Even More How To Travel – Written 1878


We can learn so much from the past!

This is the final installment (part three) of an article written by Susan Anna Brown in 1878. Installments one and two can be found in the “To Share” category.

This article was first published in St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. V, August, 1878


If you cannot have everything just as you prefer, remember that you are in a public conveyance, and that the other passengers have as much right to their way as you have to yours.

If you find that your open window annoys your neighbor, do not refuse to shut it; and if the case is reversed, do not complain, unless you are really afraid of taking cold, and cannot conveniently change your seat. Above all things, do not get into a dispute about it, like the two women, one of whom declared that she should die if the window was open, and the other responded that she should stifle if it was shut, until one of the passengers requested the conductor to open it a while and kill one, and then shut it and kill the other, that the rest might have peace.

There are few situations where the disposition is more thoroughly shown than it is in traveling. A long journey is considered by some people to be a perfect test of the temper. There are many ways in which an unselfish person will find an opportunity to be obliging.

It is surprising to see how people who consider themselves kind and polite members of society can sometimes forget all their good manners in the cars, showing a perfect disregard of the comfort–and even the rights–of others, which would banish them from decent society if shown elsewhere.

 To return to particular directions: Do not entertain those who are traveling with you by constant complaints of the dust or the heat or the cold. The others are probably as much annoyed by these things as you are, and fault-finding will only make them the more unpleasant to all.

Be careful what you say about those near you, as a thoughtless remark to a friend in too loud a tone may cause a real heartache. Many a weary mother has been pained by hearing complaints of a fretful child, whose crying most probably distresses her more than any one else. Instead of saying, “Why will people travel with babies?” remember that it is sometimes unavoidable, and do not disfigure your face by a frown at the disturbance, but try to do what you can to make the journey pleasant for those around you, at least by a serene and cheerful face. A person who really wishes to be helpful to others, will find plenty of opportunities to “lend a hand” without becoming conspicuous in any way.

 Do not ask too many questions of other passengers. Keep your eyes and ears open, and you will know as much as the rest do. If you wish to inquire about anything, let it be of the conductor, whose business it is to answer you, and do not detain him unnecessarily.

If you get out of the car at any station on your way, be sure to observe which car it was, and which train, so that you need not go about inquiring where you belong when you wish to return to your seat. 

A large proportion of the accidents which happen every year are caused by carelessness. Young people are afraid of seeming timid and anxious, and will sometimes, in avoiding this, risk their lives very foolishly. They step from the train before it has fairly stopped, or put their heads out of the window when the car is in motion, or rest the elbow on the sill of an open window in such a way that a passing train may cause serious, if not fatal, injury. Sometimes they pass carelessly from one car to another when the train is still, forgetting that it may start at any moment and throw them off their balance. Many similar exposures can be avoided by a little care and thought.

These are very plain, simple rules, which it may be supposed are already known to every one; but a little observation will show that they are not always put in practice.

A great deal has been left unsaid here on the advantages and pleasures of travel; but, without a knowledge of the simple details we have given, one will be sure to miss much of the culture and enjoyment which might otherwise be gained by it.


***That’s a lot to remember in preparation for a trip!

May be we should heed some of this advice for ourselves.***


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