Things that have made hotel stays 10000% better than they were during my first years of business travel:
- WiFi. Goes without saying. I used to pack a whole little bag of cables to ensure that I could connect my modem to anything I encounter in a hotel room. Once, I connected to Compuserve through an ice machine. (That’s a lie. But yes, a screwdriver and a set of alligator clips was part of my kit and I needed them more than once.)
- Google Maps. Because it’s trivially easy to look around the neighborhood of the hotel in advance and discover that there’s a pharmacy, a grocery store, and a cleaners within walking distance. This inserts a certain carefree attitude into the packing process.
- Amazon.com. If there’s something I need and I can’t get it at the CVS or the grocery store near the hotel, I can have it delivered the next day. Even if it’s an inflatable wading pool and 50,000 chopsticks. (Shut up. It’s part of my writing process.)
- Hulu, Slingbox, and other streaming TV services. I take my day-to-day TV viewing habits with me and don’t have to miss the first ten minutes of something while I figure out where this freakish hotel room cable lineup has hidden PBS.
- The evolution of the in-room desk from “bigass desk” to “sideboard table that garages a generous worktop on wheels.” I can move that sucker wherever I want it, including over the balcony and into the pool. (Shut up. It’s part of my writing process.)