Travel Etiquette : Do’s and Don’ts for travelling

Summer is upon us and yes we are all very excited to hop on that plane and reach our dream destination. But how many times have we felt like giving an “Etiquette Digest”  to that annoying co-traveler who has started getting on to our nerves. Had it been just about speaking softly and minding our own business, we all would have been happy travelers. .But you will agree that all of us have been a victim of etiquette violators or probably been a violator ourselves. Yes, yes you guessed it right, I am talking about those “Overhead Bin Space hoggers”, “Armrest gobblers” , “People who drink as if there is no tomorrow “and many more. I thought of sharing some travel etiquette tips which might help you in your next trip. Feel free to add yours in the comments.

 

1)Respect the Space: While we all want to be very comfortable , it is very important that we do not intrude overhead-bin-cartoonin other people’s space.No one likes the person who uses the space under all three seats and has a carry-on bag that does not quite fit in the overhead bin. There is a reason why airlines give measurements of carry-on luggage. Restrict the carry-on items so that everyone has space in overhead bins .This will save delays caused due to last moment check-ins.

2) Boarding area is for everyone: I have seen this so many times that while many passengers are left standing or sitting on the floor, some people would place their luggage items on the seats beside them. Don’t hog seats , boarding area is for all.

3)Board on your call : I cannot stress this more but this is the most annoying thing that people do, not waiting for their boarding call. This is the most chronic issue that plagues airports. We blame airlines for delay but its the people who get in the boarding line before their turn. It happens all the time and is super annoying to other passengers.The more people boarding at the correct time, the smoother the whole process will go! Do you agree?

4) Keep the volume down: Many people enjoy flying in silence. Take the hint and respect their privacy. Its easy to feel like you are safe and sound in your room and forget that sound travels. Keep the volume to minimal and let others enjoy their sleep.

5) Be kind to the staff : I always feel that its very tough to be flight attendant. They have a bit of responsibility to make sure we arrive at our destination safely and on time. Maintaining that smile while catering to everybody’s needs is not an easy job. So be courteous and do not forget to say thank you.

6)Have an eye on your kids : Children get impatient very easily specially if its a long journey. They have a te5tendency to bump or kick the seat in front of them without realizing it, which can make the person in front of them very uncomfortable. Its very important to keep an eye on the kids and calm them down if they feel anxiety. Its easy to deal with kids than an angry co-passenger.

 

7)Drink sensibly : I know the airlines serve free liquor these days but please don’t be one of those people who drink as if there is no tomorrow.Some people need alcohol to ease their nerves during flight or something that will give them sound sleep. Whichever you are do not gulp an alcoholic beverage in order to max out on what is allowed. It is not only annoying for the fellow passengers but also for the airline crew.

8)Pay attention: Safety instructions and announcements are meant to help passengers. Be respectful and pay attention to the flight attendant.

9)Scrub up: If you are sick , do not forget to keep basic things like antibacterial hand sanitizer with you at all times. Since when you are in a plane , all passengers are practically breathing from the same air. Be kind to others and wash your hands so that you aren’t spreading germs as souvenirs.

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10) More on Space constraints: Since the seating is so congested , give a heads up before you recline. Frequent up-and-down movement can annoy your fellow passengers. If you are in need to use restrooms frequently, take an aisle seat.

I am sure you must have got annoyed at-least once in any one of your journeys. If you have had terrible experience, I will love to hear about it. If you think I missed on anything feel free to add in comments. Thank you for stopping by.

 

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Boracay: Sand, Sea and Sun

Imagine blue and turquoise shades of sea water touching white sandy beaches imprinted with footprints , a sunset so mystical that leaves you speechless while awing the beauty of nature and lush foliage that  soothes your eyes…. And yes I am not describing a post card but if anyone of you have been to Boracay, you will agree that it is nothing short of those beautiful postcard photos. I blogged about my trip to El Nido in Philippines few months back and suddenly it occurred to me , how did I forget to mention about Boracay. This is one place in Asia that you surely do not want to miss. What used to be an untouched, pristine  laid-back village  has now transformed into an overdeveloped party island. Whether you want to just relax or do adventure water sports, Boracay has it all . It is a tiny island in the Visayas region of the central Philippines. As the most popular travel destination in the Philippines, it’s far from undiscovered — the island absolutely buzzes with tourists.

