What really gets on your nerves when you are travelling?
What really annoys you about holiday travel? For me, it is poor service, hotels that fail to deliver on their promises and being gouged. I also hate delayed flights, chaotic boarding procedures, people who bring on ridiculous amounts of carry-on luggage, inefficient car hire companies, screaming children, accommodation providers who don't offer free wi-fi, absurd visa charges and long queues at immigration.
Airport queues can be enough to drive a saint to distraction
And stupid people at security check points and....well, you get the picture. Yet, according to a recent survey conducting by web booking site www.wotif.com most travellers are not the slightest bit concerned by any of these things. According to the 6,900 Australians surveyed, tipping troubles and rude locals don’t annoy us as much as unpacking and doing the laundry when we get home. Which I find downright amazing. Wotif.com spokesperson Kirsty La Bruniy said coming back from holidays to domestic chores was an annoying reality check, with more than one in four travellers revealing that emptying the suitcase and doing the laundry was their top travel gripe.
“Often the most annoying part of going on a holiday isn’t the delays and travel mishaps you may encounter along the way, but returning and spending the day unpacking and doing loads of washing,” Ms La Bruniy said.
“Doing the laundry was higher on the travel annoyance radar than having to tip, rude locals, paying to use toilets and language barriers.
“When I'm on holidays things don’t get to me anywhere near as much as when I’m at home, and this seems to be true for a lot of Australian travellers, with 21.8% of people saying nothing annoys them while travelling.”
What? An amazing 21.9% of Australian travellers are saintly figures who are completely unconcerned by airport chaos, smoking Russians or incontinent kids.
Ms La Bruniy suggested "if you really want to avoid getting into a spin with the post-holiday laundry, it can pay to take advantage of the hotel's laundry service before you return.”
Yep, that's a great tip if you want to return home completely broke. Most hotels I stay in charge more for laundry and dry cleaning one item than anything in my suitcase is worth.
Here are the top six travel annoyances according to Wotif, who I suspect may not have offered all the right options in their survey.
Having to unpack and do the laundry when I get back: 27.3%,
Nothing annoys me when I'm travelling: 21.8%
Having to tip: 12.8%
Rude locals: 10.9%
Having to pay for toilets: 10.5%
Language barrier: 5.2%
Not being able to find my favourite foods: 1.5% And the latest figures issued by New South Wales state fair trading minister Matthew Mason-Cox suggest travellers have plenty to complain about - with a 7% rise in complaints to NSW Fair Trading about motels, hotels and resorts. “It’s important that consumers know they have rights if something goes wrong with their holiday accommodation and that they have options to deal with disputes,” he said.
Mason-Cox said one complaint involved a mystery destination accommodation package.
“The hotel on the Gold Coast was supposed to come with an ocean view, but instead overlooked a construction zone,” he said. “There was mould throughout the bathroom, the pool and the spa were dirty, and the tennis court was out of service. After the consumer complained to the regulator, NSW Fair Trading negotiated a partial refund with the trader.”
Mason-Cox encouraged consumers to stand up for a fair deal, saying: “Know your rights under the Australian consumer law. Goods and services must be of an acceptable quality and match the description, sample or demonstration provided. It is equally important that hotel operators do the right thing by consumers and properly display all terms and conditions, as well as provide accurate information about the quality and service of the hotel.
"Australian consumer law is clear – it is an offence to make false and misleading representations about a product and service. The same laws apply to hotel operators." So, if you are staying in New South Wales, you know where to turn. In most other cases you are on your own.