How to become the world’s smartest traveler

By | June 30th, 2013


This is the online edition of Elliott’s E-Mail, my free weekly newsletter. Please join me Monday morning for The Christopher Elliott Show, an irreverent half-hour conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Tune in to the hashtag #elliottshow at 11 a.m. Our topic: Hotel minibar horror stories! At 11:30 a.m., I’ll do a live YouTube broadcast, which will be archived on my channel.


Wanna become the world’s smartest traveler? I know you do. Then do this now: Pre-order my new book, How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle). It’ll help you navigate the ins and outs of the travel industry and save lots of time and money. Here’s my official announcement of the book project. By the way, next Monday I’m going to drop a bombshell. I can’t wait to tell you about it!


Many thanks to all of you, dear readers, who helped support this website during our June fundraiser. There’s still time to become an underwriter and join a long list of brave consumers who have joined the fight. You’re the best!


What should we do about the hotel minibar?
The hotel minibar is marketed as a convenience and amenity at many full-service hotels, portrayed as a “necessary” part of a sophisticated lodging experience. That’s not always true. Minibars have long been a drain on our expense accounts. The latest models are so sophisticated that moving them in any way — even bumping up against them — can trigger an erroneous billing. Do you wish these “amenities” would go away, or do you like having a selection of beverages and snacks in your hotel room? Tell me your minibar story. Please send me an email. As always, don’t forget include your full name, city and occupation.

Related story:   I wish I'd known that when I started!

Let’s talk!
The stories you see in this newsletter are just a starting point. I hope you’ll take a minute to leave a comment, whether you agree or disagree with something I’ve written. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google. I’m listening. And of course, I’m also here if you need me. Here’s my email address.


How to Break Through a Customer Service Script
Talk to me. That’s all customers like you want when they call a company. They want someone to talk to them. But corporations don’t always talk back. Read more in my column.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever fed your kids?
Is feeding your child French fries twice a day, five days in a row, a form of child abuse? When you’re on vacation, you start to wonder. I mean, who serves deep-fried potato wedges at home? But on the road, almost every meal comes with a side of fries or chips. Even breakfast. Get the details on our family travel blog, Away is Home.

A mostly true fish story with a truly unfortunate ending
Michael Patterson’s fish story is true. At least that what he says.
Somewhere between Orlando and San Jose, Costa Rica, Spirit Airlines lost a fiberglass fish mount in his checked bag that belonged to his late father. That is a fact. (Oh I know, some of you have already sniffed, “Spirit!” But give ‘em a chance, will you?) Find out how this fish story ends.

Hey United, there are two Charlestons — learn to tell ‘em apart
Don’t get your Charlestons confused. United Airlines did, and look at where it got Mo Shah and his family. I’m not sure if his problem, which involves a series of unfortunate events at the airport leading to an abbreviated anniversary celebration, is fixable. But there’s plenty to learn for those of us watching from the sidelines.

Related story:   What's new on Elliott: Where's my refund, surviving the "Comet" and what's the deal with the iPad?


Believe me, that surprise I have for you next week — it’s worth waiting for. You’re gonna love it.

  • Now is the time to become more and more smart in every field so as in Travelling to become smart traveller and it is required for carefully check, analyse all the related things.

  • B&B Brugge

    We all love traveling and this is the reason that we plan annual trip with all my cousins and other family members. Your new launch can really help us a lot. Thanks for sharing this post.

    B&B Brugge

We want your feedback. Your opinion is important to us. Here's how you can share your thoughts:
  • Send us a letter to the editor. We'll publish your most thoughtful missives in our daily newsletter or in an upcoming post.
  • Leave a message on one of our social networks. We have an active Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence and a Twitter account. Every story on this site is posted on those channels. The conversation ranges from completely unmoderated (Twitter) to moderated (Facebook and LinkedIn).
  • Post a question to our help forums or ask our advocates for a hand through our assistance intake form. Please note that our help forum is not a place for debate. It's there primarily to assist readers with a consumer problem.
  • If you have a news tip or want to report an error or omission, you can email the site publisher directly. You may also contact the post's author directly. Contact information is in the author tagline.