The summer holidays are in full swing so it is high time to brush up on your vacation etiquette before jetting off to the sun. Traveling to another country is a great experience that will leave you with lifelong memories but do not forget to pack your good manners along with your passport, camera and other holiday essentials.
Crowded, noisy and full of harassed travelers rushing to catch their flight, airports can be a hotbed of bad manners. Keeping some basic etiquette rules in mind will make the experience more pleasant for everyone and ensure that you pass through security and onto the airplane without a hitch.
• Always queue in an orderly fashion and do not be tempted to skip the line even if you are running late.
• Have your passport and boarding pass ready before you get to the front of the line.
• Be as quick as you can when loading up your hand luggage on the security conveyor belt and taking out toiletries, laptops and other electronic devices as required.
• When boarding the plane, wait for your row or zone to be called and proceed to the desk in a timely fashion.
• Go straight to your assigned seat and stow your bag quickly without blocking the aisle for other passengers.
Behaving at the Beach
If you are lucky enough to be spending your summer holiday near a beach, you are in for a real treat. Stretching out on the warm sand while listening to the gentle sounds of the ocean, is a truly relaxing experience – as long as your fellow beachgoers adhere to the unwritten rules of beach etiquette.
• Do not set up your beach tent or umbrella directly in front of other people as this will obstruct their view.
• If you are listening to music, put your headphones on or keep the volume very low.
• Always take your litter with you and dispose of it properly.
• Do not yell or use foul language.
• Dogs should be kept on a lead and under no circumstances should you allow your dog to get close to other people’s picnics.
• Only swim in designated areas and always follow the lifeguards’ safety instructions.
• If you are with children, keep an eye on them at all times. Do not allow them to kick sand or play ball games near other people.
Chances are that you will be spending many of your waking hours in or next to the pool while on holiday. All the rules of beach etiquette also apply to the swimming pool but be aware that different pools have different rules. These are usually displayed in a prominent place so take the time to read them before diving into the water.
• Splashing can be very annoying to other swimmers. Teach your children not to splash excessively while in the pool and keep games to the shallow end.
• Check that you have a clear space before diving or jumping into the pool to make sure you do not get in the way of oncoming swimmers.
• Always shower before getting into the pool to help keep the water free of waterborne bacteria.
• Do not claim chairs if you are not going to use them imminently. That means not placing bags, towels or magazines on sun loungers and heading off for a long lunch.
Respect the locals
Every culture has different rules for etiquette and manners and it is impossible to learn all of them. However, a simple Google search will at the very least give you a foundation of what is considered rude in your host country. Respecting local customs makes for a more relaxing and, ultimately, more fulfilling holiday.
• Do not assume that everyone speaks English. Try to learn some polite words and phrases in the local language such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘I would like…’
• Be respectful of people living in the vicinity of your villa, apartment or hotel. Keep noise to a minimum when returning from a night out, dispose of litter responsibly, and do not yell or play loud music.
• Keep an open mind and embrace your surroundings by trying the local cuisine and venturing beyond the regular touristy areas.
• Taking and posting photos of your destination is a key part of the traveling experience for many people but make sure that you are not intrusive. Always ask for permission before photographing bystanders or private houses.