Why I Travel With a Coffee Pot (and 5 Other Things to Bring While Traveling)
Sure I bring a camera, alarm clock, charger, phone and power converters but they are nothing of importance compared to that tiny little portable coffee pot I have learned to carry. The kicker is: I don’t even drink coffee.
Most of you have a phone with a clock function, but what if your battery runs out? You would be surprised how many hotels don’t have clocks in their rooms. We travelled recently to Europe and rarely had a clock in what I considered to be some pretty fancy hotels. Yeah, they have wakeup calls available, but if I wake up in the middle of the night to pee (actually, there’s rarely an “If” involved) I like to know what time it is. I also don’t care to rely on Jean Claude from the night shift to type in my wake up request properly. Just make sure you adjust for different time zones; you wouldn’t believe what the wife did but that’s for another time.
Sure, you can take pictures with your phone that are almost as good but I prefer, not only a high pixel digital camera, but a waterproof one as well. Besides, if you’re travelling in Europe, unless you change out the Sims card, your phone is just a poor excuse for an alarm clock anyway (see paragraph above). Plus, if you take pictures like I do, you’ll run through that phone battery in no time. I’ve been called a geek, a nerd and a dweeb- all by the wife mind you and all on the same day- for my obsession with photos. You can charge that battery every night in your room and not worry about the phone because it’s just keeping time. Oh, and the waterproof part: that also means beer-proof, toilet proof and any other liquid it comes in contact with. That’s another whole article as well.
Power Converters/ Chargers
We all know to bring chargers for any devices with re-chargeable batteries but if you’re traveling to Europe, or pretty much anywhere but the good old US of A, you will need power converters too. Most folks don’t know this, but it’s true. You will also have to speak different languages, spend different money and in some cases, drive on the wrong side of the road, but that’s another whole, well, you know. You need a transformer and a bunch of different plugs to plug it in with. It gets to be a pain but I imagine things could be a lot worse if you try to force your plugs in anyway. I’ve heard stories of folks doing that and I swear that’s not how the lights went out that one time I was in Rome.
Pretty much any decent hotel supplies blow-dryers but if your wife, like mine, uses a curling iron you better bring it. Now she has me on an electric toothbrush, Water Pik and who knows what’s next. The toothbrush I’m hooked on mainly because I’m lazy. If you need a toothbrush most hotels will supply one but the cheapskates give you the old-fashioned kind that you actually have to brush with. What’s with that? Speaking of bathroom tools, have you ever tried a bidet? If they had a portable version, I’d carry it too. I enjoyed the heck out of those bidets in Europe, but that’s another whole article right there.
My daughter says I’m not smart enough for a Smart Phone. If you haven’t figured it out yet, she’s right. You do need to change your Sims card to make yours’ work in Europe. In the Caribbean you can notify your carrier and sometimes just punch a code to enable overseas calls, but they do get expensive. Not as expensive as using the hotel phones though. I had to call Verizon from my hotel in London and a ten minute call from my room cost $46. Verizon will provide a phone that works in Europe (for a small fee) but it helps if they actually activate it when they say they will. Texting is way cheaper when you want to brag about your travels, and though I would never do such a thing myself, it does irritate the heck out of your friends and family; at least that’s what they tell me.
And Now to That Coffee Pot
I’ve learned to travel with a small portable coffee pot; let me explain. If you are in a relationship and don’t happen to get ready at the same time in the morning, it may take a vacation together to find out what really happens while you’re sleeping. In my case, I found out about the Wife’s substance abuse problem. The substance in question is coffee and I swear, if she could, she’d mainline the stuff. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t drink coffee, but boy, I sure learned quick to get my butt up and down stairs to fetch a pot if there isn’t any in the room. Those of you who share her addiction to this black, vile substance will know exactly what I mean, and those who don’t, but are married to one who does, will learn soon enough. For me, there was that one time in Jamaica but that’s fodder for another, you know.
Michael is a full-time musician and freelance writer residing in Morrison, Colorado. He enjoys downhill skiing, traveling and attempting to play golf. He excels in the sport of extreme napping so if you must call, make it afternoon.