Etiquette…it’s a code of polite behavior within social settings in a particular profession or group. Human behavior varies though, as it stems from our genetics and is influenced through our core values, ethics, culture and attitudes. Genes are definitely a determinate of our behavior, but attitudes can change if surrounded by unhealthy living conditions, learning choices and other influences which are seen from the world around them. So it comes with no surprise that some need a reminder when to use proper etiquette. Traveling can be adventurous, but you must keep in mind you’re not alone. Summer is the busiest season for hotels, so exercising etiquette and patience will allow everyone to have a pleasurable experience.

Lobbies of hotels can get quite congested during check-in times, so if you’re not a crowd person, then think about checking in during off times; generally noon is quieter for the front desk, and while you may not be able to receive a room immediately, they’ll store your luggage until one does become available. People are impatient these days, so be prepared with your reservations (ID) and aware of all policies; also don’t show up with your pet unannounced. Not all hotels accept pets, and don’t expect others to get all googly eyed over your pet, not all people enjoy animals; show mutual respect. If you bring your pets, make sure you have proper disposal bags for their duties so-to-speak. Recently where I stayed someone had a larger dog (he was cute), but he defecated in the front lobby within seconds of entering. His owner, unprepared had used napkins located at the entrance, and no one came to wash the floor afterwards; he could have asked the employee for a cleaner or sanitizer. Minutes afterwards a family walked barefoot through the area and directly to the pool. This was a reminder as to the unhealthy conditions that often arise in public pools; use caution.

Be a Good Samaritan; most likely there are guests in the room next door, so don’t crank the television or radio, and turn it down after 10:00 pm. Some vacationers do have plans the following day, with an early start in mind.

For those leaving their rooms early or arriving in late (after hours), you should be respectful and quiet; not everyone is awake during the same hours, so be courtesy in the hallways. No one likes to hear slamming doors; hotels use fire proof doors. Also, have your kids be respectful; don’t let them jump around the room like animals. For whatever reason, some think this is the place to let them run wild.

My pet peeve is the common areas shared by hotel guests, inside and out. Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean you can leave your garbage anywhere you feel like it. I saw this in the parking lot, someone took out old cups (fast food) and left them on the hotel curb; really?! Hmmm, I wonder if they leave them in their driveways or lawn at home. Then there is the eating area…the common area where complimentary breakfast is served. Utensils are located outside the chafing dishes; this would be the large silver warmers used for eggs, sausage etc. It’s apparent many don’t practice etiquette when it comes to food. Watching people use their fingers to grab sausages out and eat them while standing there is just ‘Rude!’  I don’t know where those hands have been or any possible hygiene practices being used prior to entering the dining area. With all of the food borne illnesses surrounding us today, I cannot believe the things I’ve seen recently. I recall traveling with my parents at a young age and we were taught to always be respectful of others, including showing good manners in every public place or area we attended; there is a lack of manners today.

You know, hotels have staff to keep the grounds manicured and rooms attended to; these people work hard, but they are not your personal butlers. I honestly can’t imagine how tough some of their days might be. Walking past rooms being cleaned just amazes me at how filthy guests leave them, not to mention dog feces left behind. Where did these people come from? For what it’s worth, be kind…and remember … etiquette reflects upon your own human behavior; let’s all show a mutual respect.

Make your week count.