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Horror stories due to terrible travel companions

Horror stories due to terrible travel companions

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Old Jul 14, 16, 11:41 am
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
They got on the plane?!?!

I have gotten to the airport about 1/2 hour from flight time, checkin was closed, we didn't fly. They had to rebook us though because it was their mistake. (This was back long before the internet, we had the wrong flight time on our tickets.)
Originally Posted by bmantz65 View Post
Wow, did they make the flight? Some people have no concept of time. I would freak out if I got to the airport the same time my flight started to board.
I always get to the airport right around when boarding begins. Of course, my airport is PWM, which has 11 gates and I've never seen more than 5-10 people in the security line...
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Old Jul 14, 16, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
There's balance to be had in all of this. I've travelled with people who freak out if they're not going to get to the airport 3 hours before a puddle-jumper, which I don't really have time for, either.

On the other extreme, I've been informed, when trying to find a faster way to get to the airport, not to worry because "they will wait for me". Hmm.
The only reason i get to airports early is because there is always a risk here of the trains being delayed (I dont have a car and even if I did, risk of traffic jams...). Once I am in the airport I'm completely fine. It's very easy to lose an hour due to train delays; if the train goes tech (or, worse someone commits suicide on the track which sadly happens very often) you have to wait for a replacement bus which takes forever to arrive and cannot hold 2-3 trainloads full of people, or you have to take a detour which will also take a very long time.

This is why, despite living only about half an hour from AMS, I will always leave quite early on, MAX 1 hour before departure and that's without luggage. (with luggage at least 2 hours and preferably more)
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Old Jul 14, 16, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Bakpapier View Post
The only reason i get to airports early is because there is always a risk here of the trains being delayed (I dont have a car and even if I did, risk of traffic jams...). Once I am in the airport I'm completely fine. It's very easy to lose an hour due to train delays; if the train goes tech (or, worse someone commits suicide on the track which sadly happens very often) you have to wait for a replacement bus which takes forever to arrive and cannot hold 2-3 trainloads full of people, or you have to take a detour which will also take a very long time.

This is why, despite living only about half an hour from AMS, I will always leave quite early on, MAX 1 hour before departure and that's without luggage. (with luggage at least 2 hours and preferably more)
And any flight leaving before 9am I stay overnight at the airport hotel. Like you, once I'm there, there's no stress for me. Lounge, coffee or something stronger depending on time of day, and you can forget the M25
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Old Jul 14, 16, 11:26 pm
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Bakpapier View Post
The only reason i get to airports early is because there is always a risk here of the trains being delayed (I dont have a car and even if I did, risk of traffic jams...). Once I am in the airport I'm completely fine. It's very easy to lose an hour due to train delays; if the train goes tech (or, worse someone commits suicide on the track which sadly happens very often) you have to wait for a replacement bus which takes forever to arrive and cannot hold 2-3 trainloads full of people, or you have to take a detour which will also take a very long time.

This is why, despite living only about half an hour from AMS, I will always leave quite early on, MAX 1 hour before departure and that's without luggage. (with luggage at least 2 hours and preferably more)
In Melbourne I lived an hour from the airport but on early departures I would stay at the airport hotel. It was a 5 minute walk to the terminal. Once I'm at the hotel no stress too!
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Old Jul 16, 16, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by lloydah View Post
And any flight leaving before 9am I stay overnight at the airport hotel. Like you, once I'm there, there's no stress for me. Lounge, coffee or something stronger depending on time of day, and you can forget the M25
The trains from here to AMS run all night long (in the middle of the night only once per hour though and full of drunk people) so I would never do that in my situation. In general I will not book flights departing so early unless it's the only price competitive option.

Once I had a flight from EIN which Ryanair decided to schedule-change to departing at like 8 AM. I just asked a friend to bring me there by car as I had absolutely no other option and I didn't feel like staying at an airport hotel.
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Old Jul 16, 16, 3:47 pm
  #96  
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Originally Posted by wanna go now View Post
I'm with the OP here. We're all pretty experienced travelers, so now we check these things out. But when you first travel with a friend, it's hard to know if they are the "everything on schedule" kind of person or the "just let it happen" sort. Even if you talk about it.

