I like to think that I differentiate myself from a travel agent. I am your travel concierge. This is a relatively unknown concept in the travel industry. What exactly does a travel concierge do? Not only will I craft a truly unique trip tailored to your desires but I will be there 24/7 for anything else that you may need. I have a consortium of global partners that will vet the properties you stay in, provide you with an incredible level of customer service, give you upgrades and credits and treat you like a VIP. In addition I will plan everything from local guides, visa/passport applications, event tickets, spa and restaurant reservations, baggage service and exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences. There will not be a detail that I won't handle so that your trip is pure enjoyment.
Having said that, there are always tips that are nice to know aside from everything I will tell you. Once a year I will compile a list of common and not-so-common things you should know.
1. Make copies of your passports/visas. Leave a copy with a friend (or me!) and take a copy in your suitcase. In the event of a loss or theft, these copies will make replacement much easier.
2. If using your ATM to get cash while traveling, monitor your bank account every day or so. There are many ATM machines that have devices to copy your card information. Waiters and store clerks have also been known to copy your data. Set up email alerts with your checking/saving account and credit cards for large purchases.
3. Download one of these apps to text, email and phone your friends and family at home.
KakaoTalk (www.kakao.com) Share videos, photos, create group texts and send an SMS to
anyone in the world for free. Just have your friends download the app as well.
Whatsapp (www.whatsapp.com) Share audio,video and group messaging.
Line (www.line.me) Free text messaging, international voice and video calls.
4. Bring a nightlight. It will make your children feel more comfortable (and some adults too!)
5. When planning a multigenerational trip, plan a break around 3pm every day. That's cranky
time for everyone no matter how old you are.
6. For those who like to eat like the locals, scour these websites: Spotted by Locals, Eat Your World,
and Chowhound. Ask the bellman or taxi driver where they like to eat.
7. Call ahead to your hotel and order room service. It will be waiting for you when you arrive!
8. If hotel security knocks at your door, call down to the front desk to verify before opening the door.
9. Bring an extra pair of glasses. If you lose or break your glasses it can be difficult and time
consuming to replace them.
10. Take a picture of your baggage receipt on your phone. That way if you lose the claim ticket,
you'll have a copy to hand the bellman or airport security.
11. Ask the hotel for a humidifier if traveling to high altitude destinations. It will make sleeping
and breathing easier.
12. Put one of the shoes that you'll wear home in the hotel safe. You'll never leave anything in
the safe again!
13. Take the hotel business card with you when you leave. You can always hand it to the taxi
driver whose English isn't that good.
14. Bring a portable phone charger.
15. Take a screen shot of your digital boarding pass. If the servers happen to be down when
you're boarding you can show the picture.
In the next tip issue, I'll delve into packing tips.