Category Archives: Travel Etiquette

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Are You Accustomed to Customs? – National Etiquette Week – Day 4

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How many times have you been distracted today? Did you just get distracted when the notification for this post appeared? ūüôā

So, since I have you for a moment, consider this question. Have you allowed yourself a few moments to daydream about what you would rather be doing instead of what you feel like you have to do right now?

What would¬†you think about? Getting off work tomorrow? Warmer weather? TAKING A VACATION? ¬†If a vacation is what you’ve been dreaming about, let me stop you right there and prepare you for your next trip.

Traveling can be the most exciting, yet draining activity ever. Do you ever feel like you need a vacation when you get back from vacation? Why is that? Why do you feel so drained after coming back from what was supposed to be relaxation, serenity and peace?

If you really want to take a real vacation and return back to the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life with a recharged life battery, consider some of these vacation life skill approaches that work like a charm for us:

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1 –¬†Slow Down:¬†The older you become, doesn’t it seem like time just flies by super¬†fast. Well, the truth is that time is not going any faster than it was when you were 5, 15 or 25. We are just much more distracted and continuously rushing from one place to the next. During a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I decided to sit and gaze out of the plane window instead of anxiously awaiting for the fasten seat belt sign to turn off, so I could fire up my laptop. Just those 3-4 minutes that I intentionally sat and looked out the window, I captured this¬†wonderful video of the plane climbing¬†above the clouds. There is beauty, peace and tranquility all around us. If you’re looking to take advantage of it, especially as you prepare to take a vacation, just slow down long enough to take it all in.

 

2 – Pack Smart: Look, I get it; no one wants to get to their vacation destination and realize that the didn’t pack their must have body wash, medication or phone chargers. There are 3 very simple ways to be a smart, efficient and prepared packer:

  • Don’t wait until the last-minute:¬†I probably lost most people on this one. Waiting until the last-minute is the fastest way to start your trip off on the wrong foot. How can you focus on peace and tranquility when you are busy worrying if you packed enough underwear to make it through the trip? Just slowly pack over a week or even a few days to ensure that you have what you need.
  • Limit your space: ¬†The more space you have, the more likely that you will max that space out. In the pictured above, I severely limited my space on two different trips. The backpack was a weekend trip to New Orleans and even included my laptop, a dress to attend a wedding, shoes and other essentials. The bottom right photo is a new product that I’ve been testing out – Smart Cargo cord keeper. I usually have cords all over the place, since the number of electronic devices that I travel with has increased, so I decided to find a “cord keeper” to keep them organized and in one place while I’m in transit. So far, so good with this new product, but I’ll provide you with a formal review over on Jacqueline’s Product Review page soon.
  • Commit:¬†¬†The easiest way to limit yourself and to not over pack is to commit. People are often amazed when I tell them how efficiently I can pack. Packing efficiently requires you to select clothing that you know will work on the trip. It requires thought, planning and some weather checking, but the outcome is not having to pay for checked luggage, not losing your luggage and being¬†nimble, quick and easily moving from the plane to your vacation.

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3 – Try New Stuff:¬†Your favorite restaurant, activity and hobbies are important, but trying something new, especially while you are on vacation is a fantastic idea. On a recent trip, instead of the normal rushy activities that I’m used to engaging in, I decided to sit on a bench on the resort that I was staying at, and look at the pond. To my surprise, there were two beautiful flamingos who lived in that pond, that kept my attention for close to 30 minutes. When you slow down, embrace flexibility and open yourself up to new things, beautiful things just have a way of happening.

4 РRead the Fine Print: Behind missing luggage, there are few things that ruin a trip besides realizing that you did not read your travel information correctly. Read your confirmation details thoroughly, ask questions and double-check your itinerary. Some of the most commonly misread travel document include:

  • Boarding Zone – Are you really in zone F trying to board with Zone A; just wait your turn.
  • Transportation Pick Up – Don’t get left stranded at a foreign airport because you assumed that transportation was included with your travel package.
  • Excursions – Vacation excursions are cool, but they get expensive very quickly. Make sure that you know what’s included and what’s not.
  • Baggage Rules – The days of 1 free carry on and 1 personal items are slowly become extinct. On many airlines, it costs to even carry on. Don’t get to the airport and burn through $100 in baggage check fees because you didn’t read the fine print.

