Modern Etiquette: Holidaying in polite style

Mon Aug 9, 2010 1:56pm EDT
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(Jo Bryant is the London-based etiquette advisor for Debrett's, the UK's modern authority on all matters of manners and behaviour. The opinions expressed are her own. Debrett's

website is

By Jo Bryant

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - With the holiday season well underway, a trip abroad is on the cards for most of us. Lazy days, balmy temperatures and the relaxed pace of a break away, however, can often cause us to forget our manners.

Polite Flying

The stress of travel can test our behavior even before we've reached our destination, and the cramped conditions of airplanes mean that good manners are paramount. Do not intrude on to your fellow passengers' territory: keep elbows firmly tucked in; ease your chair gently into a reclining position to avoid a sudden invasion of the limited legroom of the passenger behind. Friendly conversation with your neighbors can be enjoyable, but know when to quiet down.

Drink in moderation; boisterous behavior will alienate (and irritate) your fellow passengers. Help the elderly (or those of diminutive stature) to stow (or remove) luggage in the overhead compartments. Be patient when it comes to disembarking and remember to thank the flight crew for their service.

Culture Shock

Abiding by foreign customs while traveling is essential, so read that boring bit at the beginning of the guide book about customs and etiquette in your chosen destination.   Continued...

<p>Tourists cool off in the fountains near the Pyramid entrance of the Louvre Museum on a hot summer day in Paris July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes</p>