Q: I posted on Facebook that my wife and I were at an Indian restaurant in Rome, and all of my friends wrote things like, "Who the heck goes to Rome and eats Indian food? What a waste!" But we'd been there for two weeks, we love Indian food, and it sounded like a nice change from pasta and pizza! Is there something intrinsically rude or weird about dining at restaurants that do not feature the local cuisine of the country you're visiting?
A: Absolutely not -- In fact, I think it's perfectly natural to want a break from any style of cuisine if you've been eating it for several days in a row. You obviously don't want to be a jerk and refuse to try the local cuisine at all, nor do you want to disparage it, especially in front of locals. For example, if you go to Italy, there will be pizza with potatoes on it. Instead of pointing out, loudly, how silly you think this is, just keep your mouth shut and don't order it if you don't want to try it. But one of the most memorable meals I had in Berlin was at a Mexican restaurant. Your friends were probably just jealous that you and your wife were in Rome.
Q: Do you think little kids should have their own suitcases, or should parents handle all the luggage?
A: It depends on the kids. If they're old enough to pull them with control, and they're excited about doing it, that's great. My daughter used to beg to pull my suitcase when we traveled together, and she showed us she could do a pretty good job navigating through an airport with it. So we got her one of her own, and she loves it.
If I got one for her younger brother, though, my husband or I would end up dragging it around in addition to our own. So I'd rather stuff his clothes in with mine to begin with than have to deal with an extra bag.
One thing I am in favor of, for all kids old enough to be responsible for it, is giving them a little bag or backpack that they can fill with toys for the plane. Obviously you'll want to retain the right to veto certain toys ("I'm sorry, Matilda, but the rest of the plane is not going to want to listen to the one song you can play on your harmonica for the entire flight ...") but if your children have toys they actually want to play with instead of ones you think they want to play with, the plane ride will be much easier.travel
Email travel-etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.