Kathy Ameche: Hi! I am Kathy Ameche. I am the Author of 'The Woman Road Warrior'; a woman's guide to business travel. I am discussing how you can get the most out of your business travel with the least stress. Now, I am going to talk about the basics of your hotel stay. Let's look at how to choose a room and how to get the one you want. When you book a hotel room online, immediately call the hotel and give them a list of items that are specific to your needs. Also remember hotels are another place where your safety can be threatened, a healthy dose of paranoia is needed. Therefore, you should avoid rooms next to the elevator, the first floor, exits, gyms, restaurant, or bar. If a clerk announces your room number out loud when giving you your room key, you should immediately request another room, you never know who is listening. Once you have your key, do you want assistance from the bellman to your room, this is an ongoing debate. The debate isn't about whether or not you are a female and can handle your luggage, it's a safety issue. If there is someone in the hotel room that shouldn't be there, it's much better to have someone else as a buffer when you step inside. If a bellman isn't an option, here is another way to be sure your room is secure. Put your bags at the door to hold it open when you first enter the room, then perform your security sweep, that means you look in the closets, under the bed and in the bathroom. Also check that the phones work and the window and door locks work and are secure, once everything is okay, bring your bags in, close the door, lock the top lock of the hotel room and relax.
As you settle in for the night, put your purse or briefcase next to your bed, so it's close to you in case you have to make a quick exit. You should also have a flash light and a cell phone within easy reach of the bed. If there is fire drill while you are in the room, don't rely on the floor map that is usually on the back of the hotel room door for where the fire stairways are. Instead get into the habit as you are walking to your room to identify the exit route and know how many doors and how far it is to your hotel room. This exercise takes all of two minutes and can be a life saver in case of an emergency.
Here is another one of my favorite tips. If you are always scrambling to find your hotel room key before you exit your door, get into the habit of placing it on the floor next to the door when you walk into the room. You should also get into the habit of making a friend of concierge. Think of it as having your own personal administrative assistance while you're on the road. These individuals know the city better than you ever will, and can help you make your life so much easier. Because not all travelers have support staff behind them or work for a large corporation, it can be treat having help while you are on the road. Just remember, no request is too small, and you should tip him. If you don't know the language of the country you are in, have them write the name of the location you are going in the local language, so you can give it to the cab driver. And if you are walking somewhere ask the concierge to print out the route, using a service such as MapQuest.
So, those are the basics of your hotel stay when traveling on business. Up next I am going to talk about how to pack for business travel.