How many times have you ranted about a fellow traveler who did something very irritating, disgusting, or disrespectful on a bus, train, ship, or plane? Chances are, you have encountered many individuals or even groups of people who appear to have no regard for travel etiquette.
The idea may seem old-fashioned, but having good travel manners is important as ever in today’s modernised and fast-paced society.
While travel manners differ depending on the country, these easy guidelines are general enough and safe to apply wherever you’re off to next.
For traveling by land, air, or sea:
Respect personal space
It’s only normal to bring carry-on luggage on flights, but bringing too much could mean invading other passengers’ personal space and making them uncomfortable the rest of the flight. The unspoken rule is to give your seatmate at least 9 inches of personal space to ensure a comfortable trip for you both.
Playing loud music is also disrespectful, so make sure to keep the volume to a minimum so as not to disturb others.
Maintain proper hygiene
It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many travelers neglect this. Obviously, taking a shower and putting on deodorant before setting off for travel is important if you want to stay fresh and smelling good for a longer amount of time. It isn’t just for you, it’s for everyone who sits beside you or walks past you during your travels.
Give way to the elderly, women and children, or the handicapped
This one is also obvious. Unfortunately, there aren’t many people out there who continue the practise of giving way to the elderly and those who need more assistance when traveling. What they don’t realise is it feels really good to be able to help others. It could be something as simple as giving up a seat on the bus or subway for a pregnant woman, or offering to help an old person cross the street. These small acts of kindness really go a long way and can help make your travels more meaningful.
Make advanced arrangements when traveling with kids
Let’s face it, kids are not the best traveling companions. However, that should not prevent them from getting on trains, planes, buses, or any other means of transportation. Parents just need to make travel arrangements ahead of time to ensure they have enough room to soothe a crying baby, or let a restless toddler move around. On airplanes, it is advisable for people traveling with kids to sit near the bathroom where there’s a bigger space to move about. Bringing activities for kids to do or snacks for them to eat would also help keep them occupied and happy in long haul flights.
There’s no specific dress code on airplanes, so feel free to dress comfortably, but keep clothes tasteful and decent. And when you do reach your destination, try to blend in with the locals and dress appropriately so you don’t end up sticking out or disrespecting dress codes in places that require them.
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