For some of us, travelling is an uncomplicated process, requiring little effort to prepare for. As a result, we get so caught up in the material tasks of our travel plans, that we forget our very purpose of undertaking the journey and the etiquette associated with travelling.
The truth is, while we tick boxes for passports, wallets, money, and travel documents, we lose sight of the fact that travelling demands certain etiquettes which I will mention below:
Ask yourself why you’re travelling? We often talk about where we will travel to and what we will do throughout our travels, however, very rarely do we ask ourselves why we are doing what we do. Try to travel intentionally as your actions will be based on this. Click here to read more about travelling intentionally.
Departing On a Thursday In The Morning
It is preferable to embark on a journey on a Thursday. If this is not possible, then on a Monday and the time of embarking should be in the morning. The Prophet (peace be upon him) actually preferred to leave for journeys on a Thursday.
Prayer Before Exiting The House
Before you leave the house, try to offer two units of supererogatory [nafl] prayers. Read Sūrah Fātiha and Sūrah Kāfirūn in the first Rakā’ah and Sūrah Fātiha and Sūrah Ikhlās in the second Rakā’ah. Thereafter, pray to Allāh to bless the journey and fulfil any necessities. Use this as a moment to step back, reflect and pour your heart out to Allah and ask him for all the goodness of the trip.
It is recommended that you bid farewell to your family, neighbours, friends and companions before leaving as well as request their prayers. That way you nurture your relationship with them and they know you’re gone if anything happens.
Pack only that which you absolutely require. Travelling with less baggage saves you time and money and allows you to get around quickly and easily. The best thing to do is get yourself an ultra-light backpack. This way, it’s light on your shoulders and you’re forced into taking only that which you need.
Be Patient With Others
Travelling will throw a whole load of good and bad at you so be prepared. Whilst travelling is pleasurable, it can test your patience. Just be calm, collective and try your best to be kind and polite to others. Don’t let others put you off. Click here to read more about what you can do in these situations here.
Cleanliness & Prayers
Make sure you’re aware and conscious about your prayers, prayer timings and cleanliness. It can be difficult to keep on top of it whilst travelling so make sure you plan well. Use a compass on your phone to find the Qibla. Take a small compact foldable prayer mat with you. Carry a refillable water bottle with you for Wudhu. Keep a track of time to make sure you offer your prayers on time. Do what you can to ensure that you maintain cleanliness throughout the journey as well as offer your prayers.
Souvenirs and Gifts!
Bring something back with you! Not just for yourself though but for the family or a friend. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recommended gifting the family upon returning from a journey. It’s one of the best ways to see everyone and also a great way to increase love amongst one another!
Let Them Know!
Before you get home, keep the peeps at home informed of your ETA. Really important this is, as it gives the peeps at home time to prepare for your arrival.
Upon Returning, Meet and Eat!
Once you get home, try to meet as many people as you can. Get together and use this time to talk about your travels, exchange gifts and most importantly enjoy a scrumptious meal together 🙂
Remember Your Du’as
This is a big one; try not to forget the necessary Du’as that need to be read throughout your travels. After reading about the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) life, one thing I’ve realised is that Du’as pretty much governed his life.
Click here for a list of all of them. They are not lengthy and will probably take you a minute or two to read. Bookmark this page or save it as an offline page so that you have access to the Du’as when there’s no internet connection.
There you have it! Eleven etiquettes to be aware of before, throughout and after your travels. Have a safe trip!