09 June 2008

Suebobian Travel Tips

I am a rockstar traveler. I have fun wherever I go. People say they hate airports. I love airports. They hate hotels. I love hotels. They hate being lost...I hate being lost and hungry, but if I am well-fed and don't have to be somewhere on time, I am fine with being lost.

Here are my top travel tips, and I must say they are good ones. Focused on the hotel traveler, because my idea of camping? Is a place without good room service.

1. Take a night light. One of these without a bulb to break. Put it in the bathroom so when you get up you don't have to 1) Blind yourself with the superbright bathroom light and 2) Make your travel partner want to kill you when you wake them up with the superloud bathroom fan when you have to get up three times because you have that little intestinal problem you always get every time you travel.

2. Pack a clothes pin. You can use it to eliminate the crack in the drapes, the one that always seems to be there so the streetlight outside can SHINE RIGHT IN to your eyeballs OMG how is it always so perfectly aligned so it beams right in your eyeballs?

3. Ear plugs, those foam kind. Get a pack of 10 for a couple bucks at the drug store. Noisy airplanes make you tired. So do those three-year-old twins behind you.

4. The inflatable neck pillow. That, plus the earplugs, equals sleep, blessed sleep.

5. I have stopped at hundreds of McDonald's restaurants to use the restroom, and they are mostly pretty clean. I never buy anything and I don't feel guilty. Hey, they are destroying the rainforest and creating massive paper waste - the least they can do for me is let me pee. Besides, I ate approximately $187,000 worth of food there as a teen. I have paid my McDues.

6. Clif Bars. They taste good, cost between $1 and $1.50 and they will save you from spending $14 on a dry, tasteless airport sandwich made by a sullen lady with a hairnet who mocks you in another language to her coworkers. Clif Bars are also great when you check in late and don't want to raid the minibar. They go in my luggage every single time I travel.

7. Trail mix is a good idea, too. You can make a meal of trail mix if you have to. And it looks all healthy and stuff, so you don't FEEL like you have just eaten 900 calories out of the palm of your hand.

8. It's 11 pm, you have just checked in to your hotel and your shoulders feel like they are shrouded in barbed wire from schlepping and stressing all day. You would like to have an adult beverage but there is no way you are going to the hotel bar, where it seems to be locals-only karaoke night at 100 decibels and the woman singing looks like Dolly Parton if Dolly Parton weighed over 250 lbs and had a tattoo on her neck. A couple little bottles of screw top wine packed in double plastic bags can come in handy for a drink in your room.

9. Nine times out of ten, the hotel restaurant sucks.

10. Some little flat travel slippers will make you so cozy and happy padding around your hotel room with your feet all warm. Besides, do you REALLY want your feet touching that carpet? I didn't think so.

Bonus tip 11. Take your own shampoo even if you are going to a nice hotel. Even good hotels sometimes have horrible hair products like Pantene or, alternately, that awful bandaid-smelling Bliss Lemon and Sage Supershine Shampoo - yes, W Hotel, I am looking at YOU.

Ok, my people, travel light and journey lightly. And if you have a spare ticket, give me a call.


Izzy said...


And dude, that shampoo DID smell like bandaids. Totally. Yick.

Julie said...

Excellent tips, thanks! McDues....must use that.

super des said...

Of course you are right as always. Though I often bring odwalla bars instead of clif bars. To each her own.

Miss Britt said...

Amen on the shampoo and conditioner!

My husband always laughs at me for packing my own because "they have free shampoo at the hotel".

They have free CRAP, that's what they have.

Suzanne said...

The horror! I love free little bottles of Pantene! (Seriously.) It's not like I use something better at home. (Garneir Fructis, anyone?)

Other than the Pantene dig, I am all about your hilarious and right-on tips. I will add one more, if that is OK (and if not, too late): If you are on an overnight flight, keep your eyes peeled as you walk thru business class when you exit the plane. The airlines give business class travelers really great travel kits with a tooth brush, tooth paste, lip balm, comb, foam ear plugs, towlettes, slipper socks, and tissues. Many business class folks throw them on the floor or in the seat pocket, unopened. If you can snatch one on your way off the plane, you have a nice kit for your next trip.

