- KDW Ferrell
Putty Peeps Diaries - Life Hacks for Travelers, Doing it Peep Style
Exploring the world, taking pictures in strange lands, trying exotic foods, and shopping for things I know I don't need. This fall has been a time to travel and marvel at all there is in the world. Rolling around in my tin people ask "how do you travel with such style and grace?" It is a curse to be blessed with pliable skin, eyes that don't water and an airtight tin but don't let the veneer fool you, I have learned a few things along the way to help aid me during stressful times of travel.
Rool your clothes, seriously roll those bad boys up and make room in your suitcase for the souvenirs you don't need but can't live without because you haggled the street vendor down a few bucks. Never mind the fact that you paid about 1000% more than the item was worth, it was the thrill of the shopping kill that carried you away and helped those dollars fly out of your wallet, or out of your account because most vendors now use online payment systems. Why miss a sale because no one carries enough cash?Stuff your socks in your shoes. Or if you are like me, forget shoes altogether and just plan on rolling around town in your tin.Don't count on hotels to have shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, and lotion. Okay most of them have those things but who thinks those little bottles are new? Raise your hands if you think someone refills those little suckers when you leave them half empty?Mark your tin, and your suitcase, as fragile. Why? Well, you will be placed on the top of the pile in the cargo hold and the first one off. If they make you gate check your tin or your suitcase, it also ensures they won't just toss it from the top of the jetway down to the tarmac and then up into the cargo hold.
Airport, Station and/or Depot Etiquette
Charging stations, share them. Everyone needs them and sometimes they are difficult to find. When you find one charge your device and then move your carcass so someone else can slide in and charge their device. You can't count on in-seat chargers and half the time they don't work. Remember the rule from Kindergarten? Sharing is caring? Or there is enough for everyone? Or don't be a dick and let someone else have a turn? Okay, that last one was not from kindergarten but you get the point.Bathrooms. We all have to use them, some of us more than others. It is no fun to try to hold it together while trying to clean up the seat from the previous user who must have hung from the ceiling in order to get that much urine on the toilet seat. If you feel the need to hang from the ceiling to pee then for Peep's sake wipe the seat. It is your pee, after all, you clean it up.Stand in line. At some time or another, you will have to stand in line. Checking your bag, getting your boarding pass, going through security, getting a pretzel, buying Dramamine and a People magazine, waiting for the bathroom, and waiting to board. Everyone will get theirs, get through and get onboard (okay standbys and oversold flights are a different animal) so there is no need to cut in line. People, act like children and wait your turn. If you see a line, don't assume you are better or entitled or simply deserve it more so you should move to the front of the line. Don't come at the line from the side and just step in where you please because you are too good to wait in line or you somehow missed the 25 people already lined up. Oh and don't scold your kid for being rude to you while you are cutting someone off in line.Noise canceling headphones do not cancel out your voice, especially if you sing along with your music.
Avoid eating in restaurants that fry large amounts of food on a single grill. Why? Because you and your clothes will smell like grease. No matter how many times you smell your shirt it will not get any better until you apply soap and water, agitation and a spin cycle. So unless you wash your clothes after dining in a single grill, grease pit avoid them all together.Remember the smells you thought were so intoxicating when you opened the steaming bag of whatever that was? Well, those smells will linger on a plane. Why? Because it is a closed space with recycled air, hundreds of bodies in various stages of personal hygiene and those smells will waft through the cabin or car like tendrils of death smoke sucking the life out of anyone it touches. Besides when you get up, and you will get up, to go to the bathroom everyone will know you are about to pay the gastric price for such a dumb decision. Keep the food you bring onboard, boring and non-gastrically challenging.If traveling by airplane time your bathroom escape with the beverage cart service. If you are in the front of the plane, you know where there is extended leg room and everyone puts their rolling bags in the overhead as they head to the back of the plane, you get your ginger ale and prepare for your escape. Once the beverage cart is at least 4 rows behind you, down that soda and make your way to the first class cabin to use the bathroom. Those upscale bathrooms are supposed to be reserved for the fat cats who used 100,000 miles to upgrade but during beverage service, only one flight attendant is manning that booth. Doing the adult pee-pee dance helps as well because Sally Stewardess does not want to clean up that kind of mess in the aisle.
Ask before you get in the hack, cab, car, carriage, boat, or whatever other modes of transportation you find one simple question. How much does it cost? If you don't get an answer, move on. It is better to know upfront that the open air ride through the streets is charged at $7 per minute than when you disembark and get that shock.Bring Dramamine when riding in taxis, Uber, Lyft or any other vehicle. Apparently, there is a rule that if you drive people around for a living you must make sure they arrive at their destination as quickly as possible and with as many heart-stopping moments as can be had in a 10-minute drive. After all, they are on vacation and what is a vacation without a taxi ride that makes you head straight for the bar saying "set me up Joe and make it a double!"
Pillows, don't be shy, ask for more pillows. Take the opportunity to use a pillow under your legs, under your head, one to hug and one to hold, build a pillow fort and snuggle down deep because you are on vacation and you will never have this many pillows at home.Room service, do it at least once. You know you want to, so pick up that phone and order that $24 hamburger, fries and a coke and while you are at it get the root beer float. You are in your hotel room and this is the only time you can eat in bed without guilt and make it to the bathroom without shame.Robes. Forget about them. Seriously, forget about them. You can use them to keep the bed clean when you put your suitcase up there to pack or unpack. Knowing that is what some people do, seriously don't use them.Towels. Ask for extra towels when you arrive. Use the fresh towels and save the ones in the room for the floor when you get water everywhere. That way you know the towels are fresh and not just hung back up and not changed.
Traveling is fun and this little Peep has been making the rounds. I thought it was time to share some traveling wisdom in this diary so everyone could roll around in Peep style.