Saturday, November 05, 2005

Do You Think The Flatscreen Will Fit In My Carry-on Bag?

I love a good trip.

The lights, the smells, the exciting sensations, it all sounds like heaven to me. Even the interesting conversation with strangers while on the plane.

Right now I'm entertaining sugarplum dreams of my next excursion out of dodge. I know I'll be making another sojourn to Vegas in August (you all are invited, especially you, Bad Mother F*cker). I'm also planning a trip somewhere in April. Italy has been put on the backburner until my traveling companion and I have more green in our pockets (or find a sugardaddy who would like to spend time with two beautiful blondes), but we've considered ideas as far flung as South Beach, Napa Valley and Madison, Connecticut (home, sweet home).

Anyway.

Before I decide where to go, there are all kinds of traveling tips to consider. The following suggestions are from a daily newsletter I get. Daily Candy has great tips, especially for chicks, on everything from beauty to travel to food. Three things me likes.

Enjoy the tips, and here's my own advice: Only take the shampoo/conditioner/lotion bottles. If you stash them in your bags daily, housekeeping will replenish. It's a major score if they have a fancy schmancy brand like Gilchrist and Soames (at Monte Carlo in Vegas).

Travel: Cheap Tricks

The most annoying thing about traveling? The bill. (And malaria. And avian flu.) Not that you should put a price tag on the experience. Because though you might stare at the unworn $700 Narciso pants in your closet, you’ll never regret that madcap weekend in Reykjavik.
But you can make it cheaper. We asked some savvy travelers (and Dad) for their money-saving secrets.

Here are the top ten:
1. Never change money at exchange counters. (Fees are outrageous.) Get cash from the ATM, but do it as infrequently as possible to avoid multiple international bank fees.
2. The $1.69 bottle of water at the corner store costs triple at the airport and quintuple at the hotel. Stock up at local markets.
3. Or pack ahead. Energy bars, trail mix, and Emergen-C packets to keep energy up and calories down. This prevents you from a) calling room service at 3 a.m. when your body wants dinner, b) stopping for overpriced lunch, c) ruining your miserable diet.
4. If the hotel offers free breakfast, eat up. (As Dad used to say, “This is it for today, kids!”) And slip some bread into your bag for later.
5. Never order room service, use the hotel’s laundry, or call out on the hotel phone. Unless you really hate your money.
6. Use your cell but beware roaming charges. It might be cheaper to rent a phone locally.
7. Take public transportation to and from the airport (plan ahead), use all-day public transportation passes (cheaper, and usually faster, than cabs), and walk (best way to see the town).
8. Use and abuse nice hotels. If you’re presentable, you can walk in, use the bathrooms, load up on beauty samples, and use their free Internet.
9. Really befriend a local so you won’t have to stay at a hotel the next night.
10. Pretend it’s your birthday. You just might get free dessert.

The following tips, on the other hand, are money-saving, sure, but also vaguely criminal and scummy. (Hey, it takes all kinds.)

“I buy the cheapest thing I can find at the best store before I go home. Once I’m back, I buy an exotic-looking trinket and put it in the bag from the store, giving the impression I bought a much nicer gift.”

“A fancy friend checks into nice hotels, stashes the robe in her bag, and calls the front desk to complain that there’s no robe so they bring up another one.”

“I consider anything that isn’t nailed down in my hotel room a ‘gift’ from the management for my patronage.”

“Find hair in your food or, even better, glass. Meal will be free. Guaranteed.”

Here’s hoping your wad is tighter, your shoestring shorter, your wallet heavier, and your trails happier. (You’re on your own for flu prevention.)

2 comments:

Cheers said...

Happy travels! I see you somewhere warm and tropical. Hopefully with one of your best girls (hint, hint). The misplaced robe tip is the best!

Micah said...

Yeah, I've gotta remember that bathrobe trick.

And during Micahpalooza, we were discussing when we'd head out to Vegas next. Possibly for Dubinpalooza (his 30th in Oct.). We've established that Philapalooza would probably take place in NYC (July). That's a lot of traveling. I'm going to have to get a real job.

But any excuse to head out to Vegas. Right now, it's to catch Avenue Q. Because you know Bad Motherfuckers love Broadway.