I am sorry to say that I have witnessed some extremely rude, appallingly inconsiderate, and occasionally aggressive behaviours from ill-mannered travellers who have no thought for anyone but themselves.
Don’t leave your manners at home when you step out the door. You are an informal ambassador for yourself, your community or your country when you travel. It doesn’t cost you anything to be polite and considerate and it can make a long and tiring journey far less unpleasant for everyone involved.
Leave a good impression wherever you go and be remembered for all the right reasons.
Always greet the person serving you and if you are in a restaurant or hotel try to remember their name.
A few simple phrases such as “hello”, “please”, “thank-you” and “excuse-me” can make all the difference to the level of service that you receive. Learn these phrases in the local language of the country that you are visiting if you are travelling abroad, you will pleasantly surprised what a difference a small gesture can make.
Be patient and be courteous.
I know travel can be both stressful and frustrating at times. But if all the world was the same, what would be the point in exploring?
Every culture has its own norms about what constitutes a reasonable amount of time to keep someone waiting or to provide a service. You will reduce your stress levels considerably if you take this into account when making your plans.
Getting a reputation as a difficult guest will not see the staff do you any favours, they more likely to go out of their way to avoid you than bend over backwards to provide you with attentive service.
Ordering food can often be a bit a lottery if don’t speak the local language. Never shout at the staff if meals that arrive do not meet your expectations. They are often not in a position to defend themselves. I know I wouldn’t want to engage with a rude and snarling tourist who is shouting at me.
If you travelling overseas and relying on the people around you to speak English, be extra patient, speak slowly and clearly and you may just find that people are willing to help you out if you give the confidence to try to communicate with you. Try to learn a few local words in return and meet them half way.
To tip or not to tip? How much do I tip? Who do I tip?
The custom on tipping will change from one destination to the next, but tips are usually appreciated, especially in poorer nations.
Ensure that your tip goes to the person serving you by leaving them cash rather than adding the tip to the total of the bill.
There is nothing more unattractive than finding the shiny bald head of the passenger in front of you reclined into your lap while eating your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Be considerate to those around you. As general rule of thumb only recline your seat if you are flying over-night. Ease your seat a little during short day trips but avoid encroaching on the passenger behind you.
Other airline travel sins include failing to bathe before you travel, or omitting strong odours of any kind.
If you are hoping for an upgrade be well-groomed and well dressed. Arrive early. Be polite not pushy when dealing with check-in staff.
You never know where great manners will take you.