Your answer made me smile! No matter how we travel.. car or plane, I always take a blanket with me. In the car I don't have to fight with the passengers about the air temputrue. On the plane I don't like using airplane blankets or pillows (that is they have any)!
Thanks for sharing !
Agree with the blanket as well, though have started carrying a space blanket which is not so comfy, but great for disaster preparedness. Also bought one of those Emergency Radios with the Red Cross insignia. Operates off of 4 different power sources, one of them being sunlight should it exist, another is a crank (hope I don't have to do this), AC or DC.
I hesitate to answer this question in the interest that it might reveal just how wierd I am, but ...I have a fetish about in-room coffee. It is something I haven't been able to live without. When we were a lot younger and didn't have much money to spend on travel (and did a lot of camping!), we would try to stay in bargain hotels when taking road trips. Often there weren't coffee pots in the rooms. After the first road trip where I missed my in-room coffee, I started packing a coffee pot. Yes, a regular auto drip coffee pot with a breakable glass carafe. My husband used to just "roll his eyes" in annoyance and take a deep cleansing breath over my odd behavior, and later back at home would tell our guests that our coffee pot was extra special as it was well traveled. Well, I don't do that anymore, but he still jokes about it.
I ALMOST don't do that anymore. When I started traveling to Europe, I was quite annoyed to find that there are no coffee pots in the hotel rooms there. At 4+€/cup (and try to find just a good cup of black coffee, not espresso, not cafe Americano, just a cup of black coffee), my morning habit could get quite expensive. So on one trip, in sort of a fit of panic, I purchased a 4 cup coffee maker with a metal carafe, and took it with me to Europe! (I can't believe I just revealed that...) I plugged it in in the room at the Marriott C-E, with my little transformer, turned it on, and smoke started coming out of the top of it! (I can't believe I just revealed that either...) So now I get teased about that.
Well, thankfully now that we have Elite status, we get free breakfasts, so I can enjoy complimentary coffee at the breakfast table, but I do miss not having it in the room. I don't travel with coffee pots anymore. I've made the adjustment.
Now the thing I never travel without (there are a few things, but I will highlight one), is a good umbrella. It almost always comes in handy.
You are not crazy!!! The little coffee pots they put in the hotels with the coffee packets are not the best. We were at one hotel and I started a pot of coffee for my husband and the water would not drain into the carafe! It was fun pouring out the hot water/coffee and then cleaning all the coffee grinds out of the machine! Now my husband just waits until we get to a restaurant or coffee shop!
As for your umbrella.. After reading your posts of your travels, I can see why you keep a good umbrella! My husband has made me a believer of a good rain coat and pants! We have been in serious downpours and after we take our rain gear off we are basically dry except our shoes!
Thanks for sharing !
ONLY ONE MUST HAVE!!!! It's too hard to choose!!! Doesn't it all depend on the type of trip??? In any event,
Too true! But also for - People! who can be nutty. And downright rude!
And you know, I've probably been one of those people. When we went to the Vatican museum this last time, it was so crowded you could hardly move. I couldn't seem to figure out where I was, didn't know what I was looking at, couldn't seem navigate a truly lousy audio guide map, couldn't get reasonably close to artifacts for the unending tour groups of 30-40 people deep, legs were tired, weather was hot, and I was cranky. You can only stop in your tracks for so many people to take photos so many times, before you finally say under your breath, "Really? You've got to be kidding.?"
Next time, I'm either going in the off-season or hiring a private guide!
I hired a private guide, and it was worth every last penny as we walked by the long line wrapping around the block for tickets, bypassed the hordes wandering around, to the carefully choosen gems that had been selected for us, and overlooked by the masses. Even though it was packed with people milling aimlessly about, our guide knew exactly how to get around everything, and knew all the regulars there.
I always prefer off seasons. Savannah, GA; Charleston, SC; and Myrtle Beach, SC -- forget them in tourist season. The same thing for Yellowstone National Park according to what my brother-in-law related to us about getting around there in the summer. Just give me the off seasons.
Well, I hope so, TEF! Unless you like 'special' resorts.
