Stay at home & feel like you’re at a hotel

Here is a 10 –step guide to making your own bedroom feel like a luxurious hotel room. This may be a nice gesture for a newly married couple, a special surprise to your other half, or a pleasant consolation for having to cancel your vacation.

Step #1: Bed

Buy nice white bed sheets and add some big pillows. Tighten the sheets on all sides of the bed and fold the bed covering half way.

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Step #2: Accessories

Put a set of slippers and a bath robe near your bed. You can a buy bath robe and slippers at a local department store or another home accessory shop, such as Bed Bath & Beyond.

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Step #3: Toiletries

Lay out new set of toiletries in the bathroom or on the dresser. You can use toiletries you’ve collected during your previous stays at hotels, or buy new ones at a local department store or supermarket. Or, you can always use your toiletries by simply buying some small empty, small bottles, and pouring in your shampoo, soap and conditioner. If you want to get creative, you can make your own sticker or label to put on the bottles and soap cover.

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Step #4: Do Not Disturb

You make your own ”Do Not Disturb” sign for your bedroom door. Just download a template from the Internet and personalize your sign so to fit the occasion.

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Step #5: Bubble Bath

Fill a bath with hot water and soap. If you want to be romantic, put wine glasses next to the bath, and add some music to complete the feel.

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Step #6: Something Sweet

Put a small box of chocolate on the bed, or a nice fruit basket on the dresser. You can also show off your creativity and shape a heart (or any other shape) from flower pedals.

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Step#7Black Out

Make sure that your windows have thick curtains or some other kind of material that will block out  light when the sun comes up, so you can get your beauty sleep.

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Step #8: Fragrance

Spray lavender fragrance around the room. You can buy it at your local supermarket, and it’s good for rooms, clothes, towels, and bed sheets.

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Step #9: Dining

You can either order some food, or prepare a meal beforehand. You can use simple trays, or you can pick up some trays specially made for dining in bed. To get creative, ask some super nice friend, neighbor or family member to volunteer as a stand-in waiter and serve your meal to you.  Make sure they know that they are hereafter your favorite person on the planet.

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Step #10: Invitation

To invite your recipient to your special “hotel room”, you can customize a “hotel reservation confirmation” with your own required details, such as dates, address, name of the “hotel”, picture, amenities, etc.

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Hope you enjoy :)

Startups and Going into the Amazon

“A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.”
Rudyard Kipling

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My first question is, are you ready to get lost?

Not in a rude way of course, but are you ready to feel disorientation, fear and hunger?

Because sometimes the known road will get you only this far, and you will have to put the special shoes you knew you have somewhere, and the backpack that you have never really checked how strong it really is, and you have yourself, which is going to be put through an adventure, a test, and all combined.

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You have arrived to the junction of decision making – rather to get your startup into the wild, and have it as a full time “job”, or going back to the ‘safe zone’, and to get a real job.
It’s either turning left or right at this point, and you really have no clue where to go.

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On the one hand, there are many benefits for having a real job – you have the security, the clarity of where things are supposed to be going, and the ability to forecast the next years in your life. Sounds quite good, comfortable, even perfect for some.  It’s like choosing the organized cruise ship, that you just know that you’ll never have to really navigate yourself.

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Or… you can make your own boat.
If you really want to make your own path, and you are ready to tell your own story to the world – even though it will be hard, frightening, and most chances are you are going to fail  – but you are still ready to do it in order to learn, live, and change big things in this world, than that’s the only thing that counts, and you have already started walking in your own path.

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The most important thing about walking is to keep walking, but other than that – it’s who we are walking with. Choosing your team is crucial, as each and one of you will be tested individually and together, and sometimes it won’t be fun, or incredible, or inspiring, or any other thing that you thought it would be when you just met each other – it will be hard. And you want people who will be warriors, and that will do whatever they’d have to. Image

With the right team you will pass any obstacle along the way, and with the wrong team you will find the way to create obstacles in any way you choose.

You don’t need much to be happy, just a place to be together, and if you feel it – it’s true.