5 – Ask Before You Assume:¬†Have you ever gotten to your plane seat and someone was sitting there? When they see you approach, then they say, “do you mind if I change seats with you”? That order of operations is not correct. They made the assumption that you would be quite alright with the move before they even really asked. Before you assume that someone will be OK with you taking their seats, just ask first.

 

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Girlfriends who travel well together, Los Angeles, CA

 

6- Set Some Expectations With Friends/Family:¬† As part of National Etiquette Week, yesterdays blog post touched on the importance of thinking through your guest list for a dinner party. It equally, or some would say is more important to think through who you are inviting on a trip with you. While at a first thought, inviting all of your friends on a trips seems like a dynamic idea, but the reality is that everyone does not travel well together. Stop and consider these common problems that people have with traveling with friends they’ve never traveled with before:

  1. Being late for everything
  2. Would rather watch TV in the room, instead of checking out the city or the resort
  3. Wants to only go to mainstream restaurants that they frequent back home
  4. Is cheap and doesn’t want to pay for anything
  5. Stays on the phone with family and friends back home all day

Just because you can’t travel with someone doesn’t mean they can’t be your friend. It means that you’re simply not travel compatible, and that’s OK.

Scarlet Says…traveling can be a fantastic way to relax, recharge and experience new things. Considering the time, financial investment and energy that it takes to travel, its in our best interest¬†to ensure that our¬†plans, companions and activities are carefully considered. Happy Traveling this summer!

Until Next Time,

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Scarlet

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I Bet You Think This Weekends About You

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Hosting out-of-town guests can be exciting, but¬†sometimes equally as anxiety inducing. So, it’s no surprise to me that this past weekend while hosting my dad and aunt, there was a bit of a mix of both emotions as I worked through what types of activities would ensue.

Both my aunt and my dad have visited me in the past, so it wasn’t a complete guessing game about what types of things they wanted to do, but yet, I still should have asked.

When people are way from home, it is my belief that making them feel as comfortable as possible will result in everyone’s experience¬†being enjoyable, relaxing and filled with positive memories.So, I did just that. I also took the liberty of scheduling some things that I knew they would enjoy, including a game night, a few jazz related activities, plenty of food outings and even a surprise drop in visit from other family visiting the area over the weekend.

Now, for me, this amount of weekend activities seemed pretty appropriate. But, I quickly learned that for my dad and aunt, it was a bit too much. I am very much used to a weekend filled with hustle, bustle and more hustle. It’s common for me to fit in 100 million things into a weekend trip somewhere, but that’s just me. My aunt and dad were more than happy with one day time outing and a delicious meal of some sort every day. So,¬†during one of the completely overfilled days, one of them said, “maybe we can just go back home after this”.

And then it clicked…

Scarlet Says… Just like the evolution, growth and change of almost everything else in our lives, even the Golden Rule itself has advanced. Let’s make it a point to embrace not doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, but instead,¬†treating others how they want to be treated.¬†The next time you host someone at your home or are entertaining out-of-town guests, just ask them, “what would you like to do with your time here”, then take it from there!

Until Next Time,

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Scarlet


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National Etiquette Week – #scarletetiquetteweek2015

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Guess what week it is! It’s National Etiquette Week and Scarlet will not miss this opportunity to get in on the action! You can look out for fun opportunities to engage with Scarlet all week long.

Monday:¬†Kick off your week with positivity and thanks! Write 3 people a hand written thank you note thanking them for something that they’ve done for you. Believe me – they’ll remember and it’ll get you some major relationship building points. We stopped by Michael’s and they have a fantastic sale on thank you cards!

Tuesday:¬†Share your etiquette pet peeves! The only way we can really live, work and play together is if we’re aware of how to best engage with each other. Share these pet peeves on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag:¬†#scarletetiquetteweek2015

Wednesday:¬†What’s one etiquette rule that you think should totally go out the door? We embrace modern, real-world etiquette so we’re dying to know your thoughts!¬†Share your items on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag:¬†#scarletetiquetteweek2015

Thursday:¬†If there were a Scarlet Award – an award for someone who exemplifies what it means to be considerate¬†of others, embrace perspectives and has a great sense of style, let us know. This doesn’t need to be the quintessential standard of what¬†“style” normally is. This could be someone who just has their own flare, style or look. Who do you know? Let us know! Post about them on our¬†Facebook wall, by tagging us and them on Twitter or even uploading a photo of them and tagging us on¬†Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag:¬†#scarletetiquetteweek2015

Friday:¬†If you could change your workplace by enforcing this one office etiquette practice. What would it be?¬†Share your item on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag:¬†#scarletetiquetteweek2015

We are super siked about all your upcoming posts this week! If you don’t want to engage online, but you still want to share, simply email us at info@scarletcomm.com.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Until Next Time,

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Scarlet


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International Tipping Guidelines

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International leisure travel is exciting, but there are some things that you should keep in mind in order to ensure a successful getaway.

