After three years of travel as a consultant to many cities across 14 countries, and many other personal trips and holidays, it seemed to be about time to write down what I’ve learnt about travel – both for work and pleasure. These tips are the guidelines I lay out for myself – which I don’t always follow – and they might not work for you. But I’ve found they’ve helped get more out of the places I visit, and I come back feeling like I’ve seen something of the world.
I’ve had my TripIt Personal Calendar Feed specified as an iCal feed into Dopplr for some time, to keep the two in sync by adding every trip in TripIt into Dopplr automatically (I’d give up on Dopplr entirely, as it seems a bit overdesigned and buggy - but it is a bit shinier than TripIt and produces nicer stats, so I’m hanging on to using it against my better judgement). But unfortunately the folks at TripIt broke this integration recently by adding exact geographic locations to the feed.
Decent Hamburger restaurant in Kensington. Well worth a try. Another similar option is Tootsie’s, nearby.
I grumbled to the nice folks at TripIt because I wasn’t eligible for their referral competition, so they sent me a T-shirt instead. So I think it’s only fair that I put in a good word for them: Try it. If you travel a lot it’s invaluable. It’s free. It’s better than Dopplr. Er… that’s it.
I’m kinda undecided on the BAA break-up. The FT thinks it should definitely go ahead. But as a fairly strict libertarian, and therefore keen on economic freedom, I’ve always had a problem with monopoly break-up except in the most extreme of cases (and I’m not sure this qualifies). Nevertheless, as my job now takes me onto an aeroplane more than I before, I’m curious and so I read the summary from the Competition Commission’s provisional report.
I’m beginning to enjoy transport in London almost as much as Richard. Got to Waterloo this morning to find that once again, the Jubilee line entrance was closed - this happened last Monday too. Not being a fan of taking replacement buses and braving the crowds with two large bags half-way across London, I copped out and got a taxi. But what’s going on here? And why are TfL incapable of communicating with me when it does?
I generally consider myself to be a pretty liberal guy (in the old-fashioned sense). However, 24-hour doughnuts are testing my patience. Lots of London Tesco Express stores now seem to stock delicious Krispy Kremes, and to compound the evil, they do it at all times of day and night, just outside the hotels I tend to stay in. I think they are following me. They should clearly be banned.
Being as I travel so much these days, I tend to eat out far more often than is good for me (quite literally). London, where I’m currently holed up for a few months, is generally an excellent location for a good selection of good places to eat, although it’s still challenging to find a good (and quick) meal every night. However, my hotel for this week and last (the above average Hilton Kensington) doesn’t exactly seem to be replete with places to dine.
Fascinating. The sexy-but-basic Dopplr has obviously decided to take a wander into less-sexy-but-more-capable TripIt’s territory and start doing parsing of forwarded confirmation emails from airlines, etc. It will be interesting to see how well they execute on it (I haven’t had an excuse to use the feature yet). I’ve been a fairly avid user of TripIt and so far have been a bit disappointed by Dopplr’s lack of functionality and innovation beyond its core idea.
Excellent little Italian place I found near Embankment and the Strand. Plus, why is the price of hotel wifi in inverse proportion to its quality? Discuss. The Marriott I stayed in last week had unusable wifi (although the hotel was otherwise pretty good), whereas the Park Plaza this week (a.k.a cheap Radisson) has excellent free wifi (for IBMers). It’s got to be a strong factor for business travellers, yet most hotels clearly treat it as an afterthought.