Traveling Pet Peeves: How to Avoid the 8 Worst Ones

Traveling Pet Peeves: How to Avoid the 8 Worst Ones

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Traveling doesn’t always bring the relaxation and pleasure that you’d like. In fact, it can create a lot of stress. Try these tips to avoid the stress caused by 8 of the worst pet peeves that you might encounter during your travels.

Ridiculous Transportation Security Administration Rules

Even if you don’t get anxious stuffing yourself into an airplane with a couple hundred passengers, the TSA’s arbitrary rules will make you fret. Some of the stupid rules say that you:

  • can’t bring more than 3.4 ounces of liquid on a plane (that includes shampoos and hand sanitizer)
  • can bring small knives aboard (you know, the kind that don’t stab too deep)
  • cannot bring snow globes that contain more than 3.4 ounces of liquid.

If you get used to traveling in a country that doesn’t scrutinize every object in your carry-on luggage, then you could easily lose your mind trying to re-enter the U.S. That why you should always know how to refill your anti-anxiety drugs when traveling in Canada and other countries.

After all, feeling anxious at the airport could make you look suspicious, which will only make you more anxious.

Airplane Ticket Prices

Not to harp on the airline industry and the government rules regulating it, but airlines notoriously make their tickets look cheaper than they are. Buying a ticket for $300 often means that you’ll pay well over $400 after you include taxes and other fees (like checking a bag).

Airlines obviously know that you have to pay those extra costs, so why not include them in the advertised cost? Not knowing how much you have to pay for a ticket is a pet peeve that you’ll just have to live with.

You can only combat unknown prices by supporting airlines that advertise more accurately than others.

Hotels  Without Wi-Fi

Anyone traveling in the developed world expects free Wi-Fi. Hotels that don’t give this to their guests look cheap and petty.

You could try to avoid this by only using hotels that offer free Internet access, but it’s often difficult to tell which hotels actually giving you free, unlimited Wi-Fi. If you find yourself staying at a hotel without Wi-Fi, you can always:

  • check for nearby hotspots
  • try getting access in the lobby
  • using your own wireless router

You might still feel a little ticked off by the inconvenience, but at least you get to check your mail.

Noisy Hotel Neighbors

Even the best hotels can’t guarantee a night of restful sleep. Noisy neighbors can turn a pleasant evening into a disaster. Then you spend the next day with bloodshot eyes that make you look like you were out partying all night when you were really just trying to get some sleep.

What can you do about this? Calling the front desk is always preferable to knocking on the neighbor’s door.

If you really want to avoid an unpleasant conversation, bring noise-cancelling earphones with you. Let the other hotel guests stay up all night. You’ll snooze your way through it all.

Gridlock Traffic

Nothing ruins a road trip like unexpected gridlock. It adds time to your drive and contributes to your frustration. Instead of succumbing to road rage, learn how to avoid traffic. If you can’t avoid it, then at least learn how to cope with it.

Plenty of smartphone apps can help you avoid traffic. Try options like:

  • Beat the Traffic
  • Traffic Monitor
  • Sigalert

They will notify you of upcoming congestion and accidents so you can choose alternate routes.

You can’t always avoid gridlock, though, so you should know how to handle heavy traffic without going bonkers. Some coping strategies include:

  • listening to soothing music
  • enjoying drinks and snacks
  • wearing comfortable clothes
  • keeping the car at a comfortable temperature
  • using aromatherapy or self-massage

If you really feel overwhelmed, take a timeout by pulling over to the side of the road for a few minutes.

Finding a Public Toilet

There’s never a public restroom around when you need one desperately. Whether you’re spending a week in New York City or hiking through the Rockies, going to the restroom is often one of the most difficult things about travel.

You can make this easier on yourself by planning ahead. Some websites will help you find public restrooms in major cities. If you’re venturing into the woods, don’t even fool yourself: bring a trowel no matter how far you plan to hike. You never know when an emergency will strike you right in the stomach.

Checking Luggage

Checking luggage has become a major hassle. Travelers often have to pay extra only to find that their airlines have lost their bags. In 2012, U.S. airlines lost or damaged about 1.8 million pieces of luggage. Believe it or not, that’s actually better than 2011’s statistics.

You can’t do much about this if you truly need to check your luggage. You can only fight back by fitting as much as possible into your carry-on luggage.

Use a few tricks to pack as much as possible into your carry-on bags.

  • Mail dirty clothes back home (it’s cheaper than checking a bag!).
  • Choose a bag that reaches the airline’s maximum size.
  • Roll your clothing into cylinders instead of folding them flat.
  • Leave behind unnecessary toiletries that your hotel will provide.

Kids That Act Out

Whether you’re stuck on an airplane behind some brat that won’t stop whining because he’s bored, or you’re trying to drive a few hours with your own kid complaining in the backseat, kids can make travel difficult.

This is another one of those instances when medication can help!

If you don’t want to take pills because you’re driving, then you’ll need some strategies to keep those kids quiet. Some options include:

  • bringing games
  • offering presents (with the parents’ permission, of course)
  • watching videos
  • arts and crafts that will entertain them for hours

Traveling pet peeves don’t have to ruin your experience. What strategies do you use to cope with your biggest pet peeves?