Hotel Insider Secrets for Better Prices and Service

February 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

We share a lot of hotel insider secrets here on the Travelpro blog, but we always keep our eye out for new ones to share. We were rewarded last month when USA Today published its article, Hotel secrets: Insider tips for lower prices and better service.

Glenn Haussman is a podcaster with shows like “No Vacancy” and “Checking In With Anthony and Glenn” (co-hosted with Anthony Melchiorri from Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible.”) Glenn shared a few secrets with USA Today about how to find better prices and service.

One suggestion that was new to us was to understand who owns the hotel? Most hotels in a chain are rarely owned by the name on the front — Holiday Inn, Hilton, Marriott — but are instead owned by a franchisee. That means if you have a service complaint, you should direct it to the real owner, and not the brand’s customer service line. You can often find the name of the ownership company on a plaque near the front desk

Another hotel secret we’ve discussed before is watch out for resort fees. These are mandatory fees that are usually added on by the hotel after you’ve received your initial price quote, and go toward amenities like parking, pool, and workout facilities.

“Resort fees are a scourge,” Haussman told USA Today. “They create an antagonistic relationship with the customer, which is antithetical to everything the hospitality industry is supposed to be about.”

Hotel room in the Renaissance Columbus, OHThe best way around the resort fees, says Haussman, is to call the hotel ahead of time and negotiate your room rate directly — don’t go through the website, don’t go through the customer service (800) number. The best deals will be gotten by speaking with the hotel’s general manager. This is especially important if you’re not going to avail yourself of the different amenities the hotel offers, like a swimming pool or workout facility.

Haussman’s third big secret is to book your hotel room directly, not go through an online third-party booking site. The hotels have to pay those third-party sites as much as 20 percent of the hotel cost if they refer guests to them, so the hotels don’t want to pay it. That’s also why you don’t get loyalty points, and may even get less-than-preferential treatment from the hotels. The fee can be even higher for independent hotels than the big chain hotels.

So Haussman’s recommendation is that you should call the hotel directly to book your room (that’s also when you can negotiate the resort fees). Haussman says most hotels are happy to give you a 5 – 10 percent discount just to save on the referral fees.

Another secret we’d never heard, but it makes a lot of sense: If you want to switch hotel brands, even though you’ve had long loyalty with the old brand, is to ask for a status match with the new hotel. Whether you want to just test out the new hotel or want to switch completely, it’s often not necessary to start over with the new hotel.

Finally, always try to stay in the newer hotels. They have the faster Internet speeds and the larger TVs. Plus, you’re more likely to get the frequent traveler upgrades, since it often takes a year or more to get a new hotel’s business up to a profitable level. That means the upgrade rooms will sometimes sit empty, which means you can snag one fairly easily (or even for free if they won’t budge on the resort fees).

What hotel insider secrets do you have when you travel? Any that you’d like to share with us? Share them on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: David Jensen (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

Five Things You Should Do (and Not Do) at Hotel Checkout

February 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Business travelers are in and out of hotels so often, you have the hotel checkout routine down pat. On your last day, they slide the receipt under the door, and you walk out, confident that everything is fine and nothing needs your attention.

But that’s not always the case. USA Today recently shared some advice on what you should not do during hotel checkout, and we thought we’d share a few of these tips with you as well.

hotel management trainee working at the front desk at the Pearl Continental Hotel Rawalpindi 8. Be sure to check at the front desk during your hotel checkout to avoid surprise fees.First, be sure to double-check your bill. A lot of times, you can overlook an errant charge without realizing it. Maybe you negotiated no resort fees when you checked in, but they failed to note it on your account. Or maybe you’re being charged for something from the mini-bar even though you didn’t partake. Or maybe there was a breakfast charged to your room by mistake. Dispute the charges before you leave the building and get an updated copy of the bill.

Second, don’t leave anything behind Look for all electronics and chargers, make sure you’ve packed all medications and toiletries. And check behind your TV, in case you plugged in a Google Chromecast or USB cable. It helps to pack most of your items the night before and then you only have to deal with the things you need in the morning.

Leave a tip for the housekeeper. This is a customary part of every hotel stay, and you should leave between $2 and $5 for each night you’re there. Try to leave it each morning if you’re staying for more than a day, but if the housekeeper doesn’t take it on those mornings, then leave the sum total at the end.

