Travel in Style … Not Turmoil

If you have traveled in the last decade, for work, pleasure or both, you might wonder if manners matter and if courtesy is in question.

Great news: Mindfulness matters and kindness is considerate, not overrated. Just because others may seem to have given good behaviors a break doesn’t mean allowing your “best foot forward” approach to take a vacation will allow you to feel any better about your trip or yourself!

With these 10 simple travel etiquette tips you will be living your best life, and therefore living your best travel life while you enhance your business, tour, island hop, vacation or even stay-cation your way through the year.

Dress for a flight, train ride, or bus tour, not the bed, beach or wherever the least amount of clothing could be appropriate so that not only you are comfortable, you don’t make others uncomfortable with your presence (and/or lack of presence of clothing).

Smile and use “Hello,” “Good morning/evening,” “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome,with others, including, and especially the airport and airline team members, as more words of welcome rather than fewer get you remembered for your thoughtfulness instead of thoughtlessness. Similarly, say “While it’s been enjoyable chatting with you, I’m going to read for a bit now,” when you have a chatty seatmate, as opposed to simply putting in your earbuds and ignoring him or her.

Hold doors and avoid cutting people off when moving through airports, hotels and attractions. This is best when you stay to the right (in the U.S.) and pass people on the left in terminals, on streets and in crowds of all sizes and locations.

Be on time. If you are not ask, don’t demand, an opportunity to please move ahead of others with grace and civility not flailing and cursing

Be aware of limited space and only take up one seat wherever you are. Watch your belongings and board or enter only with your group or organization. Take only things on a plane or train that you can, on your own, lift over your head and manage throughout the space you are covering. Do not put it behind where you are sitting; if you do, wait to leave the airplane or train until after all others have done so.

Keep whining and complaining to a minimum, or not at all, if there are delays or issues with your experience including a flight, hotel, food or drink.

Tend to odors by not wearing too much cologne or perfume,or carrying on anything with spices or onions to eat. Even hand sanitizers and lotions can be overwhelming.

Keep the volume down and use headphones instead of speakers. Earbuds for all apps are a must. Sounds are not necessary outside your own home. And no phone conversations (or food consumption) in the restroom.

Know that middle seats get the armrest and that you are to let people off a plane, train or ride in order (those in front get off first). When getting up out of the seat, use the armrests for supporting your weight versus using the seat in front of you and pulling back on another passenger’s chair with your weight.

Resist letting hotel room doors slam and knock before entering the first time, as nobody is perfect and people can be in a room that you have a key to enter. A knock allows an opportunity for someone who might be inside to let you know of a mistake without your entering to see something you can never unsee.

With these straight-forward steps to vacationing without volatility, you will likely set the example for others while being a low-stress traveler making more memories than missteps on your trip.

Debbie Lundberg is a certified life coach, certified leadership coach, and certified image consultant who speaks, facilitates, trains and coaches throughout the country. She is author of Presenting Powerfully, serves as an honorary commander at MacDill Air Force Base, and is a recent member of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Learn more at

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