room. This is shoddy service. Give me an upgrade. I demand an upgrade! Is anyone listening? Oh no, she’s gone.
Cracking knuckles – oh dear. I guess that I’m stuck with this lousy seat then. I did get a really good deal on my ticket, it was mega cheap. Shame the seat is rubbish though, you’d expect better. I know I’ll just annoy this guy next to me. I’ll start cracking my knuckles. It is one of my great annoying habits, that sound just pierces right through you. I’ve no idea why I do it though? For arthritis maybe? No logic but it is fun though.
Luggage carousels – I’m not very happy. The check-in girl insisted that I check my luggage. She said I had too many items and it was too big for carry on. This is really bad service because now the flight is over I have to wait at the overcrowded luggage carousel. I really want to go home and don’t want to wait a second more.
They also have a really crazy sign there that I don’t think anyone pays attention to. You know the one which asks you to stand behind the line. It might be a yellow line, a red line or even a blue line. It is just crazy. If I stand behind that line then I can’t push my way in and block the view of people behind me. I won’t be able to stand right beside the moving conveyor and force everyone behind me to move in front of the line too. Yet if I stand in front of the line it is a free for all and virtually no one can see. I just love it.
Sniffing – ah now for the ultimate of annoying habits of travellers. You’ll always find strong competition for this one whenever you put a group of people together. Yes that is right the sniffers. I love a good sniff, don’t you? You know when you have that bit of mucus running down the inside of your nose? Maybe if I sniff loudly it will go back up my nose for maybe another 5-10 seconds. I’ll sniff again and do this for a good while. It’s a great game isn’t it?
I mean what is it with hankies and tissues? Why would you want to be organised and put one in your pocket when you get dressed in the morning? I mean, when would I ever use it? Okay I know that I’m coming down with a cold and I knew that before I left home. Instead of staying home and recovering I’ve really got to take this trip. So I’ll go unprepared and have absolutely nothing to blow my nose with. I won’t even take a cold remedy.
Wait there’s a bathroom 2 rows in front of me? They have tissues in there which I could get in about 10 seconds flat? Ah, why bother? This is more fun I can annoy everyone around me. Mind you I don’t like tissues. They are so flimsy and messy. One blow and they are done. I just end up leaving tissues everywhere because I can’t be bothered to find a bin.
Ah, no haha! 🙂 I fooled you there. You thought I didn’t have a hanky didn’t you? Well I have! I just thought that I’d sniff really annoyingly about 20 times before taking it out of my pocket. No point bringing it out earlier. I want you to be secretly looking at me with dagger eyes in annoyance. Don’t worry though, I won’t blow my nose properly at all. I’ll just wipe it gently and snivel a bit. I’ll then put my handkerchief back in my pocket and sniff again straight away. Ah, what joy.
What you missed it? You didn’t know that I was a sniffer? Don’t worry about it. I’ll just casually walk past you and you’ll think I’m not a sniffer. Then just as I literally walk by I’ll suddenly sniff right as I pass your ear. Nice.
So there you have it folks. The ultimate guide to annoying habits of fellow travellers and how to hack people off. What drives you nuts and which ones are you guilty of?