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Business And Personal Etiquette:
Habit That Annoy
Personal Appearance
Faring Forth To A Tea
At Dinner
Voice And Conversation

Travel Tips And Etiquette

( Originally Published 1940 )

After thge length of the trip and the mode of travel have been decided, plan to take just enough baggage so that you will have with you what you actually require. Wear and carry with you clothes that the season and climate demand, dark enough not to show soil, and of materials that do not wrinkle easily. Be conservative in the color and style, so that you will not be conspicuous and attract undue attention.


The style and quality of your luggage should harmonize with your personal appearance. Old, broken-down bags and numerous bundles and boxes make a traveler look ridiculous. The bundles and boxes will be in your and your fellow passengers' way at every turn. Don't take anything that you don't absolutely need. If you are traveling by train, you are allowed to check 150 pounds of baggage without additional charge. Get the baggage to the station half an hour before the train is scheduled to depart so that it will leave on the train with you and will arrive when you do.

Traveler's Checks

Having decided upon the clothes and luggage, next decide how you wish to carry your money. No one today carries large sums of money in cash. One very convenient way of carrying money is by means of traveler's checks. They may be procured at banks, express offices, or travel agencies in denominations of $10, $20, $50, and $100, bound in leather folders. A small charge, based on each $100 worth of traveler's checks purchased, is made for the service. The buyer signs the checks when he purchases them; he must also sign each check again in the presence of the person who cashes it for him. This second signature serves as an identification. Traveler's checks are accepted almost everywhere in the United States and in many foreign countries.

Lost Checks

It is wise to list the numbers and denominations of the traveler's checks you buy. Carry this information in a safe place; don't put it in your purse or wallet. If your checks are lost or stolen, the numbers and denominations may then be telegraphed to the agency that sold them to you. If you have lost American Express Travelers Cheques, all you need do is go to any express office in any city and report your loss. This office will wire the New York office, where all American Express Travelers Cheques are audited. After a thorough investigation, your money will be refunded to your home express office. This sometimes takes as long as thirty days. The charge you paid when you purchased your American Express Travelers Cheques represents insurance, as you are fully protected against loss or theft.

The Coach

If you have decided to travel by train, you may buy your ticket for the coach, the Pullman car, or, in some sections of the country, the tourist Pullman. The least expensive of the three is the coach. Coach passengers are not always assured of a seat, however, which may make this class of travel unsatisfactory during the holiday seasons.

The modern de luxe coaches are comfortable for daytime travel, but sleeping in a chair at night is not very restful. However, pillows are supplied, increasing the comfort of this mode of travel. Coach passengers have dining-car privileges.

The Standard Pullman

If you have decided to travel in the standard Pullman, you must buy a "first-class" railroad ticket, which is higher in price than the coach ticket. This first-class ticket gives you the privilege of buying a standard Pullman ticket for your entire journey.

If you have a coach ticket for the entire journey, however, you may ride in the coach as far as you wish; then have your railroad ticket validated for passage in the standard sleeping car or parlor car on payment of the difference between the one-way first-class railway fare and the one-way coach fare applying between the point where the Pullman accommodation is taken and the point where it is given up. In addition, you must purchase a Pullman ticket for the sleeping car or the parlor car, whichever you wish. The Pullman conductor collects for the Pullman accommodations and issues a cash fare receipt to you. This receipt indicates the car and the accommodation assigned. There is no assurance, however, that there will be Pullman space available for those wishing to use this plan. This is often the case during the holiday seasons.

The most convenient plan, and of course the most expensive, is to buy a Pullman ticket for the entire journey. This gives you, in addition to the sleeping accommodation, access to the dining car, the club car, the lounge car, and the observation car.

A Berth

If you have a Pullman ticket for the entire trip, go to the car indicated on your Pullman ticket when you board the train. The number of your seat or berth is indicated on this ticket. If you are not traveling at night, the ticket may read "Seat No. 12, Car 16"; if you are traveling at night, "Upper Berth No. 12, Car M:"

If you have a through Pullman ticket, you are entitled to a seat in the Pullman during the day too. The person reserving the lower berth is entitled to the seat facing the direction in which the train is traveling. The person reserving the upper berth must ride backward during the day. The cost of the upper berth is less than that of the lower berth. The upper berth is just as comfortable as the lower berth, but it is less convenient because it must be reached by means of a small ladder. In the newest Pullman cars, however, the ladder is stationary, which makes the upper berth almost as desirable as the lower berth.

Dressing Rooms

The dressing rooms for men and for women are at opposite ends of the car. Each room contains mirrors, wash basins, dental lavatory, towels, soap dispensers, racks for bags, hooks for clothes, and numerous other modern lavatory conveniences. Go to the dressing room to dress for the night while the porter is making up the berth. If the dressing room is crowded, you may finish undressing in the berth.

