Travel Diary

Small travel annoyances

I’ve been traveling for five months now, and while on the whole it’s been great and nothing horrible has happened (beyond small injuries and minimal money loss), I HAVE had to deal with a lot of small annoyances.

Nothing major, nothing vital to my enjoyment of an town or hotel. But just small things that are…really annoying. Like an itch right in the middle of my back.

1. Cheap coffee/tea offerings at hotel
This happens at every kind of hotel, from 2 star no-name budget to 4 star brand. I understand that they need to buy in bulk to save costs, but some of their offerings are so bad I can’t even force myself to use them. And of course I’ve ended up carrying around extras of my own favorite teas and coffee just to be sure I have something decent to drink.

I’m not even super picky! I use instant coffee and powdered creamer. But I am snobby about tea brands. 😛

2. Showers that don’t have a shelf inside / Shower curtains in tiny shower stalls
These are my two main grips with showers. Low water pressure I can handle, and if the shower floor is dirty I just wear flip flops inside. But having nowhere to stash my shampoo and soap! Annoying!

And small stalls with curtains almost always mean the curtain gets sucked into the stall. Dodging a curtain that’s touched who knows how many butts is not my idea of a fun time.

3. Finding something dirty in an otherwise clean room
This makes my skin crawl. It’s unavoidable in hotels that can’t or won’t hire enough housekeepers to do a thorough job cleaning, but considering most of them made a big stink about “anti-COVID-19 cleanliness” procedures to lure in visitors only a year or two ago, it’s icky.

The worst has been hair on my sheets, and I did ask for them to be changed. But usually there’s some other small dirty thing, like dusty shelves or finger smudges on high traffic areas.

4. Forgetting to disinfect the TV remote before touching it
I’m too excited to unpack and always forget to disinfect things before I touch them. I guess I’m just lucky that nothing bad’s happened so far! And to be fair, I never did this even before I went on my big trip.

5. Filling the space between hotel check-out and hotel check-in times
Not as much of an issue if you’re spending part of the day traveling between locations, but because I prefer to keep my travel times short (under 4 hours) I almost always end up with extra time before I’m allowed to check-in to the next hotel.

Luckily train stations don’t seem to mind people hanging out past their arrival times. I’ve also been able to get decent luggage storage for a few hours every so often. But it’s not as common as you’d think, especially if you’re going to a smaller town!

6. Leaving something packed into a suitcase that’s needed enroute
I’ve gotten better at this as I’ve gotten better at packing in general, but I still have a bad habit of leaving something in there. Usually a charger, or an extra face mask, or cloth napkins. Nothing that’ll ruin me if I leave it in there, but something that I would’ve liked having.

7. Forgetting something at the last hotel
And not remembering until I’m at the next one. Again, I’m lucky that I haven’t forgotten anything REALLY vital! But it’s annoying. I left my shower scrub net thing at a hotel last month and I haven’t been able to find a replacement yet. Ugh!

8. Not having a spatula in a shared kitchen.
You’d think a spatula would be a standard kitchen utensil in any shared kitchen, but I’ve been in plenty of stays that’re missing one. Anything other utensil I can buy easily and for pretty cheap, but spatulas can be weirdly expensive if and when I find them. I’ve had to get creative on flipping my fried eggs in some AirBNBs! I’ll definitely be picking up a small camping spatual to bring with me next time I’m in the States.

What’re your small travel annoyances?

Anastasia is a former librarian turned digital nomad. She's been traveling the world full time for two years and has visited 18 countries so far! Just Gone Wandering is a travel resource for solo female travelers on a backpacker's budget-- or slightly more-- and highlights amazing places to visit as well as providing tips and tricks for traveling smart and frugal. Read more...

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