how to make travel discoveries

Finding Cool

[trip style = any]

I value a good hotel concierge, someone who takes the time to talk and point you in the right direction. It's been a year since I stayed in Montreal at The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, but I will always remember one particularly helpful concierge. His directions and suggestions facilitated one of the greatest afternoons I've ever had traveling, exploring the far reaches of the city {surf spots, iconic condos, bridges and neighbourhoods} by bike.

But, what do you do if your hotel doesn't have a concierge, or you want an off the beaten track suggestion? You find cool.

Finding Cool Finding cool is about talking to locals, having a flexible schedule {even if just for an afternoon} and being open to new experiences.

Asking About Cool On a recent trip style = weekend getaway in Victoria, BC, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to eat. Stumbling upon a clothing boutique with teepee changing rooms and clothes I w-i-s-h-e-d were in my personal closet, I met a staff member who added some bang-on suggestions to my Victoria hitlist. He even suggested an out-of-the-way brunch place I would have never known to consider! And then it dawned on me: we both like the same clothes and after chatting for a bit, realized we both like the same restaurants, so why wouldn't I ask this guy more about the everyday hotspots in his town?

Finding Your Cool 1. Find someone to be your eyes and ears to the local scene. 2. Seek a restaurant server, bartender, hotel staff {like housekeeper of bell staff} or boutique owner with whom you connect. 3. Chat it up, and be willing to have a two-way conversation. 4. Learn what areas/restaurants/experiences to avoid and what to invest in. 5. If you love the suggestions, take a moment to say thanks.

Related It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood Party Like It's Your Birthday It’s the Little Things 5 Ways to get the Best Hotel Room It Never Hurts to Ask 

[photo taken by @tripstyler at Michel-Schlumberger winery---going there was a local's suggestion we took and loved!}