What You Say When You Travel: Travel Tips
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
I’ve found that knowing what to say, to whom, and when can dramatically improve your traveling experience.
Below are some great travel tips that I recently saw in Conde Nast Traveler written by Wendy Perrin. I’ve chosen a few of her recommendations to pass along to the whatyousay family.
Get the best room for your dollar
Top-end hotels generally have on-site reservation desks. Ask to speak to that desk, and—if you have flexible dates—ask the manager of that desk when the hotel will be emptiest. Then say something like, “If I come on that date, would there be a chance of an upgrade to ocean-view?”
Use the concierge at a top hotel even if you’re not staying at that hotel
A concierge at a famous hotel can obtain hard-to-get tickets, cars and drivers, provide names of reliable physicians (which can be very important in a foreign country), etc. Be up-front that you aren’t actually staying at that hotel, but be so charming that he/she will be willing to help you. Also, because they get commissions from bookings, they have an incentive to help regardless of where you might be staying. Be sure to tip.
Hire an English-Speaking Guide
I agree with Wendy Perrin that a great guide can be the difference between an ordinary experience, or a nightmare. Guides have helped me find bargains, avoid scams, stay out of danger, and go to places that I didn’t even know to ask for. Perrin offers a suggestion that I have not used yet. If the guide tells you the rate is $20 an hour, propose $10 for a half-hour. If you’re disappointed with this particular guide, you can get rid of him/her quickly and cheaply, with no hurt feeling. If you’re pleased, negotiate for a longer time. I certainly agree that it’s awkward to fire a guide you aren’t happy with, but it’s often worse to stay with the guide just to avoid unpleasantness. If initially the guide won’t agree to 30 minutes, negotiate for the minimum time. You can bump it up to longer, as Perrin recommends, if you’re pleased.
Communicate directly with the hotel manager
Often you can find the email address of the hotel manager from the hotel responses on the TripAdvisor comments. (And you can email the hotel directly and request the email address of the manager.) Perrin recommends: Send the manager an email saying that you admire how he/she’s replying to reviews and that you are looking forward to staying at the hotel on X date. The manager will appreciate your kind words, he/she will naturally assume that you read reviews, and perhaps that you also write them. There’s a good chance the manager will take a special interest in making sure you are happy, and perhaps do something extra for you.
If you want a quotation book you can trust, there’s not a single spurious quote in—
“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.
“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives
You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.
Don’t leave yet. You’ve found a goldmine. Check out additional power phrases and unusual quotations.