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My 2023 Travel Grievances – Do You Feel the Same Way?

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2023 Travel Grievances

I love travel but not the nonsense that comes with it.  However, I know that experiencing both is a package deal.  I have plenty of related opinions, which I first shared back in 2021.  I’ve continued to take mental notes since, and it’s about time I share my 2023 travel grievances, fresh for ongoing debate.  Have you ever encountered any of these people?

Every Restroom Apparatus Is Automatic People

Technology’s great, but it hasn’t come as far as many think.  Just a heads-up:

  • Some urinals still need to be manually flushed.
  • If a knob is turned at a sink, it needs to be oppositely turned to end the flow of water.
  • That automatic flush does work, but not all the time.
  • Sometimes you need to open the bathroom door yourself.

These are obvious to me, but maybe not to all.  Entering a public bathroom to then have to deal with someone else’s human waste is never a pleasure.  While in line to use one, I’ve noticed others intentionally refrain from flushing a manual urinal.  Okay, I can’t necessarily prove that, but I don’t think everyone just forgets, or presumes they’re automatic.  The same with leaving water running.  The laziness continues – when a door isn’t automatic, I’ve noticed some bathroom patrons wait for someone else to open the door.  Be a considerate citizen and do your part.

2023 Travel Grievances
This bag was too big for the plane, apparently.

This Bag’s Way Too Big For Me People

I’m a fairly light packer, especially on solo trips.  I enjoy the peace of mind of knowing my bag will fit under the seat in front of me if there’s no space in the overhead bin.  I know that’s not possible for everyone, though.  The vast majority of these people have no problem stowing their own bags.  But others, due to their bag’s weight/dimensions, simply cannot handle their own stuff.  I’ve seen them try, and they create dangerous situations where the bag doesn’t quite reach the bin.  Unsuspecting passengers get a hard knock on the head, at the very least.  They get a limp “sorry” in return, at best.

But this is another opportunity to be a considerate citizen and help someone who is clearly struggling with their bags.  I do sometimes, often when the individual is also dealing with children.  Regardless, the individual with the big bag shouldn’t presume the plane is full of a few hundred bellmen.

There’s No Such Thing As Noise Pollution People

If you haven’t noticed it yet, technology’s made many of us worse.  The guy watching TV at full blast on his phone sans earbuds/headphones at a restaurant.  The kid with the cute little tablet behind you on the plane, and the slightly less cute, unending sounds which come from it.  The lady that only thinks her phone works on speaker.  The list goes on.

In certain situations, I’ve politely requested others lower the volume, and they kindly respond.  I size up other times and decide to not even engage, though.  It just looks like it wouldn’t go well.  Some of you probably feel the same.  These ignorant or inconsiderate few continue bothering the silent majority.

2023 travel grievances

I Don’t Need To Use Tongs People

Watch out – they’re everywhere.  Hotel breakfast.  Airport lounges.  A fast food joint’s fixins bar.  They ignore the tongs and serving spoons, instead using their hands, which are most likely dirty (one reason is up next).  As travel entities further cut costs, we’re subject to sharing more.  Unfortunately, this includes the lovely germs of everyone who partakes, especially those who behave like cave dwellers.  If you don’t want to directly touch the communal tongs, grab a napkin to use them.

I Can’t Be Inconvenienced with Handwashing People

Shocker – I can only attest to males here.  But there are tons of them who use the bathroom and immediately depart without washing their hands.  GROSS.  Often, I see these same men galavant around the lounge, touching seemingly everything, including the food.  Even shaking the hands of unknowing others!

I’m not sure what’s worse – these men were never taught to wash their hands after doing their business, or they intentionally decided later in life that they no longer need to.  Regardless, eww.

2023 Travel Grievances
When in doubt, just keep them down.

My Feet Can Go Anywhere People

I somewhat brought this up before when I shared the displeasure of flip-flops on flights people.  I’m coming from a slightly different angle this time – people who put their feet, bare or shoe-wearing, everywhere.  VFTW recently covered a humorous twist on this phenomenon.

Similar to others on this list, I notice this most in lounges, hotel lobbies, and planes.  People will prop their shoes up on coffee tables, couches, benches, etc.  Front aisle and bulkhead flyers push their shoe bottoms up against walls.  It may not look like the Chappelle Show’s Rick James sketch, but it might as well be the same.  Shoes are always dirty, no matter how they look.

If you wouldn’t do it in your own home, why do you think it’s okay to do in public?

2023 Travel Grievances


That’s enough of my 2023 travel grievances for now.  The list continues to grow, and I’ll plan to do this again in the future.  Indeed, it’s one of my favorite articles to write.  If even one individual changes behavior based on it, I’ve accomplished something.  But I may be setting a high bar even there.

Maybe you have a grievance or three to share.  Enlighten us in the comments!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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  1. I prefer aisle seats, feel too closed in with window and dreaded middle seats. My big grump is people who where backpacks, purses, etc and whack me as they board the plane. Come on, pay attention and have some self awareness. Take the damn thing off when you’re going down the ever shrinking aisle.

  2. Many years ago, at a McDonald’s, I observed a guy in a McDonald’s uniform come out of a stall and leave the restroom without washing his hands. I followed him. He walked to a food prep station and commenced assembling sandwiches. There was a hand-wash station in the food prep area. He did not use it. At first, I thought this was an isolated incident. Disgusted but isolated. In short order, I saw this repeated three times at different locations. Since then, I simply don’t go to fast food outlets. Any fast food outlet.

    These workers do not intend harm. Then, there are the workers who do intend harm. Do a Google search on fast food offenses. Find the Burger King manager who, after hours, is caught on security video taking a dump in the milkshake machine. Find the McDonald’s workers who intentionally drop food on the floor, mash it with their feet, pick it up, and then use it to assemble a sandwich . . . and then post videos of the whole thing on their Facebook pages.

    There is a lack of common decency.


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