Travel etiquette: group travel

Group travel
Travelling in a group, despite its limitations, can be a fun experience. However, sometimes the behaviour or attitude of just one person can spoil the experience for the entire group.

On my first trip to Cuba about fifteen years ago, I travelled in a group for ten days. The group was composed of twelve people and we travelled in a van that seated fifteen. Everyone was terribly excited and keen to see as much as possible of the island. However, there were two members of the group whom I thought would have been better off travelling on their own instead of in a group. It seemed like they had their own private itinerary and were not interested in mingling with the rest of the group. They often kept the group waiting in the mornings, were always the last back in the bus as they took photos of everything, always claimed the only empty seat in the cramped-up van for their three bags and they obviously had not heard of an invention called deodorant (you get the picture). They were a constant source of irritation within the group, and although everyone tried to enjoy themselves as much as possible, the inconsiderate behaviour of the two did put a dent in everyone’s experience of the trip.

The important thing here is that we should be aware of the fact that we are in the company of others who share the same goal: to see the sights and enjoy the trip. This means being considerate towards the rest of the group, and sometimes, putting aside personal needs that may inhibit the enjoyment of others. Group travel certainly has its limitations (the limited time spent in a particular place usually tops the list) but if we do choose this form of travel, we should endeavour to make a positive contribution to the group’s travel experience. This includes being on time, socialising with the rest of the group, being courteous and lending a hand to anyone in need of help. A sense of humour is often appreciated as well. One more thing: don’t forget that deodorant!

Read other travel etiquette posts.

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