Spend a week-end away with a few friends and you’ll soon discover just how irritable, short tempered and impatient you are. Well I’m here to tell you that, in fact, it’s not you...it’s them! Being stuck in a foreign city with exasperating travel-personalities is enough to make even the most zen-infused guru seethe with frustration. While there are literally hundreds of things you could do or say to drive your travel companions up the wall with madness, there are a few defining ways to really ensure you crush life-long friendships and make enemies wherever you lay your hat. Is you ambition to get indicted into the Travel Companion Hall of Shame? Then by all means, follow these genial hints and success will be guaranteed!
The inability of my travel companion to make even a single decision within a 24hr period is the one thing which can send me over the edge. As it turns out...I’m not as unique as I’d like to believe. This is the most loathed travel-behaviour of all. If you chatter ad infinitum because you just can’t seem to find a grammatically correct way to end a sentence, or if your most common answer to a question about what you’d like to see or do is ‘I don’t care, whatever YOU want’; rest assured you and I won’t last long on the road. When travelling, indecisiveness translates to you doing absolutely no research, no bookings, no itinerary making...well, nada really. If you do make any kind of research, then you’ll likely insist on doing everything, because HEAVEN FORBID you could actually prioritise! I’m not saying you have to be an anally-retentive Type A personality to travel with me, not at all; but if you try in your earnest to be a Type Z...then I know you’re just taking the piss.
Cling to me
I’ll start by saying that I prefer to wear loose clothing for a reason; I hate anything which desperately clings to my body, and so do most others. It makes us feel smothered and leaves us gasping for air. So imagine our surprise then, when you insist on coming along on our morning jogs (only could we just sort of walk instead? I don’t really like jogging), joining us on a museum visit we KNOW you’re not interested in (wow, you can spend a whole hour just looking at paintings?) or refuse to take any initiative to simply take an hour to yourself. C’mon, everyone needs a breather! Travelling with you would be like travelling with my 3 year old nephew and, I guarantee, there’s a very good reason my brother would not let me take him along on a week-end away. But I still won’t risk it by asking him. No-one likes to wear a lycra bodysuit in 30 degree heat...be a kaftan instead.
Complain too much
“It’s too hot, it’s too cold, there are too many people, there are not enough people, it’s too much, it’s not enough” and on and on and on the complainer goes. The main reason I never stay above a first floor hotel room when travelling with friends, is because I am very likely to chuck one of them out the window the moment they start complaining. Moaning about things which are completely out of your control, and can’t be changed, is a futile exercise. I learnt this very important lesson when I was 5 years old. What the heck is taking you so long to do the same? SHUT.UP.AND.GET.OVER.IT.
Oh go ahead, use up all my stuff!
I’m a minimalist packer which means I take very little along on a simple week-end away. I never understand how some can take a full size shampoo bottle, for example, when the likelihood of them washing their hair more than twice on a 3 day getaway is miniscule. This is why I’ll pour two squirts in a tiny travel bottle; because that’ll be enough for me. (The operative words here being: FOR.ME.) If you over-pack it’s your problem, but if you under-pack and expect to use my stuff, it becomes mine. That whole ‘sharing is caring’ bollocks stops the moment it is not reciprocated. Mind you, I don’t want it to be reciprocated: half a bottle of shampoo does not equate to five perfume squirts. One is essential, the other not so much.
Be a picky eater
We all have days when we alter our diet to suit our needs. On Mondays I’m vegetarian, on Tuesdays I shun carbs, on Wednesdays I only eat things starting with ‘p’ etc etc. So far so good. Because I like to think of myself as a considerate travel buddy, I’d be damned if I’m gonna make YOUR holiday hell by packing my quirky eating habits on a week-end away to another country. So don’t take yours. You’re in Paris for goodness sakes; NO, I don’t know how many calories are in an éclair just eat the damn thing!!!!