We talk with globetrotters in all our luxury areas – food, wine, fashion, cars, real estate – to know their high-end tricks, tips and bizarre experiences. Here are the Distinguished Travel Hackers.
Get out and run.
One way to make meaningful connections is to join a group that runs – most hotels have one these days, and I’ve met some amazing guys through them. The concierges can also be a good ally because they know everyone at the hotel. A concierge even said, ‘I should talk to this guy because they both asked me where they could walk.’
Exchange recommendations by Instagram.
I want, instead, a decent word of mouth, so I use social media. Facebook or Twitter are not useful, but Instagram is excellent for advice and to connect with other humans.
Learn an expression to break the ice.
A few years ago I deleted “chao” when it was adopted by all the investment bankers in New York City to try to lie down with models, but other than that, I try to memorize one or two basic greetings in all the countries to which I travel . With a quick search on Google Translate, you can keep the phrase on your phone at all times.
Talk to your taxi driver.
Taxi drivers are the most interesting people I’ve ever met. When I find one that I really like, I hire him to be my guide during the week. So far I’ve done it in eight different cities.
Order room service off the menu.
90% of the time, if I order room service it is because I arrived very late or forgot to eat. And anytime after 9:00 pm, the food is ready – it’s ready for hours – so I always order something off the menu. It forces them to pay more attention and they have to make it fresh.
Choose a souvenir category.
I buy hot sauce in all the destinations that sell it and we have an entire kitchen cabinet full of foreign spicy sauces. It is a cheap but dangerous habit.
Do not forget to bring tape.
I could tell you to pack a fabulous cashmere shawl, but the tape is always useful. I used it to fix a wad in Maldives, and even to seal the door of a cabin with subzero temperatures in Kilimanjaro.