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HOW TO GET TO BORACAY: If you are coming from Manila flying is the best option. Whatever you choose , you need to make your way to the Caticlan Jetty Port as ferry is the only way to enter Boracay. You can fly either to :

a)    Kalibo : This airport is farther than Caticlan but has cheaper flights approx USD 70 for roundtrip. You need to take a bus or van to Caticlan Jetty Port (USD 5) and it takes 2 hrs to reach.

b)    Caticlan : I flew from Manila to Caticlan. It saved me 2 hr bus ride from Kalibo.  Even though the tickets are costlier than Kalibo (USD 100 approx), it saves you a lot of travel time.

Choosing between Kalibo and Caticlan depends  on : Do you have more money or more time? If you have more money, book straight to Caticlan. From Caticlan airport, take a tricycle to the jetty port or walk, it takes around 10 minutes. Upon arrival at the jetty port, you will be required to pay  Entrance Fees of USD 5  to Boracay Islands.

GETTING TO KNOW BORACAY : Boracay is a tiny island with land area of 10.32 sq kilometers. It is seven kilometers long and dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide. White Beach is the main hub of the island,  It is divided in 3 stations. Station 1(very pricey),Station 2(commercial hub with major landmark called DMall) and Station 3(home to cheapest hotels).  Most of the Jettys will drop you at Cagban Jetty port which is near Station 3. Any tricycle from port to station should not cost more than USD 2.

boracay-map 

TRAVEL TIPS:

  1.  Avoid peak season November to June. All major holidays (Christmas, New Year etc) are in these months making Boracay holiday destination for whole South east Asia. Prices get more than double and the beaches get very crowded, so forget about that!
  2.  If you are looking for cheap accommodation , try on station 3. Station 3 has a lot budget hotels and it is less crowded .
  3. Do not be shy of bargaining. Haggle as much as you can. Being tourist destination, the prices are generally inflated and you can easily steal a deal,  if you know how to haggle.
  4. Its always cost effective to share a ride and needless to say you need to be cautious while doing that. You can save a lot if you share rides to D’Mall ,where you will end up going a lot. Some hotels have free shuttle service to D’ mall.

THINGS TO DO:

  • Boracay White Beach :  This beach is heart of Boracay.  Its soft powdery white sand will make your feet simply sink in as you walk on the beach in the day time. At night this area transcends into party hub.
  • Puka Beach: If you want to skip the crowd and the party, hop on a tricycle and sail away to Puka . Puka beach is located on the other side of Boracay and is open to public for free.  It has no restaurants but has canteens and you can get your own drinks on the beach to enjoy sunsets.

Puka-Shell-Beach

  • Mount Luho : Mount Luho is the highest point in Boracay. There is a viewing deck and you will get to see a sensational panoramic view of the island. There is an entry fee of USD 10$ to get to the deck. I enjoyed a lovely set from the top of Mount Luho.
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View from Mount Luho

  • Cliff Diving: Ariel’s Point is located in Buruanga, a half hour boat ride from Boracay’s white beach. An excursion to Ariel’s point costs almost USD 45-50 and usually includes snorkeling and lunch buffet. You climb up the cliff and there are 5 different levels from where you can dive in water. Sounds fun , isn’t it?
  • Island Hopping: Want to explore hidden jewels of Boracay? Venture out into its waters. You can rent a boat or join a day trip offered by many companies which covers diving, snorkeling, food and transportation. The most common tour is to Carabao Island.
  • Water sports: For water sports enthusiasts, Boracay  is a paradise. The most popular watersport is banana boat ride.
  • Nightlife in Boracay : The island comes alive with people homing in on the island’s bars’ cheap drinks and delicious food. Boracay’s most fascinating bar is Cocomangas, whose “Still standing after 15” challenge is a rite of passage for many first-time Boracay visitors. Winners get t-shirt and their name on a plaque on the wall when they finish their 15 shots.
  • Boracay Spa and Massage Treatments: Feel like pampering yourself, head out to one of Boracay’s Spas. If you do not want to go out, a lot of hotels provide inhouse spa treatments. My advice is DO NOT MISS IT.

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What are you waiting now, Go and Enjoy …

As first timer, it might appear a bit confusing to get to the Island but once you are at Boracay ,you will not feel like going back.  So plan your trip and book your tickets. I assure you , like everyone else you will alsofall in love with this island. If you have been there I would love to hear your experiences. Thank you for stopping by.