Finding personal services in Germany
It’s been weeks since your nails were done and the kids need haircuts. You’re due for a date night and want a massage. How do you know that you’ll get your money’s worth? Will the business accept a VAT form, serve quality food or have English-speaking staff? Many resources may help you locate restaurants, retailers and service providers while giving you the dish on the good, the bad and the so-so.
Referrals: Ask co-workers, neighbors and other spouses where they get their hair done, if they’ve had a massage at the spa in your town, and who has the best Schnitzel. While everyone has unique experiences and differing opinions, you’ll get quick, candid feedback to point you in the right direction.
Social media: Get the scoop on almost any business out there. Write a post on Facebook or join social and community group pages to learn more about your area. Do a quick search for your town, military installation or unit/squadron to find associated pages. The Kaiserslautern area has several private groups including Foodies of the KMC, a great source for restaurant recommendations, and Crafty Crafters of the KMC, which can help you find craft supplies, hobby stores and more.
Review websites: Websites that aggregate customer feedback will give you a vast amount of detailed information about others’ impressions of area businesses. Yelp has information and ratings for thousands of hotels, restaurants, retailers, spas and other businesses, while TripAdvisor provides recommendations for accommodations, restaurants and tourist sites.
Classifieds/Yard Sale Sites: Browse a copy of Stars and Stripes, visit Stripes Classifieds online, or check out yard-sale websites to locate services, such as housekeepers and gardening services. Always check references before committing.
Local media: A variety of local publications and websites can provide guidance. Visit Stripes.com for restaurant reviews and travel tips, and read the Stripes Readers’ Choice magazine to find out where members of your local military community shop, eat and relax. For more about local happenings, top restaurants, area businesses and European travel, read the monthly editions of the Stripes What’s Up magazine. Pick up a copy of the Stripes Welcome to Europe guide for advice about getting settled, travel tips, and listings of helpful websites and social media resources. Also refer to local command-sponsored publications.
Off-limit establishments: Avoid any establishments that have made it on your installation’s off-limits list. Visit your installation’s military website or ask your commander for the most current list.