Rules for International Travel

1. Europeans put their light switches outside of every room, restrooms included. Often each individual toilet water closet will have their own individual light. Nice, eh? Don’t absentmindedly walk through the bathroom hitting each button on your way out. People will get very mad.

2. Unless your luggage is the size of a Vegas clutch don’t try to travel on Baltic Air. Trust me, don’t do it.

3. Lufthansa will give you wine. And more wine. And even more wine. Drink it all with a smile. I’ve heard they get really, really offended if you don’t but maybe that’s me justifying my indulgences.

4. When someone talks to you in a foreign language, don’t smile. Rather throw your hands up and do a mean version of this cleopatra-esqe dance. This is the universal symbol for “I have no idea what you’re saying nor do I want to know”

5. Push. (Shay’s rule) once again, don’t smile. If you want to get off a bus, off an airplane, or out of a coffee shop. The universal language for “get out of my way” is pushing. In America, people get annoyed and offended by this. Americans are overly sensitive. The rest of the world accepts it as normal and necessary.

6. Don’t watch Game of Thrones (no matter how long of a flight you are on) when you are seated next to your Grandma’s future best friend….Or your two year old niece’s foreign twin. Better yet, don’t ever watch Game of Thrones on an airplane. Even if you have the jolliest Willy Nelson lookalike as your seat companion it will still be awkward.

7. Just got off a nine hour flight and smelling a little swampy? No need to worry, hit up the airport duty free shop. Spritz yourself with perfume, sample some eye makeup remover, reapply your lipgloss with a Lancôme tester, and lather yourself in rich, creamy lotions. Afterwards, buy a 15 pound bag of European chocolate and Cosmo mix for the layover wait. I’m not sure why they call it a duty free shop, in America we call places like this The Ritz Carlton.

8. Your mom will give you a furry pillow to take with you on the plane (this rule allows applies to doughnut/square/hexagon/all shaped travel pillows). Don’t take it. Or take it and throw it out as soon as you lose sight of her. Why? Frankfurt police will think your furry pillow is stashed with cocaine and sit you in a padded room for questioning while they have drug dogs sniff it.

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