But to your point, I have always taken the advice of Let's Go and Rick Steve's: pack want you want to take, then unpack half of it. It especially works for those of us who have reached a certain age or level in a profession, because we can afford to buy stuff if we need it when we get there. I learned as a young grad student staying at cheapo hotels with shared bathrooms that even then the less you took with you the better. I had to take buses but also of course the wonderful trains in France, but still there's a lot of heavy lifting that in most cases is unnecessary. Ask yourself which of the clothes and how many of them you wore on the last trip? Which of the accessories did you need?
I also have another tip, which doesn't always work out since I so often get stranded overnight. I dump the vast majority of my 3 oz liquids. Nothing expensive and nothing that has plenty of use to go, but half-used toothpaste, hotel moisturizers, which you get everywhere, etc. go into the basket. I hope the cleaning people can use most of the stuff and I make it nicely available as opposed to under wads of tissues.
My one great exception was when I stayed at the Myconian Imperial in Mykonos Greece. My bathroom was a veritable spa of experiential treatments. I tried most all, but they kept replacing them, so I took a very good sampling home with me.
BTW, it is so much nicer traveling in summer (at least from Maine or Boston) -- no boots, coats, gloves, extra jackets, etc. And my dress theory is mostly working with TSA (though not always). I dress to the hilt, and usually I think Delta is (without acknowledgement) sending me through a quicker than quick lane. Even so, it does give SOME security agents pause (and PAWS) if a woman is wearing a dress and panty hose. All worked well last time till Amsterdam, when Delta upgraded me to first. AMS/KLM was the problem. Not only did a valuable watch get stolen in a bin when I was taken aside, but also the agent who did so said she had to check my right hip. Well, if she did the usually places (women, you know) or my right foot (implant) I could have accepted it. But she felt me up then felt me down my right hip (but not foot - nothing of course -- a pocketless, beltless dress and pantyhose) and when I got back to my belongings my ceramic white watch was missing from the bin. I don't know whether it was a passenger or security, but you all know how I feel about security, and recent news events seem to bear it out.
My best advice: Even though I arrive in the fastest security lane, I take off shoes, jacket, take out 3 oz stuff, computer, etc. well before my time, put your real valuables inside your purse, suitcase, or other more or less invisible part. Don't make it fair game. I am still very pissed since I loved that watch.
I stopped carrying liquids as both Marriott and cruise ships provide this.
And with all the new fabrics that don't wrinkle and can be washed in the sink with the shampoo in the room, not too much is needed. I try to take coordinating colors so it appears I have more than I do. It lets me take advantage of the trains and cut down on cars and limos.
Nope...not into those 'special' resorts. Nobody wants or is interested in seeing me in my birthday suit! But, for my travels, I only take carry on with me no matter where I go or for how long I go. Now, I had a great deal of resistance from my better half about only taking carry-on, but after her checked luggage was lost in Europe one trip the adjustment to carry on only was instantly made!
It only takes one time for it to get lost to learn that message (mine was my five-day trip to Israel when I stupidly put my camera in checked luggage) and also did not get my luggage until 3 days into the trip. Besides, you can speed through without having to wait at the baggage carousels, which can sometimes make you miss a connecting flight.
At 3 days you were the lucky one! We tripped all over France, Switzerland and England before I found the bag myself when I went to yell at the lost and found folks 15 days later on our return trip home through Gatwick! When the guy told me to come in and look if I thought I could do a better job than them finding the bag, I found it in less than 2 minutes around the first row of racks with luggage on them! Showed them.!
Boy, I hear ya, Prof. I had listened to/read Rick Steves instructions on how to pack and pack light, etc. for years and I could never get on board with it. I couldn't understand how it could be done; it just did not compute. I have always had to have (did you catch the 3 'have' words in a row just now?) my stuff. UNTIL! This last trip. It finally hit home. I thought I was being trimmer than I'd ever been with two carryon sized bags for my 19 day trip, and in fact I was! But by the end of the first leg, when it was time to pack up and board a plane to the next destination, I learned my lesson. It hit me: I am not dragging this stuff around with me! I boxed the heaviest, most unnecessary things and shipped them home for about 47€ (there's the lesson). I wasn't sure how I was going to make my clothes last 12 more days, and by the time I got to the Grand Flora (last stay of the trip), I needed to do laundry, which I did in the bathtub for the first time ever while traveling, and it was nothing. I thought there was no way my jeans would dry even by the time it was time to go home (in 5 days), however they, and everything else was completely dry within 24 hours. It all finally made a believer out of me. I finally realized that the pharmacies, carrefours, corner markets and department stores are my friends, and they're everywhere. I finally realized that fancy dry-clean only clothing plus 6 pairs of shoes have no place on a multi-destination vacay. And I finally realized, as Carole King so beautifully sang, "You're as beautiful... as you feel."
