TravelChatSA: – Travel Etiquette

It is a minefield. Every country unquestionably has its customs and set of rules.This chat is not about that.

For some, it might be clear not to put salt on food when a guest at somebody’s house, others wouldn’t even think twice while seasoning their meal. Using cutlery, as in fork and knife while eating, is a common custom in many countries, whereas at the same time many others eat with their hands or use a fork only. Many people shake hands to greet each other, many even kiss cheeks in that event, and again others wouldn’t even entertain the thought of touching a stranger. In some countries, it is permitted to burp, or to slurp noodles. Some men still want to hold the door for women. It is old fashioned, that is true, and it is condescending. Women know they can open a door.

Overcome awkward situations

When we travel, we learn along the way and to a certain extent follow local’s behaviour. Being friendly and open-minded always helps. Explain you aren’t knowledgeable enough about local customs and are not sure how to act and show that you are curious and prepared to learn. Everyone will undoubtedly understand and be helpful. I have yet to encounter it otherwise. A smile unquestionably betters awkward situations.

Then there is etiquette in daily life whereas it is in any case best to be respectful, polite and friendly. We all know that other people's behaviour is more about them than about us. It has simply got to do with how they see the world and how they live their life. We will perpetually meet those that appear friendly to the outside world when the reality looks rather different. Many cheats, backstabbers and blackmailers will forever feel they are in the right because they are skilled at hiding their big ego and agenda behind a delightful smile. This is not going to be a chat where we are going to talk about these issues.

Travel Etiquette - Empathy and Kindness on the Road

This chat is about how to be when being with strangers in public. That often means being together like sardines in cramped spaces for a certain amount of time. How do we as tourists behave on our way from A to B? People often complain that their travel times are dreadful. However, bad conditions should never be an excuse for poor behaviour. A little bit of humour, kindness and respect, and showing empathy. It is so easy, and best of all, it is free. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud (Maya Angelou).

TravelChatSA: – Travel Etiquette - Questions

Travel Etiquette TravelchatSA Dorothee Lefering
Q1 What immediately comes to mind when you consider the term 'travel etiquette' and why is it important? Via@Winelands #TravelChatSA

Travel Etiquette TravelchatSA Dorothee Lefering
Q2 Tell us about your travel do's & don’ts when travelling by plane, train or bus? Via @ZAFoodMusketeer #TravelChatSA

Q3 Tell us about the last time you saw something bothersome on your travels (that could have been avoided with use of basic courtesy). Via @DoroLef #TravelChatSA

Travel Etiquette TravelchatSA Dorothee Lefering
Q4 What are travel etiquette rules that one should never break? Via @travelopulent #TravelChatSA
Travel Etiquette TravelchatSA Dorothee Lefering
Q5 We all take full responsibility for our actions. How can we as tourists make travelling lovelier for everybody? Via @DoroLef #TravelChatSA

TravelChatSA – Join us to share the love for South Africa

#TravelChatSA is a not-for-profit community Twitter chat. Every Wednesday at 7pm (SAST), the promotes travelling to and through South Africa and its neighbouring countries. Everyone can join, and everyone is welcome to join. Everyone has got a story to tell, no matter whether you are a seasoned South Africa tourist or plan your first trip to the region.

Please contact us, if you have any questions or suggestions for further #TravelChatSA topics. Feedback of any sort is highly appreciated. Join us to share the love.

From Berlin with love