15 questions travellers are asking Google

Google auto-complete is undeniably helpful when you’re searching for something and can’t remember the exact search term phrase, or simply just want to speed things up. It also provide some amusement when typing in such phrases as “Why are Americans” or “Why is Britain” just to see what stereotyped questions others have been asking.

I was recently inspired by an article in the Independent where Czech Jakub Marian asked Google.com “why is [COUNTRY]” for each of the countries in Europe to see what auto-completes popped up. Denmark came out fairly well “Why is Denmark … the happiest country in the world“, whereas Spain faired less well “Why is Spain … so poor“.

On the same theme I decided to try some travel related questions using Google.co.uk.

1. So first off “why is travelling” Ok – fair enough. Travelling can be “tiring“. Sitting down for hours on end shouldn’t wear you out but it just does. Maybe watch a film? Move about? Have a coffee. Be less tired.
Why is travelling

2. … but at least backpacking is “fun”🙂
Why is backpacking

3. Talking of which you’ll need an actual backpack. Some people are finding them to be a bit “expensive” though, buy they generally last for ages so you’ll get a good “cost per use” out of it at the very least.
Why are backpacks?

4. But why are rucksacks “measured in litres?” Mmm – good question. To compare the capacity of a backpack you measure their volume (technically only the parts that are self-contained by zips), and the litre is the unit for volume … so we use litres. By the way “Rucksack” comes from the German words “rucken” and “sack” meaning “back sack”.
Why are rucksacks

5. And if you’re “old skool” what about suitcases!?  Also “so expensive” Yup – I don’t understand why people pay £8 to have them shrink wrapped at the airport either?! I’m guessing it makes them more secure, can seal a damaged one, while giving people a bit of extra “peace of mind” at the same time?
Why are suitcases

6. Maybe you’re taking a bit more of an extended gap year rather than just a week in the sunshine in Benidorm. Great news here! It seems gap years are “good“!
Why are gap years

7. So for most people, travelling starts at the the airport. But “so expensive?” They can be. Money exchange rates are worse at the airport for those “captive audience last minute” type buyers and most of the food is at a premium too. There’s always time for the ritual of having a pricey pint before take off though.
Why are airports

8. Once at the airport you’re off through passport control … with your “expensive” passport! I can see a pattern developing here. My 10 year passport cost me £72.50. The price of just 2 lattés a year. I’ll take that! Bargain!
Why are passports

9. Now I do hope you have your travel insurance because it’s “very important” … and obviously “so expensive“. Although I despair at those horror stories when we hear of a young party-goer falling from a Spanish balcony and it’s subsequently  reported they have no travel insurance and need repatraiting at great family expense. So get some!
Why is travel insurance

10. And as you queue to board the plane you’re bound to ask yourself why planes are “white?” Well apparently they’re mostly white because white doesn’t fade and its easier to sell a white plane on afterwards. I’ve never had to sell on a 747 myself though so this hasn’t been an issue for me.
Why are planes

11. Now you’ve finally arrived at your destination, undoubtedly tired, and you head to your hotel. But why are airport taxis “so expensive?
Why are airports taxis

12. And as you gaze out of the window travelling to your hotel you’re likely to ponder why hotels are “so expensive?” too.
Why are hotels

13. Maybe you should have booked a hostel instead but why are they “so cheap?
Why are hostels

14. Anyhow you have a wonderful time, take many photos, “social media” your trip while away and commit to writing some blog posts on your return as blogs are “important“.
Why are blogs

15. …but most importantly bloggers are fortunately ever so slightly more “influential” than they are “annoying“!!😉
Why are bloggers

Do you have any other amusing travel related Google auto-complete suggestions?

That new hotel room smell

That lovely feeling of finally opening your hotel door after hours and hours of travelling, dropping your suitcase on the floor and then falling back onto the king-sized bed with its lovingly made duvet and freshly laundered sheets. But imagine doing all that in a hotel room that’s never been slept in before, or better still in a hotel that’s never had any guests in it before, and then better still in New York City! That’s what it was like when I spent 3-4 nights in the INNside New York NoMad hotel on its first day of opening.

A lovely welcome from the INNside general manager

A lovely welcome from the INNside general manager

So how this actually happen? Well I hadn’t intentionally sought out new hotels in NYC, but instead had been invited their through work to present to a team of US salespeople. It just so happened that our conference was to be in this newly opened hotel. The employees behind the desk in reception were just as happy to be there as I was as it was their first day in the hotel too. There were double the number of people behind the desk that were actually needed, but it looked like everybody was learning the ropes and keen to be out on the shop floor, together with all levels of the hotel’s management. It’s not common that you see the staff to be equally as enthused as their guests.

My room's first guest ... after I'd ruffled up the duvet slightly

My room’s first guest … me … after I’d ruffled up the duvet slightly

Everything was so “spick and span” and shiny new that workers were still positioning the pot plants in the outside foyer and tweaking the sensors for the reception’s sliding doors. We all love that “new car smell” but this was the first time I’d experienced a “new hotel smell”!


Ths finishing touches being made to the foyer

Once in the hotel room, after experiencing the “new lift smell’, I began to think OK – so in this room I’ll be the first person to use the ironing board, the first person to use the hairdryer, the first person so open the curtains and stare longingly at the Empire State Building diagonally opposite … the first person to use the bathroom …probably the first person to use the toilet?

Room with an empire view!

Room with an empire view!

Definitely the first person to use the shower with its freshly stocked Sampar toiletries. Talking of which, post inaugural shower, I cocooned myself in the softest, fluffiest towels I’ve ever had the good fortune to use before relaxing and watching the news on the crystal clear “new” TV.

First use of the bathroom and shower

First use of the bathroom and shower

During the week I visited the gym and no doubt was the first guest to use the treadmill too.


I gave one of the treadmills a test run too

The INNside hotel is right slap bang in the middle of the Garment District (27th street) and made an ideal base for our company conference and post work to head N, S, E and W to easily get to all the cool parts of Manhattan. It’s only 6 months old now so I’m sure there’s still a bit of “new hotel smell” left for you to sample, and it’s somewhere where I’d quite happily return whenever I get the chance to go to New York City again🙂

More information on the INNside Hotel website or check them out on Twitter.

The elevator foyers make for a perfect Instagram opportunity

The elevator foyers make for a perfect Instagram opportunity