Any traveler knows that sinking feeling of boarding a plane only to get stuck with a less-than-desirable seatmate: someone who hogs that narrow, coveted armrest or brings an oversized duffel that encroaches on your legroom.
If you’ve ever resorted to a passive-aggressive nudge or, on the contrary, suffered through hours of transatlantic claustrophobia, you have experienced firsthand what not to do in this scenario. And T+L is here to make sure you don’t get stuck in those shoes again.
After all, the space-hogging seatmate is just one of the many frustrations that you might encounter when you leave home (you could also be sitting in front of a seat-kicker or a pungent passenger). Among other familiar—and dreaded—scenarios? Overbooked hotel rooms, missing your flight, cab drivers who want to stiff you, or worse—having to drive on the wrong side of the road. Travel is supposed to be a break from our stressful day-to-day existences, until the masseuse at the spa seems more intent on breaking you in half than putting you back together.
And yet, it’s all about your attitude. The bumps in the road are inevitable. But they can be fought or embraced as part of the journey. The way you react can make all the difference, whether you’re dealing with that seatmate, a reckless taxi driver, or a bad case of food poisoning.
Knowing the dos and don’ts of travel etiquette will help you go from an amateur to a sophisticated globe-trotter. You’ll feel empowered to haggle at a market abroad and be informed about what to do if you get hotel bill shock. And the following tips, dealing with common travel frustrations you’ll likely encounter on one dream trip or another, will prepare you to deal with the challenge with the utmost grace and poise.
So before you wave your napkin to an inattentive waiter as a white flag of surrender, brush up on your etiquette with these strategic travel tips.