Galley Gossip: 9 Safety Tips For New Flight Attendants (And Solo Travelers)

Credit: Heather Poole

1. “The Gift of Fear,” by Gavin De Becker, should be required reading for all men and women, especially for those of us who travel, particularly for women who travel alone. I’ve recommended this book to more flight attendants and passengers than anything thing else over the years. It’s saved my life more than once.

2. Skip the first floor. They’re easier to break into. That’s why you’ll never find a flight attendant below the second floor in a hotel. There’s a reason for that. It’s in our hotel contract.

3. Leave the lights and television on when you’re not in the room. Put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. It gives the appearance that someone is occupying the room, so no one will break in.

4. Stay Healthy: Never leave home without a small antibacterial spray. A mini bottle of vodka works just as well. Hit up the remote, the light switches, doorknobs and taps. You don’t want to get sick while you’re stuck at a less than desirable layover hotel.

5. Walk with intent. Walk down the street like you have a place to be, like you know where you’re going and need to get there quickly. Do that and people will leave you alone.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re walking alone and feel like someone is following you, tell someone! If for some reason you feel scared and you’re all alone, share it with somebody! Trust your gut. Know that most people will help.

7. Treat your hotel key like a credit card. Keep it away from your cellphone. Don’t leave it out for everyone to see. Don’t say which room you’re in out loud when you’re discussing what time to meet down in the lobby. Ditch the paper sleeve it came in. This way if you lose your key you won’t have to worry about any uninvited visitors.

8.. Hide your personal information on your luggage tag. Turn it around so no one can read your name, address, phone number. This way you won’t get a surprise knock on your door – or a phone call on a day off at home from a stranger who knows you by name who’s still mad that all you had left was the pasta in first class.

9. Dress appropriately. You’ll probably live a lot longer if you wear the appropriate outfit in the appropriate neighborhood. Ladies, I’m talking heels. Short skirts. The idea is you want to blend in. You also want to be able to run if need be.

Hotels Celebrate International Women’s Day

dukes st. jamesMany travelers might not know that today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. The holiday honors female achievement around the world and is celebrated in countries from Afghanistan to Australia.

But it’s not too late to celebrate. These worldwide hotels will honor great women with a series of special promotions and perks.

Dorchester Collection Principie di Savoia
This luxury hotel will celebrate International Women’s Day with a “Women in Wine Road Trip” event at the hotel. Here, the sommelier will compare vintage and recent wines with two wine selections from American, French and Italian wines while inspiring lively discussions on hot topics, trends and being a woman in an industry dominated by men. Female guests staying at the sommeliers’ hotels during this time will also receive a 10 percent discount on select spa treatments and a complimentary glass of champagne during lunch.

Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa
This Utah ranch will host a reception today inviting in-house female guests along with women leaders from the local community to celebrate International Women’s Day. Selections of regional wines and local beers will be served, including Sorrel River Ranch’s own Nano Brewery Beers. Signature garden-inspired tapas from Chef Richard Potts will also be served at the event, along with a selection of local Utah Cheeses and Honey. The hotel is also offering a 25 percent discount to anyone who books spa treatments for women on March 8.Dukes St. James
This posh London hotel is celebrating their female guests staying in their Duchess Rooms with special amenities, including complimentary fruit and chocolates, fresh flowers and a personal welcome card from Debrah Dhugga, General Manager. The hotel’s Duchess Rooms are specifically designed to pamper solo female travelers with amenities that include a female staff member to escort guests to their rooms and handle all room service requests, a makeup mirror and hair accessories, a pair of cozy slippers, a choice of glossy lifestyle magazines and a quiet corner table in Thirty-Six by Nigel Mendham, should the guest wish to dine alone.

Hyatt Regency Atlanta

This Hyatt is celebrating International Women’s Day by celebrating female guests and employees. Female guests checking in on March 8 will receive a special gift upon arrival along with information on fighting domestic violence and supporting youth education in women and girls. At the same time, Hyatt Regency Atlanta will honor the hard work and contributions of their 300 female employees with corsages and a special “thank you” reception and information session highlighting Atlanta-area charities that support women and families.

Hyatt is also known for recently conducting special research on the needs and preferences of the woman traveler.

What do you think, readers? Will you be making a special trip out for any of these events?

[Image Credit: Dukes St. James]

Gadling + BootsnAll – Picks of the Week (3.13.09)

Welcome back to Gadling’s weekly “Picks of the Week” from our friends over at travel site, BootsnAll. Every Friday we’ll be bringing you some of our favorite stories this week from the site. Take a look below and click on through if you find something that catches your interest:

  • Weird Philippines – the Philippines is already an “out there” destination for many travelers, so it goes without saying that those who visit are privileged with some amazing sights and strange local customs. Marseille Markham tells us about her Top 5 Weirdest Philipines sights. Remember that Filipino prison where they dance to Thriller? You can go see it LIVE. Get me a ticket to Cebu immediately…
  • Spanish Lessons in Central America – my first experience abroad was staying with a family in Costa Rica during High School. It was an amazing introduction to the culture and also a great way to wok on my Spanish. Rebecca Brych give us the lowdown on how to study Spanish in Central America for anyone who might be inerested. It’s very comprehensive guide of everything from finding a school to picking classes to figuring out where to stay.
  • High in the Sky – I always associate mountains with travel. But for many people, mountains mean they’re home. Julie Blakley takes a look at the Highest Cities in the World in her latest post. Let me tell you, I’m out of breath just looking the elevations for some of these places. Think Cusco is high? How about La Rinconada, Peru at over 16,000 feet!
  • Feisty Female Travelers – you might know Christine Amanpour, the Chief International Correspondent of CNN, as one woman that’s really set the bar high for solo female travelers, including trips to Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. This week Lucy Corne takes a look at six of history’s most famous and well-known female travelers, a tribute to all they’ve done to set a “traveling example” for women everywhere.
  • Gondola Gallery – you pretty much know if you visit Venice, one of Italy’s most famous cities, you’re going to see some gondolas. The iconic boats are pretty much the town’s unofficial symbol at this point. BootsnAll’s Italy blog features some of their favorite gondola photography in this week’s feature.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s Gadling and BootsnAll “Picks of the Week.” We’ll be back next Friday with another week’s worth of great content. Stay tuned.