The one thing that you’ll certainly need on this journey is money. Even if it’s an all-inclusive, all expenses paid journey, you still need a bit of pocket change – just because. Also, there may be a hostess, maitre d’ or hospitality professional that goes above and beyond and you just want to show your appreciation.

The tipping rules can vary widely from country to country, so Scarlet wants to ensure that you are well prepared and aware of the standards.

Check out the international tipping guide, by clicking here. 

Safe and happy travels!

Until next time,

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Scarlet


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Slugging Aint Easy

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mmw_slugging_0311A few weeks ago while visiting our friends over at the DC Women’s Business Center, I noticed an interesting phenomenon. There were people randomly lined up in unmarked areas of downtown Washington DC standing calmly in lines, just waiting. Since I’m a curious creature, I decided to pay close attention to how this whole ordeal was going down. So, really, people – dressed in various types of clothing and of different ethnicity’s, ages, sex and stature, wait in line for unmarked cars to pull up to the curb. There is a really quick exchange of words (which I could not inconspicuously decode), the person gets into the car and they roll away. After a bit of post observation research, I learned that this practice is simply referred to as slugging.

Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area sometimes referred to as “Instant Carpooling” or “Casual Carpooling”. It’s unique because people commuting into the city stop to pickup other passengers even though they are total strangers! However, slugging is a very organized system with its own set of rules, proper etiquette, and specific pickup and drop-off¬†locations. It has thousands of vehicles at its disposal, moves thousands of commuters daily, and the best part, it‚Äôs FREE! Not only is it free, but it gets people to and from work faster than the typical bus, metro, or train. http://www.slug-lines.com/

Now, I don’t know about you, but the thought of getting into a random car with a random person sounds real Michael Myers-like, but that’s not the point here. The point is how this random, self-organized, unconventional method of travel has taken on a movement of its own and has even embraced a standard of etiquette rules and protocol to ensure its livelihood.

The concept of slugging made me think about all of the other unconventional things that we have embraced and built a set of standards, rules, processes or protocol around it without really realizing. You might casually think of Man Code, as men simply respecting an unspoken set of standards that men live by. You may think of Buying a Round of drinks after your friend just initiated a round a short while ago, to simply keep the party going. You may even Provide Socks to friends who are coming over your house when you request for them to remove their shoes.

Scarlet Says…Whether it is a deep-rooted commonly utilized practice like Thank You Cards or a newer passive practice like Man Code, etiquette and protocol has its place in every aspect of our lives. It exists not to impart stiff, boring and antiquated practices into our day, but instead to be guidance in maximizing our relationships and our time. Take advantage of it!

Until Next Time,

– Scarlet


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Accustomed To Customs?

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If you do an online search for “international travel”, a whole slew of tips on making sure that your trip is a success will surface. In summary, they’ll include things like:

– Remember your passport (you’ll need it to travel pretty much anywhere outside of your home country)
– Know the critical words and phrases in the native or most commonly used language of the place you’re visiting (words like, bathroom, hello, thank you, help and good-bye)
– Remember you safety¬†tips and be sure to let someone know where you’ll be

The list will certainly go on…and on…

What we want to arm you with today is a list of tips that you won’t find on those lists. Make note of Scarlet’s International travel Etiquette Tips!

1. Travel with people who you like, get along with and are interested in the same things that you are. If you fail to adhere to this, you are setting yourself up for a trip of moans, grunts and complaints.
2. At least 2 of the 20 things you planned will not go 100% as intended, so pack your patience. Unplanned snafus aren’t always a bad thing, so leave a little room in your itinerary for spontaneity and randomness.
3. Try something new. Not so long ago, I happened to really enjoy an ice-cold Coke, every now and then! (OK, maybe a little more¬†frequently¬†than just¬†every now and then) While visiting Germany, I couldn’t help but notice how “weak” and unfamiliar the Cokes there were. Although I mentally hymned and hawed about how the Coke’s didn’t taste like I was used to them tasting, this new experience sparked my decline of Coke (over) consumption. Although Coke’s are still a tasty treat for me sometimes, that experience in Germany helped me to not consume as much as I once did, which was ultimately a healthier decision.

