Q: My family and I recently went on a "ghost tour" in a city we were visiting in October. There was one guy in the tour group who made it very clear that he thought all of the stories were bunk. He was constantly laughing and rolling his eyes and saying, "People really believe this stuff?" I thought that was very rude. What do you think? Shouldn't people who don't believe in ghosts choose a different type of tour?
A: I think that guy was very rude. There are plenty of people (myself included) who don't believe in ghosts but still enjoy ghost tours. There's nothing wrong with appreciating ghost stories purely as folklore, or to take a ghost tour simply because it visits some interesting sights one might not otherwise get to.
However, if you're going to take any tour, you have to respect the guide and the others in the tour group. Making snide comments, rolling your eyes, etc., are not appropriate. You don't have to believe what the tour guide is saying, just as you don't have to agree with a museum docent's interpretation of a particular painting. But in both cases, you need to keep your opinions to yourself during the tour. Anyone who can follow along politely should be welcome. If someone can't do that, then yes, I think it would make sense for him or her to choose a different type of tour instead of ruining things for the other participants.
Q: If we travel to Orlando with our dog, will we be able to leave him in our hotel room while we go to Disney World and Universal Studios? I would like to do that by putting up the "Do Not Disturb" sign.
A: In general, even the most pet-friendly hotels do not want guests leaving dogs alone in their room. It's a safety issue for both the dog and the hotel, and the "Do Not Disturb" sign is not an absolute guarantee no one will access your room. If the hotel had a plumbing leak coming from your bathtub, for example, or someone smelled smoke, the hotel might need to send someone in whether you have a "DND" sign on the door or not. Plus, if your dog gets bored or scared, it might bark, which would disturb other guests.
A better option is a local "doggie day care" service or kennel. Disney has an official pet-care provider located near their Port Orleans hotel; Universal Orlando has an on-site kennel. For other options, call your hotel and ask what they recommend. A pet-friendly hotel should be used to this question and be able to advise you accordingly.travel
Email travel-etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.