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This article is more than 2 year old.

Travel Etiquettes: Here are 6 unwritten rules of what to do when you travel

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A lot of discussion went on about it, but what is it that we should really do when we travel? Lets’ try and set some unwritten rules in writing here.

Travel Etiquettes: Here are 6 unwritten rules of what to do when you travel
Last week was horrendous for Indian travellers, as we woke up to a viral video of an Indian family literally packing up an entire hotel room into their bags, trying to steal everything big and small from the room on their way out from Bali.
This was followed by a viral list of to-dos for Indian guests by Gstaad, one of the most popular hotels in Switzerland. These and many such instances make Indian travellers the centrestage of precaution with airlines and hotels.  I’ve personally been enquired, every time I enter the US from the west coast, if I was carrying Jeera in my check-in bags. Try understanding that in a California accent after a 20 hour flight.
A lot of discussion went on about it, but what is it that we should really do when we travel? Lets’ try and set some unwritten rules in writing here.
  • As a rule of thumb, when you check into a hotel, you can only take away stuff which is disposable. Liked that Kama Ayurveda or Blush shampoo so much that you swished a bottle or two? It is fine. Packed in a dental kit for your travel bag. All good. Fruit basket placed in your room? Feel free to take the contents along. But anything that is fixed in the room or reusable needs to be left behind. It could be the phone, the TV set, or even minor items such as the towels and hotel gowns. Remember, the hotel has your card on file, and they will charge you later for any excess expenses you would have done at the hotel. As for the minibar, it is not free. Even if someone else is hosting you, your minibar expenses are your own.
  • At the hotel breakfast, too many people touch all the food they can see. That is a no-no. There is tableware to put food on your plate, and you must always use that to pick the bread or the cake or anything in between. Additionally, food placed in the hotel buffets are for you to eat there. Taking an apple or a small piece of something is acceptable, in case you feel peckish later. But to take away a whole plate of food is looked down upon. There is room service for that.
  • I see a lot of people walk about the aircraft bare feet. Some even put their feet up on the bulkhead walls. Unfortunately, the other passengers are not paying for the privilege of seeing bare feet of some passengers. Also, it is a hygiene issue. Remember, everything you touch on a plane, someone else touches before or after you. Imagine the bare feet passenger head into a lavatory and come back and put those bare feet on the wall again. That is a lot of germs. Bare feet are inappropriate. Period.
  • When you buy a ticket to a commercial flight, you are sharing it with hundreds of others. Be mindful of the amount of carry-on luggage you bring on board and only place one in the overhead bin. Talk softly and do not play that music or WhatsApp videos without putting your headphones on. Also, don’t recline your seat all the way back into the other person’s face.
  • The minute the planes touchdown, I see people already in their phones. We still aren’t at the gate and I’d have heard at least a hundred SMS beeps. If you managed to live without your phone for a couple of hours, perhaps a couple of minutes more wouldn’t kill you? Wait till you get off the plane to relay how bad your flight was to your family.
  • Get on and get off the plane in a queue: Gone are the days of Air Deccan when someone would have to rush to get the best seat on a plane. Your seat number is assigned long before you actually set foot on the plane. So, take it easy and don’t push and shove while getting on the plane. Same thing on the other end. The airline won’t leave you behind on the plane. So disembark in an orderly fashion.
  • The best reason to be at your best behaviour outside the country is that you are an ambassador of the country, not just a tourist when you travel. The imagery of the travel ecosystem about Indian tourists was built by watching the thousands before you, and it will only change when you and the thousands after you behave better. Safe and courteous travels to you…
     
    Ajay Awtaney is a business travel & aviation journalist based in Mumbai, and the founder of the Indian frequent-traveller website Live From A Lounge (www.livefromalounge.com.) Ajay flies over 200,000 miles every year, and tweets about The Business of Travel at @LiveFromALounge.