My story is about a friend that will not be on time. I had no idea how bad it was until we went to see the polar bears in Manitoba together. She was totally self centered, even alienated the other guests on the tour. She never even noticed how little time we spent together or how little I talked to her. We still keep in touch, but I won't travel with her again.
I tend to agree. OP should have verified plans with the friend, but I certainly get the gist of the fact that the friend was operating on a much more casual basis.

Regardless of who is to blame, it's a decent story and I think that's the point of this thread.

Originally Posted by Giggleswick View Post
I have my share of travel companion horror stories, but also my share of positive experiences. IME, one thing that makes a difference between the two is the willingness to not be joined at the hip. My best travel companions and I don't necessarily have identical interests, budgets, or timetables, but to some extent those things can be accommodated. We'll often say things like "I'm going off to see X while you do Y, and we'll meet up for dinner," or "If you want to sleep late, go ahead; in the meantime I'll be eating breakfast and going out." I have friends with a much higher food budget than mine who have gone off to a fancy dinner while I've been in my room with a sandwich, which was fine with all of us. Also, when travelling with friends we try to maintain a no-whining rule, and that helps.
Great advice. This is how I travel with friends and family.
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Old Jul 16, 16, 5:49 pm
  #97  
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Originally Posted by schmoove View Post
Any trip outside of the 4-6 people range is bound to end in disaster if its long enough. The trips are doomed from two scenarios (Only applies when everybody tries to do everything together)

Scenario 1

Nobody never knows what they want to do and nobody wants to take the lead so you end up with the "What do you want to do?" " I don't know, what do you want to do?" convo.

Shortly after that everybody gets agitated because time gets wasted and the group ends up doing something nobody really wants to do because nobody else had a better idea and nobody wanted to say no. Trip goes downhill from here.
Scenario 2

The trip planning is taken over by the master planner who tries to plan 100 activities into each day. Given that the group is a large size in one house it ends up moving at a snails pace and the master planner ends up getting agitated and things go downhill from there.

I've since moved to the "This is what I'm doing today, whose coming with me"" approach unless there is a pre planned event I want to take part of.
I'm more the one who people ask "Hey, where have you been?" and then I tell them about my activities for the day.
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Old Jul 17, 16, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I'm surprised no one has brought up the issue of different fitness levels/stamina. I have a friend who loves long hikes and is indifferent to food. I am the polar opposite. She wanted us to go to Newfoundland. Once there she had a plethora of lengthy hikes, kayaking, and other physical activity that she wanted to do. She knows me. Why would she ever think that I in any way would joyously set forth each morning on a 10 mile hike? Ha! I admire those of you who do, but that is not me. I, on the other hand, want to see natural beauty, find historic sites to tour, and have a great meal once a day. Even when I brought up these matters, she continued to want me as a travel companion. My strategy was to leave the flight planning to her, knowing she had no idea how to accomplish it. She still mourns the trip never taken.
I went on a trip to Machu Picchu with my partner and four other people. We decided to hike up one of the hills. Everyone else was used to hiking and dealing with the altitude. I was not much of a hiker, especially at that altitude. I was struggling to make it up there and at one point my partner fell back to check on me. I kept soldiering on. What motivated me was the presence of two older women behind me who were making it up the hill. I figured if they can do it, I can do it. And I did. But I was probably the "bad" traveler on this trip that other people would post about.

I did eventually make it all the way up, not long after my friends did. I'm glad that I went all the way because it was a fantastic view.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 4:56 am
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Brining this thread/discussion back. I've been asking following questions to perspective travel companions and to the people who want to visit us:

