At FlightNetwork.com, we understand that travel can be difficult – sometimes downright unpleasant. Some travelers, however, have figured out how to improve their experience by learning how to get freebies and upgrades when they fly. Mark Bowden of TruthPlane, Inc. – an internationally renowned body language expert who consults for top-tier public speakers ranging from leaders of industry to leaders of countries — says you too can be an upgrade champion. All it takes is learning what non-verbal signals you might be sending, and practicing the effective ones.
You might not be aware that your smile is unwittingly hostile-looking, that when you lean toward someone you’re being viewed as aggressive even though you meant well! Mark tells us the keys to making friends and influencing the airline employees. Turn that frown upside and get ready to be surprised by the results. To learn more, watch the video above or, if you’re the reading type, check out Mark’s quick tips, and become a travel expert yourself.
Convincing an airline employee to give you an upgrade may seem difficult, but a few simple tricks can greatly improve your chance of success. The problem with making this kind of request is that people will often speak words that they think will encourage the employee to say “yes,” while their body is actually telling the person to say “no.” Body language expert Mark Bowden of TruthPlane, Inc. says that you need to use non-verbal clues, like cavemen did before spoken language, to get a postive response. …. Read Full Entry
FlightNetwork.com’s Body Language Guru Offers Non-Verbal Travel Tips and Tricks
Toronto, ON – April 15, 2013 – Ever wonder why the first class cabin is empty on your flight after you tried to charm your way into a seat upgrade? Chances are your mouth said “yes” but your body said “no.” According to international body language expert and author Mark Bowden of TruthPlane Inc., the true language of upgrades has its roots in the non-verbal communication style of cavemen.
Basic body language would have worked well when primitive man needed to organize a hunt, light a fire or warn the tribe against danger, but in 2013 it can be surprisingly relevant and useful when ‘angling’ for a travel upgrade. According to Bowden, it all begins with a simple smile:
“It’s generally shown across the planet that open body language and a smile will create an unconscious reaction in the recipient to want to give back to you — be it an upgrade, a better seat, or a free drink,” said Bowden.
The following genial gestures are a useful sampling of secret weapons that travellers can deploy when meeting someone in a position to make their trip more enjoyable. In video and photographs posted at FlightNetwork.com, Bowden gives visual demonstrations of
‘Neanderthalic’ nuances specifically geared to help travellers garner upgrades.
The Paleolithic Pal: Comes in handy when meeting upgrade gatekeepers. By opening your arms in a welcoming way, you show others you mean no harm. A smile is a great addition.
TheLizard Lift: Sometimes less is more. By slightly raising your eyebrows you will be perceived as an approachable person. Try this while pleasantly saying to the flight attendant, “Hey, do I see an empty seat in first class?” Friendliness always wins courtesy in return – if not a better seat.
The Cro-Magnon Crinkle: A smile is perceived as fake unless you show the wrinkles around your eyes, says Mark. Display the Cro-Magnon Crinkle and people will know your intentions are genuine, even if your intention is to get an extra bag of pretzels.
Bowden adds that if a person’s demeanour appears angry, no amount of polite pleading will earn positive perks.
“Flight attendants and staff behind the counter are frequently ignored and treated poorly,” said Allison Eberle, Vice President of Operations for FlightNetwork.com, “They’re actually the people with power, and Mark shows that if we treat them well, we’ll likely get good treatment in return.”
Bowden also notes that the way one dresses for travel influences others. When travelling abroad he deploys the “Natty Neanderthal:” the tactic of creating a varied look, allowing the traveller to be identified/welcomed by various “tribes.”
“When watching the video at FlightNetwork.com, take note of my appearance. Someone might relate to my longer hair. Another person could respond to my suit. A person with a sense of humour could enjoy my red socks,” added Bowden. “When in doubt, just buy the local t-shirt. You’ll make instant friends.”
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Open Wide and Say “Aaah think you’re doing a great job.”
When meeting the upgrade “gatekeepers” (e.g. agent at the check-in desk or gate, or the flight attendant) the Paleolithic Pal comes in handy. By opening your arms in a welcoming way, you show others you mean no harm. The smile is a great addition.
Do the Tribal Dance – Make Yourself Appealing to Anyone You Meet
Mark says if you can associate with other people’s “tribes,” they’ll want to cooperate with you. By creating a varied look (Natty Neanderthal)that includes aspects of different tribes’ looks (e.g. arm tatoo and a short-sleeve button down shirt with khakis) you’ll be welcomed by different groups: Red socks indicate a sense of humour, a suit denotes professionalism, long hair means you’re a bit rebellious. Find your travel look – without appearing to wear a costume!
By slightly raising your eyebrows (the Lizard Lift), you will be viewed as an approachable person. It translates across all cultures as a facial expression showing recognition. Try pleasantly saying to the flight attendant, “Hey, do I see beer back there?” Friendliness always wins courtesy in return (the concept of “reciprocity,” according to Mark) – if not a free drink.
This one’s a big “don’t”: No matter how upset you are about a flight delay, avoid aggressive stances and unpleasant expressions like The Fossil Face. Even if you say kind words, leaning forward will irritate the person behind the desk.
A smile is perceived as fake unless you show the wrinkles around your eyes, says Mark. A smile without wrinkles might even seem predatorial! Improve your smile with the Cro-Magnon Crinkle and people will know your intentions are genuine.
