Common travel gripes (and how to not let them ruin your holiday)

It is a well-established fact that human beings love to complain – even when we’re not at work, enjoying a holiday, there are still plenty of things that drive us up the wall. Here are a few common travel gripes that we’re sure you can relate to, and ways to combat them.

 

So you got the middle seat…

The worst luck in aeroplane seating lottery (if you didn’t get to pick your seat) is the dreaded middle seat. Nobody likes being squished between two strangers for any length of time – let alone a long-haul flight. Arrive early, that way you’re not the guy that ruined the day of the two people thinking there’s a spare seat between them. Also, it’s definitely an unspoken rule of travel that you get your pick of the armrests, so take that power and run with it.

 

Overpriced airport snacks

Anyone who has been stuck in an airport with a hankering for M&Ms has felt the pain of this one – how can that tiny bag of sweets cost so much money!? Our best advice is to do as the scouts do and be prepared! Swing by your local supermarket the day before your flight and load up on your favourite snacks (don’t forget savoury as well as sweet). And don’t forget a reusable water bottle! The collapsible ones are great for in your carry on to get you through customs before you get a chance to fill it. The good news is, the ACCC is currently investigating price gouging in airports, so we can only hope that this will soon be a gripe of the past.

 

Flight delays or cancellations

The two words that strike fear and disappointment in the hearts of travellers everywhere – delayed flights. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this one. Flying in the morning and on less popular travel days (Tuesdays & Wednesdays) can help, but there are no guarantees. Instead, arrive a day or two before your activities are scheduled to start if you’re joining a tour or a cruise. Booking through a travel agent (like us!) also helps. If there are major delays and cancellations, we can rearrange things for you while you’re in the air. As annoying as it is to say though, sometimes there is just nothing you can do. Find an airport bar, order yourself a beverage and be thankful you’re not at work.

 

Noisy flights

Babies crying, people snoring, general aeroplane rumble… there are plenty of irritating and distracting noises that can interrupt the peace on a long-haul flight. Our suggestion? Invest in a pair of noise cancelling or semi-noise cancelling headphones. For frequent travellers, this small financial investment pays off big dividends. They’re more comfortable than your standard ear plugs and will allow you to focus on whatever you’re watching. Even wearing them without any sound will muffle the variety of plane sounds.

 

Waiting for your suitcase

You’ve just come off a long flight and you’re dreaming about a hot shower and finally laying down and yet there you air, watching the carousel go around and around, your bag not in sight. According to data from SITA, a market leader in airport technology, airlines have approximately ten minutes to get passenger’s bags off the plane and onto the carousel if they want to keep 88% of people happy. Ducking to the bathroom after your flight to splash some water on your face and feel refreshed kills a bit of time whilst you wait, as does doing a couple of quick stretches. I promise it doesn’t take as long as it feels.