These are the worst kinds of travelers…try as hard as you can not to be one.
Traveling teaches you a lot about the world and yourself, because it makes you see things you otherwise never would have. In that way, it’s not unusual for travelers to be more progressive, more open-minded, and more forward-thinking.
That said though, not all travelers use their travels as an opportunity to learn. Unfortunately, many travelers stay wrapped up in their tiny little boxes, despite having wonderful opportunities to see every corner of the world. Truth be told, this is one of the things that saddens me the most – I feel like if you have a chance to get outside of your box, you should take it and run with it and learn as much as possible from it.
Because I’ve been abroad so much lately, I’ve come across a lot of awful travelers. In that vein, I decided to make a list of the worst kinds of travelers – along with ways to help people avoid becoming them!
1.The Entitled Traveler
The Entitled Traveler often goes hand-in-hand with the arrogant, obnoxious American traveler. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an American – but because of that I can recognize how crappy we can be when we’re abroad. The Entitled Traveler thinks that they should be allowed to do and say and access whatever they want. The Entitled Traveler thinks the world belongs to them on a silver platter – and never stops to consider that the world belongs to everyone.
The Fix: Check your privilege. Before you ask yourself why you can’t do or say something, ask yourself why you should be able to as a guest in someone else’s home, area, or country.
2. The Uninformed Traveler
The Uninformed Traveler is happy to aimlessly wander from location to location without ever learning anything. The Uninformed Traveler has no idea what’s happening politically in the locations they are visiting and often doesn’t even know what’s happening in their own country (again, many American travelers are guilty of this). The Uninformed Traveler likes to stay in expensive hotels and shop and never see the world as it really is.
The Fix: Do some reading. Before you arrive in a location, read up on what’s happening there politically and what things you may experience. Know what’s going on in the world.
3. The Disrespectful Traveler
The Disrespectful Traveler thinks the rules don’t apply to them. The Disrespectful Traveler knows that certain things are off-limits, but doesn’t care. The Disrespectful Traveler may wear shoes in an Indian person’s home, or climb Uluru, or do drugs at sacred sites. The Disrespectful Traveler is almost the worst of the bunch, because he or she knows that there are limits to what is permitted in certain locations but chooses to disrespect those limits anyway.
The Fix: Pull your head out of your ass. No one is trying to hinder your specific travels, but if your travels are hindered because you are respecting other people and culture’s traditions, so fucking be it.
4. The Purely Social Traveler
The Purely Social Traveler doesn’t travel to make the world a better place or to open their own mind. The Purely Social Traveler travels, well, for the Instagram shot. Don’t get me wrong – we all love a good IG or Snap or Facebook pic, but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all of why we are traveling. We travel to better ourselves and to help others – NOT for the social media.
The Fix: Repeat after me: put down the camera and look around. Sometimes, you won’t get the damn shot and it’s REALLY okay.
5. The Bragging Traveler
“You’ve been to 49 countries?” “Oh I can beat that – I’ve been to 54!” <— Don’t be this person. The Bragging Traveler doesn’t give two shits about what they’ve seen or learned or how they’ve helped the world. The Bragging Traveler cares just about comparing their travels with other travelers. The Bragging Traveler can one up you in anything you say. The Bragging Traveler has done it ALL, dontcha know, and needs to tell you all about it.
The Fix: Shut your fucking trap. It’s that simple. Not everyone needs to know about everything you’ve done. If something you were going to say is going to help someone else or relate to them or add something interesting to the conversation, say it. Otherwise, sit quietly and enjoy other people.
6. The Critical Traveler
“There’s no central air here?” “The sheets are too hard!” “I can’t sleep with that light outside.” The Critical Traveler thinks that they should have a personal valet everywhere they go fixing their problems. The Critical Traveler also thinks that everyone should treat them like royalty and that they should be 100% comfortable at all times. But travel isn’t about 100% comfort, it’s about getting out of your comfort zone. The Critical Traveler is, quite frankly, irritating as hell.
The Fix: Realize you won’t be comfortable all the time and that’s okay. Get used to discomfort – the sooner you do, the better your travels will go.
7. The Careless Traveler
The Careless Traveler pays no attention to where they are going or what they are doing and lets other people constantly lead them. The Careless Traveler often finds themselves in shitty, awkward, or straight up dangerous situations because they haven’t paid attention to anything. The Careless Traveler is also often the worst to travel with, as they don’t take any responsibility for their own actions!
The Fix: Open your eyes and pay some damn attention to your surroundings!
There are simple, easy ways not to be one of the ridiculous travelers on this list. At its core, traveling is about opening your heart and mind to new experiences, being respectfull of others’ thoughts, feelings, and traditions and overall, being a kind and considerate human being.