Most Annoying Co-Travellers

cooltext468162920_thumb5Travel. Aah! The very word conjures such exotic imageries of majestic forts and palaces, impressive museums, serene resorts, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage, unique experiences and the much needed escape from the routine… But before you get to such dreamy locations one has to travel for miles and miles together… together with your inner self, family, friends and fellow co-passengers.

During my years of travel both for work and pleasure, before I reach my destination – exotic or otherwise, my trip usually turns out to be a long, very long trip. No, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a penchant for taking the longest possible routes, but it’s just that I have a penchant for attracting bad travel companions.

I have come across some really weird, annoying, pesky, cheeky, pain in the you-know-where, fellow travellers who make me wish /urge/implore/pray/crave for the journey to come to an end, soon, real soon. Wanna take a ride with me? Fasten your seatbelts as I take you on a ride that never ends…

  • The Chatterbots :  Travel alone may translate into quality Me-Time for some of us. It’s the time when you want to sit back and read or just watch the world pass by literally and figuratively or simply doze off. But can you do that in peace? Nope. Thanks to the chatterbots who have to tell you their opinions on the state of affairs of the country  or how Dhoni should lead or why Salman should never be jailed or simply dig information about you. Subtle and not so subtle cues that you are not interested does not reach them, at all. Last month, an elderly man cribbed for 3 hours non-stop, how his daughter-in-law, an oncologist in a leading hospital, is not a good mother! Sigh!
  • The Audio Numbs : These are the people who can not just keep it down… the  volume, I mean. They have to talk loudly and incessantly on their phones or listen to music without the earphones or play games on their devices with the gaming sounds at full blast. Once there was this guy who called almost all the contacts in his phone book during the 5 hour journey from Jaipur to Delhi. During these 5 hours, everybody in the bus got to know about his wily boss, loving and not so loving family members, his travel plans and recent parties and meetings with friends, cute antics of his children, gossip from his office… Aarghhh!
  • The Negligent : Some people believe that travel time is the time to let one’s hair down and no rules/regulations/word of caution or piece of mind should be ever exercised. This is especially true for their children. They should be allowed to behave uninhibitedly. So, the children are allowed to run up and down the aisles throughout the journey in flights and trains, often yelling and screaming in glee – even during the time when it’s time for people to sleep. Grrrrr…
  • The Seat Switchers : Yes, joy multiplies when you are traveling with family and friends. Sadly, some didn’t had the time to plan their trip well or in advance, so they have seats in different rows or coaches. No worries, they can always exchange seats with you. Now, as long as they are requesting and as long as they are ready to accept a firm no, it’s cool. But it gets a bit ugly when the seat switchers believe that they are entitled to a seat exchange. It does not matter to them that a side lower seat near the door of the train coach would not be considered as a good bargain by anybody who wants a peaceful journey. Humph!
  • The Armrest Hoggers : These people live life king-size, quite literally. They believe that they are sitting on the sofa of their living room when actually they are on the seat in a public transport. It does not enter their thick skin that they are encroaching your personal space and that you have shrunk yourself to the far end of the seat just to avoid an unpleasant conversation. Last time, I had to give an earful to somebody just because he could not contain his arms in his designated seat. Gah!
  • The Mannerless : Kicking seats from behind, putting their legs up on the top of your seat or the side window, throwing the empty chips packs or soda cans below the seats or keeping their slippers and shoes in the basket which is meant to keep water bottles or newspapers etc speaks of their mannerisms and upbringing.  Journey to the hills cause travel sickness in quite a few people. So, during one of my visit to Shimla, the conductor of the RSRTC Volvo bus distributed vomit bags to people who believed that they’d feel queasy. Despite the instructions of the conductor that each person will have to dispose off their bags personally, my co-passengers coolly left their liquidy bags in the basket of the seat ahead of them. How overly gross, insensitive, annoying that could be! EWWWWW!
  • The Super Active : As soon as the seatbelt sign is off, these people have to get up from their seats and roam around. They have to step on your feet every time they make their way past you and they are nonchalant about it. Aaah!
  • The Lovey Doveys : Public displays of affection can seem innocent to couples in love. But other co-passengers may see them very differently… Gawd!!
  • The No-Control-Over-Body-Processes: Snoring, drooling, sleep talking, flatulence… less said , the better! Gosh!
  • The Fighters : No, they dont fight for any cause, but love picking up fights, arguments with anybody and everybody. And if they are under the influence of alcohol and/or if their kith and kin are who’s who, God only can save you. Once, two guys in my train compartment, got into a verbal duel over a petty matter which turned ugly with both slapping and fist-fighting! Oops!

Have you travelled with some annoying co-travellers? What’s the worst behavior you’ve ever put up with co-travellers?

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46 thoughts on “Most Annoying Co-Travellers

  1. Ugh!! Leaving their vomit bags for others to clean up! Disgusting!!
    Oh yes, my parents love traveling a lot so as a child, we have encountered every one of these namoonas!! Sheesh!!

