Jim’s Notebook

This is where you normally see Tips for Travelers, which I’ve decided to let fly off into the sunset. Although it may not have appeared so, it was just becoming too time-consuming to produce weekly. And it also limited the amount of good, timely information we could provide subscribers.

Notebook overcomes both issues and will also allow me to babble on a bit more, something I’m told I do very well anyway.  Please, no comments from relatives, friends or colleagues.

If you’ve gotten yourself on the mailing list of any cruise line you’re probably well aware that in the wake of the Costa Concordia tragedy the cruise line companies are still doing their best to woo you back on board. Learn more about what they’re now offering you at Cruise lines offer freebies and more to get you aboard. Couple that with the article 6 ways to save money on a cruise and there’s potential to really maximize your savings.

Back on land, when staying at a hotel who doesn’t want to get the best bang for their buck? Read 30 Hotel Chains Every Traveler Should Know for some good info on hotel chains around the world that provide just that. I can’t vouch for all of these chains since some I just don’t know, but I have stayed in a couple of them and, based on my experience, the author seems to be right on target.

Speaking of hotels (and getting the most bang for your buck) there’s a new website called BackBid which could save you a bundle by getting competing hotels to bid on your business. Yes, bid on your business — they come to you with their offer.

Here’s how it works. You register with the site and give them your hotel preferences. Later, after you book a room at a hotel, you post your reservation on BackBid and competing hotels send you bids for your stay. The Washington Post has an article on a traveler who booked a room at the St. Regis in San Francisco, and was then contacted by seven competing hotels that offered lower prices. Read about it at New Web site BackBid lets you get a better hotel deal. This is something that could revolutionize the hotel industry (perhaps for better, perhaps for worse).

Whether you’re in the travel business or not, you may be interested in the Travel Weekly article Study shows traditional agents attract bigger spenders. If you’re over 45 just ignore the “oldies but goodies” remark, which was likely penned by some envious twenty-year old.

A few other things that are happening which may be of interest. Are you a Beatles fan? Jason and Carla Rupp have been doing some digging around in Liverpool to discover the roots of John, Paul, Ringo, and George. You can also read about their recent trip to Singapore next week. As well as Bill Warelis’s visit to Beaufort, SC, in an upcoming issue. In a few days I’ll be off to Ecuador and the Galapagos to see what’s in store for you there.

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  1. pat says

    Jim – Friends we cruise with on a regular basis just reminded us of 2 good deals for cruisers – at least from lines we cruise with. Princess if offering Veterans some shipboard credit – just submit your DD214 and a simple form. Also, purchasing 100 shares of Carnival stock – (c. $31 / share) gets you some shipboard credit on any of their lines. And both of these work on every cruise and the $ of credit increases with the length of the cruise. If they keep this up, they’ll owe us money at the end! Pat

  2. Jim Ferri says

    Those are two excellent tips. I know a lot of companies provide bennies to their shareholders but I hadn’t thought about the cruise lines. That may fodder for a future article. Thanks for the tip!

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