Travel Pointers for Your Trip

No matter what your reasons are for traveling, this article can help you get prepared. Regardless of which method of transportation you choose, this information is going to make your travel experience more relaxing and enjoyable.

Create a list of what needs to be packed. Well, in advance you need to craft a clear list of everything that you are going to need. However, even when packing at the very last second, you have to stay organized so you can avoid any excess clutter.

 

I roll my clothes when packing to make everything fit easier and prevent wrinkles. This allows me to save space in my luggage. Once I have reached my location, I can unroll my clothes and fold them into the drawers. This, surprisingly, can help me reduce the number of suitcases I need to bring with me.

 

I also suggest that you pack travel candles in your luggage if you plan to stay at a hotel. Candles can really improve the aroma of a room. They can be relaxing, comforting.

 

Be wary of any current social or political drama at your destination. Visit the Consular Affairs Bureau’s website to get the latest updates regarding any issues abroad that may affect travellers. This will help you avoid potentially dangerous situations.

 

Make sure your passports are up-to-date by checking the expiration date. Review passport rules for the country you are visiting. Some of them have very strict guidelines that must be followed. Certain countries will deny entry if the expiration date on your passport falls within a certain range. These periods usually range anywhere from a year to three months.

 

I do not want to wait until I am on a cruise ship to know that I will get seasick. This could ruin my entire trip and make me very dreadful. I could end up staying in bed recovering for days, missing out on my adventure. To be safe, I buy seasickness medication before I embark. Even if I don’t need it, it is better to have it just in case.

 

Don’t bring extra valuables that you don’t need. If I bring a lot of valuables with me, I have a greater chance of losing them or having them stolen.

 

I can conveniently create almost all my trips and travel plans online. Travel websites allows me to account for all my major travel expenditures without much work on my part. I can line up hotels, rental cars, and flights using my computer. When using the computer, I can see both reviews and pictures of all available hotels in an instant. I’ll also find great discounts while planning my trip, and deals are often offered for last-minute arrangements.

 

Take extras of anything you absolutely need on your trip, like eyeglasses or contacts. This way you will have a spare, should your main pair be accidentally damaged or lost. I pack them in checked luggage rather than my carry-on to reduce the chances of theft.

 

As covered in this article, there are many things that can be done to make traveling an enjoyable experience. Start comparing destinations and making a list to pack for your next trip!

How to Make the Most of Your Concierge?

Concierges can be the great finessers of your trip: making reservations, helping with business matters, and generally smoothing out life’s kinks. They also know all the ins and outs of the hotel scene, and how to get the most out of your stay.

Here are four tips to effectively use the concierge service for your next hotel stay:

 

  1. HELP YOUR CONCIERGE TO HELP YOU.

When asking for help, I focus on what I like. I avoid unhelpful statements such as “Where should I eat? I don’t like fish, I don’t like steak, and I don’t like Chinese.” Trust me, you’ll get better results by revealing your preferences, as in, “I love candlelit French bistros, but tonight I feel like something livelier, more casual, maybe Italian.” Also, nothing drives a concierge crazier than a guest asking, “I’m in town for two weeks, and I’ve never been here before. What should I do?”

 

  1. KEEP EXPECTATIONS REALISTIC.

At a typical tourist-class hotel you can expect a concierge to give you the basics: to show you something on a map, make a standard restaurant reservation, or help you book a tour or airport transportation. In Asia, concierges perform the vital service of writing out the name or address of your destination for you to give to a cab driver. It’s not uncommon for restaurants to ply concierges with free food and drink in exchange for steering diners their way. European concierges often receive referral fees. Hotel chains usually have guidelines about what their concierges can accept. The best concierges, however, are above reproach.

 

  1. LEAVE TIME FOR YOUR REQUEST TO BE FULFILLED.

Don’t expect to breeze by the desk with a laundry list of requests and get immediate attention. At a luxury hotel, there are only two or three concierges on duty at a time, though there may be several hundred guests. Concierges are busiest in the morning at checkout time, when business travellers need the most assistance, and in the late afternoon and early evening at check-in time, when guests want dinner reservations. The ideal time to chitchat is usually between noon and 4 PM and 8 PM and 10 PM. If you have a complicated request, leave your cell-phone number, or ask that a message be left in your room.

