If there's one thing we've probably all encountered on vacation, it's the "annoying tourist."
From people who head out to claim sun loungers at all hours of the day to entitled behaviour, there are so many annoying tourist habits people adopt on vacation and they're all largely avoidable.
Narcity asked etiquette expert Louise Fox to break down some of the most irritating things tourists can do and what you should actually be doing to avoid them if you don't want to be a source of frustration for locals and other visitors alike.
If you want to avoid falling into the annoying tourist category on your next vacation, these are some things to avoid.
It all starts on the plane
Good travel etiquette starts before you've even taken off. There is plenty of airplane etiquette to consider but the important thing to remember at all times is that you need to be a considerate passenger.
"Just be mindful that you're not the only person on the plane," Fox told Narcity.
One of the most annoying habits people can have on a plane is holding up boarding by taking forever to stow away carry on bags. It can be a tricky game of plane tetris to get everything put away but you should consider letting others get to their seats behind you before trying to organize yourself, Fox said.
If you're looking to recline your seat and get some shut eye on the plane, you should also pay attention to the person behind to make sure you aren't going to inconvenience them.
"You should check behind you and see if that person is still eating because they could end up with that food right up to their chin," she explained.
Don't act entitled
We've nearly all experience travel horror stories of tourists behaving badly whether it's on a plane or when they arrive at their destination. According to Fox, it's so important to never forget that when you're visiting a new country, you are visiting as a guest.
"Some tourists go to another country and they expect it to be just like home. Don't expect it to be just like home," she said.
Whether it's differences in the way people around you behave or visiting a restaurant where the menu isn't quite what you're used to, it's all part of the experience.
Fox said you always need to visit a new country with the right approach, being kind and courteous and considerate of other people, as well as having a good sense of humour when things don't go as planned.
"You have to be able to laugh at situations and laugh at yourself too," she said.
"You can't control other people's behaviour, but you can control your own. If somebody does something that you find annoying and irritating and rude, don't do it yourself," she said.
No one wants to come across as an obnoxious tourist after all.
Thoroughly research the place you're visiting
Vacations take a lot of planning, and while you're making lists of all the things you want to see and do at your destination, you should also be thoroughly researching the culture and customs in the country to avoid any embarrassment.
"People often just take one step on the plane without doing any research and they have no idea what the customs or social norms are of the country they're going to are and they are acting inappropriately from day one," Fox said.
"I'm not proposing that you read all the history, but you should have an idea of the country you're going and brush up on what some of the expectations are in that country, and govern yourself accordingly," she added.
Things you should find out ahead of time can range from how much you're expected to tip to how you should dress when visiting certain areas or tourist spots. Not only can it be annoying for locals, but some mistakes can be pretty disrespectful too.
If you're unsure, set aside some time to research any customs. Tourist boards often have plenty of information readily available online or if you're working with a travel agent, you will also be able to ask them if there are any customs you should be aware of.
There are hundreds of countries around the world and many have completely different cultural norms on how people should be dressed, so you need to keep this in mind and pack appropriately.
"When you go into the country, it's a matter of being respectful for the people of that country. It's not about you showing your individuality," Fox explained.
"When you're going to a beach resort, you want to wear short shorts and a crop top, that's fine," Fox said.
However some specific tourist destinations such as temples, or in towns and cities, rules on what you should be wearing might be different.
Not only does the lack of research on what you should be wearing immediately highlight you as an annoying tourist, but there can also be more serious consequences too with tourists sometimes targeted by criminals.
"You don't want to really stand out as a tourist. You really want to try to blend in as best you can. You become vulnerable if you stand out too much," Fox added.
Be considerate when taking photos
Whenever you're travelling to a new place, you'll likely be joining crowds of tourists looking to snap the perfect shot of some of the incredible sights. However, taking forever to get photos in a prime spot is one surefire way to be an irritating traveller.
"Another guy is taking photos in that perfect spot, and you're waiting but when you're in that spot, you forget all about how annoying you are to other people by standing there for too long," Fox said.
In some tourist sites, you're likely to encounter huge groups of people all clambering for the same photo angles and while it can be annoying, it's best to be relaxed and patient.
If you're hanging around waiting to get the perfect photo, make sure you're prepared when the moment comes and that you're being considerate of other people so you don't hold them up.
"Be mindful of that and expect that you're going encounter those large groups," Fox added.
Check the rules on reserving sun loungers
If you're vacationing somewhere warm, it's likely the hotel won't have enough lounge chairs to accommodate all of the guests. As a result, you might encounter some guests who head out before sunrise to put their towels down and don't actually show up to the pool or beach for hours.
"It's maddening when the chair's empty all day," Fox said.
She recommended checking with the hotel about what their policy is on reserving sun loungers, but if it's just first-come-first-serve, you might just have to learn to live with it.
"If there are not enough chairs, that's what you have to deal with. Maybe you just have to go out there a little earlier to claim a spot," she said.
However, if you are going to snag a sun lounger, don’t leave your things there for hours before you actually get there as it isn’t considerate to other guests.
So just remember next time you're on vacation, be considerate towards locals and everyone else around you because the last thing you want is to be the annoying tourist.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.