For women going places

Woman Road Warrior Checklist: Before Going Global


While it's hard enough to plan a trip to another town or state, going overseas presents a whole new set of challenges for a business traveler, including safety and security. But with careful planning, you can keep your worries to a minimum.

A Woman Road Warrior never leaves home without:

Verifying that all travel documents are up to date.

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Vaccinations

Leaving one copy of your itinerary, travel documents, and credit cards at home and another with you in a secure place.

Making sure all international aspects of your trip have been planned:

  • Key foreign phrases you should know
  • Local currency
  • Customs of the city/country you're going to
  • Any sanction/risk warnings about your safety
  • Business etiquette
  • Time zones
  • Weather
  • Adapters and converters you'll need to run/charge your computer/iPods/smartphones

Carefully planning and packing your carry-on bag. Bring medicine, snacks and plenty of water!

Alerting your credit card company to your international travel plans.

If you find yourself in a jam while overseas, the best advice I can give is to stay calm and treat solving the problems as part of your experience. You'll realize you can deal with anything that comes your way.

See you on the road!

Kathy Ameche

Labels: , , ,

Share |

Money Moves: Tipping on the Road


If you are creating a budget for your next business trip, be sure to include tipping! Travel is an industry made up largely of strictly service employees – many of whom rely on your tips. Tipping can lead to better service and easier days. 

Since the etiquette of tipping can be a little confusing, here’s the Woman Road Warrior guide to airport and hotel tipping that may help. If travelling abroad, be sure to learn about your destination’s customs and tipping idiosyncrasies (here’s one great guide ).

Tipping at the airport is very simple: You need to do very little of it. In the case of most airline services, tipping is frowned upon. However, if you use curbside check-in it is customary to pay the skycap $1-$3 per bag, in addition to paying the standard $2 a bag charge. The base fee goes to the airline, not the person who checks your bag. If a skycap or baggage handler helps you carry your bags after the flight, out of baggage claim and to your transportation, a $2-$3 tip per bag is similarly customary. If, for any reason, you require wheelchair services or a ride on an electric cart, tipping may also be required ($3-$5 for a wheelchair attendant, $2-$3 for an electric cart driver).

Of course, if you go to a full service restaurant or coffee shop, get a manicure or grab a drink, then you should tip in the same way you would if you were outside an airport. 

Hotels require a bit more tipping than airports. While you should not feel obligated to tip someone who provided less than adequate service, most hotel employees rely on tips for their living. Therefore, hotel employees expect tips, and you’ll generally both be better off if you give them. You should also take into account the city and nature of the hotel in determining the amount. 

You should tip a doorman $2-$3 if he hails a taxi for you or assists you with your luggage. Otherwise, no tip is expected. Bellhops should be tipped $2-$5, depending on (1) whether he brings the luggage to your room, (2) how many bags you have, (3) if he offers other services, such as bringing ice.  If the bellman delivers a package, or housekeeping delivers an extra pillow, give one or two dollars tip for the delivery. If gratuity is not already added to room service, a 15 to 20 percent tip is customary, in addition to the $1-$2 dollars for the attendant who delivers the meal. You should tip your valet at least a dollar each time he brings out your car. And although they work out of sight, remember to tip your maid service $1-$3 per night.  You can leave that in an envelope marked for housekeeping, or leave your change on the table. Leave it each day as housekeepers can change during your stay.

So the Quick Stats on who and how you should tip in airports and hotels:
  • Skycaps: $1-3 per bag
  • Doorman: $2-3 for specific services
  • Bellhops: $2-5, or $1 per bag
  • Hotel Deliveries: $1-2
  • Room Service: 15-20 percent gratuity
  • Hotel Valet: $1-2
  • Maid Service: $1-3 per night

Tipping for on-the-ground transportation is generally simple.There is no tipping involved in renting a car. If you are particularly happy with exemplary service, you may want to write to the company with your compliment. You shouldn't tip when you use public transportation either.

It is customary to give your taxi or limo driver a tip of 15-20% of the fare. You should give shuttle drivers $1-$2 per piece of luggage, and a dollar or so to a valet who brings your car around when you leave.

If you have been particularly impressed by someone’s service, you should write a note or contact the company's manager to praise that person. In addition to it being a nice gesture, you might be helpful to someone's career.

See you on the road!

Kathy Ameche

Labels: , , , , , ,

Share |

For the Road: Summer Reading Recommendations, Part 3


Happy Fourth of July weekend! If you're going to be relaxing by the pool or at the beach this holiday, here are a few more books we recommend reading. This time, we're talking mysteries ... and cookbooks!


One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming - The latest in a strong and satisfying series about a female Episcopalian priest and a police chief in a small town in upstate New York. The priest has just returned from serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan as helicopter pilot and is trying to deal with the nightmares of war when another veteran is murdered. Don't just stop with this one - the whole series is highly recommended!

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny - The darling of Canada has won just about every major mystery award for this brilliant tale of heartbreak and hope. Inspector Gamache is the man you want on your murder case - thoughtful, relentless and reassuring. Booklist's Bill Ott says "From the tangled history of Quebec to the crippling reality of grief to the nuances of friendship, Penny hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most elaborately constructed mysteries in years."

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz - If you're looking for a book that will keep you entertained from the first page - this is the one. Enter the world of the Spellmans - an incredibly nontraditional family of private detectives in San Francisco. The family spends more time investigating each other than real cases and their paranoia leads to lots of laughs!

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton - A smart thriller that will keep you turning pages. Mike Smith is a "boxman." He can open any kind of lock without a combination or key. This talent of course lands him in some nefarious company. What makes this story stand-out is that Mike can't speak. He lost his voice after a tragic event that you will spend the whole novel wanting to find out why.

Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson - Set in rural Wyoming, Sheriff Walt Longmire takes on the case of a severed thumb that leads to murder. Johnson has a way with setting and character that draws you in and makes you feel like you're dealing with snowstorms and heart-pumping situations. Publishers Weekly says Walt "will remind readers that a big city isn't necessary for a compelling crime story and enduring hero."

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson - A stunning combination of literary novel and detective fiction. Private detective Jackson Brodie navigates several cases in London that you're sure will never intertwine but amazingly do. His character has the typical private dick qualities - down and out but street smart with a heart of gold. You will pull for him, yet laugh at his amazingly bad luck. This is the first in the series and they only get better. 

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman - Edgar-winner Lippman delves into psychological suspense with this engrossing novel about a woman whose buried past comes back to haunt her when she receives a letter from death row. Lippman superbly masters bouncing between the present and a long ago summer to keep you riveted.

And if you're looking for something to cook up besides suspense this summer, here are some suggestions.


Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson - Independent, popular blogger Swanson gives easy, healthy recipes.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer - One of Publishers Weekly's most anticipated cookbooks of the year (but you might need an ice cream maker).

My Father's Daughter by Gwenyth Paltrow - This cookbook is chock-full of delicious, easy recipes if you're willing to look past (or perhaps laugh at) her often lofty prose.   

So enjoy your summer - hopefully with a good book!

See you on the road,

Road Reporters Vicki Zwart and Maia Gillet

Labels: , , , ,

Share |

Join our mailing list


back to top