There’s always a lesson to be learned from even the most mundane life experiences… such as taking a vacation. And this time, I’ve learned that there are a number of questions that you might want to ask the concierge/receptionist when you’re checking in or at least on day one of your vacation. Believe me, knowing these things can make or break a vacation:
1. The location of the nearest pharmacy, and then the location of the nearest 24/7 pharmacy. You never know when allergies or indigestion might strike.
2. The location of the nearest clinic/hospital; just in case over the counter antihistamines/anti-diarrhea medicine doesn’t work.
3. Available transport options, especially shuttle services from the hotel. When a one-way taxi ride can go for 150 to 200 thousand, a free shuttle can make a real difference.
4. Recommended restaurants/watersport operators/shops/etc. Sometimes, a partnership between hotels and other establishments means that there’s a nice discount somewhere.
5. This one is a bit specific for the rainy season: fumigation schedules, which is pretty much inevitable as the war between hotel staff and mosquitos rage on. You might want to be someplace else when they start…