In a previous post, I mentioned my use of earplugs to mask unwanted sounds while sleeping, particularly, in hotel rooms (where I spend a lot of my time!). In this, related, post, I will mention another helpful travel aid that I employ on a frequent basis: a small, scented candle. I have entered many hotel rooms that have a distinctly unpleasant odor, including smoke from a previous occupant (yes, even in a nonsmoking room, in a nonsmoking hotel); bleach or other disinfectants; and remnants of food (worse among these smells are fish and garlic). I always have a small can of air freshener, which I spray liberally in every hotel room I occupy. In addition, I always have a travel candle, which is a small, scented candle in a metal container with a lid that seals tightly. Long ago, my dear friend, Margie, told me that her husband, Don, a frequent traveler like me, always takes a travel candle with him on his business trips. I immediately adopted Don’s wise strategy, being sure to bring a travel candle, as well as travel incense (short sticks of incense that have a self contained holder) and a lighter. The transformation of a sour smelling hotel room to my own private oasis is amazingly fast. Upon lighting the candle or incense, my once stinky home away from home becomes a pleasantly fragrant room where I can rest, rejuvenate, and prepare for my exciting day ahead. A nice smell is an easy way to create a relaxing travel experience. Thanks, Margie, for the words of wisdom!
This is another example of learning from others. Those who have been there, done that, and survived to tell about it, can be invaluable teachers. And, travel candles are quite popular when you begin looking for them. They are often in a tin jar with a lid that makes them easy to travel with, easy to extinguish, and generally safe. Of course, they require matches or a lighter and that must be packed, safely for travel on planes, trains, automobiles, or by whatever conveyance one is utilizing. The first line of defense when opening the door to an offensive smelling room is to ask for another room. But it surprises me how often the bad smells are not immediately obvious. When the air conditioning runs for a bit, sometimes smells worsen. And it may be late at night and the exhaustion of travel has kicked in, when one doesn’t want to repack, move, then unpack again. So, being prepared for such likely problems as an odorous room, even in the nicest hotels, is a simple way to improve the quality of travel life.