Traveling domestically or abroad is a great experience to see new places, cultures, and meet new people. It's through these experiences that we gain a global mindset and bridge the gaps between people from near or far. By the intentional nature of social media, traveling looks effortless and amazing. Of course, it's the time when in transit to get to your dream destinations that you can have a lot of obstacles arise. From my personal experience (a lot of them being frustrations) I've managed to live by a new code of conduct when traveling that has made those in-between moments that are not documented on Instagram or Facebook much more manageable.
1.) Hang right!
Generally hang to the right on escalators, stairs, or any pathway so those on the go can pass by. There are some exceptions like Japan where foot traffic in motion passes on the right so you will hang on the left to let those moving at a faster get by.
2.) Let others off first.
Think elevator, bus, train, or any other form of transit. It's courteous and also more efficient. In many parts of the world, it is common for a line to form and this behavior is starting to trend in some major American cities where the use of public transit is common too. Plain and simple it makes things more systematic. So take notice if there is a line and don't block exit pathways. Honestly, this should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, I see this faux pas time and time again.
3.) Keep conversations private.
You can always hear Americans before you can ever see them. Our loud behavior is accepted in the States, but is amazingly obnoxious for other nations. The entire restaurant really doesn't need to know how hard you went last night.
Tipping is not a universal thing and a great rule of thumb to follow if you're in a country where tipping is not part of the culture try rounding up. Say your bill comes to €38.50. Make things simple and leave €40. Nice, unique experiences, like a Michelin meal, definitely calls for a little more cash kicked to your service.
5.) Cash is king.
Simplify things by paying with the country's cash currency instead of your card. You'll often find when traveling abroad many places won't accept your card. There are some great accounts that you can set up which will wave those ATM and foreign transaction fees too!
Ultimately, putting in your best efforts to adapt to your new environment while traveling will be the most serving to create a smooth travel experience. Problems are always bound to occur when in transit so entering with a mindset knowing that there will be times you will need to be patient can also help make your experience more enjoyable.