    • Aah! Some really terrible travel experience, I have had. Oh, most of them are truly insensitive. I remember, once there was a group pf 10-15 people, they kept talking, singing, laughing till 2 in the morning. Repeated requests/appeals to quieten down were turned down. It was so infuriating.

  2. I just thought about this quote… It’s the journey that matters… I wish some people pay heed to it and make it less annoying for others!

  3. You forgot to mention those travelling with kids and not bothering to check on them. I once was on a flight from Dubai to Bangalore and there was this kid bawling its lungs off and yet no one came forward to check. The airhostess had to carry the kid, snot and all to each seat asking if they were missing a baby. And guess what, the parents were snoring away to glory and had to be woken up to give them their bundle to well, joy I guess.

    I hate people who do not know how to handle their kids. And worse enough forget about them.

    • It’s right there at No. 3 😀 Kids can quite be a handful especially during travel. Hate it when parents simply turn a blind eye to their irksome activities. The sleeping parents must be pretty embarrassed on recieving their bundle of joy 😀

      • How on earth did I miss that point? And almost like my exact comment it is. Looks like I was negligent as well 🙁

        Embarrassed? They almost refused to accept that it was their child 😛

  4. Oh I’m tired of the seat switchers…I always say no to them unless it is an elderly person with genuine concern…At times they have asked me to switch my aisle seat, which I prefer always, to middle seat in the last row just so that they could chat! I would have personally never made the request but people, well, they just don’t budge…

    • Agree, a genuine reason for the switch is understandable and wouldn’t mind doing it for an elderly person even if I get a bad seat. Middle seat in the last row… OMG! That’s pathetic 🙄

    • I know, acting non-interested or reading a book should put the chatterbots off you. But this last time, out of courtesy and respect for the old man, I listened to his grievances against his DIL. I just hoped that he felt better after venting out to a stranger like me. 🙂

  5. Oh I have encountered them all and all are annoying in their own way!!
    Here’s the post I wrote about the same-

  6. Yes, I have come across most of these types. 🙄 However I find the chatter-bots and the audio numb more frequently, which is annoying as I normally intend to use this time to catch up on a book, and these people just ruin the whole experience for me. During times like these, I wish I could just apparate and dis-apparate from one place to another like Harry Potter. 😎

  7. Good descriptions of all those annoying type travelers. You’ve sure seen your share of them by the sounds of it. I prefer flying more than the train as it’s over faster and less chance of being bugged by annoying travelers. On the overnight train trip to the Atlantic coast to see my parents, we’ve had some real fun types make us miserable such as the mother and son beating each other up and shouting in French during the night. That was memorable. I don’t which one of them was more immature. Her probably!

    • Mother and Son beating each other up!! OMG! That’s a new one!! Yes, I prefer flying as well, it’s faster and better than any other mode of travel. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Cat 🙂

  8. This happened to us once on a cruise. The ship personnel make seating arrangements for dinner. Three couples in each table. We love a glass or two or Merlot with our dinner. Who we ended up as our dinner companions? A Priest and his wife and a recovering alcoholic and his wife. Every night our dinner was spoiled. (Again this is not as bad as your described in your post.)

  9. Going on a tour of Turkey in early September – never been on a tour before so this fills me with a little trepidation! I’ve taken long distance flights before but so far (touch wood) have not come across pesky passengers. Obviously grisly babies can be distracting –
    Loved yr descriptions Shilpa thank you!

  10. ohh the mannerless part just made my stomach churn … gosh why would anyone do that why!!!
    I love reading while travelling so I mostly go to quiet compartments… PDA can be soooo awkward, I don’t know where to look 😛

  11. Its common to find annoying travellers… recently when we were returning back to Hyderabad after a holiday; we had to board the train from small station; as the trains starts from a different place. I found a lady with her daughter and her mother occupying our seats, settled all their luggage and giving us no space for us bags and refusing to budge, asking us to occupy their seats.. which was so annoying, and I had to literally warn her to move out …

    • Ah! I have had similar experience recently! It was late night and a woman was sleeping on my berth. It was so awkward to wake her up and then ask her to vacate my seat!!

  12. Have met all of these and more! Have been an occasional seat-switcher too. It is difficult lifting so much body-weight onto an upper berth in the trains. Side upper is okay though. Fortunately for me, I have always found at least one gentleman who prefers to sleep in peace on an upper berth! So switching berths has never been a problem for me! 😀 😀 😀

  13. Tell me about it. I have seen and encountered almost all the types. In trains especially…they eat peanuts and put them on the ground as if it is their baap ka ghar… 😯 Here, people are mindful but you read my last post na…they abuse the grocery stores like that…

  14. Pingback: 5 Life Lessons That Travel Teaches You [ Guestpost ] - Shalzmojo

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