3 tips for smart travellers


Are you taking on spring break this year?  I just got back from an extra long weekend trip and I have to tell you, I noticed that I act a little bit differently when I’m on vacation as oppose to how I do in my everyday life.  Is that weird?

Normally I don’t have time for people.  I know it’s sad to say but it’s true.  In my daily life I’m always running from task to task and I’m usually always 10 minutes late, unfortunately that leaves very little time for common courtesy.  When I’m on vacation I notice people’s faces.  Maybe it’s because I’m not rushed for anything when I’m on vacation or maybe it’s because my personality is just different when I’m away.  Are you the same?

I love being on vacation and when I’m travelling I always stick to a few simple rules that help me get along with people where ever I am.  Different countries and cites have different traditions.  When you’re travelling within different cultures I find there are a few standard best practices that can make your interactions more enjoyable.

3 tips for smart travellers:

Politely smile and nod.  I never know when to acknowledge other guests in a hotel.  Actually that’s not true, when I’m travelling I like to keep to myself, especially if I’m travelling alone.  The last thing I want to do as a single female traveller is attract attention.  Ladies, am I right?

It’s just common courtesy to acknowledge other humans when we’re in the same space.  So here’s my rule, I politely half smile and nod, but I don’t show any teeth.  I don’t want to do anything that could provoke further interaction.

Acknowledge both women and men.  One night during my vacation I was on my way to the pool and I crossed paths in the hallways with a man walking to his hotel room with a very large bag.  Since we walked right beside each other I smiled and gave him a little nod, which he completely ignored.  As the large luggage rolled passed me his tiny wife emerged.  I gave her the exact same manners and she politely smiled back.

Acknowledging only men can send the wrong signal (especially in more traditional countries) so giving the same treatment to both men and women is the polite thing to do.  However don’t be surprised if you get no response from men because in some cultures it’s just not custom to interact with women who aren’t their wives.

Always tip everyone.  Do you always tip when you travel?   I have a problem with this because I struggle to find a balance between being polite and spending wisely.  I hate wasting money and very often I find tipping is a waste.  If I’m paying for a service why do I need to tip on top of it?  I just don’t get it but the repercussions of not leaving a tip could be worse than wasting the money.

Tipping customs also vary between countries and cultures so if it’s not written anywhere I suggest always leaving a tip…just in case.  It’s always better safe than sorry, right?

Photo from I’d Pin That

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