Explore. Experience. Engage.

Home Travel Tips Travel Deals Destinations Trip Reviews Blog
The IndependentTraveler.com Blog

cheesy touristI usually love meeting fellow travelers. They’ve pointed me in the right direction when I was lost, translated for me in places where I couldn’t speak the language and livened up long plane rides with fascinating conversation.

But not all my fellow travelers are such exemplary citizens. Woe be unto you if you’re trapped on a train or tour with one of the four types of travel boors below. Which ones do you recognize?

The Name Dropper
This is the tourist who can’t appreciate the place she’s in now because she’s too busy showing off where else she’s been. “This temple is almost as impressive as the one we saw in Cambodia last year!”

16 Signs You’re Addicted to Travel

The Royal Pain
“Does the Mediterranean salad come with iceberg lettuce or mesclun? … Mesclun? Okay, I’ll have that. But with shrimp instead of chicken. No tomatoes or olives, but lots of extra cheese. Goat cheese though, not feta. Oh, and can you put the dressing on the side?” Oh, and can you say high-maintenance?

The Know-It-All
If you’ve ever heard someone asking a tour guide questions just so he can expound upon the guy’s answers, or been subject to an unsolicited lecture on the flora and fauna of the Costa Rican rain forest, you’ve encountered this all-too-common travel bore — er, boor.

The Traveler Who Never Leaves Home
Oh, sure, he may have flown a couple thousand miles, but he still expects all his usual creature comforts: climate control, familiar foods (“Where’s the nearest McDonald’s?”) and people around him who speak English, no matter where in the world he goes. Friendly hint: If you want all the comforts of home, just stay home.

10 Annoying Habits of Our Fellow Travelers

Which travelers would you add to this list?

— written by Sarah Schlichter

Shares 0

16 Responses to “4 Tourists We DON’T Want to Travel With”

  1. Nick Smith says:

    This post really made me laugh!

    ‘The Traveler Who Never Leaves Home’ sounds all too familiar… When I was traveling across Asia I was with a guy who always wanted to find the nearest KFC and watch English football!

  2. The most recent take on this subject (Mark Twain wrote a whole book, Innocents Abroad, about annoying travelers in 1869), is Alex Beam’s Under and Umbrian Sun which will prove to remain a classic for years to come. You’ll never see “Unidressers” again and not think of his piece:


    Patrick Morris
    Indochina Travel

  3. Murray says:

    Add “He Who Doesn’t Listen” – it doesn’t matter how many times his tour guide explains something, or how important that something is, he’ll ask about it – usually about the time that knowing about it is critical.

    The Know-It-All, though, is welcome to sit beside me – as long as he actually does really know the subject and hasn’t just Googled a lot.

  4. rose says:

    As a former president and group leader of a senior travel club, we visited many different countries, trying my best to stay where we had more local
    exposure. Residing on a mountain side in a gorgeous area of Mexico, in a lovely old traditional hotel with native tile, open spaces, great views,
    a “traveler” complained that there was no airconditining and the people spoke SPANISH!.

  5. Casssandra says:

    I loved the list! My own favourite is the know-it-all who insists on monopolizing the tour guide.
    Another beef? On every ship’s excursion there is always someone who insists on returning late at every stop. I suggest that when that happens all those already on the bus in good time join in a chorus of protest! Perhaps she (and it usually is a she) will get the message!

  6. Deborah says:

    I am a vegetarian who cannot eat high acid foods. I try to be as low maintenance as possible, but I love to travel and I would really be a problem to travel with if I didn’t ask for modifications. I have heard people who make demands about highly modified dishes and I hope I am not that bad. Please don’t tell me, as did one waitress near me home, “Have you ever considered just staying home?”

  7. Lady Marion says:

    A permutation of the Royal Pain is the person who expects the guide & all hotel/boat staff to be at their beck & call 24/7 for any little question/problem they may have.

  8. LSKahn says:

    Don’t you love the ones who always want to eat at McDonald’s and then complain that it is not like McDonald’s at home.

    It is a universal fact of life that the bedding, the food, the rules of the road, the washers, and toilets will all be different than they are at home. If you only want what you have at home, please don’t travel and certainly not with me.

    Then there are the intrepid voyagers who cannot leave home problems alone and enjoy their trips. There was this girlfriend (now very much an ex-girlfriend) that horned her way into my home exchange trip to Melbourne, Australia. Having traveled with her once before I pretty much knew what was going to happen. In Vienna, Austria (another home exchange) she insisted that the whole trip run by her rules. She had a huge list of food she would not eat, wine that gave her headaches, etc., etc. To keep the peace I played by her rules. The worst was that she couldn’t turn off her damn cellphone. Her daughter was on a summer program in Spain and called constantly with complaints. One time the phone actually went off when we were in the theater. I wanted to have a fit but it would have gotten me nowhere.

