Everyone paints travel as all sunshine and roses, but there are always things that drive us up the wall. So I asked a few travel bloggers what their least favourite thing about travel was… here are their (very honest) answers.
Farewells by The World Pursuit
I have to say that my least favorite thing about traveling is all the goodbyes. Because we live in the road, we meet many great people from all around the world. Whether it’s for an hour or two weeks, we eventually know that our paths will split and we will have to say goodbye. I guess there is a silver lining to this though! Now I never ever get teary eyed while hugging, I’m just sadly so used to the whole goodbye process. I’m glad Facebook is at least around so I can stay updated with people’s lives!
Packing by EoStories Blog
Traveling on a budget in Europe is rather easy these days. Low-cost companies made it happen with 10 euro flights that give a ton of opportunities to explore from the biggest capitals to smaller off the beaten path towns. All that is great until you have to fit in their luggage restrictions and pack your life in a not-so-big backpack. Packing has never been my strongest side. As a fashion design student I have the tendency to overpack with lots of things I don’t need at the end. But I love the feeling that I have everything I need at hand. My love for traveling and having to budget my trips win at the end and I have to find creative ways to pack my belongings. That is definitely my least favourite part of traveling and I usually postpone it until the very last minute. Using travel size cosmetic bottles and carefully picking only the essentials I am learning each time how to pack better. I am still learning from the masters that roll all their clothes in order to fit in ridiculously small spaces. One day I hope that packing won’t be such a tedious chore before an exciting trip!
Money Problems by Take Me to the World
There are a lot of things I love about travel, but one thing I hate are money issues. Before I go somewhere I always get a little bit of the foreign currency for where I’m going to (usually around $100) worth. I also contact my banks and credit card companies to let them know where and when I’ll be travelling. Despite these precautions, on a trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo I found out that my bank card and a credit card of mine stopped working. Luckily I had one credit card that worked, and I used that for most of trip. This is one reason why I always travel with two credit cards (and now I travel with two bank cards from two different banks as well). Many places I went to on my trip were cash only so I had to to take out money on my credit card, which I hate doing because the interest rate is very high (usually about 20%) and there’s no grace period either. The stress of not being able to access your money, especially when you know it’s there, is something I hate.
Street Harassment by See Her Travel
I love to travel. I love to experience new places and new cultures, meet people and eat food. But what I find most difficult about travelling, and it depends on the country I am in, is the heavy volume of street harassment from men. My first experience was with machismo and men in Nicaragua travelling as a solo female; it felt like I couldn’t go anywhere without unwanted attention. Soon enough, I learned it wasn’t actually about my ‘pretty face’ or my ‘sexy body’, but it was about men in that culture thinking it’s ok to talk to foreigner women like that. That we wanted it in some way. As I travelled more throughout the world, I took note of more countries where this was the norm, where men yelled out to strange women on the street, commenting in whatever kind of lewd language they pleased. Currently I am in the Caribbean, and just yesterday was told by a 20-something male that I was ‘rude and needed a spanking’, because I had told him to “please stop catcalling me”. Without delving into gender inequality and feminist theory, I can only simplify it saying that I will never understand or get used to the practice. No Guys, it’s NOT A COMPLIMENT.
Scheduling by Gamin Traveler
If I really have to make a choice about what I love the least about traveling, I have to say is the constant challenge of scheduling things. It´s really hard for me to create a routine since all days are different. I missed doing sports and eating healthy (love to do these when I’m at home in Spain) when I’m traveling in countries where I really need to be on the road for longer stretch of days. I have tried many times to schedule and continue doing my usual routines. However, if I get lucky, it will only happen for a few days, not even a week. Traveling usually messes up my schedule. I also have problems to get a long sleep since I might be moving a lot, and not even sleeping in the same place for 3-4 days in a row. Those are times that my sleep will usually be very short.
Loneliness by Like Riding a Bicycle
As someone who’s been on the road for over three years straight, loneliness is the main thing that gets to me. Sure, you meet cool people along the way, but the relationships are often fleeting. Then you’re back to square one, looking for the people you’ll jive with once again. That being said, I still keep trekking on, so it must be worth it, and many connections I’ve made remain some of my best friends on earth, no matter how many miles separate us.
Overnight Busses – Road Affair
We hate overnight busses. They are uncomfortable, cold and our definition of evil. The worst overnight busses however are the ones that take long curvy mountain roads. Like the ones you will often find in Peru. It’s like taking a trip to hell. Yet we still take them. Why you ask? Well, because it saves us from having to spend money on accommodation for that one night. Yes, that’s how frugal we are. Overnight busses are a necessary evil for budget backpackers!
