How Not to Be a Jerk on Vacation

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2024
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
How Not to Be a Jerk on Vacation

Enjoy these five sensible ways to be a great travel partner!

Headed on a trip abroad with others? Whether you’re traveling with your significant other, family members, business partners, or a large tour group, here are five ways to be a great travel partner – and avoid behaving like a jerk!

  • Don’t be a whiny baby. Trips cost money and people expect happy experiences. Plus, nobody wants to hang out with a Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer. If everyone else enjoyed their meal while dining out, but you didn’t particularly like yours, don’t crank about it. Rather, let it slide. When one person goes negative, it can bring the whole group down. It can alienate people or force them to assume you’re a spoiled sport. So, go on your trip with a sunny attitude and when everyone else is having fun, join in. If by chance you are feeling out of sorts, force yourself to snap out of it or simply keep insignificant complaints to yourself.
  • Stop wanting everything your way!One of the amazing aspects of traveling solo is getting to do what you want when you want without anyone else’s input. For instance – Imagine you are all alone on a trip to England. Want to sleep until noon every day at the hotel? No problem! But things change when you’re with a group. Now there are other people’s interests and feelings to consider and frequently put ahead of your own. Ultimately, to avoid being a jerk, you need to be adaptable to what the majority wants to do. Suppose that the group decides to go on a historic London walking tour and it’s not an activity that interests you. You have two main choices. One, do your own thing cheerfully and meet up with the group once they’re done, or suck it up and go with them. Remember that by going with the group, you can gain opportunities for new experiences and enjoy the camaraderie.
  • Quit being so bossy. It’s natural for people to take the lead. This, of course, is sometimes essential for plans to run smoothly. However, don’t act like a jerk by trying to control everything. It’s okay to let others take charge when traveling. Perhaps Mary enjoys counting heads to make sure everyone is on the bus. Maybe Phillipe prefers to walk at the front of the group to take charge of directions. It’s quite possible that these “duties” give each of those individuals a sense of purpose. All in all, there’s no harm in letting others handle details. When others seek to take charge, be open minded. Remember that it’s a lot less stressful for you to step back and let others handle the details – while you concentrate on enjoying your surroundings and having fun.
  • Avoid naughty behavior! Whether you’re traveling with a spouse or a group of business colleagues, it’s important to mind your manners. This includes actions like dressing appropriately, being punctual, waiting your turn, and speaking politely. It’s also essential to respect local customs. For example, if you travel to Japan and wish to grab food at an outdoor market from a vendor, it is considered impolite to walk and eat at the same time. Additionally, in the Japanese culture, on short distance commuter train rides, it is unacceptable to speak on the phone, to talk loudly, or to eat food. Understand that rules of behavior vary from country to country. For example, in the USA it’s rude to slurp food. However, in Japan, it’s a compliment to the chef to slurp noodles. So, to not be a jerk, learn as much as you can about the etiquette associated with your travel destination. Then, follow through by adhering to these traditions.
  • Don’t embarrass your country and fellow travelers. Whenever you travel abroad, remember that you are a representative of your country. For this reason, it’s best to carry yourself well and behave with dignity. For instance, say you’re in a culturally rich museum of art in France, a standard of behavior is obviously expected. One should not push ahead of the crowd, loudly criticize beloved artwork, make fun of artists, touch artwork, or use flash photography where prohibited. Only a real jerk would do those things. Remember that it’s an honor to be a guest in another country, and that respect is earned through proper conduct.

The non-jerk challenge

Traveling is an exciting gift that affords people opportunities to explore new places and gain new experiences. Whether you’re traveling by yourself, with a few people, or amongst a large group, don’t be a jerk on vacation. Go out of your way to avoid behaving like a baby, being demanding and bossy, acting naughty, and embarrassing others. It’s up to you to put these five sensible ways to be a great travel partner to the ultimate test!

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