Embarrassed by the ‘Indian Family in Bali’ Video? Here are Steps to AVOID Being Insulted While on Holiday

Embarrassed by the ‘Indian Family in Bali’ Video? Here are Steps to AVOID Being Insulted While on Holiday

B.P.Vynatheya, travel consultant and Director, Leisure Al A Mode FZC, lists the things to do and what NOT to do while you are on holiday

There are so many benefits to travelling. Engaging with new people and experiencing their cultures and cuisines, learning history and geography of a place in real-time, travelling gives experiential learning and perspective of human beings from different backgrounds. Perhaps the most significant impact travel has is that it can broaden your mind though exposure to different cultures and history. Experiencing these cultures allows us to compare them with our own culture. Travel teaches us to see the world in ways, we would perhaps never be able to understand staying in our home countries.

Needless to say, while you adapt and learn new cultures, you are also representing your own culture when you travel. Recently, an embarrassing video did the rounds of the internet that showed an Indian family being humiliated by a hotel in Bali after they were caught stealing accessories. The video went viral on social media as horrified netizens cringed in embarrassment.

I frequently travel for business and leisure. And as a professional brand consultant, I strongly feel that every Indian carrying an Indian passport, while travelling for leisure or business or family staycation, he or she must not forget the fact, that he or she is a responsible citizen of India and a brand ambassador of India Inc. too carrying the onus of the reputation of the country.

Agreed, the temptation to flick a few shampoos or towers is too much but remember that it will be considered ‘stealing’! With billions of tourists travelling the globe from India, in reality, tourists leave a billion of first impressions in the minds of the people of the country they are visiting and communicating with and here is some essential mandatory checklist an Indian traveler to bear in Mind:


1. First things first, while checking into the hotel:

  • Be patient and courteous to the hotel front line staff as they have an essential job of checking you in and briefing you about the hotel policies and she is just doing her job as instructed to her. If you have any query, please step aside and ask for the front office manager to escalate the problem or issue you are facing.
  • Please note other travelers are standing in the queue, who might have travel fatigue and looking forward to checking into his/her room.
  • Should you observe any senior citizen or a differently-abled or an unwell person in the queue, please extend your courtesy to have them checked in first.

2. The buffet breakfast is an elaborate meal of the day any decent hotel provides and usually it starts from 6.30 am in the morning and extends till 10.30 am. If for some reason you are getting delayed, please call the room service desk and inform them about your late arrival, by doing this you will ensure that you will not miss your breakfast. Most of the hotels with ratings above 3 stars, serve you the breakfast inside your room upon request. Families travelling with senior citizens or small children can request for their complimentary packed snack bar after the breakfast; usually, the hotel staff extends this courtesy as an exception. Please do not pack it in disposable containers as this is for sure, considered as RUDE behaviour.

3. As most of the travellers have a planned itinerary, and if on the check-out, day your flight is late in the night, please inform the front office staff at the time of checking in itself that you will need late check out facility. This will allow them to plan the rooming especially when hotels have high occupancy. Usually the hotel allows late check-out maximum up to 2 hours and exceeding that timing, you will incur additional charge. On request, at front office manager's discretion complimentary extension of late check-out up to six hours is given or at a very nominal charges, the hotel may provide you with the late check out facility at your convenience.

4. A smile, friendly behaviour with the hotel's operational staff and handy tipping fetches you that extra comfort and makes your stay comfortable. It pays to be polite and courteous.

5. We all are tempted to pick up the hand & bath towels, cloth hangers, ashtrays. Please avoid this, as this is not a WELCOME gesture at all. The housekeeping staff keeps a tab of all the inventories, however, you are allowed to carry all the toiletries, slippers, newspapers and water bottles which are provided at the time of check-in and regularly replenished during your stay as this is something you have paid for.

6. The final and most crucial etiquette is reporting the consumption of Minibar items before checking out.


1. One might think carving names on the Colosseum or posting graffiti on a wall of any historical monument or structure is a COOL thing, but for sure it is not, please avoid doing this!

2. Remember that people are people, some people may look, dress, talk or act differently than you—but humans are humans everywhere in the world. Which means it is inappropriate to treat anyone like a sightseeing object or fodder for Instagram feed or FB stories. Please do not stare at locals and take photos without people's consent, and try to keep an open mind.

3. Do some fact-finding before travelling anywhere. Read on local customs, a tradition for dress, shopping behaviour, tipping in hotels and restaurants, showing affections in public places, offensive body gestures. Also develop a sense for the local currency, language and lingo, the network of public transports. It will be easier to navigate a new place.

4. Exchange pleasantries with your fellow travellers or the locals such as just a smile or saying good day.

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