What are your “must haves” in a hotel or resort room?
I recently stayed at a resort that had a few items missing that I consider to be standard equipment. It was missing, for instance, a luggage stand. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a hotel room where they didn’t have a luggage stand stashed in the closet.
That got me to thinking, what should be considered standard equipment in a hotel room? Here’s my list:
Coffee Maker (even though I never use it)
Shampoo / Lotion / Soap / Shower Cap
Here’s the list of equipment that gives a hotel extra points in my book:
Mat by the bed where I can brush sand off my feet before putting them in bed.
Really yummy toiletries
Really big towels
What about you? What’s important to you to find in your hotel or resort room?
Getting through airport security is not the best part of any trip. (If it is the best part of your trip, you need a new travel agent.) With some pre-planning and a few tips, it can, however, be a lot less of a hassle.
To start with, plan for security before you leave home. For instance, dress in shoes that will be easy to remove and replace. My daughter wore a pair of knee high converse. This meant that she had to completely unlace and relace them to get through security. It is easy to see that slip ons would have been a better choice. Just from a hygienic perspective, be sure to wear socks. As you’re considering those flip flops, imagine the fungus on thousands of bare feet walking that same path every day.
Checking a bag rather than carrying everything will also speed your way through security. The less you have with you, the quicker it will be. Although my husband usually refuses to check a bag, he has his own way of getting through security quicker. He takes everything out of his pockets and puts it in the outside pocket of his suitcase. This way he isn’t messing with emptying his pockets while in line.
Plan your arrival at the airport such that you have plenty of time to get through security without stress. If you’re concerned about missing your flight, you’re likely to have a stressed attitude in security and that is something that can get you tagged for secondary screening. Secondary screening is no fun.
As you approach security, have your ID and boarding pass already out. Don’t stand at the podium and dig through your purse or pockets and hold the line up. When the first TSA officer hands you back your ID and boarding pass, put it somewhere very accessible. For one thing, you need to put it somewhere quick, and for another thing you want to be very sure not to lose it. If you lose your picture ID, you won’t be able to fly home. One handy accessory is a pouch to wear around your neck to put your ID in. It’s very easy to keep your ID and boarding pass and it’s very easy to get to. Yes, you may look like an unaccompanied minor, but you’ll be one that gets through security faster.
Think of what is coming ahead. Just like you need to pre-plan the shoes you’ll wear and you’ll need to have your ID out and ready, pay attention to what’s ahead of you in line. Read the signs around you. Listen to what the TSA people are saying over, and over, and over. I flew to Chicago last week and they kept saying over and over as people would enter the full body scanner, “Take everything out of your pockets”. The gentleman ahead of me in line either wasn’t listening or didn’t think that applied to him. He had to be rescanned because he left a piece of paper in his pocket. According to TSA they have to “resolve any anomaly”. This means is something looks funny, they have to figure out what it is. This holds up the line. Don’t be that guy. Go ahead and get those shoes off and take that computer out of its bag. Don’t wait until the line is waiting on you to put stuff on the belt before you wise up and do what you need to do.
Finally, recombobulate elsewhere. (You know, “discombobulate”, recombobulate is the opposite of that.) Don’t stand at the other side of the xray machine conveyor belt and put your shoes back on and generally put yourself back together. Grab everything that’s yours and walk to a bench or chair somewhere out of the way of the whole security operation. Do grab EVERYTHING.
So there you go. Those are my suggestions. What are your best suggestions for getting through security easier and faster?
As I write this, it is early February. Spring Break in Texas is next month. Every day we are getting calls for people eager to book trips during Spring Break. We have been booking Spring Break trips for months now. The people who are calling now are shocked at the high prices and lack of availability.
That is how it goes when you want to travel during a high demand period.
A popular idea we hear alot is “I’ll wait and see if prices go down”. Let me go ahead and predict the future. If you’re wanting to travel during a time when all of the planes and hotels could be filled eight times over, the price isn’t going down. It just isn’t happening. The chances are very, very high that the price you are quoted when you first ask is as good as it’s going to get.
Yes, I know it happened to the friend of a friend year before last. Chances are it isn’t happening for you.
So, if you’re committed to travel during a high demand period of time (Spring Break, Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, during local festivals) the key to success is early booking.
Next up, Memorial Day weekend. Anyone?
Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, operator of seven resorts in the Riviera Maya, hasn’t had a presence in Cancun. Until now.
Iberostar Cancun just opened in December. While it is not a new build (it is formerly the Cancun Hilton) it was completely redone for the new opening. While we were there, the hotel was quite full because of a big gymnastics competition that had traditionally come when it was the Hilton, and decided to continue on with the Iberostar.
As you can see, it was a cloudy day the day we were there. Actually, when you’re touring hotels, a cool cloudy day is the best. Most days in Cancun are nice and sunny.
If you’ve ever been to Cancun, you might remember the very best part of the beach. It’s the part where you see that public beach where all the locals go. As you’ve passed it in your transfer between airport and hotel you might have pondered how they saved the very whitest sand and bluest water for themselves? Well, the Iberostar is next door to that beach. Simply beautiful.
In this shot of the lobby bar you can get an idea of the colors of the lobby.
Here’s another photo of the pools and looking out onto that amazing beach.
The standard rooms at Iberostar Cancun are Oceanview. Nice looking, right?
Finally, here is a video of our experience at Iberostar Cancun: