Travel Etiquette

We recently went on summer vacation and thankfully had easy and enjoyable flights to and from the beach. The boys nibbled on snacks, watched their favorite shows, colored, and even napped. You never know how the little ones will do on the plane, but thankfully the boys were stars. It’s not always sunshine and smiles when flying though, as we’ve had our fair share of tears, motion sickness, missing shoes, lost strollers, and the list goes on. However as you all know, once you reach your destination, it makes the journey there (no matter how challenging!) entirely worth it.

Since many of you are traveling throughout the end of summer (it’s hard to believe summer is almost over!), I wanted to share a few travel etiquette tips to keep in mind. Even if you have flown hundreds of times and consider yourself an expert traveler, I think it’s always nice to have an etiquette refresh and even learn something new. And so, cheers to flying the friendly skies and  enjoying the final weeks of summer vacation!

  • Take cues from your seat-mate: Your seat-mate (or you!) might love to hear a fellow passengers life’s story, or prefer to be incognito for the flight a la ear buds from take-off to landing. Either way, observe their social cues and respect them (and their personal space).
  • Mind the armrest: Let’s face it, we all want to use the armrest during the flight. If you’re sitting in the aisle or window, kindly let the middle seat use the interior armrest for some of the flight.
  • Recline Slowly: While it always makes for a laugh when depicted on a TV sitcom, in reality, flinging your seat back is less than ideal for the person behind you. If you want to recline your seat, try to do so slowly.
  • Sweet smelling snacks: Due to the tight quarters and recycled air, consider bringing in-flight snacks that don’t have a strong smell.
  • Patience is a virtue: From the crying baby behind you (or your own crying baby!) to exiting the plane, at the end of the day travel can be stressful and everyone wants a pleasant flying experience. Try to be patient and understanding of others, including the flight attendants.
  • Courteous of carry-ons: Most people carry-on these days leaving little room in the overhead bins. So everyone has a spot for their luggage, aim to put one carry-on in the bin designated for your row, and one below at your feet.
  • Enjoying entertainment: Whether you plan on listening to music or watching a movie, use your head phones so the rest of the plane isn’t disturbed.
  • Be respectful of the flight crew: The flight crew works hard to keep you safe and comfortable during your flight, so aim to be polite, courteous and friendly to them.

Ask B: Joint Birthday Party

 

Dear B,

We’ve been invited to a joint birthday party for my son’s friend and his classmate. We go to a different school, so we have met the classmate before, however we don’t know him very well. Do we still need to bring him a gift? Or just bring a gift for my son’s friend?

Sincerely,

C


 

Dear C,

Great question! Joint birthday parties are a wonderful way to celebrate two children, be it siblings or friends, and the mantra is the more the merrier. Twice the cake, twice the fun! However, when it comes to gift giving for this type of party, it can be quite tricky. Given that your son is friends with only one of the birthday boys, I think it is perfectly acceptable to only bring him a gift. If you feel the need to bring something for the classmate though and budget allows, consider a small gift such as a book. Also, there is one exception to this scenario: if your son went to school with both boys, and both mother’s invited everyone in the class, I would advise you to bring gifts for both boys. Hope this helps!

 

Top 10 Etiquette Goals for 2018

Image via Sugar Paper

Now that we’re nearly a month in to the new year, I wanted to share my top 10 etiquette goals for 2018. As cliché as it may sound, the new year is a perfect time to hit the re-set button, and really focus on how to be the best version of yourself. While many new year’s resolutions often fall to the wayside by spring break, and by summer are a distant memory, consider making 2018 different. Consider goals that have meaning in your life, as well as ones that you want to work towards. I encourage you to find a quiet place to sit, and with pen and paper in hand, try jotting down a few goals. There is something about writing down your goals – in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of hand writing everything 🙂 – that makes them feel concrete, and will make you feel accountable.

And so, here are the top 10 etiquette goals for 2018, and I hope these offer you some inspiration!

 

Be Present: Calls, emails, texts, social media – they can all wait. Put your phone away when you’re with family and friends, and enjoy the moment. Be present!

Write Thank You Notes: There might be are a million reasons why you don’t have time to write a thank you note – life is busy! –  however I think we can all find five minutes to show a little gratitude. I promise it will mean the world to the recipient.

Practice Good Table Manners: It’s always a good idea to brush up on table manners, and table settings. That way you’re prepared and confident the next time you dine out with family and friends or entertain.

RSVP ASAP: Try to RSVP the day you receive the invitation. The hostess will really appreciate your quick response, and you can instantly check it off your to-do list. Done and done!

Golden Rule: Treat people the way you want to be treated, be it opening a door for someone when grabbing coffee, or giving a compliment to a friend. Small acts of kindness go a long way!

Trash the Trash Talk: Talking poorly about other people creates negative energy and what does it really accomplish? Nada! Your mama said it and I’ll say it again, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

Listen and Question: Did you know a great way to get to know someone or strengthen your current relationships is to  listen? Listen, listen listen, because true wisdom is listening more than you talk. (I need to practice this!)

Dress for Success: Treat yourself to a couple new outfits. New clothes will make you feel confident and proud of the way you look, and that confidence will shine through. And chic new clothes don’t have to be expensive, buy within your budget!

Be Punctual: Punctuality is a sign of respect, so aim to be on time. Life happens and if you are running late, out of courtesy, call or text the person you’re meeting to let them know you’ll be tardy.

Give a Gift: Be it a hostess gift, thoughtful birthday gift, or gift for no reason, treat loved ones to something special. It will make their day!