    So ex-girlfriend pushes her way onto my Melbourne, Australia, exchange. Guess what? That daughter was going to spend a semester abroad in Melbourne at the University of Melbourne. Rather than visit her after she had adjusted to her program, mom thought she would accompany her there. For pete’s sake: We send kids on those programs so they will grow up. People in the programs are experts on dealing with homesickness and general adjustment problems. Daughter was calling mom several times a day with complaints. We would make plans. They would get trashed because the daughter called–over and over again. We had planned a 4 night side trip to Tasmania. When mom bailed out of that one (sticking me with the bill for the hotel room rather than splitting it), that was the last straw. I told her she had a choice to make. Either she wanted a vacation or she wanted to spend her time in Melbourne dealing with her daughter’s adjustment problems. I also told her I felt I was being taken advantage of and I was trying to have a vacation and she and her daughter were driving me nuts. You know, I should have known to say “no” when she told me she was coming on the trip, but I did not want to disrupt the friendship. We have not spoken since, so the friendship was not only disrupted–it was terminated. The worst was that she blamed me for everything saying that her daughter had to come first.

    I do some tour work now in retirement and they do complain about everything. You just don’t listen to them. Some people should just stay home because no group package tour/independent travel comes off without glitches. When someone tells me he had a perfect trip, I know he is lying. Glitches go with travel–and sometimes provide the best stories.

    By the way, I have traveled with others. The best of friends can be a lifesaver on a trip. It is the others you do not want.

  9. Clare says:

    I feel sorry for the people who won’t put down their cameras or camcorders, running in and out of souvineer shops… they are so busy trying to record their trips that they never experience them. Take a few pictures, buy a souvineer, then actually BE in the place you are.

  10. Jane L. says:

    On my first trip abroad there was a woman who unfavorably compared every place to what she had at home. The most extreme example was when she said that the woman who was part of our musical serenade on our gondola trip in Venice would not be allowed to sing in her church choir at home. I could only think about the life of that poor singer who would spend the remainder of her days singing in the canals of Venice rather than in the small-town Missouri church where my fellow traveler directed a choir. Since that time, I have traveled a great deal and have learned to avoid such people as much as possible.

  11. Narred says:

    Amen Clare!!

  12. Shawna says:

    Went on three tours. Traveled alone. On purpose. Over 21 and tall. Had way too many conversations with older couples usually the women on the various bus legs about how I shouldn’t be going alone. In England I shopped in several out of the way antique stores I never could have gotten anyone else to hike to, saw a flock of sheep in in the rain in Blarney in Eire that came up to the fence and sat with my feet in the Aegean in Greece for over an hour. Wouldn’t have traded those experiences for anything. Felt safe the whole time.

  13. Diane H says:


    The family trip! Where the couple brings their children – shows them off to anyone, anywhere, despite the fact that you are trying to listen to the tour director – and then throughout the tour ignores the children, letting them run rampant! To top it off, when confronted and asked to take their children in hand, they become defensive and make it clear that bad behavior could not have come from THEIR PRECIOUS LITTLE ANGELS…!

  14. aurora says:

    The `i throw my rubbish everywhere’ traveller

  15. Leslie Miller says:

    I have a few for you. First goes along the lines of the photographer story from Clare. Some of us do take a lot of pictures while on trips. I am one of those. However, I always look around me to see if there is someone else who is also trying to shoot the same object I might be. I don’t want to get in their way nor do I like it if they get in mine. I have a good point and shoot with extras and so need to do some fine tuning sometimes when taking the shot. On my last trip, I was trying to zoom in on a monkey and had to steady my hand to get the shot when a man with a big honking camera with a very large zoom lens popped into my viewfinder and he got my shot and I one of his head. Lost the shot completely! I was with the same ‘gentleman’ the rest of the tour and avoided him at every turn.

    The second one is the traveler who wants to know (on group trips or cruises) what type of room you’ve got, how much you paid for it, how did you book it. . . .They then want your name and room number so they can complain to the powers that be to see if they can get their money refunded.

    Third and last is the table mates you get when on group trips. I enjoy trying new tables every night for dinner so I can meet new friends. Sometimes you can get table mates that you just do not agree with. But you can make it through the meal. On our last night of a two week cruise, we had a table of 8 (4 of us were together). There was another couple and two single gentlemen. One gentleman tried to monopolize the meal with all of his complaints. Didn’t like his room (they had upgraded him), never left the ship, food was not good, it was going to be snowing upon his return to Chicago. . . No one wants to hear any of this. When in the company of others, turn on the Pollyanna and find the good things that happened to you. Do not be a complainer. It was a sad ending to an otherwise perfect cruise!

  16. Thank you for sharing this very witty and honest post. I definitely wouldn’t want to travel with these kinds of people!

Leave a Reply