In a perfect world, we would all be considerate of others, but we all know that there are people who do what they want to do when they want to do it. That is totally fine when you are in the comfort of your own home, but when on the road, please try to have some travel manners. Here is a little help, with what I call “Don’t Be That Person!”:
- Don’t Be That Person that invades the space of your fellow traveler. If we are on a line and the person in front of you takes one step forward that doesn’t mean that you take twenty steps. Keep at least a foot between you and the person in front of you. Also, when you stand in line, you should be behind the person, not at their side. The intimate zone is a foot and a half. So, make sure that you are approximately two feet away from the person in front of you.
- Don’t Be That Person that disrespects the culture of the location to which you are traveling. Throwing up the “peace sign” is ok in America, but when you do it showing the back of your hand, it is the equivalent of giving someone the “middle finger” in Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. So, take a moment to do a little research before you travel somewhere new. Yes, you just purchased that sleeveless new red dress with the back out and you look marvelous in it, but save it for your trip to Paris. Do not wear it in Morocco or high heels to view the pyramids in Egypt. I actually saw someone almost break their neck wearing 4-inch heels, trying to enter a pyramid with a tunnel only 3 feet high. Not only was it inappropriate, but also unsafe.
- Don’t Be That Person that didn’t get the window seat, but really wanted it and lets it be known. You know that person that leans over you to see out the window and take a picture or to lift or lower the shade and then starts pointing, nails tapping the window saying “Oh, Honey look” and I’m like “no, honey, don’t look”. The window seat is my favorite seat, but if I am not lucky enough to sit next to a window, I let the other passenger fully enjoy their seat.
- Don’t be that person that has a Bluetooth speaker in their backpack blasting their music or watching a video on their cell phone without headphones assuming that we want to watch the same thing that you do, because we don’t.
- Don’t be that person on the plane that pulls on the seat in front of you when you stand up and jerk the person back and then forward and you pull their hair in the process – well, unless you are a Senior Citizen (or injured) and need the help getting up. Also, do not lean on someone’s chair as you wait for the bathroom and chat with your friend.
- Don’t be the person that slams the tray down (on the seatback in front of you) and/or allows your child to bang on it like he is the Little Drummer Boy and you “have no gift to bring” because you failed to pack an activity, book or toy to entertain them.
- Don’t be that person that takes off their shoes knowing doggone well that your feet stink and as if that isn’t bad enough, you then put them up on the arm rest of the person’s seat in front of you.
- Don’t be that person that tattle tales. If you are unlucky and they make you check your carry-on as you are boarding the plane, don’t turn around and point out a fellow passenger’s bag that you feel should be checked as well. To quote the little girl from the YouTube video, “Worry about yourself!” I was boarding a plane (I forget where I was going) and they gave the lady in front of me a ticket and asked her to leave her bag at the end of the ramp. Once she got to the ramp she turned around looking at everyone’s bags trying to assess the situation. As she stepped onto the plane, she pointed at my bag and told the flight attendant “Well, if I have to check my bag then she should too. What about her bag?” Ooooohhh! I wanted to knock her upside her head. You know those cartoons when they keep hitting a character until they are submerged in the ground? Well, that is what I wanted to do to her, but I didn’t do or say anything. I just smiled and the flight attendant looked at me and kindly said, “Ma’am you are fine.” Again, worry about yourself. We’ve all had that bad luck. In fact, that had happened to me a few months prior to this incident but I didn’t bring other travelers into my woes of sorrow. So, don’t be that person.
- Don’t be that person that takes up a lot of space when claiming your luggage. Once you land and are at baggage claim, don’t have your family of 6 and the 4 bags you just pulled off the belt lined up against the baggage carousel. Allow room so that the other passengers can pull off their bags, especially if the plane was full.
- Don’t be that person that jumps in the ocean and then after a few minutes lose your confidence, almost drown and in the process you bring your friend down with you and that person has to save your life. You might want to stick to the pool unless you are 100% sure of your swimming skills. That is stressful for your friend so, don’t be that person.
Ok, that last one is for after you arrive at your destination, but is still extremely helpful 🙂
Please comment and share any advice you have on how to be a courteous traveler.