EXCUSE ME!

Being in the USA this week (so please expect my posts to be sporadic), pleasantly reminds me of how polite everyone is here. I always enjoy people saying “excuse me” and holding an elevator for you, rather than trying to shut it on you while you have one arm in the door.

So where are the rudest people to be found while you are travelling? Take a look below and when you next travel there see if you agree.

In first place… France. Outside of Paris people are generally nicer, and to be fair, Parisians can be just as rude to each other as they are to tourists.
Russia takes second place.
UK is third and actually voted themselves “world’s worst tourists” too.
Fourth is Germany.

The countries rated as having the least rude locals were Brazil, the Caribbean and the Philippines. And my nicest nations would have to be Japan, Thailand and New Zealand.

Ranking of rudeness
French
Russian
British
German
Chinese
American
Spanish
Italian
Polish
Turkish
Indian
Swiss
Greek
Croatian
Austrian

Source: Skyscanner survey

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Cheap Beer!

Ever wondered where the best place to have a beer at the end of a long day of work meetings is? Well if you are on a business trip hopefully you are in a “cost effective” country, otherwise you are stuck at home paying the usual prices. Here is a guide on where is the cheapest and most expensive place to order a cold one!

The Top 3 countries in the world with the highest tax rates on beer are Norway, Finland, and Canada

In Turkey between 2002 and 2009, taxes on beer increased a whopping 737%, with an additional 45% increase between 2009 and 2010

In Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, the UK, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and Ireland alcohol has become over 50% more affordable in 2011 than it was in 1996.

Cheapest beer prices
10. Democratic Republic of Congo – $ 0.68
9. Philippines – $ 0.67
8. Rwanda – $ 0.59
7. Myanmar – $ 0.59
6. Madagascar – $ 0.59
5. Democratic Republic of Korea – $ 0.59
4. Burundi – $ 0.57
3. Bhutan – $ 0.56
2. Panama – $ 0.48
1. Tadjikistan – $ 0.41

An remember even if you do eat beforehand, the presence of food in the stomach slows the rate of alcohol absorption, BUT the amount of alcohol absorbed remains unchanged.

TRAVEL TUESDAY – Going Green

If you are booking your next business trip, have you considered staying at a “green” hotel?

Environmentally friendly hotels are all the rage, and many hotels have been doing their bit (albeit sometimes token) for the environment for a while. More than 33% of business travelers “seek out hotels that are environmentally friendly”, and 28% said they will pay 10% more to stay in a green hotel. Business travelers expect hotels to recycle, use energy-efficient lighting, give guests the option of not having sheets and towels changed every day and use environmentally safe cleaning products.

But the Travel Weekly business travel survey found that 75% of those surveyed said that their company’s travel policies do not recommend staying at hotels with green programs. Does your corporate travel agency??

In my experience these guys are setting the standards in business green travel:

Kimpton Hotels – green efforts date back to 1981 and continue strongly to this day http://www.kimptonhotels.com/kimpton-cares/earthcare.aspx
Hyatt Olive on 8 Seattle – the best hotel I have stayed at in Seattle http://olive8.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/
Marriott – is named best hotel chain for green efforts

And if by chance you want to take a break this chain is amazing at doing luxury eco-friendly 5 star stays! http://www.sixsenses.com/soneva/

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Tea Time

More and more tea houses are popping up around the world so if you are meeting a colleague for coffee, why not make it tea for a change.

Here are some of the best tea houses in the world, which will be sure to impress for a business meeting.

Bangkok: The Author’s Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Singapore: Raffles Hotel, TWG Marina Bay Sands
Tokyo: The Peninsula Hotel
Paris: Maison des Trois Thés
Las Vegas: Petrossian Lounge at the Bellagio
Boston: The Bristol at the Four Seasons Hotel
New York: Astor Court at The St. Regis Hotel, Alice’s Tea Cup
London: Orangery at Kensington Palace, The Modern Pantry, The Connaught
Melbourne: Hopetoun Tea Rooms

The most hard to get to tea house in the world may be this one in Anhui Province, China, which is only accessible after rappelling up a mountain (photo in post)

And while you are drinking your tea, here are some talking points to impress your guest.
After water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world. While pure tea may have more caffeine than coffee, once water is added tea contains far less than a cup of coffee.
The UK consumes about 130,000 tonnes of tea a year of which at least 95% is in teabags
On a daily basis, about half of the American population drinks tea, and Americans drink 85 percent of their tea on ice.

TRAVEL TUESDAY – Plugged In


Trying to remember which converter to take to a country to make sure you can charge everything, dry your hair and do the ironing.

Start by taking a look at the back of the device you want to use. If it says something like “100-240V, 50/60 Hz”, it will work anywhere in the world with the right adapters. Connecting a device to a lower voltage than it was designed for is generally not dangerous; the device may not work correctly, but no dramatic failure is likely. Giving any device a voltage higher than it was designed for is dangerous eg if you put 230 volts into a 110V it will melt or explode!

There are only two main types of electric systems used around the world:
100-127 volt, at 60 hertz frequency (in general: North and Central Americas, Western Japan)
220-240 volt, at 50 hertz frequency (in general: the rest of the world, with some exceptions)

Originally Europe was 120 V too, just like Japan and the US today. It was deemed necessary to increase voltage to get more power with less losses and voltage drop from the same copper wire diameter. At the time the US also wanted to change but because of the cost involved to replace all electric appliances, they decided not to. At the time (50s-60s) the average US household already had a fridge, a washing-machine, etc., but Europe did not.

But don’t despair, most mobile phones and digital cameras chargers work with both 110V and 240V systems, though you may still need an adaptor plug or have to use the shaver socket.

Here is a list of plug sockets and voltage for your next trip – http://www.kropla.com/electric2.htm

TRAVEL TUESDAY – Best Business Hotels

Booking your next business trip and trying to work out where to stay? The Business Traveller awards highlight the best hotels and hotel chains based on readers feedback, for those of us who spend time on the road for work.

Best Business Hotel Chain Worldwide
1. Four Seasons
2. Hilton Hotels and Resorts
3. Mandarin Oriental
4. Marriott
5. InterContinental

Best Business Hotel Globally
1. The Peninsula Hong Kong
2. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
3. Four Seasons Hong Kong
4. Shangri-La Singapore

Best Hotel Loyalty Scheme
InterContinental Priority Club
Hilton HHonors
Starwood Preferred Guest
Marriott Rewards

And to look stylish and make life easier when packaging the favourite Luggage Brands
1. Samsonite
2. Tumi
3. Delsey
4. Rimowa

TRAVEL TUESDAY – Hong Kong Hotel

Already a big fan of the Four Seasons properties, I was not disappointed with my stay in Hong Kong. Rarely do you find an exceptional business hotel, but this is one.

From the moment I got out of the taxi the staff were amazing. Nothing was too much trouble and although a city business hotel, they are extremely family-friendly too.

The rooms are big for HK and I would suggest paying extra for a harbour view. Pool is fabulous and the hotel is in such a good location with IFC adjoining for some sneaky shopping, and everything else is close by. The gym is fabulous and if you have time after a busy day of meetings, I recommend making a visit to the spa.