En español | Sometimes your much-anticipated arrival in a new place — no matter how much planning you've done — begins with one question: Now what? Here's how I get the most out of those first few hours.
At the Airport
It's easy to think that once you deplane, your only goal is to follow the signs to baggage claim and make a speedy exit. But I always like to spend a few extra minutes looking around the airport, as I'll most likely be returning there on my way home.
Are there some nice places to eat? Shops I might be interested in? Play areas for my kids? Is the airport really spread out? Do I have to hike or ride a tram between terminals? And I always take a look at the security area: chaos or calm? All this helps me decide whether I want to return with no time to spare or make that departure a more leisurely event with maybe a meal and some shopping.
At the Hotel: Check-in Time
I've made a reservation for a specific type of room in a particular category, but rooms aren't all exactly alike. So before the hotel clerk hands over the key card, I'll ask questions and try to get a room better suited to my preferences. How close to the elevator? What's the view? Where's the nearest ice machine?
And I always ask about Wi-Fi. If it's free, the front desk will have the password. If you're going to have to pay, compare the expense with the cost of turning your smartphone into a personal hot spot so you can use it to get Wi-Fi wherever you are.
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