Travel brochures, school alumnae trip offerings and group tours abound this time of the year. Many people of all ages sprout their wings to venture to faraway lands they have never seen before. Maps are studied, airline “deals” are evaluated. Hotels are researched. Cruise ships are compared. Then, decisions are made. That is only the beginning as quickly what to take consumes all thought. Often the most important preparation is overlooked… how do the local people of this chosen destination live, interact with one another, eat and worship. How should a visitor fit into the lifestyle of those who live in another country? 
Also important is to know that what is acceptable in one country may be unacceptable in another. The Do’s and Don’ts of travel manners will assist the traveler in confronting the exciting unknown and avoiding the undesirable unknown.
Etiquette Tips for the Traveler
Airport and Airlines differ from one another. Plan on the differences and adhere to the specific rules and guidelines. Failure to do so could be problematic. Accept these conveniences and inconveniences as part of the grand experience. Airport security is stricter than it has ever been. Follow directions and don’t ask questions. There could be several security points with some oral questioning. Some of your favorite liquids may be thrown away. However, a study of security rules prior to the trip could avoid this and make the check point speedier. Just don’t question and be polite.
Taxi service will vary from city to city. Be certain that you agree to travel in a licensed vehicle. Look for all signs and markings of a legitimate car. Before agreeing to travel with the company, confirm the amount of the fare to your destination.
Understanding the hotel rules can ensure you have an enjoyable, trouble-free visit. The guest handbook placed in the guest room will give the needed information. Being a gracious visitor will go far with your hotel staff relations. It is customary to tip the porter who delivers your luggage. It is also courteous to tip other members of the staff. While it is not expected to tip the housekeeping staff, it does show gratitude. When doing so, tip a small amount each day rather than a larger amount on the last day. The staff works on shifts and the person on the last day may not have been in your room before.
Many cultures focus their importance on local cuisine and mealtime rituals. Tasting the foods of the area is what exploring a new area is all about. In doing so, search for a location where the locals eat. Watch for the foods they order and try to experience a real adventure.
In mixing with the people in a foreign destination, be certain you have done your homework before you leave home. The customs are going to vary from country to country. This will assist you in learning proper behavior in that part of the country. What is legal in one country may be illegal in another country.
Religious holidays, festivals and practices should be adhered to when visiting. If the women cover their head to enter a religious building, then cover your head. Always be aware of safety precautions day or night. Be mindful of your actions, your dress and your general behavior. Always be aware of who you are, where you are and how you act.
Remember – you are the visitor!

Posted on 2015-06-21 by Sue Ann Truitt