Bad Groupies



Tags: travel etiquette, travel customs, travel manners, etiquette questions, manners and etiquette, group travel

Ms. Behaving at Royal Ascot

MS. BEHAVING knows that travelling with others can bring challenge as well as joy. Sometimes a bit of etiquette intervention is necessary.

A READER WRITES: Our family reunion at sea was blemished by my uncle, who drank like a fish, flirted inappropriately with the staff, and made a nightly fool of himself at the disco. We were so embarassed by his behavior…

MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: My dear, every family has one. (Only one, if they’re lucky.) The trick is to distance yourself from Uncle Awful, which arguably is difficult on a cruise ship. Putting aside the fact that he was invited in the first place, do know that others do not judge you because of him. Spending time from breakfast until dinner with family members you really enjoy being with is one strategy – which he won’t notice because he’s so self-involved – and cruise ships are big places providing many happy non-uncle activities. You are not there to bond with him but with the rest of your family. Make plans with others for after-dinner revels … and at the end of the cruise make it a family point to give extra gratuity good will to the staff members who put up with him.


A READER WRITES: On a recent trip to Portugal one group member drove us – and our guide – crazy with nonstop questions at every moment. This endless thirst for knowledge caused us to be late to many things and created resentment. What to do?

MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Being pro-active can save the day. Start with the guide, telling him/her in advance that when the questioning begins, you wish to keep walking and keep on schedule. Then back it up with action: perhaps posing a question about the next stop on your tour to keep things moving, making a pact with other group members to continue to walk. Talk to the offender only if you think, gently, it will do some good. Otherwise, subtle group action without sanction should do the trick.


WHAT’S YOUR QUANDARY? Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) HERE.


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