Things I Hate About Travel

Things I Hate About Travel - picture of hands holding passports leaning on suitcase handles

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As many of you know, I write about travel and credit cards for a living.  I love traveling to far-flung places, enjoying new cultures, and meeting new people.  This is especially true when I can finance the majority of each trip by utilizing credit card rewards in the form of airline miles, hotel loyalty points, or cash-back.  After all, who doesn’t love free travel?

Unfortunately, I am slightly traveled-out at this very moment- so much so that I created this post just so I could complain about all the things that make travel miserable.  It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been on 7 different flights within the past three weeks and will complete a total of 11 flights by the time FinCon is over next weekend.  No matter how much you travel, 11 flights in 30 days is a lot for any sane person, am I right?

So let’s get down to it, shall we?  Here are the things I hate about travel and why they bug me so much:

Things I Hate About Travel


As much as I love to travel, I am not one of those people who enjoys flying.  In fact, I’ve been convinced I was going to die at some point on every flight I’ve ever been on- and I’ve flown a lot.  I’m cool as long as the plane flies effortlessly through clear blue skies, but I hate turbulence with a passion.  I also hate flying through clouds and storms-especially lightening!  And when the plane has to turn.  Is that really necessary?

Renting a Car

Greg and I rented a car in Orlando last month and that is probably the last time that will ever happen.  First of all, we had to wait for almost an hour in two separate lines before we could even leave.  Did I mention it was 100-freaking-degrees outside?  Second, they somehow convinced Greg that he needed to buy additional rental car coverage when he went to pay (I was staying back with the kids), so we had to get back in line and complain until they took the additional coverage off our contract.  It would have been much easier (and far less stressful) to rent a cab, use Uber, or get on a shuttle with the rest of the herd.  Never again.


Speaking of getting in line with the rest of the herd, I hate queueing.  Whether it’s standing in line at the airport, waiting to check into our hotel, or moving down a buffet line, queueing makes me go bat-shit crazy after a while.  And trust me, it doesn’t take much.  When I’m on vacation, I want to feel free- like an individual.  I don’t want to stand in lines all day and be herded around like a hunk of beef.

Slow Wifi

Resorts often claim to offer hi-speed internet, but I’ve found that their definition of “fast” and mine are vastly different.  I’ve been in plenty of places were the internet service was reminiscent of the Prodigy days- you know, the days each page took at least a minute to load.  That’s why I can never plan to do any “real work” beyond checking email on vacation, and why I am often left scrambling to get things done when I get home.  Slow internet absolutely kills my productivity.  And I hate it.

Rooms with Problems

Maybe it’s because I stay in chintzy places, but it seems like I always need to call the office for leaky roof, or a bug problem.  I’ve even had to look up directions on how to fix a mini-refrigerator online before because I couldn’t get anyone to help me!  I’m not that picky, but I can’t help but notice when water streams down the wall every time I take a shower or the balcony door won’t lock or close.  Am I the only one?

Other Travelers

Maybe I’m just sick of people right now.  Or maybe it’s the fact that a group of people threw my shoes off a three-story building in Mexico then laughed at me while I climbed around in the rocks trying to find them.  (Yes, that happened)  Either way, I’m starting to feel like other travelers suck.  I’m on vacation to meet new people and have fun, not to crawl around on my hands and knees in the dark while a group of people laugh hysterically and make obvious jokes in a language I can’t understand.  Can you tell I’m bitter?

I still love travel, but I’m ready for FinCon to be over so I can enjoy some much-needed time at home to relax.

What do you like/dislike about travel?  Would you be mad if someone threw your shoes off a building in a foreign country?

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  1. Umm WTF? Were the shoe throwers drunk?

    Yeah hate all of these. Used to love flying, now loathe it. Renting vehicles makes me a stressball. Crappy wifi, especially if you’ve had to pay for it if it wasn’t included, is the worst.

    1. Yes, everyone within a one mile radius was drunk. It was all very confusing.

  2. Definitely hate these. I also hate feeling like I’m living out of a suitcase while traveling and being so far from the people that would make traveling fun for me (typically I’m traveling for work). Also, WOW, I’ve never had other travelers harass me; I’m sure that would put me off very quickly.

