We all know the kind of traveler that gets under your skin. We’re not that kind, but we all know them. Don’t be like that. 1. The loud one You know when you’re standing in the lobby of a hotel – especially the open plan kind that echoes? Yeah, keep your voice down, particularly in countries with more reserved cultures. Heck, we’ll extend that to any country, since you’re sharing a space with hundreds of different nationalities. There’s nothing more embarrassing than talking with your new friend – anywhere, not just the lobby – and they’ve got their volume turned up to 100…and everyone’s staring at them. You’re guilty by association. The only thing worse than this is being naked, which brings us to point two… 2. No Inhibitions in the dorm room Let’s step out of the hotel for a second and into the land of hostel dormitories. I remember one night I was sitting on my bed, on the top bunk of a mixed dormitory. Men and women. It was about 11pm and I heard some munching, so I looked over expecting to see someone in bed. Instead I saw a 40 year old man slumped over on the floor in his tighty whities eating a bag of cheese curls for dinner. You can’t make this up. 3. Cleanliness Please be clean. Don’t be dirty. 🙁 Particularly when you’re in a shared space or a rented space. I remember staying in an AirBnB in Hiroshima for 3 nights. There was a strange, sour smell for the first two days, and I just resigned myself to thinking that it’s the natural smell of the materials or something. Until I noticed that just behind the toilet, there was a used diaper that had been left there by the previous guests. Now look, I don’t blame the AirBnB host or the platform in any way – I was there for TWO DAYS before I found it. It was well-hidden. But it was also disgusting to clean, and I couldn’t believe someone would do that. I laughed about it back then, and I’m laughing about it now while writing this, but still – unacceptable. I rated the host 5 stars after the experience because everything else was great – although in hindsight I probably should’ve rated them a 3 according to AirBnB’s “10 star experience” guidelines, but that’s a story for another day. 4. Being too serious! No one likes travelling with someone that is either always uptight, doesn’t want to try anything new, or is too anxious about getting pickpocketed that they’re not taking in their environment. Heck, remember that AirBnB story up there? At the same AirBnB, we were looking for cutlery but couldn’t find it. We were searching in every drawer and couldn’t see a single knife, fork, plate or bowl. All the drawers were just empty. I looked down and opened the last one – the biggest one, the kind that you can fit 10 small dogs in – and laying front-and-center was a knife, fork and plate for a baby. The ones the size of your thumb, made of plastic, and a mixture of bright blue and pink. We paused for a second and didn’t know what to think of it…Not what we were expecting to see, but it’s cutlery…And I just had a damn laughing fit right there and then. That was freaking hilarious, I couldn’t breathe. So I spent the next three days eating out of a Winnie the Pooh bowl. Hey, 5 star experience – I told you. 5. The Travel Snob The kind that is travelling across Vietnam for three weeks with just a shopping bag stuffed with their clothes…And then scoffs at you because you have a 12kg roller bag. The kind that says “Saigon is just trying to be Bangkok”, because they understand that entire cities in the same region can do coordinated attempts to emulate another city. The kind that says “IF ITS CHECK IN LUGGAGE, YOU’VE OVERPACKED”. Damn girl, just let people live their best life. Don’t worry, the irony of saying that in this post is not lost on me. 6. The Party Animal Okay, I’m actually not mad at this one and you can be this all you like. I just wanted to give a shout out to this type. The nights when I was pressured to go out at 2am when I really didn’t want to were some of my best nights, and they always introduced me to the best music that I’d never have found otherwise. Listen to this traveller at least once, unless you have something super important to do the next day. 7. Culturally Paralyzed This person is the opposite of number 1. They’re so scared that they’re going to offend the locals (that they never talk to) and upset the harmony and balance in this foreign culture. These guys need to chill out and perhaps connect with real locals in a casual environment and see that, for the most part, they’re just like you in many ways…and all the ways they’re not like you aren’t scary (or sensitive), but rather interesting and engaging. They can teach you a lot (and show you a lot of great food too, if you know the right avenues) Check out Doot to join a local at their favourite food spot and see life from their city from their perspective. A great meal guaranteed every time, with the best Japanese locals you can meet.