Will You Take the Travel Gratitude Challenge?

BY: - 13 Jan '15 | Travel

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Everyone is in resolution mode and “this is the year to do things differently and better” mindset.  Are you extending your resolution mode to your travels this year? We want this to be the year of gratitude in travel. We challenge you to add one important thing to your travels this year. It’s not a new gadget, app or piece of luggage. We want to encourage you take the ‘travel gratitude challenge’ in 2015 and for years to come!

What’s the ‘travel gratitude challenge?’  Well, it’s the act of showing your appreciation by leaving a tip or gift for your hotel housekeeping staff while traveling.  We’re not saying you don’t tip hotel staff when you travel, but we want to make you aware that hotel housekeeping staff are often overlooked or receive no recognition for their work. It’s an out of sight, out of mind reality and they are often overworked and underpaid. Yet the housekeeping staff is the highest revenue generating department in a hotel.

Marriott hotels started the “Envelope Please” program, that encourages guests to tip if they are satisfied with the housekeeping service they received.  Let’s take it a little farther.  Yes, you can tip the recommended $1-$5 per night stay, and/or you can really show your gratitude with a special gift.  I am pledging to do both and now travel with a few items to make a gift bag.

When I was in San Antonio, Texas last year, my roommates and I left our housekeeper a monetary gift and a fabulous gift bag of goodies. The gift bag included a mini travel bath set, gift card to a coffee house and a few CDs. Our goal was to really make our housekeeper feel the love because she did a fabulous job for us daily. Here are a few gift suggestions to show your gratitude.

  • Gift cards to a popular eatery/fast food restaurant or coffee house (i.e. Starbucks).
  • Gift cards that can be used at a variety of stores/restaurants.
  • Mini travel bath sets (i.e. minis from Bath & Body Works).
  • Movie passes/gift cards.

It doesn’t have to be extravagant or something from ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things’ list, just a little something to show your gratitude and appreciation for a job well done.  Remember to let the front desk know that you appreciated the housekeeping staff’s work and that you left something for them in the room.  If you want to recognize a specific staff member, leave the gratuity and the gift at the front desk.

BMWK, Will you join us and take our ‘travel gratitude challenge?’

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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3 Must Have Apps for Your Next Road Trip!

BY: - 27 Jan '15 | Travel

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We’ve all decided to travel more in 2015. Our vacation funds have been started and a fabulous vacation is definitely in our near future. Roadtrips are great starts to any vacation and to help you enjoy your road trips this year, we’ve discovered a few apps that will help keep you happy along the way.

There’s one thing that can stop a road trip in its tracks…traffic! There’s no app or genie to get rid of traffic but there is an app that will keep you informed and offer new faster, less congested routes.  The app is called ‘Inrix Traffic App.’  Inrix helps you discover the best route by updating traffic every minute from billions of data points with real time, accurate travel information saving valuable time and gas.  Inrix warns of construction, accidents, events, police activity and historical traffic patterns giving you the most complete traffic data available. Our favorite features on this app are:  ability to share arrival times with family and friends and the list of traffic cameras on your route.  Inrix is our favorite kind of app, it’s FREE! Click here for more information.

The car you are riding in on your road trip is very important but there’s one place along your road trip route that is equally important and it’s the bathroom.  Gotta go on the go?! There’s a fun cute app that can help you find clean public restrooms all over the country.  The folks at Charmin created the ‘Sit or Squat’ app, to help travelers find clean restrooms.  You can also rate and share the restrooms you like (sit) or the restrooms that could be a lot better (squat).  ‘Sit or squat’ is available for iPhone and Android phones/devices and it’s also our favorite kind of app, it’s FREE!  For more information please visit www.sitorsquat.com.

On long road trips you might want to stop and enjoy a fun family attraction.  ‘Roadside America’ to the rescue!  This app lists in-depth information and maps on 10,000 plus of the nations funniest and weirdest must see attractions. You can share in the fun by sharing your own photos taken in the app or by submitting tips through www.roadsideamerica.com. ‘Roadside America’ is currently only available for iPhones for $2.99 for one of seven regions in the US or Canada.  Additional regions are $1.99.

BMWK family what’s your favorite app to use on roadtrips?

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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