In the morning, if you are in an upper berth, ring for the porter and ask him for the ladder so that you can come down. If you are sure there will be plenty of space in the dressing room, you may wear your robe and plan to dress there; but as a rule the passenger dresses in his berth. If, however, yours is a long journey, plan your time so you can use the dressing room leisurely.

A Section

A person may reserve a section if he wishes. A section consists of the space of an upper and a lower berth. A person who is ill sometimes reserves a section, so that he may keep the berth made up as long as he wishes, as no one is entitled to the seat opposite his. A section is less expensive than any of the private rooms.

The Bedroom

The inconvenience of public dressing rooms causes many passengers to reserve bedrooms, compartments, or drawing rooms rather than regular berths. The Pullman bedroom is a private room with toilet facilities, space for wraps and baggage, a writing desk, a fulllength seat that is converted into a bed at night, and an upper berth to be used when two persons are traveling together. The single bedroom will accommodate one adult and one small child. The double bedroom will accommodate two adults and two small children.

Compartments and Drawing Rooms

If two or more persons are traveling together, compartments and drawing rooms are most convenient. The compartment is a room with double seats facing each other, an extra chair, and private toilet facilities. Many compartments contain wardrobes where clothing may be hung at full length.

The drawing room is larger than the compartment and has a separate room for toilet facilities. The drawing room will accommodate as many as five persons.

The Tourist Pullman

In some sections of the country it is possible to purchase tourist Pullman accommodations. If you wish tourist Pullman accommodations, you must buy an "intermediate-class" railroad ticket, which costs slightly more than a coach ticket. In addition, you must buy a tourist Pullman ticket. The tourist Pullman car is more comfortable than a coach, and a ticket for it entitles you to a specific seat during the day and a specific berth at night.

The particular car and the reservation to be occupied are shown on the face of your ticket, regardless of whether the trip is by day or by night. The berths are comfortable, there is porter service just as on the standard Pullman, and you have access to the dining car. You do not have access to the lounge car, the club car, or the observation car, however.


It is customary to tip the Pullman porter when you leave the train. From 10 to 25 cents for a day and from 25 to 50 cents for making up a berth are considered correct unless you have had extra service; then the tip should be in proportion to that service.

The Dining Car

Some people consider it too expensive to eat in the diner, but the cost of meals there is no more than that in many restaurants. You may order a la carte or table d'hote just as you would in any hotel dining room; the service and food are similar. Your meal check is left on the table on a small tray; you should put on this tray sufficient money to pay both the check and the tip. The tray is taken, the amount of the check is removed, and the tray is returned to your table with the change on it. Leave in the tray the customary tip of 10 per cent or more.


When you arrive at your destination, the train will be met by porters called "redcaps," one of whom will carry your luggage into the station. Notice the number on his cap so that you can identify him if you happen to lose sight of him temporarily. The redcap will help you check your bags, get them from the baggage room if you have checked them on your ticket, or take you to a taxi. You are expected to tip him in proportion to the assistance he has given you. The customary tip is 10 cents a bag.

Be sure, when traveling, to get your information and assistance from the information desk in the station, from the Traveler's Aid desk, or from uniformed attendants.


When you get into the taxi, give the name of your hotel to the driver or to the redcap, who will give the information to the driver.

The taximeter registers the cost of the trip as you ride along. You can easily see this meter from your seat; when you reach the hotel, you are expected to tip 10 cents if the trip costs no more than $1. If the driver has come a long distance, he usually expects a 10 per cent tip.

In some localities, a flat rate of from 25 to 50 cents is in effect anywhere within the business district. It is wise to inform yourself about the rate.

Hotel Reservations

The demand for hotel rooms during some seasons of the year is so great that you may not be able to obtain accommodations at the hotel you have selected unless you reserve a room in advance. Write or wire to the room clerk and tell him the date and time of your arrival, the number of persons to be accommodated, the kind of room wanted-single or double, with or without bathand the length of time you wish to keep the room. If you have any other preferences, mention them, and ask the price of the room if you wish.

In some cases, reservations should be made several weeks in advance; under ordinary conditions, two or three days give the room clerk sufficient time in which to notify you whether or not you can reserve the room. If the time is short, he will wire you if you request it. If for some reason you are not able to arrive when you planned, wire the hotel and ask that the room be held for you, or otherwise definitely cancel the reservation.

When no hotel reservation has been made and you find that you have arrived in town during a convention or football game, have the redcap at the station call the hotel to see whether rooms are available. This may save you much embarrassment and expense-to say nothing of time.

Selecting a Room

If you have no reservation, the bellboy will take your bags into the hotel and wait with them near by while you go to the desk to select your room and register. If you wish a room with bath for one person, say so and ask the price. If you want to be sure there is a closet in the room for your clothes or that your room is not too close to the elevator, ask about these things before you select your room. The management will accommodate you if possible. It is generally customary to state how long you wish to keep the room. Ordinarily, if you register during the evening, you are entitled to the room until six o'clock the next evening; if you register during the day, you are entitled to the room until six o'clock of the evening of the next day.