Posted by Stephanie Spencer on February 28th, 2013 @ 1:19 PM
When we first got our dog, I was a bit nervous about how this would affect our travelling. Soon, we realized it wasn’t that difficult because for many weekends away and road trips, we’ve found we can bring our dog with us! Hotels and motels in all price ranges increasingly allow pets to stay.
The first time we brought her along, I didn’t completely trust her to behave in the hotel, but she adapted quickly and she’s become a great travelling companion!
Here are some things we’ve learned about staying in a hotel with a dog:
Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with ID tags AND is microchipped with updated contact information including your cell phone number.
Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccines, especially rabies. Some airlines, hotels, kennels/day care facilities, etc. may ask to see proof of rabies vaccination before they admit you.
Be sure your pet is current on a monthly treatment of systemic flea medication. Even if you don’t see any fleas on your pet you do not want to leave fleas or ticks in your hotel room!
In the Hotel
Research pet-friendly accommodations before you leave and make a reservation in advance whenever possible. Many pet-friendly properties only have a limited number of rooms that they set aside for stays with pets.
Find out the hotel’s pet policy and any pet fees in advance. Many charge fees that range from nominal to very expensive. Ask whether the fee will be charged per night or once for the duration of the stay. Also some properties have size or breed restrictions, so make sure your pet qualifies.
On that note, never try to sneak your pet into a hotel or motel that won’t allow it. Most have hefty fines for guests that get caught. In a pinch, some budget chains (including Motel 6) now allow pets
Cassie Kifer is a travel addict and intrepid eater from Northern California. She wanders the globe looking for unique adventures and takes way too many pictures. Sometimes she brings her dog. Check out her travel blog, Ever In Transit or follow her on Twitter.
I lived in Taiwan for six years and, although I traveled around the country a lot, I never spent much time exploring Taipei. So, when I went back for a visit last year I was excited to see all the attractions that I’d heard about.
I only had one day, so I tried to pack in all of the best activities. I didn’t visit Taipei 101, because I’d seen been there before. Instead, this is what I did.
Breakfast: Dan Bing
Dan bing is a common Taiwanese breakfast that can be found at most breakfast shops. It’s basically a breakfast burrito, except the egg is fried to the Chinese spring-onion flavoured wrap giving it a pleasant, slightly rubbery texture.
You can usually add bacon and cheese (both are recommended), and it’s served with a sweet sauce. It’ll run you about $1 USD.
Morning: The Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
An interactive video installation in MOCA. Photograph by Matt Gibson
Asian art is exceptionally weird, but in a really good way. The Museum of Contemporary Art usually houses some wonderfully bizarre avant-garde video, befuddling installations, interactive exhibits, sculptures, and paintings.
During my visit I saw a mummy sitting a desk, a video of a girl standing in a tunnel, and an installation that looked like a giant rats nest of scaffolding had smashed through a wall. it was everything I’d hoped it would be.
Adult entry costs about $1.50 USD
Lunch: Sausage in a Sausage
This popular and common Taiwanese snack is found at food stalls throughout the city. It consists of a sweet pork sausage that’s placed inside of a sliced-open larger sticky rice sausage. It’s often topped with garlic and a sweet or spicy sauce. It will cost you about $1.50 USD.
Afternoon: The National Palace Museum
Taipei’s National Palace Museum. Photograph by Matt Gibson
I hate saying that things are a ‘must-see’, but that’s exactly what the National Palace Museum is. When the Koumintang fled China to Taiwan the brought an enormous portion of the country’s most valuable national treasures with them, and they’re now housed in the National Palace Museum.
Many consider it to be the finest collection of Chinese art in the world. The museum’s collection is so large that only 1% of it can be on display at any given time, so exhibits are constantly changing.
The prize of the collection — which our guide referred to as “the Mona Lisa of Chinese art” — is a jade sculpture of a cricket on a head of cabbage, which reinforced the fact that I’ll never totally understand Chinese culture.
Entrance to the National Palace Museum costs around $5 USD
Dusk: Longshan Temple
Incense urn at Taipei’s Longshan Temple. Photograph by Matt Gibson
The Longshan Temple is a beautiful and popular temple in the Longshan District of Taiepi. At sunset the temple, with slanting sunlight highlighting incense smoke throughout, the temple is a mystical place and is usually packed with people stopping to pray on their ways home from work and school.
It’s a serene and spiritual setting where you can see the entire cross-section of Taiwanese society in one place. And, even better, it’s free.
Dinner: Din Tai Fung
Dian Tai Fong is most famous in Taiwan and abroad for it’s xiaolongbao, but all of the dumplings here are delicious.
Although slightly expensive by Taiwanese standards, prices are very reasonable by western standards. We ordered plates of dumplings and large bottles of Taiwan Beer until we couldn’t eat or drink any more. For this feast my companion and I paid about $15 USD each
Evening: Huaxi Night Market
Taipei’s Huaxi Night Market, also known as Snake Alley. Photograph by kaythaney
If you’re only going to visit one night market in Taiwan, this should be it. The Huaxi Night Market, also known as Snake Alley, is located in what was formerly Taipei’s red-light district and is best known for the numerous rare delicacies that can be found there, such as deer penis wine, turtle meat, and shots of snake blood.
Taipei is a world-class metropolis with a rich history. There are more worthwhile activities there than one can possibly fit into a single day.
When I had only a single day to see the city, however, this itinerary left me feeling like I’d hit the most important highlights.