Travel Safety

With all the media attention surrounding Americans being warned about travel in Europe, I felt it appropriate to do some research and post my findings here. While nobody is truly safe anywhere these days–including driving to the office each day or sending our children to school–there are some things that travelers in general can do to make their experience a little safer and thus, more relaxing.

  • Use common sense. For example, if there is a package with nobody nearby, walk away and notify authorities. It might be nothing, but it is always better to choose caution.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t be so anxious you have a panic attack, just make sure you are aware of things going on around you.
  • Keep your travel plans to yourself. If you are out in the city, don’t share with the world where you plan to go and what you are planning to do. Also, don’t flash any identifying information that will let a predator know where your hotel is or what room you are in.
  • Keep your money safe. You might say well, duh, on this one but people lose money all the time. In addition, Copenhagen has pickpockets that target tourists. If you have front pockets, keep your money there. If possible, bring little cash and a credit card and photo id. If you must bring cash, keep it in several different places if possible. Keep most of it in your front pocket, but some could be in your wallet or purse, your backpack, and even your sock. If you were to lose your wallet, you would not lose all of your money this way!
  • Have a record of important phone numbers. At your hotel, keep a list of important phone numbers in your safe. This list should include the US Embassy in the country you are visiting (I’ll have this information later in this post for Copenhagen, Denmark), your credit card companies, and emergency contacts in your home country. If you were to lose your phone–where most of us store this information–you would not be at a complete loss this way.
  • Notify family of your travel arrangements. Make sure that at least two friends or family members know your flight information and your hotel information. This is helpful for many reasons including in the event of an emergency.
  • Notify the US Embassy–or the Embassy for your country–of your travel plans. You can do this online. For US citizens, use this link to register your visit with the Embassy:
  • Know how to contact emergency officials. To reach police, ambulance, or fire personnel in Copenhagen, dial 112. To reach the Embassy for emergencies after hours, you may call +45 3341 7400. The Embassy is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. During business hours the Embassy can be reached at +45 3341 7100.
  • Be smart and know the area when traveling at night. For example, you should avoid downtown Vesterbro and Nørrebro at night.

The crime rate for Copenhagen is relatively low. There have been few threats of terrorism but the officials there realize that no area is free from threat of such attacks. The major issues that one should worry about in Denmark or pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Again, using common sense and being aware of your surroundings helps. Keep in mind that these people like to work in groups. One or more persons typically distracts the victim while the another takes your money! This is most common in busy marketplaces and on public transportation. Also, do not leave valuable items in your car if you happen to have a rental.

Again, threats will always exist but there are ways that you can lessen the chances of being a victim of crime in your own country or when traveling abroad. More information can also be found at a variety of websites including the U.S. Department of State. This post is for the purpose of giving you ideas for safe travel and a more enjoyable time when visiting Denmark next week! I look forward to meeting everyone and enjoying another fantastic round of Spousetivities!

Let the Fun Begin!

I have been working feverishly to finalize arrangements for VMworld Copenhagen Spousetivities. I finally have everything in place! There are a few critical things that everyone needs to know. First, if you have not already registered, you need to do so right away. I only have a certain number of spaces reserved and when they are gone, there will be a fee to participate. Below, you will find a detailed list of what we are doing each day and how many spots remain. I will also list how much the event will be if you register after the free spots are taken.

  • Tuesday – Breakfast at the Planetarium – This will include a wonderful breakfast including croissants, pastries, eggs, bacon, salmon, fruit, juice, coffee, and more! I currently have 5 tickets left for the breakfast. Register soon so that you can take advantage of the wonderful generosity of our sponsors. The cost will be $35 per person after the free tickets are gone so you don’t want to miss out!
  • Tuesday – iMax Movie – This is also at the Planetarium and will be immediately following the breakfast. There will be headphones available for translation. There is also a guided tour of the planetarium and a viewing of a model of the International Space Station! I currently have 8 tickets remaining for this activity so make sure you get registered if you plan to attend! After the free tickets are gone, the cost will be $25 per person for the movie and entrance fee. Of course we all know the movie will be better when the cost is free so don’t hesitate–get registered today!
  • Wednesday – Castle Tour of North Sealand – I have arranged a private tour coach for this event. There is a cost for this but it has been partially offset by our wonderful sponsors! Unlike the general purchase of this tour, we get our own private coach and tour guide. Don’t worry, we will still get back in plenty of time for the party Wednesday night! The tour is about 7 hours and will depart from the Marriott Copenhagen at 10:00 AM. The cost is $50 per person for this tour. You can register and pay here using PayPal. I currently have 17 tickets left for this event!
  • Thursday – Walking Tour – As a final rounding out of our activities, we will enjoy a wonderful walking tour of the city of Copenahgen! I only have 7 tickets left for this activity so register soon if you want to participate. After these 7 tickets are gone, I cannot book anymore unless I get a group of 13-20 more. If another group is added the cost will be $21 per person.

