Hotel Travel Tips:
- When choosing a hotel for travel, get as close as you can to your work place and also, when possible, use the chains; Hyatt, Marriot and Starwood have been the best bets for me and you can even earn points.
- When attending meetings or conferences, keep your room available till the afternoon. We leave a tip, (here is a good article on tipping, how much, and why), and a note that says please clean the room after lunch, usually about 1:30 PM. That way, you have your room as an option if you need to use the facilities. Hotel shared facilities are often kept clean, but when they aren’t it is a real bummer.
International Security Travel Tips:
- If you travel a lot and you go to Israel, ask them to not stamp your passport, it can cause problems trying to enter other middle east countries.
- Do not wear an American flag or pin, a US sports team logo, or a T-shirt that screams America, instead, buy a T-shirt in what every country you visit and wear that when you are international.
- When in public speak as softly as you can and still be heard, nobody knows you are an American for sure until you open your mouth.
- If you are going to travel a lot, purchase clothes internationally and wear them when you travel.
- Always know your exits, when you enter a restaurant or any place you will spend significant time, get up to use the bathroom even if it is just to wash your hands, see if there is a back way out.
- Stay alert at all times, don’t have more than one drink in public, if you want to get sloshed do it in your hotel room.
- Don’t flash a wad of cash, keep up to one hundred dollars/euros in a pocket separate from the majority of your money, use that to pay for things.
- Consider using two money belts, there are a number of leather money belts with a zipper on the inside that can hold 8 – 12 bills and then the classic fabric underclothes money belt.
- If you are going through customs, get your passport out of your moneybelt and into an accessible pocket.
- When you are on the plane, go into the bathroom and take all of the previous currency of the country you are leaving out of your wallet and into your money belt ( or where ever you store cash ) and put the currency of the country you are headed for into your wallet. Sounds obvious, but you have habits for handling cash and you are far less likely to screw up if you handle cash in a foreign country in the exact same way you do at home.
- In pickpocket prone areas (Rome, Jerusalem) you really want to invest in defensive clothing. As many zippers as possible, including zippered pockets inside of pockets. Many people suggest putting your cash in a couple pockets, I prefer the underclothes fabric moneybelt for the larger volume of money. I try to keep enough cash in my leather money belt to get by until I can arrange for a funds transfer. I didn’t carry much cash at all in the past, but now ATMs with card skimmers are just as big of a problem as pickpockets, I try to use ATMs inside of banks whenever possible.
- If you get in trouble in the desert in the middle east, the law of the desert is still observed by most Bedouin, so you can probably count on three days of protection. When you are in their tent avoid three things, do not burp, do not show the soles of your feet and under no circustances fart. If you have to, ask to walk outside of the tent and a good distance away. In many cases it is best not to use your left hand. Never take advantage of the law of the desert, if a Sheik takes care of you when in need, pay it back richly.
- If you are going to an area of the world where kidnappings happen, discuss your company’s policy before leaving on travel. If it is private travel, make sure to set up a power of attorney with someone to ransom you.