HolidayEtiquette1We are now at the time of year when everyone begins to think about holidays. Whether going on holiday in this country or abroad you need to remember to represent yourself in the best possible light. Therefore it is really important to be respectful of others in any situation you might find yourself.

Etiquette varies depending on the country you are going to visit. For instance a breach of the dress codes in some countries could land you in jail. When visiting religious establishments follow the accepted protocol for covering up your head, shoulders and arms.

In 2007 a British teacher who called a teddy bear Mohammed fell foul of the authorities. “Gillian Gibbons issued her appeal as thousands of knife-wielding protesters took to the streets of Khartoum to demand her execution. AP reported about 10,000 attended the protest outside the presidential palace in Khartoum’s Martyr’s Square, demanding the teacher, who is from Liverpool, be killed by firing squad. The rally was held after Friday prayers.” (The Guardian) This example gives you an inkling of the seriousness of a breach of etiquette. Ignorance is no defence when faced with a situation like this.

Take your lead from the locals in terms of the greeting and follow their example. They will be delighted that you are showing them respect in this way.

Be aware of other religious customs and culture so as not to offend. Dining etiquette can also vary and again look around and see what is the acceptable procedure. For instance in countries where the majority of the population is Muslim, do not expect to be served bacon for breakfast. In Muslim countries you would not be expected to touch food with your left hand or receive a gift with your left hand.

For instance the greeting in various countries can range between a kiss, a bow or a hand-shake. Take your lead from the locals in terms of the greeting and follow their example. They will be delighted that you are showing them respect in this way.

Never behave as though you are above anyone. Give each person the due respect that you would like to be given should the situation be reversed. It can also be a good idea to learn a few words or phrases which will again impress and please the local people.

HolidayEtiquette2Some countries are poorer than others; if this is the case, try to take this into account when you are making a judgment on the quality of the food etc. If you do need to complain do this privately and quietly without making a scene.

The most important thing is to enjoy your holiday and this will be well achieved if you play safe and stick to the accepted protocol for customs and cultures wherever you are. “When in Rome do as the Romans do” This is a sure recipe for a stress free holiday.

It is better to dress appropriately whenever you are entering a restaurant. It is never acceptable to dine in sports clothes, shorts or bathing wear when you go for a meal.

Do not plan more activities than you can comfortably manage as this in itself will stress you. Remember this is a holiday and the whole idea is to relax and enjoy and to get away from the work environment. Say a polite “no” to things you do not wish to do and be firm. Do not allow yourself to be railroaded into any activity you would rather not do. Leave the computer at home and avoid doing unnecessary chores; this will increase your enjoyment which in turn will help towards your polite and reasonable behaviour.

Tipping etiquette can vary from country to country, but obviously take into account your budget. Where it is appropriate to tip and you can afford give generously if the service has been good. Try always to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and for some employees tips make up a good percentage of their wage.

Also when on a package holiday with other travellers, if you are the only one not drinking or have a very small appetite and the guide expects you all to share the bill, it is fine to say that you would prefer to go solo and pay only for yourself. Otherwise you can end up feeling resentful because you have paid for everyone else’s drink when you don’t drink.

The most important thing is to enjoy your holiday and this will be well achieved if you play safe and stick to the accepted protocol for customs and cultures wherever you are. “When in Rome do as the Romans do” This is a sure recipe for a stress free holiday.

For more information visit my website at www.etiquetteandmanners.co.uk The etiquette courses are certified for continued professional development (CPD) if required.

Good luck and happy holiday

Ellen

Ellen Russell
About the author

Ellen is our Business & Social Etiquette Blogger. You can reach Ellen on: Etiquette and Manners, Facebook, Linked In

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