    1. I don’t like living out of a suitcase for too long either =/

  3. My October is packed with travel. I don’t like waking up early and having to keep track of when and where to be and how to get there.

    Mostly I stay in Hyatt /marriott level hotels, so no major problems. I hate the way some luxury hotels nickel and dime for everything and make charges for things you don’t use, like parking. But I’m not often in luxury hotels.

    1. I don’t like being nickeled and dimed either! I once paid $28 for one night of hotel parking in Chicago and thought that was absurd. It’s probably perfectly normal but it really bothered me.

  4. Agreed. The crush of people gets to me after awhile. When I was backpacking through Europe with a girlfriend and staying in hostels, we could never get away from all the people! We had an awesome time, but we were exhausted after awhile. I find it much easier now that my travels are with Mr. FW–something about having each other and our own hotel room is much more comforting.
    P.S. I too would be furious about the shoes!

    1. I love traveling with my hubby too. Whether I’m bored, tired, or annoyed, I can always snuggle up with him and enjoy it.

  5. I think I would be pretty mad if someone threw my shoes off of a building in a foreign country. I would be pretty upset if that happened in this country actually.

    Rental car companies are actually the worst. They’ve tried to do some shady things with me several times and it is a nightmare fighting back. And the insurance they aggressively push on you is unnecessary in almost every situation – a lot of credit cards offer additional coverage.

    1. Our credit card did offer additional coverage BUT I send my hubby to pay since he would be driving and he isn’t always “in the know” on these things. So we had to get in line and have them take the $115 off our bill! They were assholes about it!

  6. After hearing about all of these flights crashing on the news, I am not sure I want to travel too much anymore. Either way I and my wife have no choice but to travel to our home country India every 2-3 years or so to visit family which takes about 22 hours flight time. I don’t I haver ever been on a shorter flight than that. I am more of a car guy and would love to go on vacations in my car even if it takes long and requires multiple hotel stays.

  7. Haha I feel the same way about flying! I always feel like I’m the space shuttle during take off.
    So, wait, some random people threw your shoes off a balcony? What is wrong with people??

  8. I love traveling too; however, when I do too much of it in a row, I am OVER it for all of the reasons you say. I hate when my hotel room is too hot. I hate any kind of turbulence and despite my aerospace engineer hubby’s explanation of why a plane can’t fall out of the sky, I never believe him. But most of all, I hate people who never travel and make a cluster out of airports, hotels, car rental sites, you name it.

  9. I don’t mind flying but when it’s an all day flight sort of thing, that drives me nuts. I hate travelling all day – the end of the day is like torture to me. Haha – good thing I’m taking a 26 hour flight on Saturday/Sunday!

  10. I travel for a living, so I agree with you on most of these points. One thing that doesn’t bother me as much is getting a rental car.

    With National, if you’re an executive club member (their frequent renter program), you just walk up to the car you want in the lot, hop in, and drive off. As you leave the lot they ask if you want any of the extras, you say no, and you go off on your way. When you return the car, you just park it and go. No waiting in lines, no pushy clerks, no nothing. It’s magical. 🙂

    (My company rents exclusively through National, so I don’t know much about the other companies.)

    1. That all sounds wonderful, David! Unfortunately, I used DOLLAR RENT A CAR. LOL Sometimes you get what you pay for. I should have known.

  11. I’ve come to realize I hate flying too! 🙂

    I have to connect on my way to and from FinCon, so that means four distinct flights, which is not ideal.

    We lived in NY most of our lives and never had to worry about connecting anywhere, so the thought of missing the next flight because of a delay isn’t a fun one…

    1. I have to connect in Houston on the way to Fincon- makes no sense at all! =/

  12. WTF about the shoes? Seriously? Why? Anyway, I enjoy traveling but I know me and know I could not be one of those people who backpacks around the world for six months. I could do a month if I stayed a long time in one or two places, but I hate living out of a suitcase and the getting from point a to point b. Once I’m there I don’t really have issues with much. But overall I’m a homebody. I used to be more afraid to fly but for some reason have moved past idea how.

