Forget the old stereotype that the French are rude.
The French have a reputation for being difficult with foreigners. A good amount of that reputation is likely thanks to the Hollywood stereotype—typically in the form of stock characters like a snooty maître d’, femme fatale, or mendacious lothario. To be sure, most visitors to France have at least one story of a run-in or misunderstanding with the French. Sometimes these are honest cultural misunderstandings, while in others, it may just be bad luck—humans are complex beings with complex emotions, and we all have our frustrating moments. That said, some social graces are particularly helpful in France and her overseas departments (other Francophone countries may also have similar social norms). These cues may not be as important in many larger, well-touristed cities. In Paris especially, many tourism industry workers may not be French and are intimately familiar with American habits (several years ago, Paris published a booklet for tourism workers on visitors’ cultural differences and expectations). However, these cues can be good habits for smooth travel among the French.
Don't waste your layover at the airport.
For the last eight years, Dubai International has been the busiest airport in the world in terms of people transiting through. It makes sense, considering Dubai can be reached from more than 200 destinations (in 100+ countries) around the world. It’s safe to say if you’re a frequent flier, you’ll probably have a layover there at some point. And chances are, it may be a long one. While the Dubai airport is nice (and the lounges, especially the Emirates ones, are genuinely stellar), you’d be remiss to spend your stopover there. There’s so much to see and do in the thriving metropolis, even if only for a few hours. Read on for the best ways to make the most of your Dubai layover.
Booking a luxury resort with points is a great idea, but it just requires some some research first.
It’s one of the major benefits of a travel loyalty program: saving up points. Whether earned via hotel stays, airline trips, or credit cards, you can use travel points to book a stay in a luxury resort you may otherwise not have been able to afford. In addition to verifying the amount of points required for a luxury resort and making arrangements to travel, there are several other things to research before redeeming those points. It’s worth noting that point redemptions typically cover room and tax only. Many luxury resorts operate on an à la carte pricing model, which means incidentals can pile up quickly, making that “free” stay is suddenly expensive. Booking a luxury resort with points is a good idea, but one that just requires some research to maximize your budget.