Travelling, it’s all fun and games until you get stuck next to the passenger from Hell. You know them all too well – dressed like ordinary travellers – they come in all forms, popping up when you least expect it and often when your patience is running low.
Sharing space with a nightmare fellow passenger is an experience you would rather forget and one that often leads to more arrival drinks than planned, to erase the unpleasant memories imparted by your unwanted companion.
So how can you avoid being THAT person yourself when travelling? Follow our five tips to avoid being the traveller everyone prays not to end up stuck next to.
1. Dress appropriately
It may seem obvious to you but if you’ve been to an airport lately you probably would have witnessed at least one offensive outfit, most likely in the form of a singlet so sloppy it no longer seems to serve a purpose, or a pair of cut off shorts so small they could be mistaken for a denim belt.
In what should not be a news flash, your fellow passengers do not wish to know you this well and would prefer not to spend extended waiting periods confronted by the ins and outs of your body.
2. Volume control
Travelling, by its nature, involves prolonged periods of waiting, often spent in close proximity to a large amount of other people. This situation is made worse when one of your ‘fellow’ travellers is shouting into their phone/computer/ iPad or quite possibly at their friend next to them.
Avoid death stares and being everyone’s most hated passenger by finding a quiet place to discuss your private life, the stock exchange, etc. Or, if you must do so in close quarters, at least conduct the communication at a level that won’t deafen everyone around you – not too mention, the person on the other end of the line.
3. PDAs are not ok
We get it. You’re in love. Or lust. Or whatever. It’s sweet and we don’t begrudge you your happiness, we just don’t wish to see it shoved in our faces when we can’t escape.
Just yesterday I was waiting, with 100 of my nearest and dearest, to disembark a ferry in Naples. Exhausted after what had already been a long day and journey so far, the couple next to me decided this would be the perfect time to start kissing. Not only was this possibly the worst time for declarations of undying love, they also happened to be approximately five centimetres from my face.
So save us all and leave the PDAs for behind closed doors. Or when your loved one walks out of the international arrivals doors. We’ll turn a blind eye to those displays!
4. Spatial awareness goes a long way
Personal space is precious, especially when travelling. Unfortunately the two are often mutually exclusive events. Between trying to negotiate getting around with all your bags to queuing, and of course sitting for hours on end in the crammed conditions that are buses, planes, car and trains.
Travelling is challenging enough without being bashed by someone’s bag, trodden on or pushed out the way. Have some patience and respect for those around you and allow them their breathing space. Pushing people won’t make a queue move faster but it may earn you a well-deserved worst enemy very quickly
5. Consideration is not dead
Chivalry may be dead but kind consideration will always be cool. There’s a very simple saying when it comes to being considerate; treat others as you would like to be treated. It’s not difficult to think about all the things you don’t appreciate your fellow travellers doing or, on the positive side, the actions you do appreciate them doing. Following the theory people in glasshouses shouldn’t throw rocks, take time to consider things from your travel companion’s point of view and you’ll be making fast friends in no time.
Pro tip: wearing strong deodorant also helps.
Join in the conversation below. What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had with other passengers travel etiquette, or lack thereof?
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