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Travel Etiquette for website

All travellers know what it’s like to experience the scrum once your gate has opened, or what it’s like to board a plane – only to realise you’re seated next to a dreaded armrest hog. Here's a handy guide to handling those less-than-desirable travel dilemmas!

1. Board when called forward

They call forward seats in groups first for a reason – it avoids a scramble to get through the gate.

2. Be prepared

Everyone boarding the flight knows that they will need to access their passport and boarding pass at some point during the boarding process, whether it’s at check-in or at the gate.
This is why people carry travel wallets!

3. Have patience

Some travellers will always take a bag that doesn’t quite fit into the overhead compartment (and they will delight in taking the extra 5 minutes to play luggage Tetris whilst everyone else waits). There’s no getting around this: smile politely, and offer to help if they’re struggling.

4. The middle seat gets the armrests

There’s no advantage to having the middle seat – you don’t get the sky views of the window seat, and you don’t get the easy access of the aisle seat either. So let these unlucky folks have the armrests for that time.

5. Talk to your neighbours

You will be seated next to these people for the minimum of a few hours, and a little interaction makes the journey much more pleasant. On that note, if you’re not in the mood for talking, pop on your earphones (you don’t have to listen to anything, but these act as a social ‘quiet time’ signal).

6. Ask before you recline

No one enjoys being stuck in a confined space for any amount of time, and it becomes much more unpleasant when you take away even more of the seat space.
If you do fancy napping, ask your neighbour if they would mind first – they will be much more likely to say yes – especially if you follow tip#5.

7. Respect personal space

This is a public space, albeit a small one. If you’d like to stretch, don’t invade on a fellow passenger's space – head to the front of the aircraft and walk it out.
Everyone has their own way of relaxing during travel time: just don’t let your way effect someone else’s.

8. Walk in the 'fast' lane

This is the unspoken rule of public transport, but it also applies on airport escalators and walkways. Observe the signs in the airport and see whether you're in the right 'lane' or not. Likewise, your suitcase can’t walk; so make sure that’s on the same side as you.

9. Tip according to the country you’re in – not where you’re from

This is where things can get muddled, as some cultures do not expect you to tip. However, the most popular travel destinations in Oceania, North America, South America and Europe will expect a tip of around 10% in restaurants, a roundup of the bill when you’re in a taxi, a few Dollars, Pounds or Euros for hotel porters and maids, and it helps to tip in the local currency too. As always, when someone has gone above and beyond, it’s worth recognising with an extra tip!

10. When you get things wrong

It’s natural to get things wrong when you’re travelling, but what matters is how you handle it. Apologise, and try to reconcile the situation, whether there’s a language barrier or not. You can avoid some situations with research, but for the rest – let it go. Even the most well-travelled globetrotters get it wrong sometimes - and the best know how to handle it.

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