Questions tagged [etiquette]

Questions about customary practices.

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5
votes
0answers
688 views

Protocol for opposite gender parent accompanying young children into public toilet [closed]

I am a father of 2 quite young girls. Sometimes when we're out they need to use public toilets. I usually take them into the female toilets, because I don't want them gawking at men openly urinating (...
6
votes
1answer
435 views

Who owns the middle armrest in airplanes? [closed]

If a plane has rows with more than 3 seat side by side, does the person who seat in the middle has a right to the armrests? Should the taller person get the armrests? Should both the passenger on the ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Japanese custom: Sushi chef serves you small snacks you didn't order?

I've been to several restaurants, usually sushi oriented, where I will sit down and order a drink (alcoholic), then within a few minutes of receiving my drink, the chef will either walk out and ...
9
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1answer
7k views

In Japan, is it considered rude to talk on the train?

On the JR trains in Tokyo, there were signs everywhere saying to make sure your phone is on silent mode, and there were announcements saying to refrain from talking on the phone. I assume that's for ...
12
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2answers
7k views

Proper etiquette to be able to bring sex worker in hotel room?

I plan to visit a European country where prostituion is legal. I will stay several days, visit the town during the day and have fun at night. I have no idea how the normal proccess but, after reading ...
7
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5answers
2k views

Can I call the flight attendant “Sir/Ma'am” to get his/her attention? [closed]

During an 8-hour flight in Business class, I called the flight attendant "Ma'am" to get her attention. My husband then told me that I should not have called her "Ma'am" since I am the "the ma'am" (the ...
1
vote
0answers
193 views

How much to tip uber driver going out of his way to get me my phone? [closed]

I was traveling to San Francisco the other day when I took an uber to my hotel, and I accidentally left my phone in the car. I got a call from the driver the next day saying he'd found it, and when I ...
1
vote
1answer
192 views

How to double-check and not pester airport officials?

I was reading this article. In it the author says - Not checking and double checking A hard and fast rule I have learned over the years is to double check everything. Just because the ...
8
votes
2answers
171 views

How to get to understand a culture as best one can through the internet

I'll be going to Prague later this year during Christmas and this will be my first trip to Europe. I don't know very much as to what to expect other than some general etiquette guides from the ...
55
votes
13answers
21k views

What is way to eat rice with hands in front of westerners such that it doesn't appear to be yucky?

In India, we eat rice using our fingers. Generally in the West, a fork or spoon is used. I have tried eating rice with spoon but I don't feel satisfied with it. We eat dry rice but we mix curry and ...
45
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15answers
26k views

Would it be ok to eat rice using a spoon in front of Westerners?

It seems to me that Westerners are willing to learn to use chopsticks in Asian restaurants. However, when spoons are the way the dish is normally eaten within the country of origin, Westerners prefer ...
73
votes
6answers
9k views

With the passing of Thai King Bhumibol, are there any customs/etiquette as a traveler I should be aware of?

Even with the news that the King of Thailand passed away, I had already scheduled a trip a year ago to visit Thailand in a week or so. I understand that most of the country is in mourning -- should ...
10
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2answers
13k views

Dos and don'ts at a Vietnamese wedding

I'm invited to a wedding in Ho Chi Minh City. I know virtually nothing about Vietnam, I'll be there for the first time in my life. I know a little about Asian culture, but the only country I've ...
25
votes
5answers
6k views

Luggage etiquette on European trains

I'm backpacking across Europe with a very large (70 liter) backpack, plus a smaller daypack (35 L). I've found myself taking a number of trains, with different available facilities and passenger loads,...
39
votes
10answers
14k views

Walking 14 km on a pilgrimage road where footwear may be considered disrespectful

There's this 14 km long road that's one of the main attractions in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India. The road goes all the way around a small mountain called Arunachala. The mountain is considered ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Is there a guide for breast feeding etiquette around the world?

