Whether you are a seasoned traveller or a travel rookie, there’s no excuse for ignoring travel etiquette! To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 travel etiquette rules. This way, if you make a lasting impression on your fellow travellers, it will be for all the right reasons!
1. Don’t hold up the security check queue
Long airport queues are everyone’s least favourite part of travelling. So, don’t make the security check queue longer than it needs to be! Put your liquids in a transparent bag, throw away your water bottle (you know it won’t go through), take your laptop out of your bag… you know the drill! No reason to wait until the last minute to do everything. Speedy travellers make for speedy travel queues- and who doesn’t love that?!
2. Follow the boarding order
You know that part where they call out the order in which passengers should queue and everyone ignores it and stands in line anyway? Don’t be everyone. Just imagine how much nicer it would be if everyone patiently waited for their turn to board. There would be no hold up in the transit hall. No waiting for people to sit on the plane. Be the change you want to see in the world.
3. Don’t go crazy with the seat recline
Just because you can recline your seat doesn’t mean you should. Is there anyone who doesn’t get annoyed when the person in front of them reclines their seat? If you really feel like you need to recline your seat, it would be nice to give the person behind you a heads up. Also, a sensible traveller would never recline their seat all the way and they would sit up straight during mealtime. Just saying.
4. If you want to take off your shoes do it discreetly (and keep your feet on the ground!)
If you feel like taking your shoes off, don’t make a big show out of it. Don’t go “ahh” and sprawl your feet across the armrest. Keep your feet on the ground at all times and, if you are wearing socks, try to keep them on. It’s a small space and there’s nowhere for the smell to go. You’ll be doing the other passengers and yourself a favour to keep that in mind!
5. Give the middleman a break (aka one of your armrests)
Let’s face it, the middle aeroplane seat is the worst one: there’s nowhere to lean on, no view, no easy access to the bathroom. It’s got nothing going for it. Giving the middleman your armrest is common courtesy. If you are in the corridor seat you’ve got all that aeroplane aisle space, plus your very own armrest. If you are by the window, you’ve got, well, the window, to lean on, plus you get the view. So, be a good samaritan and give one of your armrests to the middleman.
6. If there is noise involved use headphones
People like to do their own thing on the plane. Some listen to music, some follow an audio book, some play games on their phone, some watch movies… Imagine how chaotic plane rides would be if all these noises were going off at the same time. Even if you think you are not bothering anyone (my music is great how could anyone be annoyed by it?) always use headphones to be safe. It’s only fair- you wouldn’t like it if all other passengers had their volume turned up as well.
7. Keep your children in check
Children are an awkward area for everyone. Especially if they are doing something they shouldn’t be doing. No one likes to tell a child off, much less tell someone else’s child off. If your child is kicking the seat of the person sitting in front of them, even if that person doesn’t say anything, it doesn’t mean they are not bothered. Keep an eye on your children and make sure they aren’t doing something that would make other passengers uncomfortable. We are sure your children are adorable, but even people who love being around children get more easily agitated when travelling.
8. Check what’s standard for tipping
You’re on vacation and you’ve just enjoyed a delicious meal. The waiter brings over the bill. Now what? Tipping staff is a sensitive issue that depends on the country you are visiting. In some cultures, it is considered offensive to tip. In other cultures, it is considered offensive if you don’t. Also, in some countries, it is considered offensive to tip below X%. Do your research before you travel to make sure you don’t displease, or worse, offend anyone.
9. Be mindful of the dress code
It might be the case that the entire country you are visiting has a “dress code” in terms of what is acceptable for people to wear in public. Or, it might be the case that specific monuments, sites or gatherings require people to be dressed in a certain way. Make sure you look into the places you will be visiting beforehand, or simply ask the locals about the best way to dress for an occasion.
10. Be respectful when taking photographs
We’ve all seen those photographs of people taking inappropriate pictures at the Holocaust Memorial and asked ourselves “what were they thinking?” As a traveller, you might want to capture every moment, but keep in mind that there is a place and a time to take that quirky selfie. So, before you reach for your phone, selfie stick or GoPro, ask yourself “is this the right place to take a photo?” If yes, then click away (and upload with #LocalBini!).
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