A Newly Discovered Travel Essential

From my recent holiday (which I hope you’ve read all about!), I made an important discovery. The trip revealed something to me which I will never travel without again if I can help it. Sounds quite dramatic, I know. However, having this one item with me on holiday would have made my life so much easier. So for all my friends out there who are reading my blog… take note!

During my recent trip to Iceland, Canada and New York, I stayed in three different hotels. Very different, in fact. I booked the trip through a travel agency, naively putting my trust in them to arrange suitable accommodation. Next time I will be more careful, because not only did the hotel situation end up being the cause of a rotten cold towards the end of my trip, but I also had a near-death experience all because of one item – or lack of it!! Now I bet you’re thinking that I’m just being overly dramatic, and I admit that my inner drama Queen is getting the better of me, as it really wasn’t that serious at all. At the time, it was a shock and an annoyance, but looking back I can laugh about it now.

So if you’re still hanging on in there, waiting to find out the cause of all of this mayhem, I won’t keep you waiting any longer. The object of my concerns is probably not what you thought. It was, in fact, the humble hairdryer.

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During the middle of my trip, I stayed in a lovely hotel in Canada. It was comfortable, warm and best of all, well-equipped with a hairdryer to boot. It was LUXURY! I could dry my hair!!! Taking a hairdryer on holiday was something that I had considered before we went away, but I thought to myself, no… this is 2017, what sort of hotel won’t provide a hairdryer? It’s not like we were staying in hostels and my suitcase was getting pretty full, so I sacrificed my hairdryer. However, I never thought that discovering a hairdryer in my hotel in Canada would make me so happy, and not even for vain reasons!

It all started in Iceland. You know when you’re being transferred from the airport to the hotel and you’re sat on the bus as it drops someone off and you’re just glad that it wasn’t your stop and not your hotel? Well on this occasion, it was, disappointingly, our hotel. We later discovered that it had a bit of a reputation too. Local tour guides called it “magnificent” and “ambitious”… in a sarcastic way. It didn’t make the best first impression and going inside didn’t improve matters much either. Our room literally had beds in it and a basic bathroom. Nothing else. No hairdryer. Normally this wouldn’t matter. On a summer holiday in the sun I could just let my hair dry naturally, but this was Iceland in the middle of winter. It was freezing and I just knew that it would take ages for my hair to dry and I would probably get chilly and catch a cold if I tried that. So I bravely went back to the reception desk to enquire about a hairdryer, only to be informed that I was lucky, they had one left. Perfect! I gratefully took the hairdryer back to the room ready to use in the morning.

The morning arrived, I washed my hair and plugged in the hairdryer ready to go. I was so glad to have it, as it was going to save me so much time.

I flicked the switch to turn it on…and nearly choked! Thick black smoke poured out of it into my face as I breathed in. I was coughing and spluttering as I pulled the plug out of the socket. I still have absolutely no idea what happened, but it was hideous. The whole room was smokey, with the acrid smell of burning. My eyes, nose and throat were burning too and my hair was just as smoked. So that put an end to my hairdryer-high. I was coughing all day, on the verge of needing to use my asthma inhaler to relieve my chest from the smokiness. I had to let my hair dry naturally after all, it took ages and I got cold. Thank goodness for bobble hats!

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As you can imagine, Canada was a welcome relief. But it was only temporary. The New York hotel was Iceland all over again. If you’ve read my previous blog, our nickname for it – Hotel Transylvania – really says it all. So you’ll be surprised to hear that there was actually a hairdryer here! Hooray!

My relief was short-lived. There was a prong missing from the plug. Goodbye hairdryer!

So, yet again, I had to let my hair dry naturally in New York. I wouldn’t have minded if it wasn’t -7C outside!!! So, as anyone who knows me well will understand, I pick up every cold and bug going, and surprise surprise, having damp hair meant that I got chilly and ended up with a rotten cold. Poor Matt had to sit next to a snivelling mess on the journey home.

I still thoroughly enjoyed my adventure, but I learned a valid lesson on this trip. There is always space in your suitcase for a hairdryer. I will sacrifice something else next time!

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