Ironing in Hotels

If you travel often enough, you’ll find hotels whose ironing boards are, well, yucky.  The cover is stained, and you worry that if you iron your clothes on it the stain will transfer.

You could use a towel, except towels usually have a texture to them that doesn’t lend itself to a crisply ironed shirt.

Instead, take a pillow case from the bed and use it as a surrogate cover:

Ironing Board covered with a pillow case

That’ll give you a crisp ironing and avoid picking up dirt from the board!

This one trick will let you unclog a stopped hotel toilet

If you travel frequently enough, at some point in time your going to find the hotel toilet is clogged. You can ask the hotel to fix it, but that isn’t always convenient: it seems to happen just when you’re trying to get ready to leave, and you cannot wait for the hotel maintenance person to come by.

Fortunately, there’s a trick that works 90% of the time.  If the toilet still sort of flushes — just takes a very long time to drain — you can fix it by adding in shampoo, shower gel, or any other kind of liquid soap.  Give it a couple of squirts and then flush.  It may take a few tries, but eventually you should get the toilet working again!

Travel Essentials under $25: Purell Hand Wipes

There’s nothing more gross than popping down the tray on a plane and finding god-knows-what stuck to it.  With the fast turn-arounds that airlines aim for, we’re lucky if the garbage gets collected let alone things get actually cleaned.

These Purell hand-wipes are not just great for cleaning your hands, but cleaning anything else that you might come in contact with.  They’re wonderful for wiping up after you eat, they’re wonderful for cleaning the seat off before you sit down, and they’re good for helping you avoid catching the flu from the passenger before you.

And because they’re moist towels, you don’t have to pull them out to be X-rayed separately when you go through security.

Travel Essentials under $25: Immersion Heater

If you drink tea, like I do, instead of coffee, you’re probably discovered that all the hotel in-room coffee makers are horrible at making tea — or even hot water.  No matter what you do, the result still tastes strongly of coffee.

That’s why I always travel with an inexpensive immersion heater:

It’s small, and it allows me to bring a cup of water to a boil in a mug or a paper cup.  In warmer months I grab some ice from the ice machine down the hall and make iced tea.  I’ve thought about buying a small kettle, but this is incredibly small and light and doesn’t force me to make any trade-offs when packing all-carry on.

Buy it at Amazon: Instant Immersion Heater Portable Beverage Warmer Coffee Water