Sleep well on your journeys

Do you sleep well at night?

Ok, what we meant is – do you have a good rest each night when you are on your travels around the world? Some people say they cannot sleep while flying. Or that they cannot fall into a nice deep sleep in an unfamiliar environment. And it was this article that set us thinking about whether one gets sufficient rest while in one’s journey.

Sure this was more about hotels etc… but some of the tips are quite useful.

Yes there is so much literature out there about the optimal hours of sleep. But obviously with the precious limited vacation time that many have, each day out there will have to be fully harnessed? Surely a few days will not matter?

We think that regardless of whether a journey is for business or leisure, having enough rest is critical. We recall the days when we joined group tours. Oftentimes in that distant past, we get to check into the hotels in the dead of the night. And a typical morning call would be like 6am in the morning. You hardly get a good 5-6 hours of sleep and many a time some will be caught napping on the coach. Imagine that, with the coach driving across the scenic mountains of Norway and you are asleep?

Do you stick to a regime of sleep every night when you travel? Or do you maximize your time exploring and partying away till late? Which is the better way?

Staying at the airport control tower

No. It is not that the airport terminal or the local airport hotels have run out of space. In July of last year the Arlanda airport folks held a competition where winners can spend some time living in the former airport control tower (here).

Fancy being in the control tower where folks once directed aircrafts?

Today though our post is not about staying in what we’d consider a quirky location. You can easily do that with AirBnB by looking up exotic locations on offer. What we want to talk about today is about airports. You know, the places where you take a plane.

As you might have read (here), our little red dot just opened a fourth terminal at our international airport (we have 5 others airports/strips btw). Now that’s nothing if one’s been to the large hubs in the US (O’Hare, McCarran, JFK etc) or in Europe (Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle etc). And it is not a boast about size.

It’s about the fact that airports are ‘putting on weight’. From a size 8 to a size 12 so to speak. Finding sufficient land to “fit” the expanding waistlines of airports can be a challenge. Getting from one side of it to the other a chore. They’ve become miniature cities in themselves such that some are sited well out and away from the cities they serve. Someday, we predict that they will become tourist attractions in themselves too. Just like the abandoned Arlanda control tower in the above link or the one at former Kallang airport in our little red dot.

Have you explore airports before? Or do you simply transit through them?

Unusual Hotels

Have you stayed in an unusual hotel before? Some of the pictures in this article make one wonder how is it like to stay in one. Did you see the picture of the hotel in the link? That one’s along the southern edges of Taihu (太湖), a freshwater lake about 100km from Shanghai. We wrote about traipsing about the lake recently (here).

It was strange for us to observe that of the polled millenials, ‘only’ 42% have stayed in house or apartment rentals (the equivalent AirBnBs of the world), which would imply a large segment. And it appears to be in the west. Because it also seems such unusual hotels seem to be the rage more in Asia. At least this is what the article seems to be driving at. No details, so can’t dissect it… the trouble with statistics. Depends on who the ‘barber’ is presenting it.

The theme though of this post is : innovation.

In a competitive world vying for a share of the hearts and minds of consumers, it is key to stand out from your competition. It is also critical to have brand / value proposition that appeals to a targeted segment, group, whatever. Sure we said AirBnB is revolutionizing travel (here), but there probably will be limits to where they can reach. And hotel chains around the world are attempting to respond, sometimes in ways that amazes. So nothing remains static.

And it is not only in Asia that one finds such innovative and bold attempts to offer differntiated travel experience. One will find them all over the world. Indeed, as we hurtle towards the 2020s, we may yet witness even more innovation when it comes to having a night’s stay while on your journey(s).

We might not be staying in these unusual hotels, but we sure would like to see them. Wouldn’t you?

This would be a fine hotel to “book”

When you check into the Literary Man hotel in the town of Obidos, Portugal you might not sleep a wink they tell you. Why you ask? Because the hotel has a library stocked with approximately 50,000 titles. They range for fiction to cookbooks to vintage collectibles. It is said to be an affordable night’s stay too.

You might recall that Mel’s fascinated with books. As an antiquities’ buff, Mel has accumulated a healthy collection of history books. Some during the days when we lived in Holland, and yet other more recent purchases off Amazon. So this resonates well with him.

However this is by no means the only hotel that is book themed.

Back in 2013, CNN listed a bevy of 14 hotels (read here) around the world. Check out the Nines in Portland. They have a deal with Powell books, one of the sources that Mel pursues for his book fix. Or the Heathman hotel, also in Portland (why ah?). For the Hobbits fans out there, decor at the Hobbit motel in New Zealand revolves around the book(s). But none of them matches the Literary Man hotel’s phantasmagorical setting for book buffs.

So why not consider Obidos? A reasonably exotic locale (depending on your point of view), affordable nights’ stay, a warmer climate (for those in the throes of winter). All good reasons to kick back, relax and enjoy a read!

Will you book a reading holiday?

What is the dirtiest item in a hotel room?

Hey travelers, what is most important to you when it comes to travel accommodations? Did we hear you say : a clean hotel/hostel room? And does that come with expectations of a clean bathroom and towels too?

Whatever the form of accommodation, be it a hotels, hostels, dormitories or apartments, we believe you look for a constant (high) level of hygiene standards. The last thing you want is to fall ill while you are on holiday because the room you are staying is crawling with bugs, big (bed bugs…) or small (bacteria and viruses).

So where do you think is the dirtiest part of your room?

This may seem alarmist, but if this article is to be believed it is the remote control. Although this may seem to apply only to hotels and apartments, come to think about it that’s logical to apply this to dormitories and hostels too. We cannot believe that the cleaning of the room will include the remote in the case of hotels. Besides with the large number of rooms, the cleaning is more than likely focused on the prominent things. And do you think your AirBnB host routinely clean the remote too? How about the remote in the common lounge of the dorm or hostel? Seriously?

It may not be the fairest of assessment, from reading around and just putting our thinking caps on, perhaps there is a list of top 3 worst things to touch or use without being careful:

  • TV remote control
  • Bathroom sink and toilet seat
  • Switches – be it for the lights, power etc

For us we believe if you do not habitually touch your mouth or eyes, than most of this don’t matter if you wash your hands regularly with soap (not just rinse in water). Some authors recommend you prepare sanitation wipes to take preventive measures.

What would you do?