 

  1. KNOW HOW TO TIP.

For the best service, give half the money up front, then the other half once your request has been fulfilled. If the staff knows you’re a good tipper, they’ll work extra hard to ensure you get what you want, when you want it. Base the amount of your tip on the time spent arranging your request. For simple matters that require only one phone call, such as an airport shuttle, tip £1. For restaurant recommendations and reservations that require discussion and opinion, £3 to £12, the latter for harder-to-book tables. For itinerary planning, tip £12 to £60, depending on how complicated it is.

 

And that’s how you will be able to maximize your concierge’s services. You can be happy, the concierge will be happy and especially the hotel management will also be happy!

 

 

Three Luxury Hotels Worth Your Money In Qatar

Qatar is a land of extremes, based on my travels. I’ve been there for at least three times in my entire life. Qatar’s environment is very inviting, natural and dry. But its urban heart helps you relieve yourself of the very stringent weather and environment the country has.

Meanwhile, during my stays, I’ve found three of the best luxury hotels in the area.

Banana Island Resort

One time, I was assigned to walk-in some of our clients to Qatar’s very lovely interiors. I was about to do a selling pitch for my client, who couldn’t make it. He had appointed me as a ghost secretary and I had all the information I need to make his presentation work for him.

I chose the Banana Island Resort. He told me to get a function room and get a room for myself.

Now if you’d ask me about how you’d make a table of five investors say yes to a new business proposal, it is this place. I walked them around the amenities. They couldn’t believe an oasis of this magnitude actually existed in the middle of the desert. I also couldn’t believe it myself.

I had them picked up via limousine and escorted towards one of the function rooms for our meeting. They were pretty pleased and calm entering the room, which made my job easier.

As for the rooms, the Seaview Room is amazing. You also have a free breakfast that includes the specialties Qatar has. Simply perfect.

Intercontinental Doha

Intercontinental Hotels are a businessman’s trusted chain of hotels to provide quality service. I, for one, know that. Many of my clients had sent me to different places. However, Intercontinental Doha was different.

The Intercontinental there has a mix of luxury and heritage. Their function rooms were amazing. I made my sales pitch on behalf of another client for this trip. The rooms had their own screen projectors, and even their own Apple computers for situations like these. You might say I was just lucky if you didn’t find some Apple computers in their function rooms, but my presentation went smoothly.

Meanwhile, Intercontinental Doha has six restaurants and bars that serve different kinds of cuisines, including Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican and Seafood.
So you would have guessed I had a lot of fun. As for their rooms, it is of the same quality as any Intercontinental hotel worldwide. Only the finest linens, curtains, beds and floor carpeting you’ll ever see.

The Ritz Carlton Sharq Village and Spa

Now, for this little gig, I wasn’t really going for a business presentation. This was a personal gig offered to me by a friend who runs websites. She wanted me to do an in-depth review of The Ritz Carlton in Sharq Village.

This hotel is actually one that would remind you of the estates of millionaires during the boom of the 1920s. It’s full of sinful and beautiful excesses. Pine trees all around, sunny beaches just around the corner, large and open rooms for enjoying your food and drink.

The rooms were astounding. No, I’m not picking this writing up from my review for a friend. One restaurant had a chandelier.

If you’re familiar with modern Middle Eastern interior design, you might find this Ritz Carlton something that came out of Disney’s Aladdin. The rooms have that signature look and feel.

8 Perks of Hotel Living

Living in a hotel is very much like living in an apartment to me. Actually, better, considering what I’ve been used to. If I were to take a lease for an apartment, I’d look for a bare bones studio or a 1-bedroom apartment, without a lot of the luxurious amenities above such as the en-suite dishwasher, dryer, and washer.

So this place I’m in right now? Over luxurious by my standards!! Basic things people think might be a problem like having to do laundry is really quite simple. If you asked any hotel front desk, they will probably have a small room in the basement where they have a washer and dryer for $1.50 – $2.00 per load. Most people don’t bother with this service because they’re only there for the week or the weekend, but long-term hotel-dwellers like myself know to ask where the laundry is located on the first day we check in.

 

Worse comes to worst, and there is nothing available, I just go to a Laundromat once a week, or start washing clothes by hand in the sink if I’m too lazy to venture out.

