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Travel Reference

The Pocket Butler's Guide to Travel

Essential Advice for Every Traveller, from Planning and Packing to Making the Most of Your Trip

by (author) Charles MacPherson

Random House Canada
Initial publish date
Oct 2018
Reference, Personal & Practical Guides, Etiquette
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price

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Indispensable travel advice from Everyone's Favourite Butler

A world authority on the art of travel, Charles MacPherson has planned itineraries for celebrities and business leaders, and trained the staff of some of the world's leading hotels. In this easy-to-follow guide, you will find his tips on how to:

Plan Your Trip: choose luggage and accommodations, master wrinkle-free packing, secure an upgrade and manage your schedule.

Travel in Style: for business or pleasure; by plane, train, cruise ship, coach, yacht, car or even private jet.

Make the Most of Your Stay: get help from the concierge (every hotel's best-kept secret) and navigate international dining etiquette and tipping culture. And much more! Slip this compact book into your carry-on luggage for a trusted companion wherever your travels may take you.

About the author

Contributor Notes

CHARLES MacPHERSON is the owner of North America's only registered school for butlers and household managers, with almost 30 years experience. He travels constantly for both business and pleasure.

Excerpt: The Pocket Butler's Guide to Travel: Essential Advice for Every Traveller, from Planning and Packing to Making the Most of Your Trip (by (author) Charles MacPherson)

I prefer to stay in hotels when possible, and what follows are my tips for making the most of your hotel and its amenities. I like to spend a few minutes first unpacking my suitcase, setting up my toiletries in the bathroom and figuring out how the TV and thermostat work. Once I’ve familiarized myself with my new surroundings, I can truly relax.

Securing the Best Room
Not all hotel rooms are created equal. When your objective is to get the best hotel room available, or possibly an upgrade, keep these tips in mind. And whatever happens, smile and be nice!

   • Join the hotel’s loyalty program to collect points towards upgrades and other benefits. Elite-status members get preferential treatment.
   • Call the hotel directly to book your reservation. Often reservations booked through an online discount site get lower priority and are less likely to be assigned the best rooms.
   • When booking your reservation, request a room that is away from the elevators, ice machines and other noisy, high-traffic areas.
   • Check in early while room selection is good.
   • Inspect the room before you unpack. If you need to change rooms, make the request as soon as possible.
Changing Rooms
If you do need to change rooms, be friendly, respectful and courteous when you are making the request. Have a reasonable explanation, and be specific with details: noise, odd smells or unsuitable bed configurations are reasonable reasons to request a change. Speak with the front desk staff, who will handle your request. Be calm and patient, and manage your expectations: the hotel will be working under the constraints of availability.

The concierge is the hotel’s oracle, knower of all things, and an invaluable resource. The job of the concierge is to make sure hotel guests are well looked after. Among other things, they will happily make reservations, secure tickets, book transportation or offer sightseeing and dining suggestions. Don’t be shy to make unusual requests, as long as they are reasonable and legal. If you can, give the concierge some notice when making your request to increase the likelihood of success.

Butler’s Tip:
Remember to thank the concierge and tip to show your appreciation. Tip well if they have gone above and beyond. I prefer to tip with each request rather than at the end of my stay.

Editorial Reviews


“Charles has been my go-to resource for nearly a decade now. His expertise, elegance, and thoughtful tips are an unbeatable combination. I am thrilled that he is sharing his in-depth knowledge with the public in this handy resource.” --Benjamen Douglas

"MacPherson’s unfussy approach is a refreshing departure from the generations who have followed Emily Post to the word." --MONTECRISTO

Other titles by Charles MacPherson