How to Register

When you have selected the room, the clerk will ask you to register on a blank provided for that purpose. A man or a boy signs, "John Hamilton, Kansas City, Missouri." If a man is accompanied by his wife, he signs, "Mr. and Mrs. John Hamilton, Kansas City, Missouri." A married woman alone signs, "Mrs. John Hamilton, Kansas City, Missouri," and an unmarried woman or a girl signs, "Miss Mary Jones, Akron, Ohio," or, "Mary Jones, Akron, Ohio."

Going to the Room

As soon as you have registered, the clerk gives the room key to the bellboy who is waiting close by with the bags. He takes the bags and goes toward the elevator and you follow. He rings for the elevator; when it arrives, he steps back and allows you to enter first. A man removes his hat and does not smoke in a hotel elevator. He replaces his hat when he steps into the corridor again. The bellboy gives the number of the floor to the elevator boy. When you get off the elevator, the bellboy leads the way to the room. He goes in first, turns on the lights, puts up the windows, and looks to see that everything is in order. The tip for the bellboy is usually 10 cents a bag. Lock the door when the bellboy leaves and keep it locked while you are in the room; lock the door and leave the key at the desk whenever you leave the hotel.

The Desk

If you wish to have ice water, a paper, magazine, or anything else brought to your room, call the desk and ask that a bellboy be sent to your room with whatever you want. The cost of this service is a 10-cent tip in addition to the cost of the article; for ice water, of course, you give the bellboy merely the 10-cent tip.

Hotel Dining

If the hotel is an American-plan hotel, meals are included in the price quoted you at the desk; but if it is a European-plan hotel, the price quoted does not include meals. Most commercial hotels in the United States are run on the European plan.

Women should wear hats with street clothes when they go to the dining room. It is permissible for one who is staying at the hotel to go to the dining room without a hat. A person who is alone generally takes something to read while he waits for his order.

Checking Out

When you are ready to check out, call the desk and ask that the bill be prepared and that a bellboy be sent to your room for the bags. Then go to the desk, return the key, and pay your bill. The bellboy will call a taxi for you, if you wish, and carry out your bags. The tip to the bellboy will be the same as it was when you were taken to your room.

Bus Travel

There are times when it is more convenient and less expensive to travel by bus than by train. Busses have regular runs and schedules; now that road conditions are so much improved, they are rarely off schedule.

Some bus lines have night coaches with sleeping accommodations similar to those in Pullman coaches. The cost is less than that of the Pullman accommodation.

Passengers are allowed to carry a reasonable amount of small hand baggage into the bus. This baggage should be tagged with the owner's name and permanent address, as no responsibility is assumed by the bus company for baggage or other personal property carried into the coach. Cardboard identification tags are provided free at many bus stations. On supercoaches, all baggage is carried in dust- and waterproof compartments underneath the seats. Only small parcels, hats, coats, and the like may be carried into the bus.

Baggage may be checked from the starting point through to your destination. This relieves you of the care of your baggage at transfer points. Baggage to be checked should be taken to the bus station in advance of the leaving time. Baggage not exceeding $25 in value and 150 pounds in weight may be checked without charge for each adult passenger; and 75 pounds, not over $12.50 in value, for each child traveling on a halffare ticket. The value of each piece of baggage offered for checking must be declared in writing. Baggage exceeding the free weight and value allowance will be charged for according to tariff regulations. The baggage clerk at the bus station will give you a check, which you will present to the baggage clerk at your destination to reclaim your baggage.

Air Travel

The fastest and most recent mode of travel is by air. For a person who must reach a destination in the shortest possible time, the airplane offers the most satisfactory means of travel. Its cost is not prohibitive, since a cross-country trip, which on a train would take several days, may be made in much less time by air. The expense for meals, berths, and tips for the longer time on the train tends to equalize the air-travel cost. For the busy executive whose time is valuable, air travel now seems indispensable.

The cabins of the planes are air-conditioned and the temperature is controlled automatically. Meals are often served, and many planes are now equipped with berths for night flying.

A person is allowed 40 pounds of baggage without charge on each air ticket; the baggage may be checked or carried in the cabin. Each passenger is allowed to carry 50 pounds of baggage, but he must pay according to tariff regulations for the 10 pounds of excess weight. The weight of the baggage of passengers traveling together may be combined, however, and if the total weight does not exceed the total free allowance, no excess will be charged. For example, two passengers traveling together are allowed a total of 80 pounds of free baggage. One bag may weigh 50 pounds and the other 30 pounds; since the combined weight does not exceed 80 pounds, there is no charge for excess weight.

Accident Insurance

It is possible, for a sum as small as 25 cents a day, to buy accident insurance, regardless of whether the trip is made by train, bus, or automobile. Air-line trip insurance on a mileage basis may be obtained at approximately the same rate. It is now possible, for 25 cents, to get $5,000 protection during any four-hour trip. Scheduled time on the ground or scheduled stopovers are not included in the four hours.

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