We all know the type (and maybe you’re one of them. Hell, we’ve been one of them too). The cringe-inducing, intolerable, mind-bendingly infuriating traveler. He pops up on the plane, at the pool, on your Instagram feed, at treasured landmarks with his selfie stick — even inside your own group of friends. Beware of these 10 characters.
#travel #traveling #instatravel #travelingram #instatraveling. Look, we get it. You’ve jetted off to a far-flung corner of the world, a golden chance to manicure your Instagram feed with envy-inducing images of dreamy landscapes and exotic cuisine that scream I’M A PERSON WHO GOES PLACES!!! But your 35 like-bait hashtags? Not cool, dude. Don’t look so desperate. “A picture is worth a thousand words” isn’t meant to be taken literally.
Yes, please kick off your sneakers and expose your fellow passengers — already crammed into ever-shrinking seats — to the stench of your hole-riddled socks. And we’re REALLY excited to reach 10,000 feet, so you can pull out that McDonald’s and subject everyone to a lip-smacking horror show. How much is first class again?
You know this guy. He’s the Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents of traveling companions: an itinerary dictator who demands unwavering allegiance to the schedule. 8:30 a.m. breakfast, 9:45 a.m. visit to the Louvre, 11:45 a.m. pâtisserie for macarons. There’s only one way to break free of his autocratic rule: mutiny.
Every vacation is a chance to play dress-up for this traveler. Weekending in the Hamptons? He’s clad head to toe in white, except for a bottle of rosé, of course. On safari? He’s transformed into Indiana Jones, all decked out in a pith helmet with mosquito netting, over-the-top leather belt, and animal print everything. In Aspen he resembles Dumb & Dumber’s Lloyd and Harry in après-ski wear: oversize fur moon boots, bold print blanket jacket, tassel gloves and a feathered Stetson hat. God help you if Tibet is ever on the itinerary.
You head to the pool at 9 a.m. and find a sea of sun-splashed loungers in every direction, yet there’s not one that’s open because some early riser has “reserved” an absurd number of chairs with nothing but beach towels. Putting dibs on an entire row of prime loungers that might get used at some point in the day? A flagrant abuse of resort etiquette. We endorse any action to fight back against this tyranny.
Hey, college bro, are you really going to show up in London wearing those Justin Bieber–inspired drop-crotch sweats and green Havaiana flip-flops? And you, bae, aren’t you a little old to be rocking the butt-hugging Juicy Couture leggings with a pink-encased pillow in tow? We promise that couch potato chic will never be a thing for us — even when we’re catching a red-eye.
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We’re not asking you to eat a living octopus in China or bull testicles in Spain. But would it really kill you to try a bowl of curry while traveling through New Delhi? It’s one thing to be allergic to seafood; it’s an outright abomination to be eating soy-sauced rice at Japan’s famous Tsukiji fish market because sushi is “gross.” The gustatory world extends beyond grilled chicken.
Let’s get something straight: We don’t like tourist traps. We love the local bars, hidden restaurants with emerging, white-hot chefs, and edgy out-of-the-way galleries in whatever industrial neighborhood they’re calling the new Brooklyn. But some landmarks are world-renowned for a reason. If you can’t soak in the magic of the Eiffel Tower twinkling at dusk or be blown away by the sheer magnitude of the Colosseum, then you’re trying way too hard, man.
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Self-awareness is not your strong suit. ROI! Growth sector! Q4 projections! Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The suit sitting next to you shouting finance buzzwords into a cell phone before takeoff. We know you’re a superimportant business mogul, but spare us the narcissistic spectacle, eh? Let’s make a deal: You put down the phone and pick up your copy of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, and we’ll pretend we don’t know your power suit is from Men’s Warehouse. Equally obnoxious: a Stanford-capped and hoodie-clad techie spouting off about "scaling up," "funding" and "pivoting."
Maybe this person has been cryogenically frozen for the last two decades and is just reawakening to take his first flight. That’s about the only excuse he has for arriving at the front of the security line unprepared. We all have to stand by while this kook goes through the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief: denial (tries to pass through the body scanner wearing shoes), anger (outrage-fueled arm flapping at the TSA agent), bargaining (Do I really have to take my laptop out of the bag?), depression (that crème de la mer cost $85), and acceptance (faint soliloquy about travel’s good ol’ days.) We know it’s shocking — the rules apply to you, too