Reserve a spot on the airport shuttle the night before If there’s a free airport shuttle, you can use it, but seats are often limited. Be sure to reserve your seat the night before so you don’t show up at the last minute only to find out you’re not going to make it. And be in the lobby 10 minutes before you’re supposed to leave; the shuttle might not stick around if you’re finishing up breakfast thinking you can stroll out at the last second.

Pay with a credit card, not a debit card. The danger of securing your stay with a debit card is that the hotel will often put a hold on $200 or more for “incidentals” — pay-per-view TV, minibar, etc. — when you check in. Anything you don’t use will be put back on your debit card after a few days. But this could put you in the red if other checks clear, like your utilities or mortgage/rent. Use a credit card for incidentals and to pay for your bill, if possible. If that’s not possible, give them a credit card to secure those incidentals, but pay with the debit card at the end of the stay to avoid the monetary hold.

What advice do you have for new hotel travelers? Anything they should avoid or watch out for, or things they absolutely must do? Tell us your (hotel) secrets on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Hashoo Foundation (Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0)

How Women Travelers Can Protect Themselves on the Road

January 29, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Women who frequently travel are often concerned about their personal safety and security, which can sometimes give them pause about where and when they travel.

In a recent article for Entrepreneur magazine, contributor Kim Albrecht suggests several ways in which women can keep themselves safe while traveling for business. We found a few we thought you should know right away, but highly recommend you read the entire article for the rest of the tips.

Albrecht, the Chief Marketing Officer at SAP Concur, reported that women are making up half the business traveling population and they continue to be on the move. Since women face more travel safety risks than their male counterparts, it should come as no surprise that 83 percent of women polled said they’ve experienced a safety issue or concern in the last year while traveling for work; only 53 percent of women always or sometimes report their experiences. Alarmingly, only 18 percent of corporate travel policies specifically address female safety needs.

Albrecht partnered with Kathy Leodler, CEO of security firm Rampart Group, and former FBI special agent, SWAT commander, and corporate security director, and together, they created a safety checklist sure to come in handy for female travelers.

Like most activities, Albrecht says, preparation is key.

Check your employer’s travel insurance program and learn what is covered. Self-employed? Not a problem. You can also buy private travel insurance. Hard copies and electronic copies of your travel insurance are important: keep both with you while traveling. Share the details of the insurance benefits with a trusted person.

Speaking of copies, make copies of your passport ID page to make it easier to file a report and get a replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy with a trusted contact at home and carry another with you. Do the same with your trip itinerary in case your smartphone is lost or stolen. (It helps to keep a copy in the cloud too, so you can access it from, say, an Internet cafe or hotel business center.)

The Lemon Tree Hotel - Chandigarh. This hotel has a women-only floor for women travelersWell-known hotels are generally safer and some offer female-only floors. Ask before you book, and if necessary, switch up hotels to get a more secure one or one that offers a female-only floor. You might want to check out Maiden Voyage which offers a list of certified female-friendly hotels worldwide.

Book a flight with arrival time during daylight hours. This is especially important for international arrivals. And make sure you only take licensed taxis from the specified taxi loading zones at airports and hotels. If you prefer a ride sharing service, but would like to request a female driver, Uber and Lyft don’t offer that as an option, but there are several ride sharing services in specific cities.

The U.S. Department of State has important information for every country in the world including visa requirements, safety and security conditions, health and medical considerations, local laws and areas to avoid. Learn where the closest US embassy or consulate is located at your destination. There is an option to enroll your trip with the State Department in the event of an emergency, so be sure to do so if you’re traveling to a State Department hotspot.

Do you like to wander? Apps like TripIt can provide valuable local information such as safety scores for categories like women’s safety, physical harm, health and medical, theft, and more.

Modesty is a safe bet when it comes to clothing and wardrobe, said Albrecht. Leave jewelry at home, particularly expensive pieces to avoid standing out. Choose shoes that are comfortable and ones that don’t restrict mobility, should you need to move quickly.

Albrecht also suggests packing a decoy wallet with a small amount of cash and expired credit cards. You can wear a hidden money belt with actual cash and cards.

So whether you travel to the next city or across the globe, listen to your intuition: if you feel a bad vibe from somewhere or someone, listen to your gut instinct and remove yourself from the situation. And be sure to check out Albrecht’s article for other safety tips when you travel.

