5 Quick Tips for TERRIBLE Travel Etiquette


Having just finished (and survived) two girlfriend trips, I thought I’d discuss some of the things that make a group trip fabulous and some that turn it into a waking nightmare. Group travel definitely isn’t for everyone. Let’s face it, as strong independent women, we march to the beat of our own drummer.  My drummer happens to be Animal from The Muppets.

Enjoying some of the perks of our Mexican cruise.

Many of us travel well with one or two people or just by ourselves. However, there’s nothing like the fun and camaraderie of a getting a group of crazy girlfriends together for some rollicking good fun. You know the typical dinner scene: multiple conversations going on at once, bursts of cackling, booze flowing freely, cameras flashing, more food on the table than an army can eat. When things are going well, the energy is amazing and makes the soul feel light.

Keep in mind that everything I’ll be talking about; I’ve been guilty of. I’m one of the biggest offenders I know. I’m not pointing the finger at anyone else as much as I’m pointing the finger at myself – primarily the middle finger when I’m acting like an idiot. So hang on tight and get that grain of salt ready!

WARNING: Massive amounts of head-slapping sarcasm ahead! Proceed at your own risk.

Doesn't everyone climb trees in Carmel?
Doesn’t everyone climb trees in Carmel?

1. Make sure to take your time.

You are important! So what, if everyone else is sitting in the car waiting on you. You don’t need to get up early to compensate for the fact that it takes you eons to get ready. You are special!

Guilty as charged! I’ve actually missed a bus and almost missed a train because I was piddling around. I’ve started getting up about thirty minutes before everyone else because I like to take my time getting ready in the morning. It doesn’t help that my ADD is very effective at keeping me chasing my tail in the morning, so it’s not uncommon to see me walking around with mascara on only one eye, drinking coffee, and looking through the refrigerator while checking my email at the same time.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

2. Make sure to keep your own counsel.

If someone asks for your opinion about what to eat, where to go, or anything of that nature, make sure to say you don’t care instead of voicing your opinion.  That way you can whine about it later.

Guilty as charged! Typically, I pull this silliness when I’m hungry, tired, or bored from waiting in line. Having been on both sides of this situation, it’s definitely better to put in your two cents. If you don’t share your opinion, you may wind up being unhappy with the meal, the activity, or the destination. On the flip side, I’ve been incredibly frustrated when my friends don’t communicate with me, and I find out later they were unhappy with my choices.

3. Allow others an opportunity to feel helpful.

Girl, you are a princess! You don’t need to lift a finger or do your share of the work. That’s what all the other girls are there for.

Guilty as charged! I will admit, I’ve taken advantage of the fact that there are others in my gal group that will pick up my slack. I’ve been known to let a few chores slide, knowing that someone else will finally give in and do them. However, I was so hurt when I overheard one friend tell another that I wasn’t doing my share of the work, it really made me take a step back and think about my behavior. I’ve gotten much better at pitching in, but I do backslide from time to time. I’m still a teenager at heart!

Leisurely stroll in South Carolina. Great way to start the morning.
Leisurely stroll in South Carolina. Great way to start the morning.

4. Allow others the opportunity to be charitable.

Your luggage space is valuable, so don’t pack travel essentials. Your travel companions don’t mind sharing with you. It doesn’t matter if they won’t have enough for themselves.

Guilty as charged! Generally speaking, if I have to borrow something, it’s because I’ve forgotten to pack it. However, my girlfriends aren’t walking Walmarts. It’s perfectly fine to suggest a detour to a shop, pharmacy or grocery store, especially since I’m usually not the only one who’s overlooked an item or two during the pre-trip chaos. To help ensure I bring everything I need, I created a general packing list that I can customize for each trip. Even so, I forgot to pack contacts for my right eye before leaving for Italy. D’oh!

5. Never deviate from the plan.

Who cares if the situation has changed, and it’s now inconvenient to do what you want to do. You’re a diva! Everyone should be working around you and your schedule.

Guilty as charged! Yes, I’ve pouted my way from one city to the next because I didn’t get to do what I had planned. Turns out the world doesn’t revolve around my plans, and sh*t happens. You’re traveling in a group. That means people get tired and hungry at different times. That means something more interesting to the group may pop up, and your gal pals would rather do that than stick to the original plan. Time to start making some lemonade. The good news is, now you have an excuse to go back and see what you missed!

Group hike in a beautiful forest.
Group hike in the beautiful Hoh Rainforest in WA state.

Despite all the things that can go wrong, when group trips go right, they are amazing experiences that you and your girlfriends can laugh about for years to come. I’ve shared some of the happiest moments of my life while traveling with my kick-ass friends. I wouldn’t give up my girl trips for anything. The memories we’ve created together are precious treasures that I’ll have with me forever.

So what terrible travel etiquette transgressions have you been guilty of? Come on, fess up!


If laughter is the best medicine, you definitely need an extra dose of me.

12 thoughts on “5 Quick Tips for TERRIBLE Travel Etiquette

  • October 21, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Let’s see…hmmm. I guess when I’m a bit tipsy I laugh too loud and don’t realize it. I know Americans in general tend to be loud when out-and-about but I try not to do that. At least until alcohol gets involved and then I bray like a donkey when I laugh.
    Sorry ladies!

    • October 21, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      LMAO! We ladies do love to laugh when we drink!

    • October 22, 2016 at 3:40 am

      Girl, your laugh is nothing compared to the Asian cackle!

  • October 21, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I have learned from group shaming to always ask if anyone needs the restroom before I go in and destroy it 🙂 Also from the mistake of friends not to leave the heat lamp on and the fan off afterwards. LOL
    I saw myself in some of those tips. I usually need about 10 minutes to adjust to plan changes…. and then will be ok. Just give me a minute.
    I love traveling with my girlies and try to be a better companion every trip.
    PS – Those are some hot chicks in your pictures <3

    • October 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Yeah! Group shaming at its best!

  • October 21, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Stopping right in my tracks, in the middle of the sidewalk, to take a photo. I really try not to do that. While I may see a great photo op, I have to remember that I’m the tourist. The people living and working in those places have important cat sh*t to do, and don’t want to deal with my nonsense. Now I step aside, wait for a little clearing in foot traffic, and try to be quick.

    • October 22, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      OMG! I do this too. Only difference is I usually add the Asian squat, lol.

  • October 22, 2016 at 3:44 am

    I’m trying to think of what I do when I travel that’s irritating and am having trouble thinking of something. With Su and Nancy as travel companions I’m more the mother of the group, making sure we get to where we need to go when we need to be there, it’s like herding sheep, lol.

    • October 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      LOL! Funny thing is, that’s the reason Nancy and I goof around, We know you’ll be there to get us home safely.

  • October 22, 2016 at 5:41 am

    The leaving something at home is where you got me. I overpack and then stress on the way to the airport that I’ve forgotten something important or wonder if it’s something that one of my girls will have with them but contact lenses are the FIRST thing I check when packing because without them I will need a seeing eye dog or a long stick. As far as carrying your weight, well, you do make the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches.

    • October 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks, Sally! At least I’m good at starting grilled cheese sandwiches. Not so great with the finish, LOL!

  • October 24, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I’m guilty of not delivering breakfast on the dot, as promised to Su. Oh the horror…


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