Exactly, Lori! I regularly wash tops, undies etc. in the hotel bathtub, no matter how classy the hotel. 6 pairs of shoes??????? That must take up one whole carry on! Even in winter when boots are necessary at least for leaving Maine, I only ever pack one pair of shoes that is somewhat different from the one I'm wearing. And at least one has to be comfortable (yet still decent looking).
One of the reasons I like traveling. Now that I am platinum on one of the cruise lines it includes free laundry twice a week. Another of the lines, I am one voyage away from Platinum, so I get my laundry at 50% off. I gotta say, I am enjoying not washing clothes in the sink and hanging them around the room to dry which can take awhile when its humid out.
Do any of the hotels provide laundry service gratis like the cruise ships?
Well, thankfully when I traveled for business to conventions or customers all my dry cleaning was covered.....because I was the boss! Seriously, though...any time I had an employee traveling, I always picked up everything that was in line with that trip. It was only fair. I do realize that today that's not the case with many companies.
Despite the fact that I think I dress exceptionally well (especially considering my profession), I never dry clean anything. I not only fear the fact that dry cleaning can lead to fires (yes, minimum chance, but still), but I also find that if I wash by hand on the road or at home in cold delicate cycle all is just fine.
Was washing by hand.
But when I suddenly qualified for free laundry on the cruise ship I started sending it out, and have been enjoying not doing laundry at night, especially pants, long skirts and dresses, which are more challenging. Smaller items are very easy to do.
When they say free laundry, they mean just that, as dry cleaning is not included.
If you go to some of the resorts, even for a day or 2, they usually will have free laundry rooms at least. A Marriott resort in Branson, MO had a laundry room that you could access with a key. Most resorts we've stayed at have washer and dryer in the room. Haven't found a hotel that did, but really reasonable at some.
I wish I could say I had learned my lesson, except that because of my severe arthritis I am a tosser and turner and usually sleep lightly (though with foreign travel jet lag plays its part) and most definitely NEED at least 8 hours sleep. Trouble is I get all tangled up the more that's around me (though I admit I could have used one of those great Marriott duvets that night in the Holiday Inn CDG) and end up not sleeping. That's why I've been driven to barricades in front of doors, since I find even many Marriotts do not have bar locks. That is a real pet peeve, because especially after days or more of traveling I seriously don't want to be disturbed, let alone walk out into the hall like I did that New Year's Eve. Like some others said, I want a way to keep the outside world out once I'm in my room (and some would want to say they want to keep me from the hallways in certain situations...). So here's my wish: all rooms should have bar(rier) locks [if anyone knows what they're actually called, clue me in] and DO NOT DISTURB signs. More than once, even at Marriotts without the bar locks, I have had a maid (or worse) minibar keeper walk in while I was trying to sleep off jet lag.
(Alas, sometimes my usual of staying up as late as I can the first night I'm there doesn't work...)
When I cruise, which is the majority of my nights away, my platinum cruise ship membership includes free laundry.
When I am in hotels, there always shampoo and the sink to wash them out in.
Since I don't take much with me traveling, I try to wash everything out every night (or morning in the case of sleeping t-shirts), so that I never have any dirty clothes to put in a suitcase.
This is how I ended up sleeping in whatever I am wearing. After using my dry cleaning budget to replace most of my clothes with those that do not required dry cleaning, and can be hand washed and hung out to dry, I find that the fabrics are comfy, and so when I am really tired, I tend to just fall asleep wearing them. Cuts down on the washing.