If you’re a woman and a frequent traveler, what do you do to keep yourself safe on your travels? Share your tips, suggestions, and stories on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Shankar S. (Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0)

Phoenix to Stop “Street Pricing” for Airport Restaurants

January 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Airplanes won’t be the only things that are going up in Arizona as the Phoenix city council repealed the “street pricing” policy that capped how much airport restaurants could charge.

Travelers passing through the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will likely see higher prices on food and beverages very soon, after city council members voted unanimously to repeal a decades-old provision that capped how much vendors can charge.

Currently, food and beverage vendors set their pricing at the price charged on the street plus 10 percent. However, since the policy change, HMS Host and SSP, the two companies that operate food services at the airport, have asked to be released from the agreement citing increased labor costs. An increase in the state’s minimum wage and recent union contract negotiations have been listed as culprits for the rising costs.

In fact, SSP took the matter a little further and requested the cap to street pricing plus 12 percent. In exchange, it offered to keep the price of kids’ menus the same, and offered a discount of 20 percent to airport employees.

A consultant’s report commissioned by Sky Harbor showed that vendors would still have a positive cash flow without a change in policy.

The Phoenix Airport can now charge more than "street + 10" pricing at their restaurants.Mayor Thelda Williams said the original policy was implemented when there was only one food-and-beverage management company at the airport. Williams indicated that vendors should set their own prices due to adequate competition. The council unanimously agreed.

Street pricing took effect in the 1990s to prevent price gouging, and in 2015, pricing was loosened to street pricing plus ten percent to account for the increased cost of doing business at the airport which included security, higher wages, health benefits for union employees and background checks.

Several other airports employ street pricing plus 10 percent, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago’s O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Washington DC’s Dulles Airport. Las Vegas was the only airport contacted by the Sky Harbor consultant that did not have a street-pricing policy.

New prices could take effect February 15, so if you’re traveling through Phoenix next year, prepare to pay slightly higher prices. The vendors are required to give new pricing menus to the airport by January 15 and will be allowed to implement the increased prices between February 15 and July 15.

The ordinance applies to food and beverage vendors; a separate ordinance concerning retailers would have to be proposed to change prices.

What do you think about this new pricing schedule? Do you think other airports will follow suit? And do airport food prices make you think twice about buying food in airports? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Cygnusloop99 (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 3.0)

Robert & Mary Carey Spotlight: Albuquerque, New Mexico

January 22, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

We are pleased to publish this blog article from Robert & Mary Carey of the RMWorldTravel radio program. Robert and Mary will provide us monthly blog articles covering their different favorite travel destinations. This month, they’re taking a look at Albuquerque, New Mexico.

How many American cities can you think of that have a four-season climate but the seasons are all fairly mild? Not too many, but Albuquerque, New Mexico is one of them! The sun shines more than 300 days out of the year on average in Albuquerque with low humidity which helps keep the winters mild. Visitors are able to enjoy outdoor activities year-round in this capital city.

Photo of Albuquerque by Ron Berhmann (provided by Robert & Mary Carey)Perhaps if you haven’t yet visited, you’ve seen the many photographs of the hot air balloons in the sky over Albuquerque. Their annual Balloon Fiesta held every October is a site to behold from the air or the ground as it features hundreds of hot air balloons in the air offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Albuquerque is one of those destinations that captures the heart and leaves an indelible image in the traveler’s mind. The sunrises and sunsets appear like paintings across the sky with colors so vivid, you almost can’t believe they’re real. If hot air ballooning isn’t your thing, you can still get those great sunset and city views with the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway which climbs to the 10,000-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains. If you’re a skiing enthusiast, most travelers are surprised to learn that you can ski or snowboard in fresh snow during the winter season at multiple locations surrounding Albuquerque.

For golfers, Golf Digest and Golf Magazine have ranked several Albuquerque courses among the best in the country. With backdrops of sleepy volcanoes, rocky mountain peaks and the Rio Grande, there aren’t too many other areas in the U.S. that can compete with the views. Another positive is you’ll find golf is quite affordable in the Southwest compared to other areas in the country.

