How To Handle The Worst Types Of People To Meet While On Vacation

The best ways to handle the worst types of people while on vacation include informing management or tour guides when appropriate, distancing yourself from that person, and remembering not to let their behavior ruin your vacation.

By Wendy Hernandez | Published

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Picture this: You’re lounging on the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, and sipping on a delicious tropical drink. Suddenly, your peace and tranquility are interrupted by the worst types of people you could meet on vacation

It’s not unusual to meet rude tourists whose miserable dispositions ruin otherwise enjoyable getaways. However, it’s important not to let them get the best of you. Travel + Leisure has identified some of the most common types of vacation spoilers, but also provides sound advice on how to handle them. 

The Slow Poke: This is the person who is never prepared and holds up the line. Stay calm and try to keep things in perspective. Remember that this may be their first vacation, or they might not know the ins and outs of travel. You could also consider getting to the airport early or getting a membership to skip the long lines.

The Seat Saver: You’ve probably met this person by the pool who lays out towels across all the good chairs and disappears for hours. Don’t confront them; instead, alert hotel staff.

The Loud Neighbor: This person blasts music or TV at all hours or does all manner of activities that can disrupt your sleep. Call management and let them handle it.

The Bar BFF: This person will talk your ear off all night long. Be honest and let them know that you’d like some alone time. With a kind heart and a few key phrases, you can defuse the situation.

The Way Too Relaxed Parents: You’ll meet them everywhere, and they’ll let their kids run wild. Give a little grace, and if things do get out of hand, ask them to quiet down or move to a new location.

The Chatterbox: This person won’t stop talking, interrupting the guide during tours or chatty airplane seatmates. Politely redirect them, and if it’s on a tour, quietly pull the guide aside.

The Snap-happy Influencers: These people are always taking pictures and can be a nuisance. Let the tour guide deal with it or ask them to snap a photo of you.

While this is a pretty extensive list by Travel + Leisure, there are a few other types that should be added to the list: 

The Complainer: They’re the Debbie Downers of vacation, constantly pointing out what’s wrong with everything and everyone around them. Don’t let their negative attitude bring you down. Stay positive, offer solutions, and if all else fails, politely distance yourself from them. Remember, you’re on vacation to relax and have fun, not to be a therapist for a chronic complainer.

The Disrespectful Tourist: This one may just be the worst type of people of all to meet on vacation. This tourist has no regard for local customs, traditions, or rules. You know the type-the one who’s always comparing everything to “how it’s done back home.” No one likes that tourist. They may be rude to locals, litter in public places, or engage in other behaviors that are generally frowned upon. Don’t let their disrespectful behavior ruin your vacation or harm the local community.  

General Tips for Handling Unpleasant People

It’s important to stay calm and composed when dealing with unpleasant people. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about them. Do not take their behavior personally. Seek support from friends or hotel staff if needed. The most important tip is to focus on enjoying your vacation, despite the worst types of people you may encounter.  

According to Elaine Swann, a lifestyle and etiquette expert, “The best way to handle unpleasant people is to try and get a better understanding of their behavior. Maybe they’re dealing with something or have had a rough day. And, always remember to take care of yourself first.”