QT said...

We are totally on the same page. Tho I bring those little bottles of vodka or Captain. There is always a coke or 7up available.

Also? I am so down with the bars. I do a different brand, but the concept is the same.

And don't shoot me, but sometimes I take the Pantene with. Because it is a known factor for my hair.

Anonymous said...

LOL Its just the smell of Pantene that chokes me - I am not a shampoo snob but bad smells hurt me.

Blog Antagonist said...

McDues, HA.

Good tips all.

MsLittlePea said...

My husband and I have been on to the McDonald's tip for a long time now. I always bring a sleep aid with me and I never bring more than a small carry on and a make up case. If my trip requires more, I just don't go. I'm not a big fan of dragging a big suitcase all over creation hoping it won't get lost.

pinkbird lady said...

Good tips,lil sis.
Granola bars are good to take any place.
I usually collect the little bottles of "stuff" and donate them to a shelter. After all, "I paid for it".
Most of the conventions that I go to have a bin for just that purpose.

whall said...

These are great tips and I inevitably forget to do one or two of them... the clif/granola / kudos whatever bars is always something I try to remember to help me avoid paying out the wazoo for food I don't want.

TraceyTreasure said...

You ROCK!! Those are some awesome tips! I used to be a travel agent and I wish you could have told my clients all of your tips. Most people would have had a better vacation using your tips!!
Yep, you've paid your McDues! I'm still paying mine only because of my four kids so you can pee there for life!! I said so!! Hugs!

Susan Carrier said...

Being the frugal gal that I am, I started bringing my own mini-bottles of vodka on board. Then I'd order the free bloody mary mix instead of paying $5 for an airline drink. Then I found out that I was in direct violation of FAA regulations. Oops!

Maggie said...

Hey! Those are my 3 yo twins.
Wait, they make me tired. So yeah.

These are actually cool tips. I love the clothespin, never thought of that. Tells you how much I travel.

apathy lounge said...

If I had a career that paid for those amenities...like airfare and hotels...I'd like to travel, too. I'm better when alone and not worrying about which kid left something behind.

g said...

Great tips!! I mostly travel for fun nowadays, but for 5 years I travelled once a month to work for 3-5 days in a strange city. Your tips rock!!!

Re: the travel bottles of booze - for a 3-5 day trip, as long as you're packing a bag, you might as well bring a bottle of wine. That way you've got enough for a glass before bed each night.

I once ended up having my flight delayed, and arriving at the hotel in downtown Louisville at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night, starving. Restaurant closed, no room service, no bar. Best I could do was go to the AM/PM minimart three blocks away and get a tall can of beer and some snack-packs of cheese and crackers. I sure would have loved your trail mix!

mothergoosemouse said...

Love them all! Never thought about the clothespin idea - that's definitely a winner.

Miss Thystle said...

The clothes pin idea is GENIUS. So simple, so perfect. Now why didn't I think of that?

Chase said...

Great tips! Good call on the slippers...I didn't even THINK about what was on that carpet. *gag*

And we stayed at the W hotel in San Diego last week. The husband loved that shampoo and stuff so much, he made me bring it all home (soap, shampoo, lotion, etc). Me, not so much.

I didn't notice the bandaid smell, though, but don't think I'm not posting this comment and then running right in there to smell it again to see!

deb said...

Don't forget the little mini roll of toilet paper. Those have saved my life--or at least my pants--a few times!

I'm not really annonymous. I just can't remember my password...

soupisnotafingerfood said...

Great tips, all of 'em. I used to make fun of my mom for most of the items you listed, but I totally see the wisdom in all of them now. Although McDonalds? I know they fill countless landfills with their McTrash, but I would love some paper towels in their bathrooms. I always go out and get napkins instead of using the hand dryer.

Love the clothespin idea.

Our church collects those little bottles of crap, I mean shampoo, and donates them to a local shelter. So bring 'em back anyway, and try to donate them.

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