I have always said that I love travel, but I hate traveling. Going on vacation for me is the one time the destination is more important than the journey. I look forward to the day commercial teleportation arrives; imagine just hitting a button and re-emerging in your hotel lobby. A recent online post shares people’s one aspect of travel they would remove if they could. What’s your choice?
1. Long-Haul Misery
Multiple posts address the dehumanizing nature of long-haul travel — the hours spent sitting in thrombosis-welcoming positions, watching shrunken movie screens, and trying to sleep.” I’ve always said I’d love it if airlines started offering flights where they knock you out with gas in the cabin then just wake you up when you’re there,” adds a kindred observer.
2. Hurry Up—Wait
“How far in advance you have to get there, then the waiting to get on the plane,” laments a weary traveler. “You rush to get there early enough, then you wait.” In some cases, waiting takes up most of the travel time; modern air travel is not for the impatient — did you hear that, impatient people?
3. Post-Departure Blues
“Having the thought of going back to work,” says a glass-half-empty contributor. I read comments like this, and I think: “Would you have preferred not to go?” I understand it sucks going to work, though I think people need to live in the moment more. “And then the ‘do you feel relaxed and refreshed?’ questions from your co-workers,” adds someone. “No, I’m filled with rage that I’m back to the grind and not traveling for a living.”
4. Sardine Airlines
“The ever-degrading state of air travel,” suggests the next observer. “Every flight is more crowded than the last; my seat is smaller and less adjustable.” For anyone tall enough, flying is the antithesis of yoga. According to studies, our chairs are getting smaller and our legroom shorter — no wonder fewer people are flying now.
5. Human Safety Hazards
I cannot live in a major city, mainly for one reason: people who congregate in clusters in public areas. Many other commenters have the same issue in airports. “I remember in Amsterdam Schiphol there were people clustering up by the lines to get in to check in/check baggage,” recalls a European. “Took me a while to realize I’m not standing in a line and that it’s just a bunch of people blocking the whole hallway.” I despair.
6. Jet Lag
Depending on which direction you travel, jet lag can be manageable. However, according to friends who travel between the United States and Asia, the fifteen-hour difference can be crippling. “Hate it,” moans a frequent flier. “I’m getting better at managing it in my old age, but it still sucks.”
7. Personal Safety Fears
“Feeling unsafe,” admits a contributor with low confidence in foreign spaces. “Solo female and always having to feel ‘on guard.'” The thought of being attacked, abducted, and sold into the black market is too terrifying to contemplate. I understand this fear, though I feel it is over-hyped —Liam Neeson’s Taken is just a movie, and common sense will ensure a safe visit anywhere.
“Firm mattresses,” comments a light vacation sleeper. I wish that hotels and such would say what kind of mattress they use and its firmness rating.” This idea sounds very smart. While some travelers have the luxury of sleeping in five-star accommodations with the finest mattresses money can buy, most of the traveling world doesn’t.
9. Premium Family Class
Having survived several flights with a wriggling, screaming infant, I empathize with those poor parents. However, not everyone wishes to share their airspace with a mini-banshee or toddler. “I wish there was a separate premium class for families that is enclosed. Anyone with children under age five could book ‘family class,'” suggests a business-class traveler with an agenda.
10. Easy There, Friend
“The TSA yelling in everybody’s face,” says a despairing flier. “I get that security is important, but nobody needs to be yelling in my face. My liquids are in a baggy, and my laptop is already in my hand!” These people are doing their job, and I cannot think of anything more challenging than corralling scores of American passengers. These people deserve medals.
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