Travel of any kind is always exciting, but especially international travel. As you look forward to international trips that you have planned in the coming months or year, keep these tips in mind, keep an open mind and have a fantastic time!

Until next time,

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Shut That Baby Up!

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Courtesy of iimageworld.com

For some awkward reason, I seem to always be placed next to a mother and/or father and their infant baby when I travel or go out to eat. Considering that babies aren’t usually lining up for me to hold them and they usually¬†cry when I even try to, I find this phenomenon pretty fascinating. The cuteness of a newborn is truly unparalleled, but so is the fall out and awkwardness when the baby goes into spazz out mode and nothing from the pacifier, to the actual bottle, to a diaper change or a sweet treat will silence them.

The most awkward part of the situation is not really for the baby, because I‚Äôm certain that at that point, they just want what they want; the awkwardness actually ends up¬†on the parents’ shoulders. Imagine wanting someone to react or do something but not being able to communicate it to them? In these situations, there are more people involved than just the baby and the parents around them. There is also YOU!

Think about the last situation that you were in where you hoped in the end, there was a different outcome, but you just couldn’t control it. Consider that many parents feel that way. Most parents don’t bring their kids along with them for the sole purpose of ruining your day and subjecting you to their crying children. They bring them along because, well, they want to, are supposed to and should be able to.

Keep in mind that we are all put in awkward unwanted situations that we can’t 100% control. I absolutely crave peace, quiet and tranquility as much as possible, but I don’t live here on earth alone and neither do you, and quite honestly, ¬†let’s be honest, we don’t want to.

So, the next time that you are forced to sit next to a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a grandmother or a friend who is coping with a crying baby, be a little more sensitive to them. After all, sooner or later, you may be in the same situation, and you’d certainly want someone to sympathize with you.

Until next time…

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ASK SCARLET – HOUSE GUESTS

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BURNING QUESTION? NEED ADVICE ON HOW TO HANDLE A SITUATION SURROUNDING HOUSE GUESTS.

ASK TODAY AND WE’LL RESPOND LIVE TOMORROW!

Ready? Set! ASK SCARLET!


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The History of Passports

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Ninety-five percent of mid-19th century passport applicants were men, although many women also traveled overseas. Ultimately, during that time, women were usually under the protection of men.


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SPRING BREAK IS HERE!!

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Photo courtesy of Elan Vacations

Photo courtesy of Elan Vacations

Ok, so I know that it’s hard to believe, but it’s spring break time! The weather is surely going to cause many college students, families and vacationers to head to the warmest possible spots in the world! But, before you head out, we invite you to consider the travel etiquette and protocol list below, so that your trip is full of great memories and experiences!

  • Pack smart: Most airlines do not allow you to bring along luggage for free anymore. Think through your clothing and luggage to minimize the amount of space that you’ll use and avoid spending your travel budget on unnecessary luggage costs.
  • Allot for tips: You will encounter several different people and situations where tipping will be essential. Factor in your tipping amounts before you leave so that you aren’t caught off guard and end up unexpectedly low on funds.
  • Pack your patience: Nothing every goes 100% as planned, especially on vacations! Your plane might be delayed. Your luggage might get lost. You may discover that you left something at home. Don’t let one thing ruin something that you’ve been waiting for, for so long.
  • Pick your travel mates wisely: Many friendships have been ruined because of a lack of communication and travel incompatibility. It is wise to find out what your travel mates likes and dislikes are in advance of the trip.
  • Use a checklist: It’s easy to forget important things that you need on your trip if you are trying to remember them from memory. Use a list to keep you on track.
  • Expand your horizons: Your favorite restaurant at home can still be your favorite restaurant, but if you can travel and try something new, take advantage of it.

Etiquette and protocol extends beyond our day-to-day and into our trips and vacations as well. Enjoy Spring Break!


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Thank you for stopping by to see us. What other kinds of etiquette do you think we should teach?