Amy Bradley-Hole

As yet another hurricane bears down on us, Gulf states residents are once again deciding whether or not to evacuate their homes. I have a feeling that by the end of the week, we’ll once more see news footage of people packing their cars and hitting the road.

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Amy Bradley-HoleWe decided to have a Labor Day party weekend at my parents’ house in Louisiana a couple of weeks ago. My husband and the kids and I drove down from Little Rock, and my brother flew in from Los Angeles to bring the new girlfriend home for the first time. But it’s that other visitor, Hurricane Gustav, who has us feeling uncomfortable.

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Road warriors can attest, too many nights away from home can really take its toll on a traveler. Once you spend more than a week or so in a hotel room, you start to get antsy. Amy Bradley-Hole passes along some extended-stay survival tips that have helped her over the years.

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Amy Bradley-Hole What are the things that penny-pincher travelers can bring along to really enhance their hotel stays. Amy Bradley-Hole suggests a few five-star amenities that you can supply yourself to get 5-star treatment in 2-star properties.

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Amy Bradley-Hole What makes you choose one hotel over the other? Is it the rate, the location or your travel agent’s recommendation? I’ll bet it’s most likely not the hotel’s advertising campaign. Hotels continue to spend big bucks on flashy advertising, but is it just wasted money?

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As you’re checking out of your hotel, the front desk agent is clacking away at the keyboard. Think he’s printing your invoice or updating your address? Think again. With one stroke of a key, he may be banning you from hotels all around the world. Yep, hotel blacklists exist. But are they fair or necessary?

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There are plenty of travel writers telling us how to complain effectively when things go wrong. But have you ever stopped to think about why you’re complaining in the first place? Making sure your motives are right may be the best way to get what you want.

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How will an economic slump affect the hotel industry? And more importantly, how will it affect hotel guests? Amy Bradley-Hole takes a look at how resorts handle recessions.

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Every April, my email “in” box is clogged with press releases from hotels touting their new and fabulous eco-friendly policies. This April was no exception. But unlike other columnists who press the “delete” key, I read every one. I can’t help myself. I’m both a cynic and a bit of an eco-nut.

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The world is full of troublemakers. Odds are, at some point, some of them will be staying in the hotel room next to yours. What can you do to protect yourself when your fellow guests are rude, crude or downright dangerous?

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