By Kelly Baughman

In honor of the upcoming vacation season, I was looking back at some of the photos from my previous vacations and it got me thinking. I love to travel and explore new cultures to gain a new perspective. But let’s face it, sometimes we seem to encounter the same people over and over again wherever our travels take us. They may have different names and hail from different places but, odds are, these classic tourist types will be there every time… matter where we go.
The first person we usually meet is the young and oh so cool ‘Millennial Wanderer’. Usually too busy blogging and taking selfies to upload on Twitter to actually enjoy the beauty that stands before them, they are all about the staged “laughing group selfie” to share the hidden gems they’ve found along their journey. I mean, you haven’t experienced the Gulf of Mexico until you’ve seen it at the Hangout Festival standing shoulder to shoulder with 20,000 other sweaty, drunk, “edgy”, cool kids.
The second type of people you meet on any vacation is the ‘Family Is Fun Reunion Crew’. Generally found at theme parks or right here on our own beaches, these people travel in herds. “Table for 34, no reservations, please.” Then they expect to be seated within five minutes. Never going to happen, so be nice to your server anyways.
Sometimes they can be seen sporting matching “Johnson Family Reunion” t-shirts or, my personal favorite, matching pastel and khaki outfits on the beach for a family photography session. Nothing says you’re a “basic” family like those overly posed, highly coordinated pictures sitting in the sand at sunset.
When in quieter settings like museums or monuments, the younger members of these units may get fussy. Nothing adds to the ambiance of the Louvre like a crying child throwing a tantrum on the gallery floor. Now, we may finally know what the Mona Lisa was thinking.
The third person you generally encounter on vacation is the ‘Annoying Fact Checker’. While you’re trying to listen to the tour guide or just enjoy the scenery, this moron is generally rattling off some little known fact they heard about said monument on the Travel Channel or their smart buddy Bob at work. Alas, despite their knowledge, they will not pass up an opportunity to read from museum signage. This person makes you want to say, “Dude, just shut up.”
The fourth person you’ll see on every vacation is the ‘Overly Affectionate PDA-ers’. While I realize you may be on your honeymoon and want to literally attack each other at any given moment, please be aware that this is what your room is for. No one wants to see you two play tonsil hockey while they are trying to keep a meal down. Not to mention, it’s all just SO hot three days in. Don’t rub it in for the rest of us. Besides in a couple of years, you’ll be grossed out too.
The fifth person you will meet on vacay is the ‘Selfie Monster’. Not to be confused with the social media obsessed ‘Millennial Wanderer’, the ‘Selfie Monster’ will spend ridiculous amounts of time posing in front of the spot you’ve been waiting to check out for months. They will also make you want to hurl due to their obsession with duck face photos and skanky pool photos taken from angles that reduce double chins and double bust sizes. These people will make you want to snatch their selfie sticks, snap it in half, and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Enough already…..thanks Kim Kardashian.
The sixth person you’ll meet is the ‘Overly Friendly Jet Setters’. We all know the type. These people seem nice enough at first so you may strike up a friendly conversation. Usually Canadian (I mean no disrespect Canada….you really are the friendliest people in the world), the ‘Overly Friendly Jet Setter’ will latch on to you like a leech at the first sign of approachability. They will think you’ve become instant friends and will rope you into spending your entire vacation hanging with them.
Even though you won’t want to book that tour with them, you’ll do it because they are just so darn nice and it will make you feel guilty if you don’t. They change your original agenda of laying by the pool and doing nothing into a week of obligation and uncomfortable moments of awkwardness. Not to mention they’ll probably be in all your vacation photos and it’s more than likely you’ll never see them again.
For me, I go on vacation to relax….and when I say relax, I mean drink, nap, eat, repeat. I’m not trying to be hip or edgy. I’m not trying to look sexy in a Facebook selfie. I’m not trying to make friends. I’m perfectly fine with the hairy one I’ve got that keeps stinking up my hotel room.
With that being said, I plan on having yet another fabulous vacation season making wonderful memories that I’ll never forget. And I don’t need a fanny pack or a selfie stick to do it. Okay…..maybe just one selfie stick.