2018 has been good to Albuquerque, as the city has been named “50 Best Places to Travel in 2018” by Travel + Leisure, “One of the Best Small Cities” by National Geographic Traveler, and “Top-10 Most Affordable Vacation Destination” by Smart Asset. From the city’s Spanish roots and diverse native cultures, flavorful foods, engaging museums and an abundance of outdoor adventures available year round — plus we can’t forget its popularity for hot air ballooning — Albuquerque gives visitors an authentic experience of the Southwestern United States.

So pack your Travelpro, and think Albuquerque, as we highly recommend this great southwest city and be prepared for a ‘little’ chile in your food! Safe and Happy Travels!

Robert & Mary Carey, Hosts
America’s #1 Travel Radio Show
www.RMWorldTravel.com

Photo of Albuquerque, NM by Ron Berhmann (provided by Robert & Mary Carey)

Delta and Lyft Have Combined to Earn Delta Points on Lyft Rides

January 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’re a travel mileage junkie on the lookout for a new way to earn Delta miles, hitch a ride with Lyft. Delta Airlines recently announced a partnership with the ride sharing company that lets travelers earn miles just by using the service. Members can earn miles for every Lyft ride, and for a limited time, earn bonus miles during rides to and from the airport.

“We’re thinking about our customers’ whole travel experience and it’s important that Delta customers are taken care of not just in the air, but on the ground,” said Sandeep Dube, Delta’s Vice President – Customer Engagement & Loyalty.

All SkyMiles members are eligible, but if you’re not a SkyMiles member yet, but frequently take Lyft, sign up for Delta’s program. Just remember that names must match on both accounts, so keep that in mind when you register.
There are several Lyft benefits offered to SkyMiles members including:

  • One mile for every dollar spent on all rides (excluding taxes and tolls).
  • For a limited time, get two bonus miles per $1 spent on Lyft rides to or from the airport.
  • New riders get two $10 Lyft ride credits.
  • All Lyft rides are all eligible to earn miles including Lyft Line, Classic, Plus, and Premier.

Delta and Lyft have teamed up to provide Delta loyalty miles to Lyft riders.Earning miles is exclusively for SkyMiles Members who have active linked accounts at the time the ride is completed, which means you can’t get credit for past rides. So be sure to register and connect your two accounts before your next trip. Finally, if you and several co-workers or family members ride together, only the Lyft rider who requested the ride can earn miles, so you’ll have to fight it out with anyone else who wants the miles.

This is not the first partnership Delta has made with other travel service companies. In November 2016, they partnered with Airbnb to award extra miles to SkyMiles members who stayed in an Airbnb property. Delta also partnered with an innovative biometric identity verification platform, CLEAR, which allows SkyMiles members a discount on the highly coveted opportunity to expedite TSA security processes.

Are you a Delta or Lyft account holder? Will an arrangement like this inspire you to join one or the other program? Have you seen it in action already? Share your stories with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Photo provided by Delta Airlines

6 Things to Do Before Booking a Hotel

January 10, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Travel offers many choices and demands many decisions and you want to make the ones that give you the most for your money. On any trip, your hotel choice is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make.

The quality of the accommodations, amenities, and freebies are just a few of the factors that will affect your decision. The wrong or right choice can mean the difference between a memorable trip and a miserable one.

The Ellis Hotel, formerly the Winecoff Hotel, in Atlanta, Georgia. Make sure to follow these important steps when booking a hotel.

The Ellis Hotel, formerly the Winecoff Hotel, in Atlanta, Georgia.

A recent Smart Traveler article reminded us of some important factors to consider if you want to ensure your next trip is one worth remembering, not one you’d rather forget.

First, check the EXACT location of the hotel. Use Google Street view or Bing’s Bird’s Eye and get a look around. Make sure the hotel is, say, near the beach (like they said), has the great views they promised, or isn’t stuck right on a busy street that makes walking impossible. Doing this can help you avoid a hotel near the interstate or road construction.

Check to see if the hotel has any airport shuttles. You can save yourself time and frustration with a complimentary shuttle. Taxis and ride sharing can get expensive, so taking an airport shuttle to the hotel can save a few bucks. Just remember to tip your driver.

Check parking availability and cost. Parking on hotel property can add $10 to $35 or more per day. No parking at the hotel? The cost for off-site parking will often be significantly higher, and the inconvenience of walking to and from the off-site lot is higher, too. Weigh the costs between paid parking and ride sharing before you commit.

