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Ms. Biz Shares Top Travel Tips


She protects her room number...

Protecting your room number while traveling may seem obvious but it's not. There are many ways an experienced con man, thief or intruder can find out what floor and which room you are staying in. Be aware of these facts and try (where possible) to adjust accordingly.

This doesn't happen often in big hotel chains anymore but it still happens. The front desk clerk calls your room number or floor out loud when giving you the key. Refuse that room and explain why.

Large hotel keys that advertise your room number in bold letters. Keep that key out of sight wherever possible.

Bellhops who still write your room number in chalk on your suitcase.

In an elevator a thief will watch to see which floor you choose. If nobody else chooses your floor, make your selection only at the last minute. Be suspicious of anybody who then gets out when you do.

Understand that clear-walled elevators alert others to the floor you are stopping on.
Anne Brobyn -- Market Development Officer, Caribbean Tourism Organization.
Web Sites:,

She travels light...

In my books, the first commandment of solo travel is to be self-sufficient with your luggage. Assume there will be at least one occasion on your trip where you will have to lug your bags on your own (just two weeks ago I found myself dragging a suitcase over a snow bank to a waiting limo). Think of a worst case scenario: you have to squeeze all your luggage with you into a toilet cubicle. You have to take it up three flights of stairs. You have to maneuver it along a gravel driveway. You will soon convince yourself that packing light is the only way to go. P.S. And remember, paper weighs a ton. If you find yourself accumulating lots on your travels, consider Fedexing it back to the office.
Martha Chapman -- Manager, Corporate Communications, Signature Vacations.

Her safety measures...

As a solo woman business traveller, I pay a great deal of attention to safety issues. These are top of my list...

Always carry a light in your purse which can be a small flashlight or even a "press & hold-to-turn-on" keychain variety. It should always be near your bed in hotels in case of blackout or emergencies. It's also really handy to: light your way in dark driveways, find a keyhole quickly and to locate that lost item under seats of darkened theaters or airplanes.

Use your cell phone if you suddenly find that you are walking in dark and deserted area. Call a friend while you locate your car in a deserted parking area or pretend to chat with someone while walking on a lonely, darkened street.

Carry a change purse in addition to your wallet (which should always be kept at the bottom of a zippered-up handbag and carried close to your body). Keep small bills and change in this "decoy" to use for small purchases at newsstands, buses, subways, etc.

Always ask for a hotel room near the elevator and don't accept a room down a long hallway. On elevators if you are alone and someone suspicious gets on, get off. If you are embarrassed, just pretend you forgot something.

And lastly, this is not a safety issue but, it pays to carry a blank envelope & stamps in your briefcase or purse. You can always mail those favorite $50 tweezers or cuticle scissors back to yourself in case airport security will not allow them on board in your carry-on.
Lois Gerber -- President of Lois Gerber Tourism, PR & Marketing

Her soothing foot creams...

Attending trade shows, giving speeches or doing plant inspections means that you are standing or walking for long periods of time. Your feet will definitely be sore at the end of the day. By now we all know that comfortable footwear is a must for women on the go but how many women remember to pack soothing, cooling foot creams or soaks. I don't leave home without mine. The Body Shop sells a peppermint footsoak and leading estheticians sell Gehwol products for fabulous foot wellness. I buy mine at Axispa & Salon in Toronto's Yorkville but a quick search on the internet will locate these products close to where you live.
Evelyn Hannon -- Editor,

She does business in New York...

In New York at rush hour it's often easier to just walk to your appointments than to try to hail a cab or squeeze onto a bus. You may find this is true in other cities as well. Brenda Fine, a freelance writer from New York, offers this advice if you're going to walk: Use some simple, low-cost camouflage to blend into the scene. Carry valuables in a plastic bag from a local supermarket and tote a local newspaper even if you can't read a word of it.

Don't consult a city street map while walking. Know your directions, or write them on a piece of paper. Watch where you're going: Don't stare back at strangers, but don't keep your eyes down all the time.

(Source: The Smart Woman's Guide to Business Travel, author, Laurie Borman, Career Press (201-848-0310) ISBN: 1-56414-372-4(pbk).

Journeywoman thanks Holiday Inn On King in Toronto, Canada for sponsoring the female-friendly information in our Ms. Biz section. Together, it is our aim to inspire women to travel safely and well. To learn about Holiday Inn On King's StayAssured Program - an exclusive program designed specifically for the Woman Business Traveller click here.

Have trouble sleeping while you're on the road?
We suggest reading: She's Sleepless in Seattle





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