That about covers it! For activities on Wednesday and Thursday, we will meet at the Marriott Copenhagen. For Tuesday’s activities, we will meet at the Planetarium. I will be posting transportation links and weather information soon. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me using the contact information on the About page of this website. I look forward to seeing everyone soon in Denmark!

Copenhagen Update

This is a quick update to let you know where things currently stand for the Copenhagen events. Tuesday is pretty much a set schedule. We will spend about 3 hours at the Planetarium. You can register here for the Planetarium activities and welcome breakfast. I am also organizing a group for Tuesday afternoon that will spend some time walking around the city to see what there is to see. We will return to our hotels in time for the welcome reception for VMworld. If you are interested in participating in this adventure, please e-mail me so I will know about how many to expect. My contact information can be found on the About page of this site.

For Wednesday, I am still trying to get reduced pricing for the tour I am planning. You may look at the details here for this castle tour. If I cannot get discounted pricing by Wednesday of this week, I will send out another message so that you can each sign up for this tour independently. We will all meet that morning so we will be on the same tour. This tour will return in plenty of time for the VMworld Party. We should return by 5:30 PM and the party doesn’t begin until 8:00. You cannot buy companion tickets through me for the party. They must be purchased through the VMworld registration site.

Thursday will begin with a walking tour of Copenhagen. This is a guided tour and will depart at 10:00 AM from the Marriott. We will be divided into two groups as each group cannot exceed 20 people. When registering for this activity, you do not need to register for group one and two, only one or the other, please. The tours are departing at the same time so you can’t do both. You may register here for this event. Once group one is full, registration will close and only group two will be available. Again, you do not need to register for both groups.

Well, that will wrap up our activities for VMworld 2010 Copenhagen. I look forward to meeting all of you! Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions. See you in a couple weeks in Copenhagen!

Registration Now Open For Copenhagen Spousetivites

I am very excited to let everyone know that registration is now open for Copenhagen Spousetivities. If you are traveling with a VMworld attendee and are interested in joining other spouses, friends, and family of attendees, you need to check out these fun events!

Other activities will be added later this week and throughout the weekend. The first events are all free because of the support of our sponsors, EMC, Train Signal, and HyTrust. Make sure you register for the vWife t-shirt! These are always a huge hit for both the Spousetivities participant and the VMworld attendee. Don’t worry if you aren’t a wife, I have t-shirts for you, too! On Tuesday, October 12th, we will be having a “Get-to-know-you” breakfast at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium. Right after breakfast, we will enjoy spending some time watching the movie “Vores kosmiske rejse”. Don’t worry about understanding the film as I have already arranged for the translation headphones for everyone! There will be lots to see and do on Tuesday!

Events for Wednesday and Thursday are in the final planning stages. Please stay tuned for these to be posted. Don’t forget that all participants also get a welcome bag with other free goodies inside! I look forward to seeing everyone in Copenhagen in a few short weeks! Don’t forget to register now!

VMworld 2010 Copenhagen

With the US events wrapped up and considered an amazing success, it is time to finish the planning and promotion of Spousetivities for the VMworld 2010 EMEA event. Our sponsors for the US events are also our sponsors for the EMEA events so I’d like to say thank you to HyTrust, Train Signal, and EMC for making these activities possible.

For those of you unfamiliar with Spousetivities, let me give you a brief idea of what this program is and how it came to be. I began Spousetivities three years ago so that my husband would not feel obligated to rush through labs, meetings, and sessions at conferences to come back and entertain me for the afternoon. As most husbands do, he worried about my safety out alone in a big city and felt the need to check on me often. I was also tired of being in big cities alone since I too, didn’t always feel safe. Over the last three years I have met so many people that said they felt the same way and they were so thankful that I organized these activities so they wouldn’t spend the whole week in their hotel room. They all knew exactly how I felt! Rest assured, I know how you felt as well and the wonderful thing is, we now have wonderful opportunities to enjoy the city in each location and meet new friends while we do it!

So far I have planned walking tours, boat rides, a planetarium visit, and perhaps even a tea party! If you are the spouse of a VMworld EMEA attendee, contact me right away so I will know to include you in the fun! All participants get a gift bag and a t-shirt! The t-shirts are always a huge hit! My contact information is on the about page of this site. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

See everyone in Copenhagen!

