We hope that you had the chance to read our previous newsletter.
In this second issue, I thought it would be helpful to give you my travel tips of what I do when I travel to a city I have never been to. First, I try to read an article or two right before I leave. It is as simple as Googling Cultural Activities City Name for example or latest News City Name. I also purchase a guidebook to read a bit on the history, geography, and culture of the city I am visiting. If at all possible, I try not to arrive to a new travel destination at night. Arriving during the day is much more pleasant and for me less confusing. When I land, I will probably change $50-$100 to the local currency just so that I have a bit of local money if needed. When I get to my hotel and hopefully my room is ready, the first thing that I do after I check in is go to the concierge. The concierge desk at most hotels is very savvy and can help make your trip that much better. I always ask for a map of the city and orient myself as the where is my hotel in relation to the major sights, the local transportation, the shopping areas etc. To find out about the latest cultural activities in the city I also ask for the local Culture Magazine, Time Out Magazine, Where Magazine. It is good to ask questions such as: Where can I exchange money outside the hotel? What sights and activities may require advance reservations? What time do the stores, the bank, and the pharmacies open and close? Is it safe to walk around the hotel?
Where is it not safe to walk? If you are foodie, you will probably want to get the restaurant list and start making reservations for dinner. I always try to eat the local cuisine at least once during my stay. Also, if the hotel makes the reservation for you, you will probably get a better table. If you plan not to eat at the restaurant, it is important to cancel with the concierge. Even if you are going on an organized tour, you should always try to take walks around the hotel, even on the first day. It is only then that I begin to feel the city and its rhythm. The team at Gil is always here to offer you our take on a city. Someone in our staff has probably been there and if not, they will find out who has.