Thursday, June 5, 2014

Travel Rules

Caitlin McGauley illustration, Pinterest

Thursdays are typically travel days for me, and as a frequent flyer I've encountered almost every type of airplane seat-mate. Often it's a delightful experience, but other times I wish I could share these simple travel etiquette tips with my fellow passengers:

Pack headphones. On long plane rides, it's fun to catch up on your Netflix queue or listen to music. Make sure you pack headphones so that the rest of the plane isn't disturbed.

Share the armrest. It's easy to hog the armrest- they're tiny and there are only a few to share. If you're in the aisle or window seat, be courteous and let the middle passenger share the armrest too. If there's no place for them to rest their arms, they may feel squished and that's no fun!

Snack smart. Consider eating before you board the plane and packing simple, scentless snacks that won't disturb others. Greasy fries, curry dishes, seafood, and other hot dishes can easily stink up an enclosed space and your fellow passengers may not appreciate it.

Stow carry-ons. These days, everyone seems to have carry-on bags (see my post on packing light). Follow directions and store your larger bag overhead and your smaller bag underneath the seat in front of you. It's so frustrating to board a plane only to find that all the bin space has been taken up with small handbags and jackets. I like to put everything I need for the flight in my tote bag, which fits under the seat, and then my suitcase can go overhead.

You're not alone. There are lots of other people on your flight, so be polite and try not to get annoyed at small disturbances. The crying baby behind you doesn't know that she's interrupting your nap and the flight attendants don't mean to hit your elbow with the drink cart. Put yourself in their shoes, smile, and let it go.

Disembark with decorum. Allow the people in front of you to collect their bags and exit. The process goes so much faster if people do not push and try to rush off of the plane. Even when you're in a hurry, it won't hurt you to be patient.

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