Traveling Over the Holidays

Curtis Carlson Nelson is both excited and anxious for the upcoming holiday travel season.

While the holiday season can be a booming time for the travel and hospitality industries, it can also be a stressful and challenging time for travelers.

Money gets tight with the outrageous purchases of gifts. Tensions raise higher than retail profit margins when attempting to gather the family together. War stories of Black Friday still haunt American malls throughout the nation. However, there is another aspect of the holidays that towers above any of these stressful scenarios. Curtis Carlson Nelson recognizes this most stressful aspect of the holiday season as travel. 

Between turbulent weather patterns, high travel volume, and the sheer panic that runs rampant in any international airport or train station, Curtis Carlson Nelson concludes that traveling during the holidays is by far the most stressful. Luckily, with years of experience as a professional in the travel industry, Curtis Carlson Nelson has acquired a handful of tips and tricks to help you efficiently pack your bags, make your way through the crowds, and get to your gate worry free. 

Curtis Carlson Nelson - Travel Tips

Stress Free and Affordable Travel

The first thing you need to do to ensure an affordable and reliable holiday travel experience is to plan well ahead. Whether it be blue skies or rusty tracks, planning is key to successfully making sure that your holiday travels are stress free. To be safe, Curtis Carlson Nelson recommends a six-month cushion between your travel purchase and travel date. This is to ensure your seat on a train or plane, and will provide you an affordable purchase. However, as they have such a way of doing, holidays are known to throw curve balls. If you find yourself in a spur of the moment situation, and must make a last-minute trip to distant family members, be aware of the intelligent days to book a flight. Booking a flight, the day of Thanksgiving, opposed to the week before, will save you nearly one hundred dollars. The same proves for Christmas Eve compared to a week before Christmas day, except the savings can exceed two hundred dollars. However, the air-tight way to avoid any of the headaches that come with crowded airports and unpredictable lay-overs is to plan your trip months ahead of time; the earlier you book, the better, and this simple strategy will save you hundreds on your holiday travels.   

The Lighter the Better

As an expert traveler, Curtis Carlson Nelson has never lost a bag lost on an airline. His trick? He never checks bags! Not only does this save Curtis Carlson Nelson hours in a bag-checking line, but during the holiday season when travel traffic is high and the likeliness of an airline losing your bag rises tremendously, he never has to worry about his belongings being in jeopardy. Some people might say that it is difficult or near impossible to fit everything in to a carry on, however, there are ways to make this possible. Planning your outfits and necessities ahead of time while also using items such as the space bag will help tremendously with saving room in your luggage.

Hidden Hotel Deals

Lastly, if you are in need of hospitality and a place to stay over the holidays, Curtis Carlson Nelson suggests keeping an eye out for hidden hotel deals. For booking agents, Orbitz provides some of the most affordable and updated deals. Curtis Carlson Nelson has found hotels $50-$100 cheaper through this agent than the actual hotel itself charged. One more great asset to making your holiday travel a smooth one, is online coupons, such as Groupon. Groupon can save you hundreds of dollars in hotel purchases during your holiday travels.

Traveling during the holidays is almost always a bit stressful, however, if you have these tips in mind ahead of time, you will find things to run much smoother while also saving time and money. 

 

History of Hotels and Hospitality

Curtis Carlson Nelson holds a strong passion for hospitality, with a long and successful career in the industry.

He has worked in many areas related to travel and hospitality including business, marketing, management, sales, branding, etc. One of the most interesting things Curtis Carlson Nelson has learned throughout his career is the long celebrated history of hospitality which dates back even before the Middle Ages.

Curtis Carlson Nelson - History of Hotels

Hospitality in the Middle Ages and Beyond

All throughout history including the Greek and Roman times people have set aside accommodations for travelers. It is unclear, however, as to whether this was just for government business or if alternate accommodations were made for just the weary traveler.

As the world entered the Middle Ages and life as a whole became more dangerous traveling and taking in travelers was really called to a halt. What happened was that people didn’t want to take travelers into their homes, so they started opening Inns, leading to the birth of what is known around the world today as a hotel.

The Birth of an Industry

Curtis Carlson Nelson is fascinated by the time that hotels and hospitality really began to grow within society. The hospitality industry was born in about the fifteenth century as governments began to regulate inns with their growing popularity. Traveling was becoming popular because the dangers of the Middle Ages were finally easing up a bit. This time frame also gave way to the first guidebooks for travelers to use, first produced in France.

Many of these early Inns had a similar structure in which all common areas were located in the front and then access to bedrooms was setup through a courtyard. There were also highly prized, but expected amenities of the time such as stables and storehouses, what Curtis Carlson Nelson considers “The Wi-Fi of the fifteenth century”.

Nineteenth Century

We fast forward a few hundred years and find ourselves in the middle of America and England’s Industrial Revolutions. New York, as you might have imagined was a hot spot for new hotels, many of which can still be seen and visited today. New York was not to be out done through, with constant additions to services that were offered including the now expected bell hop and private bathrooms.

Between 1822 and 1840 nearly every well-known city including Venice, Cairo, or even out on the shores of Lake Geneva had a highly prized hotel that were all in themselves, works of art.

No Slowing Down in the Twentieth Century…

The efforts kept going and amenities, offerings and rich feel of hotels continued to escalate. With the art deco movement in the early 1900’s the United States bloomed in artistic and fully themed hotels. 

Where are we today?

Now Curtis Carlson Nelson has observed the hospitality industry operating with full-fledged technological advances in nearly every hotel room. Free Wi-Fi, free parking, free valet. And this all just the surface technology. The hospitality industry has an ever growing number of technology systems that propel each business into models of efficiency and encourage, if not guarantee, excellent guest service.

