Top 10 Things we Hate About Travel

I know what your thinking, how can you hate anything about travel?  How dare you complain.  You are lucky enough to be able to travel the world and hey if you don’t like it then why don’t you just stop traveling?

Read on my friends.

Dave and I love to travel.  It is the reason that we gave up our comfortable well paying jobs to live out of a backpack. Travel is in our veins. We can’t live without it.  Whenever we return home, we immediately plan our next trip.  But sometimes we just hate certain things about it and being on the road for months at a time amplifies the things that we hate the most.


We could have put in things like sub standard rooms or questionable transportation, but we really don’t hate that stuff.  We could talk about touts and scam artists or getting ill and lacking the comforts of home. But we don’t hate that either.  We could talk to you about a lot of things.  But the list below is about the things that really irk us time and again.  The things that we sit and talk about regularly (and when you are traveling 24/7 together, you can talk about things for hours). This is a list of stuff that no matter how often we see it, no matter how often it happens or no matter how prepared for it we should be, we still hate it when we travel.

Top 10 Things we Hate About Travel

Dirty Toilets – As budget travelers, we have seen our share of gross toilets; Bus stations are the worst, trains are a close second.  Many restaurants can be rough too.   We can handle a lot of filth in our travels.  We have developed pretty low standards over time.  But no matter what, we both really hate dirty toilets.  There is no putting it out of our minds and sucking it up.  We just hate everything about it.  We are tired of timing our bowel movements and having to avoid drinking fluids just so that we don’t have to go to the bathroom.  We just hate dirty disgusting toilets and really, who doesn’t?


Cracked Heel – Every time we travel we get cracked heal two months in.  We live in flip flops and that is an unfortunate side effect.  Walking in the polluted streets seems to dry our heels out.  We don’t really understand it because during the summer at home our feet stay nice and soft, but when traveling our heels dry up, crack and are perpetually stained with dirt.  We hate our cracked heel. We see other travelers with clean, crack free feet and we marvel at how they manage to keep them in such good shape.  Our feet are disgusting and we hate it.

France Feet

Kids Working – We tend to travel to a lot of developing nations.  Sadly in most of the countries that we visit, many families have a hard enough time putting food on their tables let alone sending their kids to school.  Instead young boys and girls are out on the street selling jewelery and books or making tea and bussing tables.  It is heartbreaking to see kids missing out on their childhood.  It is even harder to see kids begging for food or money.  We hate seeing kids or anyone suffer.

india children black and white

Rude Neighbours – We don’t understand it.  If we have to catch an early bus in the morning or if we arrive at our room late at night, we try to speak quietly.  We cannot believe how many travelers are just downright rude. They speak at the top of their lungs and bang around in their rooms at four in the morning without a thought or care for their neighbours.  What is wrong with people? Stop being so rude and think of your fellow travelers are just trying to get a good nights sleep.

Getting off the Bus/Train – We love moving on to new places when we travel.  But we absolutely hate getting off the bus when we arrive at our destination. It is exhausting being inundated by touts trying to get you into their taxi, to take you to their guest house, to collect their commission.  We hate having to throw our packs on our backs and look for a place and we hate having to deal with the mob of people that awaits us at each stop. As our destination draws nearer, the dread grows. We just hate getting off the bus or train.

Diablo Rojo - Panama Bus (1)

Leaving New Friends – One of the best things about travel is making new friends.  You run into like minded people and very often you hit it off and it is like you have been friends your entire life.  There is a strong bond that happens with people when we travel and we never forget the new friends that we make.  When we have to part ways and move on, it sucks. We hate it.


Being asked to buy drugs – It never fails, no matter what continent we are on, Dave is always asked if he wants hash or pot.  We used to think it was because he had long hair.  Now that he is older and has short hair. They still ask. In Kathmandu they asked so often that it really got on our nerves. It may seem like a little thing, but it is amazing how annoyed we get with guys asking us every time we walk out the door.


Bugs – Let’s face it, all tropical countries have huge and scary bugs.  Normally you only see them outside or in the woods, but when you are Dave and I and stay in budget accommodation, you see them in  your room a lot.  We can’t bring a snack into our room or our crumbs will be swarmed with ants, we have had cockroaches in our bed, we have had encounters with bed bugs and Dave has developed a major phobia to bugs due to some scary situations with fire ants…not once but twice.  Since his fire ant swarmings, he hates all bugs and can’t sleep if a bug is spotted in our room.

Pollution – In Asia and a lot of Africa the exhaust pollution is out of control.  Streets are thick with smog and we become quite congested and ill because of pollution.  We are starting to think that travel to these places is doing permanent damage to our lungs.  We haven’t been to South America since 2005 and as I recall Lima was quite polluted too.  Our next travel really needs to be in a place that has clean and fresh air.  Sadly,  I think that the list of countries that meet this criteria is growing shorter.

Starting Line of our Cycle Through Africa

Starting Line of our Cycle Through Africa

Smoking – As anti smokers, we can’t stand how much travelers smoke. Locals don’t seem to smoke much but fellow travelers light up every second.  It seems that as soon as they leave their country and are allowed to smoke indoors, they chain smoke for the entire time they are away.  The pollution outside is bad enough. It is awful to try to go inside for a break from the smog and heat only to enter into a cloud of smoke.  Our lungs are taking a beating on the road and we hate it.


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