 

The Perks of Hotel Living

  1. The biggest perk for me is being able to leave any damn time I want! I know this sounds like such a weird thing to be happy about, but I like knowing that I can leave the next day, check out and not have to sign any papers, and pay for the end of the year-long lease or something. It is the best thing for consultants who travel from city-to-city like I do.

 

  1. I can choose whatever hotel I want. I know ahead of time where the project is located, so I pick the best hotel that is nearby to that client. I can also check for amenities, points from their rewards program and what is nearby to the hotel — if its downtown, near to a grocery store and so on.

 

  1. I can determine my own commuting time.

 

  1. There’s a room cleaning service. Everyone always hones in on this one. “A MAID! You are so lucky you have a MAID!” Well she’s not my personal handmaiden or butler or anything, but I guess it’s nice to have someone.

 

5) Awesome for the room service. People always have this dreamy look in their eyes when you say: room service. To be honest, in the past 4 years I have used room service TWICE.

 

6) Free newspapers, coffee/tea and/or breakfast. Okay this is a stupid perk but a lot of hotels have a free breakfast included in the rate, and you can even pick up a newspaper for free. I paid for that newspaper in my rate you know!

 

7) Having your own kitchen and en suite amenities. This is a hit and miss.

 

8) Having a person at the Front Desk 24/7. This is awesome because if you have a problem of any kind, or if you are having a package delivered — there is someone there. Called for take-out? There’s someone there to answer the delivery guy and direct him to your room.

 

Living in a hotel is no different than living in an apartment; it’s just a different type of lease that makes sense if you don’t know where you will be next, for how long and if you don’t have the time to search for an apartment beforehand.

I Know All About Travelling. Including All The Bonus Expenses!

Traveling is expensive. Most people would spend their per-night on average for hotel rooms alone. Not to mention, there’s the cost of food, souvenirs and the transportation to get there. But if you’re overpaying for your hotel room, it’s really no one’s fault but your own.

With a little effort, ingenuity and tact, you can sneak into some great deals, even on holiday weekends. But you have to ask! Here’s how:

 

  1. Don’t click – call. Before I book a room, I call the hotel itself during business hours and get an actual human on the line to see if the hotel will match or beat rates I’ve found online. I typically won’t have to pay in advance, and should an issue come up, I’ll have a real name to work with – not a third-party search site. If I don’t like the rate they give me over the phone? I hang up politely and call again 12 hours later. I will likely get a different employee on a new shift who might be more amenable to helping me.

 

  1. Know what you’re paying for. Some hotels charge a resort fee that might not be included in an online quote. Others charge for Wi-Fi, breakfast, the morning paper or use of the gym. If I’m staying in a city, parking can cost £22 or more a day. And if my family pet is joining me on my travels, many hotels charge a pet fee of £16 to £64, which can be total or per day. Ouch. So, to avoid unpleasant surprises, I always ask about which fees are included and how much they’ll cost me.

 

  1. Look for hidden gems. Smaller boutique hotels might not come up on search sites, since the hotels don’t want to pay the often pricey commissions to use them. So I run a search directly through Google or TripAdvisor to track them down, then ask for a discount in honour of me supporting a local business over a large chain. I can also call the local business bureau for the area I’m visiting to get recommendations on smaller hotels, inns and B&Bs that might be flying under the radar. I also make sure to ask if the smaller venues have any partnerships with local restaurants or attractions. Many does, and I might snag more discounts!

 

  1. Bundle, bundle, bundle. If I’m going on an extended trip, I try to book my hotel, airfare and car rental as one. Often, large chains have deals with each other to offer steeper discounts if I book together. Plus, this way, all my reservations are in one place (and under one customer service number) should anything come up. Many major cities also offer weekend or weeklong passes to bundle attractions, such as museums, viewing platforms and walking tours. I pay one discounted price to see all the city has to offer.

 

  1. Go big. In lieu of a hotel room, I find a house or condo rental on Airbnb or VRBO. Because I’m dealing directly with the owner, I can sometimes get better deals for more space, especially if I’m traveling with a large group. This option also gives me a kitchen to cook meals in, which can help me to save big. I might even have access to bonus amenities such as laundry, a dishwasher and pool.

 

Basically, you need to be knowledgeable enough to be able to choose the best hotel that you will be staying. Look wisely!