The Many Misadventures – Wander with Jo
I love traveling, no doubt and I tend to take my misadventures on the road in my stride. However, if you are like me and have way too many travel fails, you tend to get overwhelmed sometimes. I have so many stories of bad luck on the road like getting lost in Laos, losing my phone and all cards in Bali, bike accident in Laos, open stitches from a recent operation in Sri Lanka and many more. All in all, I learnt from each one of them but I am still looking for a ‘misadventure’ free trip. Read more about why I am the queen of travel fails here.
Finding Washroombs by Pack Me To
My least favourite thing about travel is having to seek out washrooms in an unknown place. Everyone says you need to keep hydrated when travelling, but when you have the world’s tiniest bladder, like me, you may end up spending more time looking for public washrooms than anything else. There is no other pressure than when you just have to go and you can’t find a place. I have no qualms using squat toilets, outhouses or even a hole in the ground, but the trouble is finding it. Now, whenever I have access to a washroom I use it regardless!
Long Flights in Economy by The Savvy Globetrotter
My least favorite thing about travel is flying on long flights in economy. There is nothing I dread more about travel than the prospect of a long haul flight in coach for many reasons: dry air, bad food, cramped seats, having to fight for the armrest, lack of leg room, gross bathrooms and more. Sometimes the anticipation of a long flight is worse that the flight itself! Fortunately, after many years of flying I have developed a few strategies to survive long flights in economy. It also helps that in the last few years I have discovered travel hacking and have been flying more in first or business class rather than economy!
Proof of Onwards Travel by Two Scots Abroad
After 17 months on the road, I can tell you with confidence that the one aspect which really impacts on long-term travel planning is… proof of onward travel! There’s no such thing as footloose and fancy free, boho nomadic lifestyle when you always need to know when and how you are leaving a country before you even enter it! Unless you are part of the European Union that is (well for now anyway for us Brits!)
Wanting to Relax by A Pair of Passports
My least favorite thing about travel is the fact that you feel guilty when you are on a trip and you don’t feel the desire to be exploring all the time. Sometimes, I just want to relax or stay in and watch a movie one night. But, since I only have a short time in each place I visit, I feel like I am completely wasting my trip if I stop for even a second.
Jet Lag by Erika’s Travels
As a flight attendant and frequent traveler, one would think that I have found a way to combat the jet lag associated with changing time zones. But jet lag is my least favorite thing about my job and one of the most frustrating aspects of travel.
Feeling exhausted during a day of sightseeing, readjusting eating schedules and waking up in the middle of the night, are all symptoms of jet lag. An alteration of the body’s circadian rhythms, jet lag can leave travelers physically defeated, disoriented and irritated.
Avoiding the urge to take afternoon naps can generally help a bit, though staying awake until nighttime does not eliminate jet lag altogether.
For most people, jet lag is simply an unavoidable consequence of long-distance travel.
Wearing the Same Clothes – Kathmandu and Beyond
As a full-time traveller with carry-on only, I get sick of my repetitive wardrobe. I travel with a 40-litre pack and, as a travel blogger, priority in that limited space goes to my laptop and camera equipment. Rotating a few outfits gets boring, and clothes get worn out quickly as they are subjected to regular laundering.
And I’m always wearing the same thing in photos!
Even though everyday clothes get boring, it’s the occasions that I want to dress up a little that are the most challenging. Whilst it’s fairly easy to squeeze a pretty top into my pack, shoes are harder – I spend most of my life in either flip-flops or walking shoes, but with such a small space for clothes, I can’t justify carrying a pair of nice pumps or sandals on the off-chance of being somewhere smart once in a while.
The upside of wearing clothes out so quickly is that after a few weeks, I can buy something new – as long as I follow the rule of “one in, one out!” and throw something tatty away!
Eating Schedules and Lack of Training by My Adventures Across the World
My two least favorite things about travel are the messed up eating schedule and the lack of good pools where I can train. Yes, anywhere I travel I can find delicious food, but with moving around from place to place, exploring, and at times simply not knowing where and what to eat, my eating schedule becomes erratic, and the lack of a proper eating routine actually has effects on my mood, my sleep, and inevitably my shape. Besides, I don’t really exercise when I travel. Sure, I walk, I occasionally hike, but it is not even close to the intensive training I do at my local pool back home, under the strict surveillance of one of the best trainers I have ever come across. It is a struggle to get back in shape whenever I get back home!
Of course sometimes your favourite thing and your least favourite thing go hand in hand, don’t they? Check out this article on dating Venezuelen women to see what I mean!