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Feeling right at home on vacation

July 16, 2010|By LISA PREJEAN

When you travel, do you expect to feel right at home?

Or do you want to be pampered, spoiled and indulged?

(Perhaps that's how you feel at home ....)

I don't mind a little comfort, but over-the-top treatment makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

At hotels, I still want to make my bed, hang up my towels and keep things somewhat tidy.

The hotel employees have enough to do without having to pick up after my family and me.

That's why the trend in the hotel industry to reduce housekeeping services, conserve water and become "green" doesn't bother me.

Hey, if times are hard and hotels are cutting costs to make ends meet, I understand. I'm just happy to be able to travel once or twice a year.

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Why not help out if a difference can be made?

We recently stayed in a very nice hotel. A card on the night stand explained the hotel's attempts to conserve water by reducing the amount of linens washed on a regular basis. If we wanted to have our sheets changed each day, we were instructed to place the card on the pillow. If we didn't place the card on our pillow, the sheets would be changed on the third day of our stay. (In the case of a guest who was only staying for one night, the sheets would be changed with each new guest.)

I didn't see the need to have clean sheets every day, so I didn't put the card on my pillow. We took showers each night, and believe me, we needed them after a day of sightseeing. Clean bodies touching clean sheets don't make much dirt.

Besides, who changes the bed linens at home every day? If ours are changed every week or so, I'm fine with that.

We also don't need a daily dose of vacuuming and dusting. When we travel, we're barely in our hotel room, except at night. There's not much of an opportunity to create dirt if you aren't there.

I can't image vacuuming the bedroom carpet at home every morning. Why should I expect it to be done every day at a hotel?

And you know those bars of soap that the hotel provides? We could use one for two or three days. We don't need a new bar each day. Some hotels toss the soap and leave a new bar. If the same family is using the soap, why not just leave it on the soap dish? New bars could be left, just in case the old ones get too small. That could be decided by the guest.

We talked about this with our kids and stressed to them that little things do make a difference. Of course, some people have preferences, and that should be respected.

We're kind of picky about towels and washcloths. We like to use clean ones each day, mainly because towels can smell a little musty if they're used over the course of several days.

But other than that, as long as the trash cans are empty and the room is relatively clean, we'll feel right at home.

After all, isn't that what most travelers want?

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at lisap@herald-mail.com

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