We are seasoned travelers. You name it, we’ve gone there – and in most ways possible. Over the years, one develops a certain travel etiquette which becomes habitual, especially when flying.
Sadly, not everyone knows travel etiquette, so we feel it is necessary to share some tips and tricks before, during and after travel! Never mind the Covid situation, these ideas have applied long before, and will remain after – and hopefully forever.
Prepare, prepare, then prepare. You just never know if and when you’ll be delayed, or at the very worst, stuck at a bad airport. You know the ones…old bathrooms, gross, ripped up, wavy seats, and vending machines which line the aisles rather than actual restaurants. The so-called “restaurants” that are there serve only overpriced junk food. Remember to bring eye drops, a phone charger, earphones, gum, hand wipes, heathy snacks, and a perhaps a book you planned to read someday, but just haven’t had the time.
When journeying through the never-enjoyable TSA security area, once again, be prepared. Take your stuff out of your pockets, put them where they belong, shoes off (unless you are TSA Pre-Check! Whoo-hoo!) and move along! Most of us know this and want to get past the friendly TSA people, so we can grab a coffee on the way to the gate.
Obey the rules of the road. In this country, we stay to the right, which leads me to believe there are many, many international travelers who apparently stay to the left – or take their “half” out of the middle in the terminal.
On that note – Do not, do not, stand still in the middle of a busy corridor at the airport! I’ve seen people literally trip and fall over while someone is at a standstill, staring down at his or her phone, oblivious to the world.
This is related to the previous tip, but look ahead when you are the one walking – kindly do not stare down at your phone while walking, or you’ll bump into someone who is already freaked out by Covid, other people, or just flying.
Respecting “P & Q” – no one really cares about your cell phone conversation, so turn the darn phone speaker to “off” and go someplace else to talk. This includes at the airport bars and restaurants, which was the original inspiration for this list. And…like in elementary school, inside voices, please!
Getting on the plane. We will all get on board, just be patient. But again, have your boarding pass ready, get moving, and don’t try to shove your oversized carry-on into an overhead compartment that’s the size of a tuna can.
If it’s a short flight and you’re in a plane where the leg room is likely minimal, for goodness sake, please don’t lean your seat back! The guy or gal behind you is making the best with his or her teeny-tiny personal space, so tilting back is just, well, rather rude. Longer flights, sure, as there is likely more room, but don’t lean so far back that you are practically in their lap, breathing in their air. Yuck.
If there are young children nearby, have that book, headset or earbuds at the ready. If you think little Johnny or Emily will not cry, whine, scream or kick your seat, they will. Period. If they happen to be your kids or grandchildren, well, good luck and Godspeed. Bring a ton of snacks for them, and plenty of Dramamine.
When you are at the baggage carousel, get your bag and please move out of the way quickly – so the very anxious person standing next to you can get their luggage – and not breathe down your neck.
If you’ve come this far, thanks for reading these tips – but you really allowed this weary traveler the forum to vent! If you have any other tips, please share. Safe travels to all of you in the future – and let’s hope those around you have the same common courtesy in the skies.