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So when you think about your team, really think if you’d be ready to go into the wild with him or her, because it’s already hard enough as it is, and after all we’re here to make things better, and to enjoy doing that.

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There’s nothing noble about making things harder than they should be. And once you choose your team, you know that it’s the right one when you really feel that you can face any challenge, carry any weight, and break every wall (or tree for that matter) – Image

And you are going to get lost many times, so it’s important to find a mentor – a guide – that has walked on his own path once, and is now ready to walk with you.

It’s important that he would believe in what you believe in, and that he’d be even crazier than you, that he will not be afraid of twists and turns, or finding a snake under a rock –

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This is how you, too, will become crazy on your own special way too, and will be abe to do even crazier things by yourself.

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Not everything different from your expecatations is bad, on the opposite – it might be the reason you came here from the beginning. Keep your head up and your eyes open for observation.

ImageAlways remember, there will always be people that will try to do you harm and will not be glad for you success – and that’s ok, but like the beautiful things you see along the road, make sure you keep an eye on them.

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But it’s important to remember that this road is beautiful, and it’s special, and no-one except for you will feel what you will feel when you walk on it, because it’s your path.

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Treasure the fun parts.

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Keep learning.

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Keep building and making things happen

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And remember why you came here from the start, which is to do good for other people, even if it’s for one moment.

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Everything you need to know about canceling your hotel room reservation

Think of the following scenario: You booked the a great hotel room, in the classiest hotel, a few steps from the most beautiful beach, in your favorite city in the world. Unfortunately, a couple of days before your much anticipated vacation, your flight was canceled.  Though you tried tirelessly to catch an alternative flight, there was nothing available. So, here you are. No flight. No beach. No vacation. Instead, you’re, alone, confused, trying to understand if, how and when you can cancel your reservation at the fancy-shmancy 5-star hotel by the beach. You’re calling the hotel, but the unsympathetic voice on the other end of the line just says, “We’re sorry Sir, the room you have booked is non-refundable.”

I’m guessing that most of you, while booking a hotel room and navigating through the page, noticed a cancellation fee policy, which is usually described with terms and phrases such as “free cancellation” or “non-refundable.”  In simpler words, they’re telling you that “if you cancel your reservation – you will be charged a cancellation fees, which is a fee that the hotel charges you if you break the cancellation terms to which you’d agreed at the time of the booking.

The most common types of cancellation policies and fees are (1) Non-refundable – meaning that if you cancel your reservation, you’re responsible to pay the total price; (2) Cancellation free of charge up until cancellation window – which means that if  you cancel your reservation within X days before your date of arrival, no fee will be charged. But if you cancel at any later point in time, or in the case of a no-show, you’ll be charged 100% for the first night.

So, I advise you to pay close attention to the terms’ details regarding the cut-off period, since some hotels specify a designated time on the day before the check-in. For example, one terms’ details could say, “If canceled by 1:00 PM the day before the date of arrival, no fee will be charged”. In such cases, be sure to note the time zone in which the specified hour is marked.

Now we’ve gone over the basics of cancellation fees, you’re probably asking yourself, why should I pay for a hotel reservation that I’m not using? Well, think of cancellation fees as simply a commitment between two parties. When you book a hotel room, you commit to the terms and conditions that the hotel states in the reservation. If hotels allowed everyone to book a room and then easily cancel at the last minute, they wouldn’t make any money off of you, and they wouldn’t have enough time to sell the room to someone new. Thus, cancellation fees incentivize guests to cancel in advance, so the hotel will have the opportunity to sell the room to someone else in time to still turn a profit. If guests don’t cancel in time, the cancellation fee can be considered to be the hotel’s “compensation” for losing money by not having the opportunity to sell the room to someone else.

Cancellation policies and fees usually vary between hotels and room types. Most of the cancellation policies and fees will appear next to the accommodation type when you book, but occasionally, you’ll have to take a closer look (and maybe strain your eyes a bit) in order to read the fine print. Because, in most cases, the type of cancellation fee is based on the type of room, it’s likely that you’ll see the cancellation policy only after you choose your room.