- What are your expectations and main reasons to be on this trip?
- Could you describe what would be the best or worst experience of this trip? Why?
- Are you self starter or do you expect others make plans for you?
- Do you have food allergies or preferences? What to you do if your preferred food is not available?
- Are you punctual? If you say 'I'll be there in 10 min' does it mean 10 min or '10 plus 30 more'?
- Have you been in long-distance (>10h) flight in Economy and how did you handle it?
- What is your experience and ways to deal with jetlag?
- Have you been thru culture shock? What caused it and how did you handle it?
- (when guests are visiting you) Do you expect that your hosts will pay for everything or you are willing to contribute? How much? (I know this question might will sound weird to people from Western societies but there are number of cultures around where if you are a host and invite someone in you home to stay, they will expect that you will pay for everything, including plane tickets, dinners, entertainment, etc)
- Are you fit/outdoors person? If yes, when was the last time you walked/hiked more than 2 hours on unmaintained trail?
- How do you handle hot/cold/dry/humid weather? How much heat/cold/humidity could alter your plans?
- Do you have an experience to be in different than your home climate before?
- Do like/hate crowds? Are you claustrophobic? Are you afraid of heights?
- Are you late sleeper or late night person?
- Do you drink alcohol? If so, how many drinks per evening out?

You can add your own questions in this list, but after starting asking these questions, 80% of perspective guests/travellers drop out which leaves only people who we are going to have good time with.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 7:38 am
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I'd drop out too, if I had to fill out a survey that long.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by lloydah View Post
And any flight leaving before 9am I stay overnight at the airport hotel. Like you, once I'm there, there's no stress for me. Lounge, coffee or something stronger depending on time of day, and you can forget the M25
That's me I'm a regular at the Heathrow Terminal 4 Hilton. I time my gym workout, breakfast and walk to T5, straight to the lounge. My only decision is whether to have breakfast at the hotel or the lounge. No stress.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 10:45 am
  #102  
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
I'd drop out too, if I had to fill out a survey that long.
(Note to self) Crossing zitsky over from the list of potential travel mates or guests....
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Old Jul 21, 18, 4:57 pm
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I generally try to avoid traveling with groups, but have made occasional exceptions for extended family. The key is to know the people you are traveling with and plan accordingly. A few years ago, my sister-in-law wanted me and my mother to go along with her and her 3 kids to a Caribbean resort. I knew the kids would be bored out of their pretty little skulls, so I suggested Florida instead. That way, they could go to the Daytona Speedway and Orlando theme parks and eat at McDonald's while Mom and I enjoyed some beach time and decent food. It worked out so well that she convinced me (against my better judgment) to try an all inclusive resort a few years later with one of the kids. Predictably, he hated everything about it and complained the entire time...won't be doing that again
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Old Jul 21, 18, 6:25 pm
  #104  
 
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
(Note to self) Crossing zitsky over from the list of potential travel mates or guests....
Do you see me crying?
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Old Jul 21, 18, 9:26 pm
  #105  
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Brining this thread/discussion back. I've been asking following questions to perspective travel companions and to the people who want to visit us:

- What are your expectations and main reasons to be on this trip?
- Could you describe what would be the best or worst experience of this trip? Why?
- Are you self starter or do you expect others make plans for you?
- Do you have food allergies or preferences? What to you do if your preferred food is not available?
- Are you punctual? If you say 'I'll be there in 10 min' does it mean 10 min or '10 plus 30 more'?
- Have you been in long-distance (>10h) flight in Economy and how did you handle it?
- What is your experience and ways to deal with jetlag?
- Have you been thru culture shock? What caused it and how did you handle it?
- (when guests are visiting you) Do you expect that your hosts will pay for everything or you are willing to contribute? How much? (I know this question might will sound weird to people from Western societies but there are number of cultures around where if you are a host and invite someone in you home to stay, they will expect that you will pay for everything, including plane tickets, dinners, entertainment, etc)
- Are you fit/outdoors person? If yes, when was the last time you walked/hiked more than 2 hours on unmaintained trail?
- How do you handle hot/cold/dry/humid weather? How much heat/cold/humidity could alter your plans?
- Do you have an experience to be in different than your home climate before?
- Do like/hate crowds? Are you claustrophobic? Are you afraid of heights?
- Are you late sleeper or late night person?
- Do you drink alcohol? If so, how many drinks per evening out?

You can add your own questions in this list, but after starting asking these questions, 80% of perspective guests/travellers drop out which leaves only people who we are going to have good time with.
Are these people complete strangers? Could you not answer most of these questions for friends or acquaintances of yours? Seems a bit of an odd procedure to have to go through.
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