There’s nothing better than being on holiday, surrounded by sun, sea and dozens of other like minded holidaymakers looking to have the time of their lives. But sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and, without meaning to, our manners and common sense momentarily fall by the wayside. But don’t worry. You can prevent that from happening by taking a look at my guide to holiday etiquette: the dos and don’ts when travelling abroad. Maybe there’s someone you’d like to subtly share it with too…
- Ask permission before taking photos of locals. It can potentially be seen as invasive if you get snap happy without checking that you’re okay to do so.
- Consider your gestures. Things such as pointing can be seen as rude in certain cultures.
- Tip where appropriate. Tipping is a lot more traditional in other cultures than it is in the UK. But be sure to check the tipping etiquette for the particular country you are in. Some cultures see it as an insult!
- Learn the local language. Try your best to learn a little bit. Even just please and thank you.
- Try the local food. It may not be what you’re used to, but it’s always polite to try and immerse yourself in the local culture of the place that you’re visiting.
- Be mindful of others when playing music. We all love to make a holiday playlist, but don’t have it blaring out of your hotel room for all to hear when trying to relax around the pool.
- Dress respectfully for your environment. Don’t go visiting a local temple or rocking up to dinner in your swimmers.
- Turn down the brightness. If you’re struggling to sleep on a night flight and want to use your device, turn down the brightness of your screen so that those around you can still get some rest.
- Embrace haggling. If bartering is a way of life in the country that you’re visiting, enjoy the experience and try not to be rude. These people are just trying to make a living.
- Recline your chair as far back as you possibly can on a plane. Or any other mode of transport for that matter. And whilst we’re on the subject, share the armrests fairly.
- Jump the queue at the boarding gate. There’s no rush to try and get on the plane before others. It’s going to leave at the same time regardless.
- Block the moving walkways. Try and keep yourself and your suitcase to one side of the airport walkway so that those in a rush can still get past.
- Abuse a book exchange. Everyone loves to get lost in a good book on holiday. But don’t pinch a book from a hotel book exchange and not bother putting one back in its place.
- Be overly greedy at all-you-can-eat buffets. You really don’t need seven sausages at the All Inclusive breakfast. Or that fourth heaped plate.
- Hog the sun loungers. There’s nothing worse than when people put a towel down before breakfast and then don’t turn up to use it until mid-afternoon.
- Get mad if you can’t find Wi-Fi or a phone signal. You’re on holiday. The instagram uploads and Facebook check-ins can wait.
- Be late for excursions or organised trips. It eats into other people’s holiday time and you might end up missing out on something as a result.
- Be unprepared. No one wants to be that person at the front of the queue, rooting for your passport in the bottom of your bag.
So what have I missed off the list of holiday etiquettes? I’m sure there must be some more. Let me know in the comments below.
Want to know more about different customs and traditions across the globe? Then take a look at our World Guide to Etiquette and find out the dos and don’ts for over 40 different countries.