Enhanced travelling companions

A hit parade of travel partners you should avoid at any cost.

During our happy sailing days we, Gionny and David, would often pass the time by fantasising about the “Crew from hell” or rather posing the simple question: “Who would you rather NOT have on board with you during a three months ship expedition to Antarctica?”

Invariably this was done over a beer or ten.

At sea in Antarctica with the worse travel companions
The Arctic Sunrise hits a wave during rough weather in the South Atlantic. The Greenpeace ship and crew are investigating distant water fishing fleet practices in the Mid-Atlantic during September and October 2019.

We, together with so many others, have been paralysed for weeks and months. We have grown increasingly frustrated. We have been suffering from inertia.

Dictionary definition for Inertia
Typed on Gionny’s abhorrent Olivetti Lettera 22

Currently a large percentage of the global population is either in lockdown or at best affected by various travel restrictions. Meanwhile all of us can only dream of future travel outside the confines of our own countries.

Much has been written of the “return to normal.” There has also been a lot of debate that, rather than a return to normal; perhaps there should be a resetting of the old habits to new and positive practices. We agree. This is no less pertinent than in our genre – travel. 

When the world does readjust we offer a small suggestion to facilitate more efficient travel. That is, to eliminate the “crews from hell.” We propose banning the following groups of travellers.   


Now then, we should preface this by saying we don’t dislike kids. It would be rather impertinent of David, for example, having six of them. We love kids. David loves all six of his! He just doesn’t like other people’s kids. In particular he doesn’t like other people’s kids when they are sitting behind you on a 12 hour flight incessantly kicking the back of your seat or in extreme cases vomiting down the back of your head (yep, it happened). Or in a restaurant screeching and screaming while you’re trying to enjoy a quiet solitary culinary feast. In both scenarios no amount of cajoling or imploring will convince the parents to reign in the little bastards. Travel should be illegal for anybody below 16.


The enforcement of this is will be a bit of a conundrum. What group of people is the most annoying and embarrassing while travelling? It’s those from your own respective countries. I’m sure you’ve all experienced this excruciating and irritating situation Perhaps one solution will be to ban two or more groups from the same country from travelling together.


That’s loud fuckers. How often are you confronted with or, more pertinently, assaulted by people who either have no volume control or are simply just blaggards – that is contemptible and, generally, untrustworthy types or bullies. Almost always men. Almost always with psychological issues.  Those who insist on pushing to the front of queues; those who harass and insult people around them in the forlorn gesture that it will improve their otherwise pathetic situation. Volume control technology has been developed but should only be distributed to us more discerning travellers. They are called tasers.


At some stage while travelling you must have been confronted with the classic bore. They often insist on hearing your life story, Or, worse, they insist on telling you theirs. And, my god, they are persistent. David has  developed a strategy for this. When asked about his occupation he says he’s in insurance (who the hell wants to talk about insurance/). Meanwhile when Gionny is tackled about his personal life he responds by saying he is in a  relationship with another man AND woman. That generally unnerves them!  

5. WORKAHOLICS – otherwise known as brown-noses!

Those who are always buried in their devices. Those complaining because the WiFi is either too slow or too expensive. They often pass on a lavish airline lounge experience, made of free drinks and exquisite food, to catch up on the latest from their headquarters. Not even the in-flight entertainment with 200+ movies at their fingertips will deter them from accessing the now ubiquitous on-board Internet connectivity. We all love a good drink at 30000ft, just as much as we enjoy a brainless Hollywood flick. Travel is to either relax or to experience. ‘People watching’ in an airport or train or bus terminal is, between chapters of a good book, both exhilarating and enthralling. Electronic devices are to be banned while in transit; books will be the new norm. 


The plane encounters turbulence – “I know I’m going to die!” “I’ll crash and burn!” Convinced they are not going to survive the flight. Or a seat of the pants bus ride along death defying cliff edges leave them as quivering and whimpering wrecks. They are likely to dig deep and get wasted with the free booze. Their urge for the toilet will know no-limits, especially once you are trying to sleep on your carefully selected aisle seat. Once the flight attendants no longer serve them alcohol, they usually roll out the pharmacy and finish themselves off with pills and drops of any sort. Paranoid neurotics will be banned.


Those who notoriously don’t shower prior to departure or suffer from some weird medical condition that, quite frankly, make them social pariahs. Then when seated they’ll remove their shoes, even socks, oblivious to people dying around them. If fate assigns you a window seat next to a stink bomb, you are doomed! The Oxygen masks will only drop in case of loss of cabin pressure – they are not programmed for body odour. It can get worse. Once cruising altitude is reached, or the train or bus has settled down to a rhythm, that is the moment they release their built up body gasses. While their neighbours are writhing in agony from this toxic assault they simply sit in blissful ignorance

We still have friends on Greenpeace ships, many of whom, possibly, have us on their very own “crew from hell.” Fair enough.

Welcome to the new norm.

9 thoughts on “Enhanced travelling companions

  1. You bloody snobs! If your plan was to be taken seriously, flights would be empty. Not only that……. I doubt that you would be allowed to fly???? Yes you!

    1. Thanks Marco, your feedback is highly appreciated and taken on board ;-)
      Out of curiosity, which category do you think I belong to?

  2. This gave me a good laugh after a long week of work! I have run into each and every one of these! I won’t say I’d make the rule of travel banned for children under 16 as I benefited from my family moving, living and traveling around the world through out my childhood, but I DO want child-free hotels, airlines, restaurants etc.!

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