Linda ------- Portland, IN
~ March 2006 ~ I have searched on and off, for 15 years for vintage travel decals just like the ones you have. I have a steamer trunk with several of them already on it, but have always wanted more. I was floored when, on a whim, I decided to look online today. Finding your website I purchased over $70.00 in decals alone.
Please allow me to also express my amazement at how FAST your customer service center is. I just placed my order only moments ago and within seconds I was greeted via e-mail of notification with all the information I needed and supplied with this feed back e-mail address.
I have to praise your company because this was the absolute FASTEST notification of an online order I have ever received. Thank you for your OUSTANDING SERVICE!
Craig ----- Biloxi, MS
~ February 2006 ~ I wanted you to know that I appreciate your very helpful customer service; well done. Also, the Hello Traveler website deserves compliments for how nicely organized it is and for the great product descriptions.
Catherine ---- Los Angeles, CA
~ January 2006 ~ Thanks for doing the work so we may re-live our early impressions of seeing the world someday! I am so appreciative that you have collected these wonderful products. Hopefully one of the luggage labels will cover the stain on my leather duffel bag!
I am really inspired now so I'm ordering lots more stuff. P.S. I just retired after 33 years as a flight attendant with AA and flew international for over half that time to all parts of the globe!
Sandy ---- Lauderdale, MS
~ December 2005 ~ I wanted to thank you for the great service you offer - I ordered a pair of travel journals and had them sent to a friend. (They were ordered on Monday and he got them on Wednesday - and this was regular shipping - nothing express!) - at this time of year that is
spectacular service (plus he loves them - he'd been hunting for something like that for a while.)
So I just wanted you to know that you got it right - your site is easy to use, ordering was a snap (even shipping to a different address from the billing one) and delivery was blazing!
I will keep your site on my Favorites list and will recommend you to everyone!
Robin ---- Dublin, OH
~ December 2005 ~ THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH! I appreciate the extra effort! I'm waiting this morning for the package to arrive! Happily!
Again, thanks so much! I just discovered your company yesterday or I would have ordered these much sooner!
Mischelle ---- Salina, KS
~ November 2005 ~ I can't thank you enough for sending my recent order for travel stickers so quickly. My 88 year old mother put them all over a suitcase and entered a Halloween costume contest and won 3rd place with her version of a weary traveler.
Could not have done it without your stickers since I was unable to locate her lifetime collection of luggage labels and travel patches. You are just fantastic!!
Margaret ---- Sparrows Point, MD
~ October 2005 ~ I have been extremely happy with doing business with your company and have yet to experience this level of customer service with any other online retailer. It's nice to know that the art of service has not COMPLETELY died! Looking forward to further transactions.
Beth ---- Redford, MI
~ July 2005 ~ You've been wonderful to work with, Debbie...I look forward to doing more business with you soon! Thanks so much for your help and quick response!
Mindy ---- Deerfield, Ill
Travel Journal Articles
How to Keep an Interesting Travel Journal
by Deborah --- a.k.a. Goddess of the Open Road
Do you keep a travel journal? For those that already do, congratulations. Perhaps I may offer a few new ideas to your usual style. And for those who don’t, well you really should. Because you think you’ll remember that hilarious interaction with a local character or those amazing, off-the-beaten path dining spots, but maybe you won’t. Here’s one such funny instance that I didn’t want to forget , so I scribbled it in my journal (this is the cleaned-up, reads-in-sentences version):
~ Istanbul, 2004 - I really liked the little café buffets of Istanbul, with their huge trays of creative meat, veggie and carb dishes displayed in their broad front windows. So, I stroll into a place like this one day about 3PM to have a late lunch. I was the only customer there so the server decides to have a chat. He asks (in struggling English, sigh….is it always so obvious?) where I’m from and when I reply “America” his eyes get big and he says, “Ohhhh, Miami?” He had been there and liked it. I answer, “No, I’m from Atlanta, Georgia”. Well, you can‘t believe what he does next ---he puts 3 fingers up to his O-shaped mouth and begins to make American Indian sounds. I was confused for a moment and then started to chuckle and thought to myself ‘I can’t believe I’m going to do this, but…..’ So, I nodded and began slicing my arm up and down like the so-called Atlanta Braves Tomahawk Chop, plus making the war chant that goes with it. Well, the guy went into hysterics, laughing uncontrollably, and then began doing it himself. So I said “ baseball” and he replies “YES, baseball!” Oh geez, there are even Braves fans in Turkey. Who would have guessed it. That little interaction totally made my day…and his too, it appeared. ~
Given that I was on a 3 month trip I , so easily, could have forgotten that particular incident. Plus, it used to drive me nuts when a friend was taking a trip to a place I had been, a destination that had a really special B & B, retro shop or funky restaurant, that I so badly wanted to recommend but had kept no information. Not helpful at all, so now I keep a book of notes.
Initially, my problem was that I thought it had to read in some sort of intelligent, chronological fashion, like a book. Hello! What was I thinking? Nobody can write a journal like that and still sink their teeth into the traveling. The point of the journal is just to get the info down. You don’t want it to absorb lots of time, you’ll miss too much.
Listed below are some techniques I’ve employed to make the writing process easy, interesting, visually appealing and more fun.
1 - You simply must buy a journal that will lie flat when opened. Seems obvious but, plenty of them won’t. And if you have to fight with the darn thing, it will win. And there goes your valiant attempt at journal-keeping. Buy spiral bound or Smythe-sewn.
2 - Sometimes it’s very useful to create a section at the top of some of the pages with fill-in prompts like these: Destination, Date, Accomodation, Restaurants, Sites Visited, etc. Whatever is important to you. This makes it much simpler to reference later on and lends a bit of organization. There are also journals on the market that are already designed this way.
3 - Take a highlighter pen with you, or a red pen, in addition to your usual writing instrument (mechanical pencils work well). Incorporating more than one color on the page makes the text infinitely more interesting to the eye. And brings focus to important elements.
4 - If you’re traveling with someone or met a memorable character along the way, ask them to write a short story or impression in your travel journal. A few of those sprinkled around will add some colorful dimension to the writing. Sure, go ahead guys, ask that saucy waitress for her autograph…..and maybe a lip print next to it!
5 - Use the best adjectives you can think of. Don’t hold back. That annoying guy at the train station wasn’t just a jerk……he was a smelly jerk. Well, what did he smell like…..skunky cologne, last night’s garlic, a wannabe Cuban cigar? Trust me, you will begin to laugh then and forever on when you makes notes like that.
6 - If you like unlined journals you can easily turn them into a visual work of art by adhering nifty items inside. Like a small picture from a brochure, an extra stamp, a business card, that leftover 10,000 Vietnamese dong bill, a museum ticket. Take along a small roll of acid-free photo mounts and keep them with your writing tools in a ziplock bag, along with the collected mementos and this endeavor will be super easy and produce amazing results.
7 - If your trip is to just one area, like London or Tuscany, etc. paste a small map inside the front or back cover of your journal. It provides geographic perspective and you can install dots to the places you’ve visited. Map freaks like myself love this sort of thing.
8 - Guide books often provide some great context for describing something. Here’s an example from my own journal:
~ I just couldn’t quite figure how to define the level of smog in Cairo and then I remembered how the Rough Guide described it, it was perfect…. “that inhaling the air of Cairo is like the equivalent of smoking 30 cigarettes a day”. Nuff said. ~
The whole idea is not to take the writing of a travel journal too seriously. Partly because it may result in you never keeping one and also because they can otherwise be eye-glazingly, head-bobbingly boring, even to you. So have at it, friends. Make it uniquely yours and enjoy the journey.