Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tip of the Day: Stay at a "Good" Hotel and Use the Concierge Service to the Maximum

This is a Tip of the Day that I have urged our loyal readers to consider over the years, which continues to provide foreign travelers a useful source of safety and security information.

I truly "get" the fact that many foreign travelers want to save money while traveling abroad so they can maximize "fun" experiences, whether it be a unique restaurant, an expensive museum, a "must-do" tourist attraction, a Japanese inn, etc.

The big part of my Tip for the Day is to stay in accommodations that offer great concierge services as part of your room rate. This can easily translate into a "three-or four star" property.

Truly great concierge services are worth their weight in gold!

Questions to ask the concierge?

1. Is the hotel safe?

2. How many security personnel does the hotel have?

3. Does the hotel use surveillance cameras for the guests' protection?

4. Where are the inexpensive restaurants, preferably NOT fast-food!

5. Where are the regulated beaches at? Are there lifeguards? Are "no-swimming" flags used? Are there sharks in the water?

6. Is there a "safe" tavern or bar to go to?

7. Does the hotel have its own fitness center?

8. Is the pool safe to swim in?

9. How do I not get victimized by shops, bazaars and scam artists?

10. Has the hotel ever been bombed? If so, where is the safest room to stay in?

11. Is it "safe" to get a massage in the hotel?

12. Where is the best place to buy "tourist" stuff?

13. Is there a popular "flea market" nearby?

14. How can I avoid being "ripped off"?

15. Is there a product made in the country that I "must" buy?

Another great way of getting benefits from your accommodations experience is through loyalty programs, particularly if they involve a week or longer in duration.

And don't forget FREE wi-fi as an added perk if you don't have to pay for it!

I would also suggest the following websites to get yourself and those you are with into a "three-or-four star" property at "three or two-star" prices:

http://www.hotwire.com

http://www.priceline.com

http://www.bookingbuddy.com

http://www.hotels.com

Finally…

1. Don't forget to tip your concierge!

2. Ensure you ask the concierge for the hotel's bi-lingual business card so you can find your way back!