Friday, 14 October 2016

Travel Etiquette

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

It’s pretty simple stuff, right, well not for all!

I think we have all experienced people who really just do not get it or just don't care. So here is a general run down of Travel Etiquette as a reminder to all of us.


Personal Space
Think you are in a bubble which extends 9 inches x 20cms around you and this is the area you stay in. Respect the areas and people are you.

If listening to music or talking to friends, try to keep the volume down.

When eating meals, keep your elbows tucked in.

Personal Hygiene
Ensure you shower and use personal deodorant.

Be mindful if removing your shoes.

Take it easy with perfumes or aftershaves. Some can be way too smelly or people could have allergies.

Jetblue have some very funny videos regarding Flight Etiquette and also Boarding Etiquette


Do not recline as soon as you get onboard a flight. Instead, allow other people to settle in.

Once you do recline, do it slowly.

Check who is behind you. If they’re 6’5ft then you may have to make some considerations.

Image result for children travel etiquette images


Be mindful, whether too loud, pushing seats in front etc

Take lots of things for them to do whilst onboard

Think of where you can be seated, get the back near the toilets may have more standup space.

To Recline or not to Recline
If the airlines stopped trying to jam everyone in like sardines we would not need this question.

In reality, if can recline then it is our right to recline them. But there are instances of it being uncomfortable for the person behind.

Knee Blockers: a device to stop the person's seat in front of you from reclining.

Did you know? Last year a United Airlines flight was diverted and police were brought on board to take off two folks from a feud over the use of a seat blocker. How bad did it get? The businessman using the device had a soda tossed in his face by the disgruntled woman sitting in front of him.


The only word you should ever use in an airport when asked to do something is YES!
When asked for a security check be polite, patient and answer the questions truthfully.

Know the Rules
If you are only allowed 100mls of liquid then make sure you only have that and it is labelled.

Have them ready in clear plastic bags before clearing immigration.
Take note of the signs and have your passport ready and your immigration form completed and ready to go.

Complete forms truthfully and if you can keep all of the items in question in the one area or in one bag.

Country Etiquette

Understanding other people's languages, cultures, etiquette and taboos is of great value to the traveller or visiting business person. Here’s a few tips to help you through.

When sitting, make sure soles of feet face down and not directly point at anyone as this can cause offence to them.

Body language is important. Be mindful of where you place your hands, eg: on the hips is considered aggressive posture or touching your head may cause offence as the head is considered sacred.

When communicating silences are not considered uncomfortable. Instead display a degree of consideration, allowing the other party to contemplate what is being said.

Japanese society is ruled by stringent codes of behaviour and these should be respected. Age, seniority, honour and understanding the subtext of what people are saying are some of the most important aspects of Japanese culture.

Standard form of greeting is to bow from the waist, the lower the more respectful.

If in a formal situation, address by their title eg: Mr, Mrs, Dr then name.

Personal space is very important so keep a good 3 feet away.

Do not retain too long an eye contact (eye contact should fall below head to neckline).

If sitting down, make sure that your feet don’t directly point at anyone, as this can be perceived as very offensive. Keep the soles of your shoes or feet flat against the floor.

Saving face is import, so never, ever publicly disgrace or humiliate someone in Japan. This kind of dishonour will only serve to humiliate and shame both you and the you will become the target of ill feeling.

Burping at the table is considered vulgar, but slurping your food is not.

Make sure that you don’t stick your chopsticks upright in your food at any time during the meal; and

When eating, never talk or laugh with your mouth open.

Blowing your nose publicly, especially at the dinner table, is considered to be extremely bad etiquette.

United Arab Emirates
Drinking alcohol in public is an offence as is drunken outlandish behaviour. Drinking in restaurants, nightclubs and hotels is ok.

Shake hands with right hand as the left hand is considered unclean as traditionally thought to be used for more unsanitary purposes!

In public you should make an effort to dress moderately.

For women, the proper etiquette is to try and cover up as much as you can. Skimpy tops and short skirts are not very appropriate. It is best to at least cover your shoulders and the tops of your arms.

Even the most well travelled globetrotters can sometimes get it wrong and if we do then let's apologise and try to reconcile the situation. We want our travel memories to be wonderful happy ones, not ones of conflict.

Happy Travels.
Sandra Skelton