    1. I’m also fine once I’m “there.” I think I just get annoyed with the process of getting somewhere.

  13. I never minded flying until my daughter and I had a super turbulent flight about a year and a half ago. The next two flights after that I almost had a panic attack and almost cancelled our trip to Hawaii, but by then it was OK again for some reason. I think just not being in control is the worst. I believe if you have an elite mastercard, like Citi AA or Barclay, you get status with certain rental companies and don’t have to wait in line. We have only rented in small places for the most part so not too big of a problem.

    Probably my biggest travel pet peeve is tourists who want everything to be like it is at home and locals who depend on tourism for their living but are rude to tourists.

    I would be furious if someone threw my shoes anywhere. You are not making me want to go to Mexico!

    1. “Probably my biggest travel pet peeve is tourists who want everything to be like it is at home and locals who depend on tourism for their living but are rude to tourists.”

      THIS. It really annoys me when Americans think that food all over the world will taste exactly like it does at home.

  14. Wow! How did they get hold of your shoes? I Am more of a slow traveler, none of that backpacking city after city thing. I like the creature comforts. I hate waiting in the airport, especially when there is no free wifi!!!

    1. Not sure how they got my shoes- except that I was wearing flip flops. It all happened really fast!

  15. 1. Flying…. good thing you didn’t accidently sit next to me when we were on the same plane to Vegas… I used to design parts on planes (that are still flying around today) and have some amazing stories.

    2. Rental Cars.. We rented a ford focus when we were in Ireland (a couple of times ago) and while we had a reservation, the airport in Shannon didn’t have any cars and we had to wait 2 hours for someone to come back with their rental… that was fun.

    3. Slow wifi- This is why I am willing to pay “too much” for cell phone service. I have unlimited LTE and using my phone as a hotspot has been a life saver many many times.

    4. The shoes? WTF!!! That’s just being a dickhead. There really is no reason for someone over the age of 2 to act like that. I wish nothing but bad things for those people.

    1. I have heard many stories where people have reserved a rental car then showed up to zero available vehicles!

      Yeah, I don’t know about the shoes. We had a language barrier so I am not sure why that happened or why they thought it was so funny.

  16. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Holly, for this post. I HATE flying. Am scared to death of it, yet some of the trips we’ve taken involve flying 3-4 times within the trip itself. I hate the whole flying experience. Security lines, baggage fees to check your bag, baggage fees to carry on your bag. Trying to shove your bag in that overhead compartment. People who have extremely oversized bags taking all the room in the overhead compartment. Paying extra fee for seat selection then the airline changes the plane you are scheduled to fly on so the seat selection you paid for is no longer available. Fees to change your flight. Fees to cancel your flight. Can you tell I hate flying? So many personal finance bloggers treat travel like it is the Holy Grail but give me a good television program in my favorite easy chair at home any day.

    1. LOL, Kathy. I hate flying and all of those things. I really hate it when I am not strong enough to put my carry-on above in the compartment (I am also short) and 20 people sit and watch me heave and ho to put it up there. Embarassing =/

      I also dislike sitting in a middle seat!

  17. Wow, should like you have a series case of over travel. I’m sure the FinCon crowd will show you the love. I agree on the queueing item, now add kids to that mix and it’s good times for sure. 🙂

    1. Yeah, kids don’t help. My kids were really good when we went to Orlando last month, but they still add another layer of stress.

  18. I still enjoy flying but I pretty much can’t take everything else around it, especially the TSA queue! I know security is important but man when you have a herd of people, and some who are not paying attention and stalling the line – it drives me nuts. My DH is TSA approved so I get to benefit from that if we travel together which is not often. Both DH and I are scheduled for travel every month until year end…that’s when it’s not fun anymore because you don’t even recognize your own neighborhood at that point! And WTF with the people throwing around your shoes?!?

    1. I actually don’t mind security that much. If that’s what it takes for my plane to not get hijacked then I’m all for someone going through my stuff or patting me down.

