For the most part, traveling is a lot of fun. But there are some things that are a bit annoying. Let's take a look at some of them:
Appointments for Visiting Popular Sites: It used to be that travelers could walk right up to the Eiffel Tower, the Book of Kells in Dublin, the Louvre, the Colosseum and many other sights and just walk right in. Most of the popular sites require reservations now, especially during peak periods. It kind of takes away the spontaneity of travel, doesn't it. One possible way of getting around this is to buy a museum pass like the Paris Museum Pass or Oslo Pass. These cards may eliminate or simplify the appointment process.
Increasing Hotel Prices: In some major cities, Paris in particular, hotel prices are going through the roof. We are seeing in some cases, increases of 50%-100% increases in hotel rates. The way to battle these high prices is to travel shoulder or off season. Another suggestion is to visit lesser-known cities and daytrip into the more popular destinations. For instance, instead of staying in Venice and paying $400 a night for a hotel, it is a 20-minute train ride from Padua to Venice. A nice hotel in Padua can be found for half the price of Venice.
London Heathrow Airport (LHR): You have heard The Professor say it before: stay away from connecting through LHR at all cost. This airport is immense with terminals scattered way too far apart to walk between most of them. Lines are always long, security controls are super-strict, it may involve getting on/off busses and trains to get from one terminal to another - that just adds to the stress of making a connection in time. Do whatever you can do, but avoid traveling through LHR.
Single Supplement: This is a really annoying reality of travel these days that will probably get worse. Hotels and cruise ships are not that fond of solo travelers. Think about it - a cruise ship or hotel that has a capacity of 4,000 travelers would only have a capacity of half that number if they were all single travelers. That means the hotel/cruise ship sells half the meals and beverages than if it had been at full capacity. Cruise ships sell less excursions. And if they did not charge a single supplement, they lose half the revenue as opposed to having all rooms/cabins fully occupied. The Professor is finding that in these days of higher travel demand, hotels and cruise ships are offering fewer single occupied rooms. That's something we don't like either but sad to say, the only way to avoid the single supplement is to stay somewhere like a hostel, where beds are sold on a single-occupancy basis. Unfortunately, at this point in The Professor's life, he is past the point where he would stay in a hostel.
Big Cities: Rome, Venice, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Prague, London, and Amsterdam. We all love these cities but they are jam-packed with tourists. The Traveling Professor advises only visiting these cities during off-peak unless you love waiting in line, paying high prices, and battling the crowds. There are plenty of cities that never seem overly crowded, even during the summer peak season. Oslo and Bergen come to mind. The Highlands of Scotland too.