It’s your vacay and you get to do it your way no matter what that is…as long as you’re not a douche about it. No matter where you’re headed, following a few simple travel etiquette rules will mean you get to have the holiday of your dreams without annoying everyone around you.
Respect The Locals
This is an easy number one for me. Whether you’re travelling around Australia or heading overseas, respect the people around you and any customs they might have.
This tends to be less of a problem when you’re staying in your own country as we’re already used to common expectations, but you can still be conscious of the general attitude around you. For example, don’t go to a small town where everyone’s chilling and bring your big city bustle with you.
If you’re heading overseas, a quick Google will make sure you don’t make any cultural faux pas, whether that’s with your outfits, your words, your photos or anything else.
We also need to address photo taking. Yes, in some countries they wear clothes totally different to our own, or have habits that we haven’t seen before, etc etc. However fascinating it may be to you, don’t take photos of people unless they give you permission to. You know you’d be super creeped out if someone did that to you.
Keep Ya Choons To Yourself
You have your music, you feel strongly about your music, this is all great and dandy. But not everyone agrees with you. Don’t turn it up to 11 and make everyone else have to listen to your choice in music as well. Sometimes people just want a bit of peace and quiet, you know? I’m not saying no music ever, just don’t be playing it so loud that it’s impossible for everyone else to escape it, or for your hotel neighbors to get to sleep at night.
Be Nice To Service Staff
Having worked front desk at a hotel before, as well as a long stint in hospitality, this one is near and dear to my heart. Most people from all over the world are perfectly lovely or at least just normally polite. Then you get the occasional d-bag who thinks the fact you’re working in a customer service role means you must be at their every beck and call.
That’s not how it works guys. These are people doing a job, a job that includes looking after the needs of every hotel guest and does not include waiting on you hand and foot.
Be Kind To The Environment
Take only photographs (as long as they’re not of people without their permission to do so), leave only footprints. No doubt you’ve heard of the trouble our Great Barrier Reef is having? Yeah, that’s mostly being chalked up to global warming causing the bleaching, but there’s been human impact from all the snorkelers too.
Don’t take things you shouldn’t and don’t litter. Also, be aware of products you’re using that can have a harmful impact on the environment, like cheap sunscreens that include Butylparaben, Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC), Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3). All of these bleach coral and some mess with coral reproduction and DNA.
It’s not a totally necessary one, but shopping locally whether it’s in Australia or abroad, pumps money back into the community and that’s a lovely thing to contribute to. It also means you’ll walk away with something unique to the area.
Research Before You Go
Unless you’re prepared to absolutely go with the flow, do some research before you go so you know what to expect and can decide ahead of time if you’re ok with it or not.
If I may bring up that hotel I worked at again, it was rustic cabins in the middle of a national forest. That fact was written all over the website – in fact, I’d say it was the main pull for 80% of our guests. Yet somehow we ended up dealing with several different groups who clearly hadn’t even looked at the hotel before they booked it and didn’t realise we weren’t in the closest town. Everyone makes mistakes, sure, but then they ranted and raved like we’d somehow purposefully mislead them. Oh and then there were the groups who complained because a single flying bug had gotten into their cabins. In the middle of a national forest.
Don’t be those people. Those people are the worst. Look it up before you book/go!