  19. I’m a pretty bad flyer too. What I dislike most are other French people on holiday. They go all around the world to discover new places but if they find another French they have to be with you all the time and complain about how things are better in France. wtf!

    1. The people who threw my shoes off the building were from France! (I think) HAHAHAAHAHA

  20. Oh yes, other travelers often suck. Just watching the news, there have been so many incidents recently over reclining chairs where the pilot had to land and have the passengers escorted out. Really? Flying is becoming more like riding the subway during rush hour in NYC it seems…packed in there like sardines. Oh and car rentals, a little off topic, but did you bring car seats for your kids or rent them at the car rental place? Dragging a car seat on a plane seems a bit of a hassle.

    1. We brought car seats and checked them for our flights. It was a HUGE HASSLE but really the only way to make the trip happen. I’ll be glad when we are out of the car seat phase!

  21. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel says:

    I’d probably be tempted to throw one of them off to go after the shoes haha. Yeah, other travelers suck.

    1. I’m pretty sure they were just jealous of my karaoke skills. I won second prize in the karaoke contest singing “Creep” by Radiohead. Killed it.

  22. All of those things you mentioned? They’re the reasons why I’m not an especially enthusiastic traveler. What it comes down to for me is this: I hate to be uncomfortable. And being crammed in a plane and all the rest of it is just uncomfortable. Even though we take 2-3 trips a year and I’m always glad I’ve seen the places I’ve seen, I’m so much more of a homebody.

    1. I don’t like being uncomfortable either. I’m too set in my ways!

  23. I’ll have to show this post to my husband — I think you outlined every reason he hates to travel. I’m so with you on #1 — I absolutely hate turbulence and actually get angry at the aloof people flying with me. Can they not feel it? How is that guy still casually reading his Kindle, and why doesn’t that couple in front of me STFU and recognize the peril we’re all in? Glad to hear I’m not the only one, Holly.

    1. LOL, I’ve felt the same way. Actually, Greg is like that. The plane is about to crash and he’s over there snoozing. WTH?!?!?

  24. *Hate Flying-Drive or take the train instead
    *Rent a Car-Like you said Uber or use a bike or two feet
    *Queuing-Don’t get in line, wait till everyone is on the plane and walk up
    *Slow Wi-fi-Go to the library, starbucks, or use wifi at crazy hours when nobody else is
    *Rooms with Problems-Air BNB, Couch Surfers, Stay with friends and family, screw it camp outside
    *Other Problems-Throw there shoes off, swear at them in a foreign language, avoid taking your shoes off

    Lemons are Now Lemonade:), keep keeping on Holly.

    1. Oh my gosh, this is the most unrealistic list I’ve ever read.

      -I would never drive or take a train to Mexico even if it were possible!
      -I would never bike with my two kids from the Orlando airport to the cruise terminal in Port Canaveral. We chose to rent a car so we could leave our car seats in it. If we Ubered or took a cab, we would have had to bring our car seats with us on a cruise!
      -Everyone has to go through airport security. You can’t simply wait until people are done then walk up.
      – You can’t really go to the library or Starbucks when you are on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean or in another country!
      – Camping: No.
      – I didn’t take my shoes off! They snatched them (they were flip flops)

      I take it you don’t travel often.


      1. Your example was for a cruise line only, mine was for everything else.

        *Trains are one of the most fun forms of transportation, put on your conductor hat and overalls and let the games begin.
        *If you were only going to the port they have shuttles for that, step up your frugal game.
        *Airport security yes, wait in line when boarding absolutely not. Plus airport security is what they do to keep people safe and carrying on crazy things on the plane, i’ll wait in line;)
        *Middle of the Ocean, enjoy yourself, get off the internet, shut down, work can wait, but this also applies to my wait until later to jump online if it’s a must. Most people are boozing or sleeping late at night.
        *Camping, bet your kids would love it. Alright kids camping…Camping…..CAMPing……..CAMPING!!!!
        *Theft in Mexico, never would happen. Just think of it as a donation to help the country and people out, it’s probably a tax write off.

