Times are tough so here are some tips to help regular folk get the most bang for their travel bucks…
As a standup comedian, I pretty much travel for a living. On my last flight I should have been writing jokes but instead decided to ‘check out’ with some sauvignon blanc and magazines. I always enjoy reading the travel tips from fashion editors, super models and A-list actors. They read funnier than most sitcom scripts. The suggestions I’ve picked up from these well-meaning-yet-completely-out-of-touch-with-reality-celebutants are about as realistic as thinking that Mitt Romney is a “job creator.”
There’s the actress who never travels without LA MER eye cream to counteract the drying effect flying can have on skin. At $165.00 for .05 oz, she neglects to mention that you’d better be willing to work a pole, move some meth or start your own ponzi scheme to pay for it.
When the economy is here…
There’s the magazine editor who simply can’t travel anywhere without her “comfy” cashmere wrap to keep her both warm and fashionable. Yours truly looked up said cashmere wrap and it’ll set you back $500.00 (before tax). Looks like that family of five in Africa you thought about helping is shit out of luck. They won’t be getting those three square meals for the next 18 months, but you’ll be looking fine and feeling comfy.
And of course, what self respecting dude would board the plane without a $700.00 luxury duffle bag? Down to earth actor boy swears the compartments inside are practical. Phew! Thanks for doing all the research for us!
Yes, actor boy, $700.00 on a duffle bag is quite practical for most people. They can also just pick up some supermodelling work on the side for extra cash if things are a little tight.
Ok, I admit, I’m class baiting. Who doesn’t enjoy a little class baiting from time to time? I’m being silly, I know and I’m the first to admit that I love the finer things in life whenever I can get my hands on them. But I am acutely aware that the finer things are way out of reach for most people on the planet.
I’ve been very lucky. My business is risky and unpredictable but it has brought me around the world and occasionally dropped me in some pretty swanky spots. So, I’ve decided to share a few of my very own travel trips, for the regular schmo. Hopefully they’ll help you cut a few corners and make your travels easier:
- When renting cars, don’t get ripped off by the car rental company trying to sell you unnecessary insurance. Yes, they’re super friendly behind that counter but it’s because they’re scamming you into buying extra insurance that you don’t need. They use fear tactics and will give you that “you’ll be sorry” look when you pass. If you don’t stand strong and hold your ground with these sheysters that “bargain” car rental you found online for $19.99 per day quickly turns into $62.00 per day when you leave the counter and you have no idea how it happened. If you own a car, call your insurer to find out exactly what your car insurance policy covers on rentals. You can also call your credit card companies and ask what they cover on car rental insurance.
- The ‘pre-paid’ gas option that the rental car agencies offer is also a total rip off 99% of the time.
- Always have a GPS when traveling in uknown areas for vacation or work. If you don’t have a portable one you can bring, that’s the one extra you should absolutely purchase from the rental company. (Of course, when traveling in Italy, getting lost is half the fun. You may end up somewhere even better than your intended destination, so I suppose you could skip it in Italy).
- Oil of Olay makes dry facial cleansing cloths that take the hassle out of bringing soap or liquids. Just add water to these little tissues and toss them when you’re done.
- Ok, I know it’s vacation and you want to feel like a Kardashian, but hotels will charge a fortune to do your laundry. If you’re on an extended trip, I highly recommend Purex 3-in-1 sheets. Like the Olay dry cloths for your face, these are a dry sheet containing both soap and fabric softener that are activated once you toss them into the washing machine. Throw a few of these suckers in your suitcase. They’ll keep your suitcase smelling fresh and clean (you know you’ll overpack no matter what I say but you’ll manage to wear that one shirt 75% of the time) and using them will save you enough money to alleviate the guilt of drinking $18 martinis at a rooftop bar.
I apologize for saying you want to feel like a Kardashian, I know you’re better than that.
Last, but not least, if you’re traveling with your dog, Drury Hotels are a tremendous bargain. I drove cross country with Man and Dog and found our canine was not only tolerated but welcomed at the hotel, without added doggie fees. They also have a fantastic ” 5:30 Kickback” every night at 5:30 pm, offering FREE hor d’oevres and beverages of the adult variety! They’re motto is “The extras aren’t extra,” and they actually mean it. They are primarily located in the south and the midwest.