Do they have free or fee Internet? There’s no guarantee that a hotel offers free wifi; there could be a daily charge for it. You could also be charged per device, so connecting a laptop and phone can gobble up any savings. The more expensive hotels typically charge for their wifi while the less expensive hotels don’t. So either figure out how to use the mobile hotspot feature on your cell phone, or figure out whether you want to spend $10 – $20 per day on Internet access.

Do they have a rewards program? Loyalty programs are usually free and often provide great rewards. Ideally, you’d sign up before you make your reservations because members often get discounted prices, earlier check-in, later check-out, and other perks, but you can sign up once you check in. Just remember to do it before you check out so you can get the points. Some programs even give complimentary wifi and upgraded rooms.

Of course, you often have to book directly through the hotel rather than through the discount comparison sites or the conference websites to get those points. (Be sure to check with the individual hotel before you make the reservations just to make sure. Call them directly, don’t call the 800 number, because they don’t always have the best information.)

Are you a hotel travel veteran? What are some of your recommendations for hotel rookies and newbies? Tell us some of your recommendations and secrets on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Eoghanacht (WIkimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0/Public Domain)

Sleepbox Micro-Hotel to Open at Washington Dulles International Airport

January 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Thinking inside the box might be a good place for a nap if you’re at Dulles International Airport. As travelers long for a place to sleep other than the floor or curled up in a chair, Dulles will now offer a place to sleep, recharge or relax before your next flight.

According to USA Today, Sleepbox Nap Lounge opened during Christmas week on Concourse A, and is located between gates A6 and A14. Offering 16 small, stand-alone sound-proofed rooms, the micro-hotel will be the answer to the prayers of many weary travelers.

A double Sleepbox Hotel micro-hotel.The rooms can be rented through the Sleepbox website or app and reservations can last for an hour for a quick catnap or even an overnight stay. Canceled flights just looked a bit better with an option to get sleep and not worry about traffic back to the airport.

The article says the rooms are designed to be “cozy” with 8-foot ceilings and 30 square feet for a compact size. A 45 square foot room is also available with a little more storage space. Beds in both sizes are made of premium memory foam.

Room temperatures can be set via the Sleepbox app and so will lighting and the wireless entertainment system. It’s important to note that there are no restrooms or showers available at the micro-hotel, so if you need to use the facilities overnight, plan ahead and don’t leave your room without your mobile phone.

Minute Suites, a Sleepbox competitor, are currently available in Dallas, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Atlanta airports. Travelers familiar with these small rooms know they offer a sound-masked room for sleeping, working, or just relaxing in some peace and quiet. Minute Suites offer alarm clocks, HDTV (Netflix and DirecTV), and desks with chairs; some even offer showers.

The Atlanta airport sleeping concept has two locations and Minute Suites will open four new locations in the new year. Atlanta’s Concourse E will have 16 suites and two showers; Concourse F will offer six suites and one shower. Not to be left out, Concourses T and B will a part of “Traveler’s Oasis” concept with Be Relax Spa and Chiroport, which offers 15-minute chiropractic treatments that including spine adjustments and trigger-point muscle work.

Dulles is the first airport to get a Sleepbox micro-hotel, but the article says Sleepbox is already in talks with a few other large U.S. hubs for future locations.

Would you sleep in a micro-hotel or other tiny sleep room? Do the lack of toilet and shower facilities make a difference? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Vzor495 (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 3.0)

More Americans are Using Their Smartphones to Book Their Travel

December 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s a major shift for travelers and travel agents, whether you’re a business traveler or a vacationer: we Americans are using our smartphones more and more to manage all aspects of our travel.

A recent Travel Market Report article says, 61 percent of consumers have booked and paid for their trips through a mobile device of some kind. This is according to a new survey from Travelport.

A photo of a smartphone taking a photo of a plane wing. More people are using smartphones to book their travel.Travelport also found that we prefer using apps for our travel search and booking. We’re not necessarily going to mobile-friendly websites anymore, although that’s still very important for travel agents and travel booking websites. We’d rather use our favorite airline and hotel mobile apps, as well as the travel aggregation apps, to do our booking from there

U.S. consumers are also embracing new travel technologies for payments and voice search.

