Just today the U.S. State Department issued an advisory against travel to Toronto. Really? Are we Canadians that scary? I mean we have a reputation for apologizing, for heaven’s sake. The advisory comes with the approach of the G8 Summit in Toronto. Warnings of protests that can “become violent and unpredictable” may just scare away the very tourists that make our city so great in the Summer.
As many of you know, I traveled to the Philippines last month. Before going about the only thing I knew was that it was located somewhere in Asia. Ignorant was an understatement. But moments after sharing with friends, family and blog readers that I would be heading down to deliver seminars on Social Media I was barraged with concerned emails. I was told of kidnappings, beheadings and crime against Westerners. In fact, the Canadian government issued warnings against travel in certain regions of the county. I was shaking in my proverbial boots. I emailed the organizer of the conference no less than 3 separate times stating my concerns. With great patience, the organizer ensured me that there wouldn’t be any problems.
I spent 3 of the most incredible weeks of my life in the Philippines (just check out the video I put together). 3 weeks that I would have missed out on had I listened to the fear mongering. There was no fighting, there were no crimes that I saw – it was the opposite of what I let myself believe. The Philippines was brimming with some of the warmest and most accommodating people I have ever met in all my travels.
Many places have undeserved reputations. Top of my list would be Jamaica, Trinidad and (of course) the Philippines. They have not done a good job branding their countries outside of their country. Small and isolated incidences have over-ridden the realities of their greatness. This is sad to me.
I hope, at the very least, this post will encourage event planners, destination planners, corporate incentive planners, etc to consider countries they’ve heard not-so-good-things about. Just maybe you’ll receive the gift of an incredible experience that many choose to bypass. If anyone wants to learn more about the countries I’ve mentioned, I’m happy to speak about them or put your hand in the hand of a local who can help you. And heck, come to Toronto while you’re at it.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been to New Orleans, Trinidad, New York and in the coming weeks I’ll be adding Las Vegas and Boracay, Philippines to the list. My name is Lara and I’m a frequent flyer. For those of you who also live out of a suitcase, this one’s for you. Meet 3floz.com. Touted as a site ‘for those who travel, those who are curious, and those who can’t commit’, the site is overflowing with TSA-friendly health & beauty products for men and women..and is getting a lot of buzz.
As with many great new business ideas, 3floz.com was born out of an untapped customer need. Let me share Alexi & Kate’s (the founders) story…
Kate wasn’t willing to give up her daily beauty regime and carried her full- sized beauty products everywhere she travelled. She couldn’t be bothered spending hours shopping multiple locations searching for the TSA approved size products. Alexi was willing to spend hours going store to store buying her beauty products in TSA approved sizes so she could carry on her luggage. In addition to her anxiety about lost luggage Alexi had a fear of commitment, so buying full sized products put her into a full panic; travel sized products were the perfect solution.
Alexi stopped shopping for her TSA approved beauty products and started using Kate’s full- sized products when they were traveling together. This did not work for two reasons- Kate HATED sharing her beauty products and Alexi was SICK of waiting for her at the airport while she checked her luggage.
The Compromise: Alexi and Kate created 3floz.com, as a one stop shop for all of your favorite TSA friendly beauty products.
How’s this for convenience? When you purchase, you have the option of having your purchases shipped directly to you or your hotel. Frequent flyers, you can now breathe a sigh of relief.