August 4th, 2014

Travel Etiquette Tips: How to Be a Courteous Summer Traveler

by Jacqueline Whitmore

There’s something magical about a summer vacation. The weather is sunny and warm, everyone’s generally in a good mood and trips often include time spent with cherished friends and family.

Here’s how to ensure your summer plans are stress-free — for you and those around you. Because we all need to learn how to be a courteous summer traveler.

Travel by Air                  

1. Prepare ahead of time. Research the rules of your particular airline to find out what luggage requirements they have. If you plan to leave from a busy airport, give yourself enough time to go through security and make it to your gate — even if there are long lines. Know when and whom to tip. Bring some singles so you can tip all those who assist you along the way, including the skycap who checks you in at curbside. Plan to tip at least $1-2 per bag.

2. Pack appropriately. Take only the items you need to cut back on luggage charges. Remember that overhead compartments on planes are intended for carry-on luggage only. Store purses, laptops and backpacks in the space underneath the seat in front of you.

3. Check before you recline. Airline seats recline to allow passengers to sleep and relax, but it may cause discomfort for the person behind you. If you intend to recline your seat, turn around and let the person know.

4. Be respectful of those around you. Airplane seating is tight and interaction with your seatmates is inevitable. Keep the volume of your headphones at an appropriate level and lower the light on your electronic devices so you don’t disturb or distract the person next to you. Many people are sensitive to strong scents including garlic and onions so be mindful of that if you eat your lunch on the plane.

5. Allow those in front of you to disembark first. Rather than grab your luggage and make a run for the door, follow protocol. If you need to make a connection or know you’ll be in a rush, try to arrange to be seated near the front of the plane.

Rules for Road Trips

1. Don’t text and drive. Safety should be your top priority. If you need to find a restaurant or look up directions, pull over. It’s not worth putting yourself or others at risk. Practice good cell phone etiquette.

2. Add extra time to your trip. Plan ahead for stops to eat meals, get gas and use the restroom. You may hit traffic or need to reroute unexpectedly. If you add a buffer, you won’t have to stress about arriving on time.

3. Drive courteously. The best way to start your vacation off right is to remain calm on the way to your destination. One way to relax is to listen to your favorite CDs or a audiobook.

4. Bring plenty of snacks. To avoid eating junk food, pack a cooler with healthy snacks, water and juice. Sliced vegetables and fruits make a great addition to classic favorites like pretzels and trail mix.

5. Rotate drivers. Long trips by car can be exhausting, especially if there is traffic or inclement weather. Swap places with a travel companion so you can take a few minutes to relax, rest and grab a bite to eat.

What are some of your favorite rules of the road?


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