You know you travel a lot if you wake up in your own bed at home and you have no idea where you are. I can honestly say that has happened. More than once.
I honestly pity people that can’t sleep anywhere but their own bed. The much older sister teases me that I can fall asleep anywhere, and I kinda can. Many times I miss take-off as I’m asleep when the plane leaves the runway.
I’m lucky, I don’t have to tote my own pillow, or worry about mattress firmness or black-out curtains because when I’m tired, I conk out.
Which brings me to some interesting stories about bedding down in different places and some rules I’ve had to make for myself.
Rule #1: Sleep in something you can be seen in. We were in Hawaii (tropical climate) and were in for the night (it was hot). Sometime in the night we were awakened by a blast? Siren? Oh, yeah, it’s a fire alarm! When we realize this ain’t no drill, we go screeching into the hallway where the sound is deafening. I’m already tying sheets together in my head and deciding who I’ll save first. Thank goodness it turned out to be someone who decided to light a candle and smoke a joint and caught a towel on fire. It was contained but not before I saw everyone’s choice of nightwear. (Did I mention it was a warm evening?) You can’t ‘unsee’ that. That was the night I made the rule to always have public pj’s.
Rule #2: Put the chain on the door. We all know that there are dozens of master keys floating around any hotel. Maybe you’ve been visited by a housekeeper when you forgot to put up the “Do Not Disturb sign.”
We checked the group in only to discover the hotel was oversold and there was a ratio issue with beds and bodies. I tried to make things easier by giving up my room to guests until the front desk clerk could figure something out. After studying the possibilities, he offered me a room but it didn’t have a TV. No biggie. When I got to the room, I discovered it also didn’t have a full bathroom floor, and the stack of replacement tiles was there ready for installation. No biggie. The next morning I was putting on my make-up and had my hair hacked up in a crazy-do and my room door opened. A very large maintenance man and I faced each other, with surprised expressions. He managed to get out, “I thought this room was blocked off!”
I managed to say “I’m in here, but I’m leaving soon!”
He said, “Are you going to iron?”
I said, “No......”
I was unsure what he was asking or suggesting, heck, I was doing a quick inventory, did I have pants on?
Next thing I knew he grabbed my steam iron and flew out the door. I should have had that chain on the door. I saw him later and I hoped he recognized that my hair looked better.
Rule #3: Careful of what shares your bed. Sometimes I travel solo and hotels will give me a king size bed. It’s a huge waste of real estate since I’ve always slept in a full or queen size bed. I can stack books, or clothes all around me and I just don’t move around much in my sleep. It’s handy when the bed is loaded with all those decorator pillows, I just shove them over a bit and they stay there. So, that one hotel had a lovely bedding arrangement with those fancy pillows of all shapes and sizes. There was one long roll pillow with kinda rounded ends that spanned the width of the bed. I turned it sideways and slipped in the sheets. Sometime in the night, I rolled over and got my arm on top of that pillow and my hand landed on that round bulbous end. And it registered in my brain that someone was in bed with me. And it was a bald-headed somebody. It must have looked like a cartoon the way I jumped! Most people wouldn’t tell that on themselves, but I’m not most people. There should probably be a rule for telling silly things I’ve done, but good night, and learn from my experiences!
Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.