How Pokémon Go has Influenced the Travel & Hospitality Industry

With years of experience as an executive in travel and hospitality, Curtis Carlson Nelson has witnessed many popular trends come and go.

It is exciting to observe how the travel and hospitality industries pick up on trends in pop culture and incorporate them into their brand. A perfect example of this in recent months is the new app Pokémon Go.

You’ll find very few people who don’t already know of the popular mobile phone game Pokémon Go. With record breaking numbers of people playing this game it certainly has brought about some interesting stories, caused communities to come together, and more. The stories about Pokémon Go have run like wildfire, but what does all of this mean for travel, hospitality and the restaurant industry? Curtis Carlson Nelson looks into the topic below:

How Pokémon Go has influenced the travel, hospitality, and restaurant industry

One thing Curtis Carlson Nelson has noticed about Pokémon Go is that it definitely knows how to bring people together. Communities full of people that have never met one another together, have since met up in parks, city centers and more, all in the name of catching these digital monsters on their cellphones.

Curtis Carlson Nelson Pokemon Go

Restaurants advertising using Pokemon Go to attract customers

Restaurants are able to benefit in the same way, people who’ve been gathering in parks and more are now entering fast food restaurants and catching Pokémon while inside to grab a meal. This is of course great news for businesses as word gets around and draws others inside with hopes of catching that elusive and rare digital monster. Curtis Carlson Nelson has also noticed many restaurants and businesses posting signs with Pokemon Go related themes to attract customers inside which he has found to be a great marketing tactic. This new cellphone game has inspired people to actually get out and about and become more active which is great news. Likewise, knowing of all the places that people can travel to catch different Pokémon, will inspire them to travel more.

Hotels may not be benefiting as much as many other places and mostly due to costs. As Curtis Carlson Nelson has noted, new trends in sleep accommodations such as Airbnb have really put pressure on hotels and motels to step up their game. Those who are seeking to travel to try and “catch ‘em all” are more likely to stay in these types of places instead of the pricier counterparts.  While those with extra spending cash may actually choose hotels while traveling and catching the pocket monsters during their stay. Overall this game has really gotten people out and about and caused them to want to travel and interact with people more than they normally would.

In fact, there have been stories all over the news in which this hit sensation has brought people from all over the world to places they would never have thought to go. Of course when the app finds one in a place like a hotel or restaurant, then it’ll continue to draw others in. If a person wanders in by coincidence of just finding a Pokémon there, there’s always the chance that while they’re there, they’ll consider stopping awhile to eat, maybe they’ll decide to rent a room and so forth. It may not have been the intentions of app makers to add this benefit to businesses, but it certainly can create a booming business for those who take note of this popular trend.

Careers in the Hospitality Industry by Curtis Carlson Nelson

Hospitality is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, hospitality will represent 10% of total employment globally by 2020. Curtis Carlson Nelson has been apart of this industry for 20+ years.

Curtis Carlson Nelson is on the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council and is excited to see these numbers continue to grow.

 

Careers in the Hospitality Industry - Curtis Carlson Nelson

However, most people think that hospitality jobs are limited to waiters, bartenders and chefs. In reality, the roles are quite diverse and encompass careers in event management, travel and tourism.

Below, Curtis Carlson Nelson describes the many different career opportunities in the hospitality industry:

Hospitality jobs typically require a high school diploma or hands-on experience in the industry. But some managerial positions might require a Bachelor’s degree as well. Different organizations arrange courses to train people in the hospitality sector, and make them more employable. The workplace can range from restaurants and cafes to hotels and catering services.

The kind of work can be split up into front-line and back-end staff. The most common positions arise in the areas of house-keeping, front office, food & beverages and the kitchen. Food service and lodging managers are there to ensure that the guests receive a satisfying experience during their visit. They are involved in daily operations, overseeing staff, reviewing budgets and providing customer service.

Food and beverage outlets seem to employ more people than other establishments due to their growing demand, and the increasing trend of people having their meals outside home. The waiting staff serves food and drinks to the guests and can work in a variety of places such as coffee shops, cafes, bars and fine dining restaurants. They are in direct contact with the customers, and make the first impression.

The kitchen staff positions depend on the size and structure of the establishment, and the kind of food that is being offered. The executive chef is in charge of the kitchen, and may employ other chefs based on their experience and demand. Each member is responsible for a specific section in the kitchen, and has to follow the directions of the head chef. Some places run an apprenticeship program too to train people according to their needs, and develop a pool of human resources for future vacancies.

The rooms and accommodation staff might include concierge and porters, housekeeping, laundry and guest reception. These positions often require multitasking skills but can provide a great pathway into future growth and career opportunities within the hospitality industry. Recently, establishments have started providing gaming and gambling facilities to their guests as well. Special staff is required to perform the roles of cashier, machine attendant and security guard. The person is required to hold a specific license before applying to these positions as it involves money handling.

The sales and marketing which Curtis Carlson Nelson specializes in, is another division in the hospitality sector which provides a lot of career opportunities. The responsibilities of the staff include making calls to potential clients, providing information about special offers, distributing brochures and participating in public relations exercises. In short, this department coordinates all the activities for marketing and promotion of the establishment.

The salaries in the hospitality industry are in the upper $40,000 range, but the hours can be long including work on the weekends since most businesses are open 24 hours a day. If you plan on doing a 9 to 5 job, then this might not be the right option for you. But if customer service is your thing and you want to establish a long-term career, then there are numerous opportunities available in this sector.