10 confusing things about travel

10 confusing things about travel

Below are 10 confusing things about travel that make me scratch my head and ask questions no one can seem to answer.

It’s no secret here at Jane Sees the World that we love to travel. We spend a lot of time talking about how wonderful it all is. To be fair, we have also spent some time talking about the more unfortunate sides of travel. Today, I would like to talk about the confusing side of travel. It seems that no matter where I go in the world, I encounter the same head-scratching scenarios. Below are 10 things about travel that confuse me.

1. The fish option on flights

Have you ever been on a flight and heard the attendant say, “I’m sorry, we are all out of fish. Can I offer you some chicken?” No. It never happens. They always run out of chicken and then people in the back are stuck with fish. Just order more chicken already! In fact, why even offer fish? I like it just fine, but I feel like I am in the minority.

Dried fish Faroe Islands
Fish is not always a winner. Yet airlines keep serving it up!

2. Lengthy visits to the toilet

If there is a line, why do some women take so long in the bathroom stall? Hello! 25 women are wiggling. What are you DOING in there? I am not talking about a situation in which someone is dealing with a stomach issue. Yes, that happens and it is unfortunate. But I have seen too many women just take their sweet time and it is rude. If your fellow female travelers are waiting, please find somewhere else to check your phone.

WC sign in Europe
Make it snappy when you are in the loo!

3. Queuing up to board the plane

Why do people fight to be the first in line when they have an assigned seat? Do you really want to spend more time on an airplane? I get that there is limited overhead bin space on flights these days. However, this confusing practice happens even for those without carry on luggage. I see it time and time again. I even fall prey to it myself sometimes. But it still confuses me.

4. Inefficient aisle seat sitters

When you have an aisle seat, why do you settle in and buckle up if your neighbors haven’t boarded yet? Chances are good that someone is going to sit in the middle and window seats and you are going to have to get up. Which means you are going to have to unbuckle and set your stuff aside. Time and time again, I see people with an aisle seat board early and buckle up. This is so inefficient and confuses me to no end.

5. Duty free

Why do people love duty free goods so much? I have done some research and it appears that you save around 10%, sometimes. Yes, that is nice. But for me, 10% does not justify gobs of stuff I now have to haul around. I would rather order it online and have it delivered to my house. Or better yet, I would rather buy something nice from the country I am visiting and not bother stocking up on Toblerone and perfume. 

6. Hardrock Cafe

Why? Just why?

7. Passing gas in public

Again, why? It is just so rude. Especially on airplanes. What makes someone think that is okay? Please, please, please, just don’t do it. Ever.

confusing things about travel crowded plane with people
Planes are crowded, tight spaces. Keep your farts to yourself.

8. Tacky souvenirs

Tacky t-shirts, shot glasses and magnets abound all over the world. They are especially pervasive in places like Las Vegas and Orlando. Tacky souvenirs make terrible gifts as well as momentos. And they are never made in the place you are visiting. So why are they so prevalent? I do not know anyone who buys them. But people must or I wouldn’t see them everywhere I go. I recommend you ignore the tacky souvenirs and go for something locally made. You and your recipients (and the environment) will be much better off.

Kino Sandals in Key West
In Key West, rather than buying a bunch of tacky souvenirs (which abound) I recommend picking up a pair of Kino Sandals. They are all hand cut, assembled and glued in their factory in Key West. And have been since 1966.

9. Not experiencing the culture

Why travel somewhere foreign if you do not want to experience any of the culture? I hear stories about people who traveled somewhere exotic and foreign and spent most of their time in either their hotel or their hotel restaurant. Nothing confuses me more. Just save yourself the money and stay home.

10. Tourists

This is a broad category, but nothing about travel confuses me more than tourists. They do the strangest things and appear to leave all rational thought and consideration for others at home. They stop in the middle of busy streets to take photos. They cut people off in line. They ask questions that are clearly posted on the sign in front of them. I could go on and on, but I won’t. Just know that tourists will keep you scratching your head over and over again.

confusing things about travel plastic bag on head
This tourist felt the need to put a plastic bag on her head. No idea why.


There are many wonderful about travel. There are also some not-so-wonderful things about travel. And then there are the confusing things about travel. All are part of the whole travel experience and that is something each person should experience for themselves. If you are lucky, you will experience the wonderful, the not-so-wonderful and the confusing again and again.

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