Silvana Bonsignor

Manners on holiday 

 Holiday manners 

Holiday time for people represents days of relaxation, away from their daily work occupations and a moment to get away from all worries and professional responsibilities. However, this should not be the perfect excuse to abandon good manners and certain rules of etiquette when on leisure time, good manners do not need to take a break and come back recharged, they should always be present and even more so if sharing places such as hotels, aeroplanes, tourist destinations.

The use of good manners will undoubtedly have a mirror effect on the other person and a certain empathy will be achieved between the two, thus creating a harmonious and respectful atmosphere. If the tourist uses politeness in his or her enquiries, it is almost certain that the answers received will also be polite. Insults and aggressiveness will only demonstrate the total lack of respect and education that a person has, and what a bad image a tourist will leave of his country of origin, associating a whole people with his inadequate way of acting.

To avoid that bad impression and to be considered good tourists, here are some manners that will never be taken on holiday.

The tourist's hotel booking system is facilitated by different search engines that specialise in showing different hotel and accommodation options and detailing the services they offer. This allows the traveller to have already organised his trip and avoid inconveniences beforehand. However, it may happen that a tourist arrives without calling in advance to check availability, running the risk of not finding rooms, a risk that is taken, as already mentioned, when not planning. Please do not be disrespectful or aggressive in these situations when faced with a negative response from the hotel staff, as many times we hear claims of "why do you have a hotel with no rooms available?" You should not compromise the hotel staff by offering any kind of extra incentives to get a different response. Reception staff respect rules and treat all guests equally.

Therefore, let us review the three basic pillars of good treatment, which are courtesy, respect and kindness. A tourist who is well looked after in a hotel will probably talk about the good treatment received with his relatives and in this way he will give a good image to the hotel. And reciprocally the hotel staff should be treated with kindness, even though their job is to provide a service, they are not at the service of people to indulge whims or complaints outside their specific tasks.

A tourist starts off well disposed when they are greeted with a warm welcome, being polite and smiling. These simple gestures are achieved with training in good manners to ensure that reception staff are prepared both in politeness and personal appearance, from the moment a guest arrives until the end of his or her stay. The very act of opening the front door, offering assistance with luggage and not being delayed at check-in will have a positive impact on each guest.

Decorum in dress at times of holiday will always be important, personal image should always be the same at work as it is at a holiday destination. Of course, formal attire should not be worn, but attire that shows respect for the places visited or shared with other people. Every tourist knows that when entering temples they should comply with certain protocols, for example, gentlemen should not be bare-chested, women should avoid attracting too much attention, and on trips that share means of transport such as buses or planes and where space is limited, they should avoid taking off their shoes or wearing strong fragrances that may annoy or provoke some kind of reaction in those next to them or close to them. Each place or country has a dress code that, although we are not obliged as tourists to wear, we must respect.

Body language is another aspect that tourists should take care of. They should not make any gestures that show disrespect, such as inserting a finger in the nose or ear, scratching parts of the body and not physically invading personal distances that could intimidate or threaten the person in front of them. At the same time, and within the language of gestures, it is important not to show exaggerated rejection of typical foods and drinks, although it is correct not to want to try them, bearing in mind that gastronomy is an important pillar of any culture and bad gestures should be avoided in front of the people who are offering them with their utmost attention and dedication, just try to give a polite explanation of why you will not try them.

It is no less important to emphasise punctuality when travelling on excursions or contingents that have been contracted. All tourists must respect the schedules for excursions, previously established tours and, please do not demand anything that is not in the itinerary that may cause delays.

Impatience is not a good habit, especially when you are on holiday. If the place you have chosen to rest is extremely crowded, it is normal that many people are taking pictures or taking time to admire it, therefore, take certain precautions if these situations bother you, for example, make your visit earlier or with reservation quotas. And always keep in mind that the priority in the walk will be the inhabitants of the place, because they are carrying out their daily life, their work, therefore, do not cross their path untimely or stop to check a map or find locations interrupting the passage of others.

Tourists must be responsible in caring for the environment both in their country of origin and in the countries they visit, there are no possible exceptions. Therefore, do not leave waste on the street, in parks or public transport. If you cannot find a waste bin, simply put the waste away until you reach the hotel or as soon as you can see the next bin. The same applies to places of common public use such as toilets, where hygiene should be paramount. And be very careful with those in confined spaces such as buses or aeroplanes that everything stays in its place. It goes without saying that it is absolutely forbidden to urinate in parks, swimming pools and in the sea.

The fact that you are relaxed and away from home does not enable you to waste water and energy. Be careful not to leave the light card on when you go out or leave the taps on for long periods of time while taking a shower or brushing your teeth. Remember that there are many tourist sites where natural resources are scarce and sometimes controlled.

The photo albums that every traveller made after returning from their holidays have been replaced by stories and reels on social networks and the influence of achieving a super creative image can affect the behaviour of tourists, so you should always be careful respecting the signage of the places, do not take pictures in forbidden places, do not invade spaces such as parks and, even more, be careful not to take any physical risk, as there are many stories of tourists who have attempted against their lives in search of spectacular selfies. Undoubtedly, you will be able to admire the places much more if you don't spend so much time capturing images.

Pet tourism has been one of the major trends in Latin America for the last few years, with Mexico leading the way in this category of tourism. Being a responsible tourist with pets implies respecting health standards and veterinary certifications required by each destination. To avoid inconveniences before planning your trip, check if the hotel where you will be staying allows pets, what size they are, and above all, do not forget that they will always be your company, avoid leaving them locked up alone while you go for walks.

A harmonious coexistence, even on days of relaxation, will require as always education, tolerance, discretion, achieving empathy with the environment, knowing how to behave properly, dressing neatly and appropriately and never forgetting common sense in any situation that must be interacted with, although it is often the least common of the senses.

Another way to demonstrate good manners is to contribute to the local economy. Tourist destinations are sustained by this industry, so eat in restaurants that use local products and look for souvenirs typical of the area, such as local handicrafts.

Leisure trips are occasions to interact with other people, and if the destination country or city has different customs, you should pay even more attention to the rules of politeness. Remember that being a tourist does not mean that you become a local, but that you become an educated person who respects traditions and customs that are different from your own, even if you do not share them.

Author: Silvana Bonsignor

Noun Eventos & Capacitación Ejecutiva

The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of the facts contained in this document and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of Tourism and Society Think Tank and do not commit the Organization, and should not be attributed to TSTT or its members.

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