        *Travel, love it. Don’t complain much about it because I’m usually going somewhere because I worked hard and saved up some money and I’m enjoying myself and my time with my family and friends, I’m probably the guy with the big smile at the airport waiting in line day dreaming.

        1. This is such a strange conversation. What gave you the idea that I was asking for advice? This is just a fun rant post and about 90% sarcasm. Lighten up! Save your advice for someone who asks for it.

          And for future reference (in case you ever decide to take a shuttle to a cruise port), the shuttle to the cruise port was $35 per person, per way. So a total of $280 round-trip. Renting a car and parking it for four days was less than $100, so it was a much cheaper option. A hassle, but far less expensive.

          1. I commented to have fun, that’s my personality. Lighten up yeah that’s exactly what were my comments were for:), and also “Speak Your Mind” should be changed to “Speak Your Mind, Unless it’s Advice, then Save it for Someone Who Asks For It”, yeah you must be having a rough day/week. Fun going back and forth either way, all in good fun, have a great day.

          2. I’m actually having a great week!

            I just don’t respond well to condescending comments. But hey, it’s a free country. Write whatever you want! I know I always do.

  25. I never traveled much before, but with my parents moving, and then us moving, I’ve been on a plane more times this past year than in my whole life. I’m learning to hate it. Flying scares me, and my flights always seem to get delayed, which just makes things worse. Maybe it’s just because I choose Spirit a lot. And I find something amiss in most hotel rooms, but I also stay at cheaper places.

    I’m driving to FinCon (10 hours) and not really looking forward to it, but in a way, I guess it’s not all bad! At least, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself…

  26. Haha First World Problems?

    It seems like your traveling experiences has been a lot worse than mine or maybe I’m just more patients because after all… I am on vacation. I’ve never had to wait in line more than 5 minutes to rent a car. It takes a little bit of time to get all the paperwork going and walk to your car, but I’ve never had to wait in line for long prior to getting to the counter. The only time I have to wait in line is at the airport, but I prepare myself for it and expect to wait in line. It really doesn’t bother me much because I’m going on Vacation.

    And why are you doing work while on vacation? Why are you trying to get on the internet while on vacation? Maybe that’s your real problem, lol. I don’t care much about the slow internet because it is free. A lot of hotels charge you the same per room and don’t offer free wi-fi.

    Okay, the shoe throwing is pretty messed up. But that’s not a problem of travelling, that’s a problem of as*holes. They are everywhere, especially when alcohol is involved. On second thought, I blame alcohol for it. You should really be hating alcohol for that experience.

    In all seriousness, I’m sorry you’ve had such bad experiences while traveling. But my one advice to you comes from that great philosopher Bob Marley, “Take it easy.”

    1. Thanks for all of the unsolicited advice- very helpful. Maybe you can’t read between the lines but this post is about 90% sarcasm! I have the same advice for you- lighten up!!!

  27. With the advances in technology there really is no reason every room in a hotel should not be experiencing super fast wifi. Having two possible connection points in a big hotel is just silly…some of the rooms get too far out of range to pick up a good signal.

    1. True. I had good wifi in Mexico but terrible wifi on our recent cruise. I expected it though- it must be much harder to get fast wifi on a moving vessel =)

  28. I hate it when you get somewhere and there’s no wi-fi in your room. It’s so frustrating! Also, living out of a suitcase can get pretty annoying very quickly :/

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  30. I’m with you on all these except for flying. Generally it doesn’t bother me and I don’t worry about crashing. But if I start, I’m blaming you! LOL! Umm… somehow I think the shoe-throwing incident has a story behind it. 🙂 I love to travel, like you, but after awhile – home is really, really nice. I hate standing in line for rental cars too. Some places it’s super easy and others it’s a nightmare. And FYI – LAX is a nightmare but if you’re staying here you almost need to rent a car.

    1. Haha! No story- I swear. Some random drunk people grabbed my flip-flops and threw them off the roof. (We were at a bar on the roof of a 3-story building) I hadn’t even talked to them prior to that but they thought it was hilarious. It is still all a blur but I was very confused!

  31. Ugh I definitely agree with your list. We recently booked a hotel (left after an hour of being there) that was absolutely horrible because there weren’t many affordable options in the area.