Our research highlights a clear opportunity to engage U.S. travelers with enhanced features on mobile apps,” Simon Ferguson, president and managing director of Travelport Americas told Travel Market Report.

This kind of technology could pose a threat to the travel agency business, but Ferguson doesn’t see it that way. He said agencies are always giving their clients new ways to stay in touch with them via social media or a mobile app. He said nearly half of all U.S. travelers said they would like to be able to live chat with a travel agent while they’re actually on their journey.

Some of the key findings in the report include:

  • 61% of U.S. travelers have book their travel and pay for it through their smartphone within the past year.
  • 64% of people use their smartphones as they’re traveling to their destination.
  • Leisure travelers use 7 – 8 apps for trip research — 52% use maps, 51% use weather, and 50% use a branded airline’s app.
  • 63% prefer checking into a flight on an app over a website, and 62% want to generate a boarding pass with their mobile app.
  • 79% of people consider trip status updates to be very helpful, relying on push notifications to alert them of changes to their travel.

While Ferguson may not think there’s a major disruption coming for travel agents, we can see this having a major effect. With all the mobile apps that let people do their own research, book their own travel, and even get their updates about changes to their travel plans, travel agents will have to dig deeper to find new ways to provide value to their clients.

Business travel arrangements will be an important service offering, especially if you can figure out how to help smaller startup executives book their travel. Specializing in certain kinds of leisure travel bookings is another possibility, such as booking accessibility travel for people with mobility issues.

What are your thoughts on using mobile apps to book and organize your travel? Do you prefer using your laptop to mobile booking, or do you favor a travel agent instead? Tell us your preferences on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Skitterphoto (Pixabay.com, Creative Commons 0)

Robert & Mary Carey Spotlight: Nashville

December 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

We are pleased to publish this blog article from Robert & Mary Carey of the RMWorldTravel radio program. Robert and Mary will provide us monthly blog articles covering their different favorite travel destinations.

There’s not a city in our nation as famous for songwriting and music as Music City itself, Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville’s deep roots and rich connections to music and the artists behind the music are unparalleled. But there are some other unique tidbits and facts about Nashville that we think are interesting and worthy of being shared with you.

The Nashville skyline at nightDid you know Nashville had another well-known nickname before it became known as Music City? By the mid-1800’s Nashville had gained a reputation for its established institutes of higher education and its public school system. Considered the Southern seat of culture and education, Nashville’s nickname back then was the Athens of the South. There’s even a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens to honor this, and it makes for an interesting visit the next time you’re in Nashville. Built as part of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, today the Nashville Parthenon functions as an art museum and popular tourist site in Centennial Park. The notable structure is also used for theater productions including Greek plays which are often performed for free.

Another fun fact you should know about Nashville is that it’s experienced an explosion of new restaurants onto the scene. Just over the past year, more than 100 new restaurants have opened with top chefs creating unique dishes while also making good use of locally sourced foods and celebrating the flavors and culture of the South. But don’t worry, there are plenty of the old standby Nashville favorites still cooking for their happy customers. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is one of those old time favorites. Serving legendary spicy chicken for over 70 years, along with a James Beard award picked up along the way, they’ve recently opened a second Nashville location due to high demand.

If you’re wondering what to do in Nashville besides explore the music scene and eat your way through this southern city, rest assured there are plenty of things to see! We always enjoy visiting some of the plantations and President Andrew Jackson’s home, the Hermitage, is a beautiful, historic home on about 1,000 acres of stunning grounds. If you enjoy whiskey, you can explore the craftsmanship of the popular spirit on various whiskey trails and tours.

But with all of this and more, Nashville really does get some serious bragging rights for its place in music history so here’s what we suggest you visit on the music scene. The Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium are essential Nashville attractions. If you can’t catch a show at the Ryman you can take a tour. It’s a National Historic Landmark and one of the most famous music venues in the U.S. And if you have time, check out the iconic Bluebird Café. Why? Well, you’re just going to have to drop by and find out… hint: It’s fondly known as a place to go to hear the ‘heroes behind the hits’. And don’t forget your Travelpro luggage. Anytime we’re traveling, it’s what we use! Safe and Happy Travels!

Robert & Mary Carey, Hosts
America’s #1 Travel Radio Show
www.RMWorldTravel.com

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