Sunday, March 2, 2014

Awash in Travel Amenities

A scalding-hot shower is a treasured part of my morning routine, but I haven't bought soap in years. My wife can still stand to be around me though. Perks of frequent business trips include the travel-sized, hair cleaning products, soap and body wash that come with a hotel stay. Some people collect stamps in good condition. I collect soap, which is most valuable when used.

It's a special bonus when housekeeping puts out both a facial bar and bath soap--with careful hoarding it's an opportunity to build an inventory when missing toiletries are replaced daily during a long stay. That stash carries me through extended periods at home. Personal hygiene products would be one of the biggest added financial burdens brought on by unemployment, after exhaustion of the soap severance package.

And it's not only soap and hair care. I may never shine my shoes or mend a button, but I have enough personal sewing kits for a reasonably-sized medieval tapestry. I never use the complimentary hand lotion though, so that collection will be fit for a museum. I'm prepared for moisturized hands to last the apocalypse.

The take-homes are like trading cards. In time I've come to associate various hotel chains with specific lines of body wash. Hmmm, here's a "Simply Smart" bath amenity - reminds me of a night at Holiday Inn Express.

Not all hotel soaps are created equal. You can't string out those single-use generic packets given at cheap hotels. And a wall-mounted shower dispenser is a let down. People like me have visited too often! But the finest establishments take pride in their hygiene bling. It's the one bargain at Disney. I recently returned from a six day stay there with 10 bars of soap and a month's worth of clean hair. One mining camp I used to frequent with overnight visits offered an industrial-strength bar of astringent lye that was good for weeks.

My wife continues to buy her own hair and body products. If it doesn't say Aveda, it's not fit for her head. But no man ever worries about contents and brand name on a shampoo bottle. As long as the freebie bottle or package spells s-h-a-m-p-o-o, we're good.