So don’t be too trusting.  It’s best to be aware, and even a bit suspicious. When you book a hotel room through a hotel site or an online booking site, you’ll often see the words “free cancellation” next to the hotel’s name or room details. Note that in most cases, there is no such thing as a “free cancellation,” and the exact wording of the cancellation policy will appear somewhere at the bottom of the page or in small letters. In most cases, the free cancellation is actually just a form of the “cancellation free of charge up until” method explained above

Also, I recommend you to cancel your room only after you’ve checked the cancellation policy and are sure about whether or not you will be charged. Also, always make sure to write down your cancellation number, or ask for a cancellation confirmation.

So, if almost all hotels cancellations results in cancellation fees, shouldn’t there be a better alternative? Up until a month ago, I would’ve advised you to find someone to buy your room, or just take a hit and absorb the loss. But now, we’ve just launched a new marketplace for hotel rooms, which enables you to sell your room at whatever price you choose. When you sell your reservation on www.goroomer.com, you can both avoid the cancellation fee and make some money back on your reservation. It’s safe, secure, and ridiculously simple.

People frequently ask me: “why should I book a hotel ahead of time and risking paying cancellation fees, instead of just booking a room via a ‘walk-in’?” Well, there are many reasons why it’s best book your hotel room in advance. First, if you’re traveling with kids or in large group, or arriving at night or after a long flight, you’ll definitely want the security and peace of mind that goes along with booking a room ahead of time. In addition, some hotels have what’s called an “it pays to plan ahead policy”, so you can actually save money on room rates by booking ahead. Finally, you’ll want to book ahead if you’re traveling during high seasons and/or to popular destinations, as in these high-stakes situations, it’s likely that the hotel will be completely booked when you arrive at your destination.

For these reasons and more, people usually prefer to secure their travel plans in advance, rather than risk showing up and winding up with no place to stay.

Lastly, before making any reservation, I advise you to read all of the details of the deal, especially room type, check-in and check-out times, half or full-board, additional hotel fees, child policy, hotel facilities, cancellation policy, and hotel location. If you have time and patience, search the Internet for recommendations on the hotel. Whether you are booking by phone, online, or in-person, make sure you receive a confirmation that includes all of the important details of the deal. Further, if you made any special requests (such as special meals, spa treatments, ocean view, etc.), make sure they’re included in the confirmation.

Despite of the above said,  unexpected things may force you to cancel your non-refundable hotel reservation. Remember that you can make the non-refundable refundable at www.goroomer.com.

And then when you have to cancel your much anticipated vacation, you won’t find yourself feeling alone and confused about canceling your reservation.


When I was a CTO

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 
Augustine of Hippo

 

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Long before I could ever imagine that I would be sitting in the office and building a marketplace for travel, I really knew how to travel. And it’s not as trivial as some people may assume. 

Travelling for a long period of time means changing your whole life:

Your backpack becomes your home, and losing it makes you a real homeless. 

You can’t go to the shower without your flip-flops (proof

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You automatically convert currencies and translate languages that you’ve just learnt, as you cross borders and countries and cultures faster than you get used to them.

 

 

You are suspicious, but in a good way – you become a native negotiator and you feel it when you talk with the taxi driver, the ho(s)tel and with the girl (or the mule) that you’ve just met. 

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You enjoy simple and natural things, like temperatures and sunsets and sunrises and food –  in a way that you never felt before (except for your army service). 

 

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You know that you are alive. Truly alive, and you can really laugh and love and get hurt, and you know that anything else is just a mean to an end. Image

 

And you can easily forget what you’ve learned as a traveler once you put on the suit and tie, and you can easily feel like all you knew has lost its relevancy  – but than you also lose yourself, and the traveler inside you, and you become one of those static landsacapes that are travelers look at while they live around you. 

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So, please, just keep traveling, even if your’e in the office. 

And live for a change. 

I’ll get back to be a CTO – Chief Travel Officer. 

Gon