Every traveler has an irritating habit or two, whether it’s hovering by the gate before your boarding group is called or jumping into the aisle to be the first pull your bags from the overhead bin as soon as that “fasten seatbelts” sign switches off. But how annoying are those personal tics, really? 

Group of friends in the street with smartphones
Addicted to your phone? You could be bugging the locals more than you realize. Image © KARRASTOCK/Getty Images

To see what bugs your fellow travelers the most, online travel agent Agoda commissioned a study of nearly 10,400 people from ten different countries, all of whom had been on holiday at least once in the past year, and got the lowdown on their pet peeves. Responses varied a bit based on location, but on the whole, people who can’t seem to use their indoor voices took the not-so-coveted crown. 

Group of smiling friends taking a selfie with smartphone and monopod with Coliseum ruins in background
Watch where you're pointing that selfie stick – 21% of global respondents find it to be an annoying habit. Image © Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Fifty-seven percent of global respondents said that noisy travelers were their biggest annoyance, followed by travelers who refuse to put down their devices at 47% and those who don’t understand cultural nuances at 46%. Rounding out the top five are huge tour groups at 36% and selfie-takers at 21%. 

From place to place, though, the data tells a different story. Singaporeans, Filipinos, and Malaysians find insensitivity to local culture nuances more than twice as frustrating as Chinese and Thai travelers do, while just 54% of British and 41% of American travelers (41%) have a problem with it. Meanwhile, only 12% of Chinese travelers are bothered by selfie-takers, but nearly a third of Australians can’t stand the practice. 

crowds of tour groups at the Acropolis
Huge tour groups are one of the top-five annoyances. Image © Andrew Peacock/Getty Images

Spending too much time on your phone is the other big one, though whether you’re traveling alone or with others makes a difference. Solo travelers spend 15% more time on their devices than they do when they’re with others – nearly two hours a day versus 100 minutes when traveling with friends and 86 minutes when traveling with family – unless they’re American, in which case the reverse is true. On average, the Yanks put in more phone time when they’re with friends than they do when they’re alone, 62 minutes and 86 minutes respectively.
For more details and the full demographic breakdown, visit agoda.com.

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