VMworld 2010 Spousetivities Wrap-Up

Thanks to our fantastic sponsors–EMC, Train Signal, and HyTrust–Spousetivities 2010 at VMworld US was an amazing success! I gave away every business card I had and people just started writing down the website. So many people asked about the vWife t-shirts and even offered to buy them from me. I told them to bring their spouse to the next event and they were sure to get one. It was wonderful to meet so many great people, both attendees of the conference and Spousetivities attendees. Thank you to everyone for the support. The next event is VMworld EMEA in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In case you are just now hearing about these fantastic events, let me provide a summary of our activities this past week in San Francisco. There were organized tours to Napa, Sausalito, and Golden Gate Park. We had exclusive lunches with amazing views at Horizons Restaurant in Sausalito. We enjoyed an exquisite lunch in the gardens at V. Sattui Winery in Napa. There were also organized photographic tours of San Francisco. We enjoyed breath taking views from Twin Peaks, went down to the water at the Golden Gate Bridge, and saw sites like Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies, and Treasure Island. There were also groups that got together and did walking tours through China Town, Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, and of course, Alcatraz!

Next year, VMworld will be held in Las Vegas. While some love the lights and action, others dread the thought of going there. Rest assured, there will be something for everyone! We will do tours of the city, visit chocolate factories, spend time at Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, and even Lake Mead. Preparations are already underway! I am excited about some new ideas I have for next year, too.

For some of us, it will be four years of enjoying Spousetivities, for others, it will be your first time joining in the fun. Either way, you are sure to meet some great people and have a wonderful time. Stay tuned for Spousetivities information for VMworld 2011 as well as other upcoming conferences.

Spousetivities Update 5

I’m rounding out the spouse activities for the remainder of the week, and I want to ensure that you all have the information you need. I’ve organized it by day to make it easier for you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The main activity on Wednesday is the photographic tour. As with some of the other activities, we’ll be meeting at the Marriott Marquis at 8:45 AM. The bus departs at 9:00 AM–don’t be late or you’ll get left behind!

Self-organized activities on Wednesday include anyone wanting to go to Pier 39/Ghirardelli Square and/or visiting CityPass destinations. You might have signed up for one or both of these activities at the welcome breakfast. If you want to join a group of spouses for this activity, be at the Marriott Marquis at 9:00 AM. I recommend you pick up your CityPass in advance of Wednesday morning; here’s a link to more information.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The week will be rapidly coming to a close by this point! Thursday is our trip to Muir Woods, which will be leaving the Marriott Marquis at 9:00 AM sharp. Be here at 8:45 AM to give us plenty of time to get everyone loaded and ready to roll.

If you don’t want to go to Muir Woods, you always have the option of going on an Alcatraz tour. Please remember that you MUST buy your own tickets for this. Everyone that is going on the yellow tour for Alcatraz/Angel Island should meet in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis at 8:45 AM. Please wear your spouse badge so others can find you! The group will decide if they want to walk or if you prefer to take public transportation to the pier. This will be a great day of fun but please remember that you must buy your ticket at the gate or here online.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I know the conference is over but there is still time to enjoy spouse activities. If you are interested, we have a great tour for couples or singles on Friday. This is a Carmel/Monterey tour. Registration and details are available here.

Again, if you are signing up for tours at this point, please e-mail, text, or tweet so that I know and nobody will get left behind.

So great to see everyone….I hope you are all having a great time!

Spousetivities Update 4

What a great day we had today!! Two tours ran and everyone had a fabulous time. Thank you to everyone who participated. Just wanted to post a quick update to let you know that we still have room on the remaining tours. Feel free to register anytime.

Tuesday is a busy day with the tour departing from the Marriott at 9:15. The bus will be parked on Mission Street. This tour has changed a bit. We are still having a fabulous lunch and running on the same schedule, but instead of the houseboats, we will be visiting Golden Gate Park, The Japanese Tea Garden, and then lunch and shopping in Sausalito. There is still room on this tour so if you want to go, sign up tonight or e-mail me and show up in the morning. I’d love to have you join me.

Also for Tuesday, we have the Alcatraz tour. Please remember that you need to buy your own tickets for this. Everyone that is going on the yellow tour for Alcatraz/Angel Island should meet in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis at 8:45 AM. Please wear your spouse badge so others can find you! The group will decide if they want to walk or if you prefer to take public transportation to the pier. This will be a great day of fun but please remember that you must buy your ticket at the gate or here online.

