We all have our own little quirks and secrets that we don’t normally share with other people and this is especially true when it comes to travel. These confessions usually aren’t anything major, little acts of rebellion or misbehavior that are just part of the experience. I thought it would be fun to ask some travel writers, people who travel all the time, what their biggest travel confessions were and what follows is an odd mix of petty theft and strange rituals. I’ll start things off with my own confession.
I Steal Hotel Pens
I have never been able to keep a pen for more than a few days. I’m not sure where they go, whether or not there’s a black hole of pens somewhere in my house, but I can never find one when I need it and so I am always in search of new ones to replace the missing. That’s why I love that just about every hotel offers pens for their guests, which I of course steal whenever possible. Not all hotel pens are made the same, the pens found at Spring Hill Suites or La Quinta are usually cheap and plastic, but they work. However, once in a while I’ll find a truly magnificent hotel pen that is theft worthy and when I do it’s a special travel moment. Mandarin Oriental has some great pens, as does the JW Marriott. But some high-end hotels have caught on to my little trick and have started replacing pens with pencils, thereby ensuring that they’ll remain firmly in place. You know what though? Even though I’ve stolen hundreds if not thousands of hotel pens in my life, I couldn’t find a single one when I started writing this post.
Keith Jenkins, Velvet Escape
My travel confession: I zoom in on the toiletries especially if they’re really good – but I guess that’s what they’re there for: to be used and taken home in the hope that the guest would spread the word about how wonderful those brands are! I have a modest collection of shampoos, body lotions, scrubs and the occasional slippers. Their small size is especially handy and that’s perfect for me because I always try to travel with hand luggage only whenever possible.
Erin De Santiago-Domue, Our Tasty Travels
When I think about my travel confessions, I realize what a bad person I really am. From stealing all the coffee and tea provided in my hotel room on a daily basis to trying to push the boundaries on airline luggage policies, I have a number of dirty little travel-related secrets. One of the worst is probably my deceptively innocent smile and gesture when I offer to let you board in front of me at the airline terminal gate. Elite members and business class passengers typically crowd towards the front, like gate lice, and I am guilty of being right up there to board early and secure overhead bin space too. Spending so much time in the air throughout the year gives me an advantage of knowing which airports have secondary screenings just after “boarding”. It is these airports where being in the wrong position in line can set you back one or two boarding calls as official TSA equivalent employees root through every single item in your carry on — including pulling out all camera lenses one by one – so overhead bin space is non-existent when you do finally get on board. So, if you happen to be on the same plane with me and I offer to let you go ahead of me in line, it’s probably safe to say I’m not doing it out of the goodness of my heart.
Stephanie Yoder, Twenty-Something Travel
It’s such a dude thing and I am definitely a lady but wow do I HATE asking for directions! This is a problem because I do not own a smart phone and I’m only so-so at using maps. Still, I’m always sure I can find my way on my own. When I’m traveling with my fiancé I will always make him ask someone. If I’m alone I will literally wander around in circles until I figure it out.
Ben Reed, Adventures with Ben
I always read the inflight safety card before every flight departs, every time. I also find it incredibly rude if you’re one of those people who blatantly ignore the Flight Attendant when they give their safety spiel. It’s important to pay close attention, even if you’re a frequent traveler!
Norbert Figueroa, GloboTreks
I go to McDonalds or other American fast foods at almost every country I visit. I admit that I do actually like fast foods, and of course, I always like the free wifi that comes with them (in most cases).
Roni Weiss, RoniWeiss.com
I hate nature and I really can’t deal with it most of the time. Other than waterfalls and animals, I generally couldn’t care less. I wanted to leave the Grand Canyon almost as soon as I arrived. I ended up watching Mad Men on my computer as my friend roamed around. You can see pix of me pretending to shoot myself in Cappadocia, with a look of utter dejection in my eyes. Few and far between are the landscapes where I get anything other than a picture and a sinking feeling of “Why the hell do I have to be here?”
What are some of your travel confessions?