First off, I apologize for posting the winner wayyy later than the September 17 9 AM deadline; the sponsor and I spent a lot of time corresponding back and forth weeding through all of the submissions and narrowing them down to our top 7 favorites. Guess what? We FINALLY agreed on a winner. I’ve also below included the Top 7 in case you might be wondering if your traveler truth made it to the finals.
Of course, I’d like to thank everyone who entered to win the awesome Traveler Truth Prize Pack from National Emerald Club and Just Another Points Traveler; I really enjoyed reading all of your truths you’ve learned while traveling & I’ll admit that I learned some great tips as well from all of the submissions!
Here are the top 7 “traveler truths” that we had a hard time choosing from:
- FEV said, My #1 traveler truth is … be prepared! In fact, I make a checklist for each trip ahead of time. It helps me not to have last minute stress. Double check your reservations, what you are packing, what you are bringing in the way of technology (including chargers and adapters), plans to take care of what you are leaving at home (stop mail, care for animals, etc.). By doing your “homework” before leaving your home, your trip will be much more enjoyable along the way.
- pointhuntress said, Pack light and bring only what you absolutely need. Remember, you’re not relocating, just traveling! This travel truth has helped me many times to bring only a carry on with me on trips. Saves a lot of time not having to wait (and nowadays – pay) for a bag!
- Marvin said, Traveler truth: A smile and compliment changes everything. At the counter, we’ve had bag fees waived and great seats assigned…just by starting off with a smile, good morning and we’re so glad you’re here to help us! This was on Alaska airlines! On the plane, a smile and a compliment to a crew member scored us two tall bottles of red and white wine. And this was on United! On the road while walking back from a long trek, we smiled and waved at a local farmer and his kids as they drove by on a tractor in the backroads of Laos. They offered us a free ride into town in the back of their tractor trailer. Have you ever gotten a discount on your room at check-in? We did in Bali, at the guesthouse we stayed at. 25% off and free breakfast…because we smiled at the owner and said “Beautiful place and lovely family you have sir. We’d love to stay here, but…”. And he finished our sentence, “would you like me to lower the price?” A smile…it breaks down barriers, opens up possibilities, and nearly always will save you some of your hard-earned money! And that’s the truth !!! Keep a sense of humor when you travel. It makes it easier to smile when dealing with travel employees, and helps keep your spirits up when things do not go as planned.
- TerryO said, In 35 years of business travel, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to not be “the jerk”. “The jerk” is the person who blows up at an airline counter agent who is only doing their job. “The jerk” is the person sitting in the front cabin who can’t undersand why the flight attendants aren’t paying more attention to him. “The jerk” is the passenger who won’t switch seats to accommodate a family…or help someone stow their bag overhead…or who slams his seat back into deep recline without regard for the valuable computer on the tray table behind him. Once you learn to spot “the jerk” you can actually use him to your advantage. After he’s spouted off at the gate agent, be the next person in line…and when you get to the podium all you need to say is “Boy was he a jerk!”. You’ll be amazed at how much more often those magic upgrades appear Lesson #1: Don’t be “the jerk”!
- Kathryn said, Traveling Truth I learned from Mom: When you are traveling to a third world country, pack heavy and leave light. Bring clothes that you would love to leave behind to those who need them. It’s likely you won’t miss them as much as someone else appreciates them. Plus, you won’t have to worry about baggage weight on the way back, your suitcases might be empty but your heart will be filled with joy.
- Kevin said, Always carry paper copies of all of your tickets and reservations. In an electronic world, batteries die, computers crash, and reservation systems go haywire. Better safe than sorry
- Dean said, My travel truth is taking the time to research the basic customs, traditions and ways of the place I am visiting. It is important to respect the culture that you are visiting and one way to do this is to incorporate a few important do’s and don’ts in my trip. For example, removing shoes when entering someone’s home in Japan shows that you understand their custom of not bringing the outside in. Another example is to be careful with hand signals. While a thumb’s up in the US is a positive expression, in the Middle East and parts of South America it is extremely offensive. It boils down to showing sincere respect and interest usually results in receiving the same.
Without further delay, the winner that the sponsor ultimately chose was pointhuntress! Congratulations!