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It’s always a good idea to be on your best behavior when you travel. Whether you’re flying domestically or visiting a foreign country, courtesy always goes a long way.

But travel begins long before you’ve arrived at your destination. As soon as you’ve boarded your aircraft it’s time to start being mindful of your behavior, aware of your own personal space, and attuned to the needs of other passengers.


That’s why we had travel expert Russell Hannon — founder of Break The Travel Barrier — lay down some travel etiquette ground rules. Follow the tips below and you’ll make the travel experience more pleasing for everyone.

  1. Don’t Block The Aisle During Boarding
    If you need significant time to stow your luggage and get settled, don’t stand there blocking the aisle. Rather, move into your row and let those people standing behind you pass.

  2. Don’t Stuff The Bins
    Nobody likes boarding last only to discover that all the overhead bins are crammed with luggage. Limit yourself to stowing your large carryon, then put any small bags under the seat.

  3. Keep it Odorless
    A neutral smelling cabin is comfortable for everyone, so skip the overpowering perfume and the fragrant food.

  4. Politely Disembark
    Exiting a plane shouldn’t feel like a free-for-all. Let those seated ahead of you out first (unless they are waiting for the entire cabin to clear) before disembarking yourself.

  5. Don’t Lean Over The Luggage
    Waiting for your luggage to arrive at the baggage carousel can be one of the most frustrating travel experiences. Not only can the wait time feel endless, but with everyone crowding the carousel and craning their necks it can be hard to spot and retrieve your suitcase when it finally arrives. If everyone simply steps back five feet, then we can all claim our luggage in a far more civilized and stress-free manner. 

  6. Unruly Kids
    If there are unruly kids on your flight and you are uncomfortable raising the issue directly with their parents, simply bring it up with a flight attendant.

  7. Flying While Sick
    Plane cabins seem to be incubators for the flu. Of course no one wants to fly sick, but strict airline terms like non-refundable tickets often force us to embark when we’re feeling under the weather. To help mitigate the chance of your fellow passengers getting sick, consider wearing a hygienic mask. And, if the plane isn’t full, you can also request to be seated further away from other passengers.

  8. When Your Neighbor Mistakes You For a Pillow
    It’s happened to all of us: One minute we’re reading or watching the in-flight entertainment, the next our sleeping neighbor has slumped to the side and rested his/her head on our shoulder. Awkward. But rather than fly off the handle — because we’re all capable of doing the same thing when we’re sleeping — simply wake the person and apologize for waking him/her. 

  9. Don’t Record Others
    Now that you’re aware of proper plane and airport etiquette it can be easy to spot people breaking the rules. And while it might be tempting to grab your phone and snap a photo or take a video, don’t. Doing so is a form of cyber bullying, especially if you plan to share on social media, and if you’re caught by the person the situation could quickly escalate into a confrontation that’s best avoided.

  10. Bonus Tip: Visiting Scenic Spots
    Smart phones make capturing those magical travel moments easy, but they can also distract and ruin other people’s experience. If you are taking a photo or video of a dramatic view or an iconic landmark, be aware of your surroundings and be careful not to turn into anyone. Also, make sure you’re not hogging the view -- always give those people behind you a turn.

For more great travel tips and inspiring vacation ideas, head to the 12th Annual Travel & Adventure Show, taking place February 18th and 19th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Over 2,500 world-class travel experts will be on hand to help you find, personalize, and book your next trip, while you’ll also have access to countless vacation options, tens of thousands of dollars in travel savings, and information on how to travel smarter, safer, and better. Click here to purchase tickets.

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