I was talking to a friend who became a mother recently. She needs to travel, and takes her son along, but she was saying that one of her problems when travelling is not knowing how to behave regarding ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Is wearing shorts in Transsiberian trains okay

I am planning a trip with the Transsiberian railway in September. I read that they heat the train compartments very well. Since I am more the low temperature loving guy, I'd like to wear shorts when ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Wearing shorts with hairy legs in Moscow

Is it appropriate to wear shorts or walk around beaches if you have hairy legs, as a man in Moscow?
34
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4answers
52k views

What should I do if I forgot to turn in a hotel room key card after checking out?

I recently stayed at a hotel and received two room key cards to access the room: one for me and one for my brother. They are like credit cards with a magnetic strip to swipe into the door lock. My ...
45
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3answers
4k views

Do's and Dont's of doing a pilgrimage as an atheist?

I plan on doing the St-Jacques-de-Compostelle pilgrimage, but I am also unequivocally atheist. My motivation for undergoing a (mostly) religious pilgrimage is pushing the limits of what I believe I ...
31
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4answers
27k views

Hotel Pool FAQ and Etiquette

For quite some time when traveling I was happy when I had access to a shower with non-freezing water, when my bed was not part of a shaky triple bunk bed in a basement and noise-level was low enough ...
43
votes
1answer
5k views

What's the proper etiquette for visiting the German Biergartens?

I passed through Munich last year and stopped at one of the biergartens. Well I tried. It was absolutely packed, it took forever to find a seat. At least one I could sit at. Seems like there's lots of ...
18
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4answers
8k views

What was the meaning of this Indian gesture/greeting?

While on a business trip to India last week I saw two different gestures of greeting. Most people greeted me with the traditional Namaste greeting, with the hands held together, as below. However, ...
7
votes
1answer
172 views

In Japan, should rental cars be reserved in advance?

Is it acceptable to show up unannounced to a car rental shop and rent a car for ~5 days? Is it better to reserve in advance via a website? I speak decent japanese and should be able to explain the ...
151
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11answers
123k views

OK, we are all adults here, so what is a bidet for and how do I use it?

Confession time: I am from one of these barbaric countries where the use of the bidet is not widespread. So I have no idea... Question 1: What is the bidet good for? Question 2: How do I use it? ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Leaving belongings in a capsule hotel

I am considering staying at Hotel Asakusa & Capsule for a few days. I know I have to leave the hotel during the day for cleaning, I don't mind this as I will be going around town anyways. ...
41
votes
4answers
9k views

How does one sleep in a sleeper train in Europe?

Planning to travel from Germany through several other countries eastward on a sleeper train, I wonder what am I expected to encounter and how am I expected to dress? The tickets say 4 beds per ...
82
votes
2answers
12k views

Do flight attendants prefer I press the button or walk to the back? (Long-haul flights)

I fly Abu Dhabi - Amsterdam - Portland, OR and back frequently. Each leg is about 8 to 10 hours. For most people, it is their one 'long flight,' and are sleeping, but for me, because I have two of ...
8
votes
1answer
238 views

What should be done before returning a rental caravan back to the rental company?

I'm going to leave my on-site caravan in a few days, but I wanted to know: Generally, what condition should I leave it in? Should I empty the garbage can, should I wash the utensils, should I clean ...
11
votes
1answer
514 views

Etiquette for visiting a Hong Kong family in mourning

My girlfriend whose family hails from Hong Kong has recently lost her grandfather, and her family is in a period of mourning. Being an "outsider" of the family, how should I act/behave when visiting ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How to tip in Israel?

What's the proper etiquette for tipping in taxis, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, etc.? See equivalent question for the US. I've heard many different opinions online and during my travels, so I'm a ...
4
votes
3answers
848 views

How do I bring the level of interaction with Airbnb hosts to a minimum?

When booking a flat on Airbnb one might have the following interactions with the host: Write an introductory text about yourself and the trip Confirm that the place is available on the dates you've ...
22
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3answers
5k views

How can I respectfully greet in Thailand?

I am in Thailand now, and this morning I tried to shake hands with our guide, but although she shaked my hand, it seems like this is not the way it should be done here. What is the best way to greet ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it rude to pay tips in Iran?