Don’t forget about the fantastic party being hosted by HyTrust Tuesday night. If you haven’t RSVP’d, please try to do that. If you don’t, please bring your invitation with you. Party begins at 5:00 at the Press Club. The event runs until 8:00 PM. The Press Club is located just behind the Marriott Marquis and across from Yerba Buena Gardens.

Regarding the sign up sheet activities, I have been trying to get e-mails out but my e-mail seems to be malfunctioning. If you can e-mail me, I can get it on my phone and respond. For those interested in the Golden Gate park trip but not the official tour, please meet at the Marriott Marquis lobby at 9:00 AM Tuesday. You can then take Muni to the park and spend the day at your leisure. There is no formal schedule, so you are free to hang out as long as you’d like and head home at a time you prefer. Again, wear your spouse badges so that everyone will know you are part of their group! Have fun tomorrow! Please e-mail, tweet, or text me if you plan to attend this event so you don’t get left behind!

I’ll post more information shortly but wanted to go ahead and get this out! Thanks again everyone!

Spouse Activities Update 3

Good evening everyone! I am in San Francisco making final preparations for VMworld Spousetivities 2010. I wanted to take a few minutes to update everyone on the tours. We have had a great response this year to activities but some days have been more popular than others. To keep costs down, a couple of tours that have been offered on multiple days have now been combined.

The Monday photographic tour is getting full, but there is still room if you want to enjoy this trip. This trip is repeated on Wednesday as well. This is a great activity for either of these two days since the VMworld reception is Monday night and the VMworld party is Wednesday night. This tour wraps up early in the day. If this sounds like the tour for you, go ahead and get registered for Monday or Wednesday. This tour is also good if the kiddos are joining you since there are a lot of cool things see!

The Monday wine tour is going to be a rockin’ good time! There are still discounts available for this tour so sign up now and use discount code winetime for $25 off the tour and code winetimelunch for $10 off the fantastic lunch. You won’t want to miss this tour and you’ll have some great company, too!

The Tuesday houseboat tour still has room. Pack your sweater and join me on a fun day of seeing these awesome homes! This tour also offers a very exclusive lunch. Whether you are a wine drinker or not, you’ll love this tour and lunch. If you register now, you can still take advantage of discount code: houseboatlunch and get the lunch for free! This $55 value is available courtesy of EMC. Attendees and those joining them at the reception Monday night stop by and thank EMC for making this possible!

If Alcatraz and Angel Island interests you more, please register here for this fantastic adventure. There will be no transportation to Pier 33, but it is a reasonable walk from most of the area hotels or you can easily take the bus or trolley. Public transportation is free if you purchase the City Pass! You may choose to meet at Pier 33 or at the Marriott Marquis and go together as a group. Group will depart from Marriott by 8:45 AM.

If you aren’t joining us on the Photographic tour on Wednesday but you still want something to do, then sign up for one of the groups that are sightseeing or participating in City Pass activities. These groups will be formed on Monday at the breakfast and will be breakout tours with no formal structure. You will see the city your way and at your own pace!

Thursday’s Muir Woods has some room left. This is a wonderful tour that allows us to take in the beauty of the towering Redwoods. You’ll feel like you are in another world during this nature escape. If this is just what the doctor ordered and you wish to join me for this tour, you can register here.

If you were looking for something a little different for Thursday, join one of the groups enjoying Golden Gate Park or spending time at the famous Pier 39. These groups will be meeting at the Marriott Marquis and can use Muni to reach their destinations. More info will be given at the breakfast and posted here Monday night.

Friday may mean that VMworld has officially ended but Scott and I plan to tour Carmel and Monterey. There are still spots left for this tour and it is a great way to wind down from the hustle of VMworld. This is a wonderful trip for couples and families. Sound good? Then get registered right away!

HyTrust Shows Appreciation for Spousetivities

I love the amazing sponsors we have this year! I received an e-mail from Eric Chiu, President & CEO of HyTrust with an offer for Spousetivities participants. HyTrust is hosting a wonderful party Tuesday evening at the Press Club. This party is by invitation only. Eric is offering those participating in the Spousetivities tours the opportunity to bring their VMworld attendee spouse and join HyTrust at their exclusive party! What an offer! There are already quite a few signed up to participate in tours so rest assured, if you have already registered, you will get a ticket. If you haven’t registered, do so quickly because I have a limited number of these tickets to give out and when they are gone, they are gone.

This is an event you won’t want to miss so hurry and get registered. This is going to be a great year with wonderful activities.

Attendees of VMworld, please make sure you stop by booth #236 and thank Eric, Jason and the rest of the HyTrust team for being so supportive of the spouses.

See everyone in 9 days!