Anyone who's ever traveled on the cheap knows there's something about it that brings out the worst in people. Before we lose our cool, check out these culprits of annoyance and some tips for keeping calm, arriving calm cool and collected.
Scan the terminal looking for babies before you begin your journey and keep your distance. A crying child is every passenger's worst nightmare and you're sure to encounter at least one crying kiddo on board.
How to cope: Noise-cancelling headphones. You may not like it, but babies cry. Before you flip out over some tears, bear in mind that children are experiencing the same discomfort as you, including cramped conditions and fatigue. And with a lack of language skills to express how they feel, screaming and crying is all they've got.
The Irresponsible Parent
Enduring the wails of a crying child is much easier when you see a parent actively trying to control the situation. But some parents have become immune to their children's behavior and will become defensive if you voice your displeasure. All too often, requesting that a toddler stop kicking the back of your seat is met witth "What do you expect me to do? Kids will be kids." But just because the parent has learned to tolerate a child's rudeness doesn't mean you must.
How to cope: Don't lose your temper. If the parent continues to allow the child to act up despite your polite request to not have your seat jolted or your hair pulled -- notify an official. It's the staff's job to deal with unruly passengers, not yours.
The Seat or Armrest Hog
When you're stuck in a metal tube, whether traveling on a highway, a rail or in the air every little bit of wiggle room counts. So when you've got someone's elbows encroaching on your space, you're bound to feel irked. But the Armrest Hog takes things to a whole new level, gobbling up your personal space, leaving little or no room for you to lean.
How to cope: Confronting an Armrest Hog usually isn't too difficult, since the offender often doesn't realize there's a problem. Politely mention that you're feeling a little cramped and ask if there's room on that rest for a second arm.
The Inconsiderate Invalid
The doors are closing and you've settled in for a long journey when suddenly, an unbridled sneeze echoes. It's a well-known fact that confined conditions and recycled air are breeding grounds for germs. The Inconsiderate Invalid makes matters worse, invoking a wave of terror in fellow passengers with every uncovered cough, noisy sniffle and unwashed hand especially during the cold and flu season.
How to cope: Be prepared. Arming yourself with a good night's sleep and staying hydrated will help your immune system fight off these flying germs. Also, it doesn't hurt to bring along some antibacterial wipes and tissues; offering these items to your fellow feverish traveler may hopefully help him get the hint.
The Rude Recliner
Like the Armrest Hog, the Rude Recliner shows no respect for your personal space. The minute the train, bus or plane begins to move, their head is in your lap as well as that cup of liquid that was sitting on your tray table. If your knees weren't already knocking the seat in front of you, the Rude Recliner will make sure they do.
How to cope: There's nothing wrong with asking the Rude Recliner to sit up a little. If they refuse, talk to a member of the crew. An attendant can address the Rude Recliner with more authority.
The Chatty passenger
Maybe you're trying to catch some zzz's or you've got some work to do, so you don't feel like talking. That doesn't matter, they are going to tell you ther life story whether or not you want to hear it. Even if you've got your headphones on and your nose is buried in a book, nothing's going to stop them from asking you about your love life and rambling on about hers.
How to cope: If they let you get a word in, politely inform this passenger that you need to get some work done or you're desperately in need of some shut-eye. After that, the only thing you can do is ignore them; Hopefully, chatty will hear you loud and clear.
Sure, not everyone enjoys traveling, but the Scaredy-Cat is flat-out terrified. How can you tell? They won't stop talking about the possibility of crashing, and panics at the slightest hint of trouble. And like the germs from the Inconsiderate Invalid's sneezes, fear can spread especially if trips are particularly difficult, or bumpy because of mechanical, or weather conditions.
How to cope: Before you succumb to the Scaredy-Cat's contagiousness, remember that many are traveling at any given time. While incidents do happen, they're few and far between. In terms of dealing with your nervous neighbor, do your best to ignore them. Just let an attendant handle it.
The Prima Donna
This person believes that the world revolves around them and that codes of conduct need not apply. This person rebuffs requests to follow rules after the doors have closed, presses the call button when he needs something from the overhead bin and huffs and puffs when you turn on your reading light. Simply put, if the Prima Donna is miserable, they won't hesitate to bring you down.
How to cope: There's just no reasoning with the Prima Donna who's determined to have things their way. Don't give in because you shouldn't hesitate to ask them to move if you need to go to the restroom, and you shouldn't turn off your reading light simply because they need beauty sleep. If they protest, simply remind them politely, yet unapologetic-ally that your needs are very important as well.
HAPPY TRAILS AND DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE IN THIS JOURNEY TO KICK YOUR TAIL.