One of my friends, asked me if he could tip the waiter after we had a delicious Kebab :) for dinner, and I was just puzzled since I didn't know the answer. It's totally rare and not common at all to ...
106
votes
17answers
17k views

Is it rude to ask if the food contains pork or alcohol?

Some years ago, I was invited to a friend's place. The home-cooked food contained alcohol, and I don't eat or drink anything that contains alcohol (religious reasons). I was shy enough to eat it to ...
6
votes
1answer
70k views

Can I have an unregistered guest come over at a hotel?

Can I let my friend come and join me in my hotel room, just for visiting? Not sleeping or eating.
91
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4answers
17k views

What is a polite way to tell a Scottish person that I am struggling to understand his/her accent?

I am flying to Glasgow tomorrow. English isn't my mother tongue. In spite of living in London for the last 10 years, I still struggle with understanding different accents. My main concern about the ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Gift-giving rules for Japanese dinner host

I'm invited by a Japanese family for a home cooked dinner at their house. I'm wondering, given the Japanese gift-giving culture, what is appropriate to bring with me in this case and if it's any ...
43
votes
5answers
14k views

Is it rude to tell the ice cream man in Istanbul not to mess with me?

I have never been to Istanbul but I am planning to go there with the kids. A friend of mine showed me yesterday a video of him buying ice cream from a traditional ice cream shop in Istanbul. He ...
32
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3answers
43k views

What is the etiquette around sex in hotel beds?

What etiquette is involved for copulation in hotel (not motel) beds? There doesn't seem to be a lot of information about this around.
18
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3answers
5k views

Rideshare etiquette (Lyft, Uber, etc)

I used Lyft for the first time last week, and realized I don't know the proper etiquette, if there is any. With a taxi, it's common that the driver comes around, opens the trunk, takes your luggage, ...
19
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7answers
7k views

How do I avoid conversation with strangers while traveling?

Personally I hate traveling not just because I hate going to a new city but because of seeing strangers who are watching and trying to start conversation with me. Well talking with someone is not a ...
12
votes
4answers
15k views

Can my wife and I swap seats in different classes during a flight?

Consider the following situation. My wife and I are flying together. She is flying SFO-EWR-BOM and I am flying DEN-EWR-BOM. Both on United, with the same EWR-BOM flight, but with different ...
136
votes
21answers
27k views

How can I deal with people asking to switch seats with me on a plane?

I'm sixteen years old, and I have mild claustrophobia so I always travel in the aisle seat. However, I'm constantly asked (not politely) by others to change seats with them. Since I usually travel ...
30
votes
5answers
8k views

Is it OK to play the piano housed in the lobbies of hotels?

I travel a lot and often find grand pianos in lobbies of hotels. Is it appropriate to just sit down and play them for a while (FWIW, I am good and play slow classical music. My playing will not ruin ...
7
votes
1answer
652 views

Japanese ryokan with a baby of 20 month

I am travelling with a baby of 20 months. Is there a specific etiquette to respect when staying at a Japanese traditional ryokan?
15
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2answers
2k views

What's the courtesy: wipe off the wash basin?

Commercial airliners often have a sign in the bathroom that reads: As a courtesy to the next passenger may we suggest that you use your towel to wipe off the wash basin What exactly is the ...
30
votes
9answers
45k views

How much cash am I supposed to prepay at gas station in the US?

In the US (and probably Canada as well), it is possible to pay at a gas station either with a credit card often with a fee (in the US) or cash. If I pay cash, gas stations often require to prepay for ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Japanese train etiquette: Is it acceptable to take a baby in the Shinkansen Green Car?

The green carriage is of course first class. This would be our first preference with our 5 month old baby in lap, because of the presumably larger toilets for changing and whatnot. However, the baby ...
26
votes
2answers
18k views

Should I tip my Airbnb host?

I am about to embark on my first Airbnb experience for a little over a week. I was wondering if it is customary or expected to tip the host upon departure or perhaps along the way, as it seems like ...