The signs you aren’t a good traveler will either bother you or not. Bothered because you love to travel, are a novice or just aren’t very good at organizing your trips yet. Not bothered because you don’t care, you have fun anyway or because you don’t really enjoy traveling. On the assumption you love to travel and just need to get better at it, these signs you aren’t a good traveler will help you work out what changes you can make to ensure your adventures are even more fabulous.
1 You’re THAT Guy (or Girl)
The one that has forgotten to bathe, or who wears too much cologne or perfume. The one who talks excessively and can’t read people’s signals that they’re just not interested anymore, or who has an annoying cough but no cough lozenges. You’re the one no one wants to sit next to and you don’t even know it. These are signs that you are not a good traveler. Solution? Be respectful of other people by thinking of how your behavior affects others.
2 Your Bags Give You Away
People who aren’t good travelers often have overweight bags, which can cost you a fortune in fees and tend to slow the line of people waiting behind you. Study the weight limits on all the airlines on which you will travel and be sure you know how much you can put in your bag without being overweight. Don’t pack things you don’t need! Another giveaway that you haven’t got the fine art of travel down is that you ignore luggage carry-on rules. Be sure your shampoos and other toiletries aren’t above the allowable limit, because if not you may trigger a bag search and be forced to surrender anything that’s not allowed. Solution? Borrow or invest in luggage scale or purchase bags with built-in weighing systems. Be sure to study the carry-on limits and follow them.
3 You Have Issues with Your Passport
If you are a bad traveler, you may not have even noticed. Even if your passport is still valid, some countries require your passport to be valid for 6 months after you complete your trip in order to enter the country. Always research the requirements to enter a country, including passport or immunization rules. Solution? All may not be lost if you’ve discovered your passport has expired or is expiring and you’re about to embark on an international trip-you may be able to go to a U.S. Regional Passport Agency, if there’s one near you, and with the right documentation you can get your passport the same day.
4 You Don’t Allot Enough Time
Long gone are the days when we could arrive at the airport a half hour before the flight took off. A good guideline is to arrive 2 hours before a flight. You may be able to arrive later for planes or buses, but always keep in mind that there may be unexpected traffic and that there are several lines to go through once at the station or airport-security lines, check in lines, the boarding gate, getting on the plane, etc. that all take a great deal of time. Solution? Check traffic conditions, and allow plenty of time for those contingent factors that seem to always crop up.
5 You’re Disrespectful
Travelers, particularly bad travelers, are often accused of being disrespectful. Traveling can be stressful, but rarely is it the fault of the gate agent, crew member, fellow tourists or anyone employed to assist you in your travels. Yelling will seldom get you any closer to your goals, and may in fact hamper your progress. Also, when at your destination, don’t assume everyone shares your values-you are in their country and need to respect their values even if you don’t share them. Solution? Smile. Be kind at all times, and understanding that other people’s days may be as stressful as yours.
6 You Know Nothing about Your Destination
Do you know the local language, and perhaps even a few important words in that language? Do you know any current events, or what is safe vs. unsafe? What will be open this time of year? Is it appropriate to bargain when buying something? What is the local currency and what does it equate to in US dollars (or whatever your place of origin)? Solution? Do your research!
7 You Forgot to Check in Online
If you check in online, you are more likely to know if your flight has changed, and you have a better chance at the seating you desire. Those who wait to check in at the airport are more likely to be bumped off a flight if it gets too full as well. Solution? Check online before you leave. You may be able to see flight changes or print your pass ahead of time - if not, most airports offer kiosks where you can print them.
Do you think any of these signs are applicable to you?