July 8, 2020

Weird travel tricks that I use to create a better experience

Yes, I’ve posted before about some of the travel tips that I have but I realized that I have a few more to share! So short post on some additional tips to help make your travel a better experience.

If you are traveling constantly to the same place, stay at the same hotel

Yes this is obvious but what may not be obvious is learning the names of the hotel staff and bringing them some small gifts or food on occasion. Some of my coworkers have done this to great success – we go out to restaurants and often order too much food (or have some leftovers) so we bring back some of the food to the hotel staff – they then learn who we are and recognize us the next time we come back (and then get upgraded rooms as a result). Well, we may also be getting upgraded rooms because of our loyalty status but I do think that we get better service treating the hotel staff well and bringing them gifts from time to time.

Go to the same restaurants every time you travel

A long time ago, I remember a blogger – I think maybe it was Guy Kawasaki or Joi Ito that talked about how they traveled to LA and every time they go to LA, they always go to the same three restaurants no matter what for dinner. The reasoning was that you cannot expect great service at restaurants if on a whim, you just go to another restaurant the next night? He went to the same restaurants so that he could show them that he was loyal, he tipped well to show that he appreciated the service and to get ‘recognized’ and he came back often enough so that they could see that he was a VIP. I think the same thing whenever I am traveling for work and just today, I went to a Japanese restaurant that I basically go to every week I’m traveling and they told me that they added in extra fish into my order whenever I do order (and I had no idea!). I certainly can’t guarantee that that will happen to you but if you go enough times, you may want to tweak your order slightly and find that the restaurants are accommodating to loyal customers.

Finding great eats

Inevitably with the projects that I’m on, I work with a mix of resources that are from other offices but some local resources as well – the local resources often have excellent advice on where to go eat (as long as you are fairly adventurous and open about what to eat) and I often ask colleagues where they would go for certain foods. Maybe you aren’t working with any local resources – I know that initially, we used Yelp or a similar service to find highly rated restaurants and as we travel to them, we sometimes ask our Uber driver to tell us where the best restaurants or food is – they are local, often have opinions about food and a good way to pass the time as you travel to restaurants.

Another way that I learned through a great podcast on traveling by Bloomberg is to phone up a restaurant (they could be busy / need reservations way in advance / closed for the holidays possibly) and ask them who they would recommend (if you can’t get into that restaurant). Usually, restaurants know who their competitors are and their competitors are often cooking similar styles of food so you can get it right from the restaurants that know best where the good eats are.

There you go – a quick post and three tips on how to make your travel experience better – especially if you are traveling to the same place on a regular basis but the local recommendations tip works whether you are constantly traveling or if it is the first and only time you travel to the city. Pro tip – if you are taking a taxi or Uber in from the airport, you can often ask them for where the best eats are in the area you are living.

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