  32. Ok, Ms. Holly…now please un-blur your memory…your readers want to know what REALLY happened on that roof before your flip-flops came off. We are not buying the, “no story” response. Ha, Ha! 🙂

  33. I also hate flying – seems like nothing ever goes right and that I spend 50% more time in transit than expected.

    However, I’m a big fan of rental cars, but then again, I tend to go a lot of places where taxis and other services aren’t available.

  34. I am so over flying. I am 6’3″ and I am afraid that someone who wants to recline where my legs leaves them no room to recline can justifiably stab me or throw a beverage in my face. I have only been traveling in the USA and have had good luck with hotels and rental cars. I do share your dislike of having to queue up for mismanaged whatever-it-is I am standing in line for when it shouldn’t have to be that way.

  35. I hate that I always forget something important. I don’t know what it is but there’s always something. Once I forgot underwear…. seriously. I didn’t even realize until day two. I had to wear my dirty underwear around town to find a place to buy new ones. My wife found it quite funny though 🙂

  36. So that picture… that’s pretty much what I hate about travel haha. That and security. I keep putting off getting TSA Precheck taken care of… need to get on that!


  37. Ha! I’m going on another work trip next week which will be a real treat for the reasons mentioned above. Rental car companies like to sneak in the additional coverage because most make some hefty commissions off of it. I don’t like how lately everyone avoids the additional charge for a checked bag by bringing the biggest “carryon” bag they can find onto the plane, so that when I find my seat all of the overhead storage is taken up by these huge bags. If your carryon bag can fit someone inside of it, unfortunately it is NOT a carryon bag

  38. I personally hate the TSA. I still am recovering from being groped at an airport in Florida a year or so ago. You could say it’s my fault for not going through the full-body scanner, but honestly it’s borderline sexual abuse what they do to you if you don’t go through it.

  39. You know what whenever I take a flight “tears began to prick my eyes as goosebumps ran down my arms”. Imagine what it was like the first time I was in a flight. Worst.

  40. Rooms with problems are the worst. It definitely gets me more frustrated than anything else. I’m big on customer service, so it really makes the difference for me.

  41. Renting a room with problem and a slow internet connection are totally awful! When we had a quick vacation last year, one beach resort offered a very slowwww internet connection that it almost takes a decade before you can open your email!

  42. I do love travelling and some of the things that pisses me off and of course I hate are rooms with problems and hotels with poor customer service and also, slow wifi. I do work a bit when I am travelling, so slow wifi most of the time limits me from doing my job and that just ain’t good for me.

  43. I hate most of these too! I also hate forgetting stuff when packing, because I inevitably always do it.

  44. Try Relay Rides next time. You can rent other people’s cars or rent out your own car at the airport. Not at every airport yet but it’s growing quickly 🙂

  45. Slow wifi is terrible! You never know what you’re going to get when you travel as far as internet quality goes.

    For plane rides, I actually like turbulence. It’s like a roller coaster ride, but…I’m weird. And I probably don’t have a healthy grasp on the bad things that can happen while you’re flying.

  46. Slow wifi frustrates the hell out of me too. It’s especially annoying when they’re not free. 🙁

  47. I can relate. I love to travel but I hate the whole airport experience and transfer to the hotel. It’s the worst part of traveling. I also hate rushing and living out of a suitcase feeling, for example staying 2 days here and 2 days there. I like to settle into my hotel room and enjoy my vacation. Over the years I have learned what I can put up with and what I can’t. I also hate traveling with tight timelines such as, getting back on Sunday night and having to go back to work on Monday morning! Ugh, been there done that, not happening. I have a list of things I’m NOT willing to do for a vacation and I try to stick to that.

  48. I have the same issue as you- I love to go new places and see new things, but I hate to fly! Although flying has become such a pain in the ass that I think these days we’d be hard pressed to find someone who actually likes flying!! I had to giggle at the shoe story, but I’m sure it was not at all funny at the time!

  49. Constantly having to adjust to new rules is a challenge of travel, but I mostly enjoy figuring things out ….some times can be trying though!

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