I have traveled a lot over the years. One year, I flew over 250,000 miles with a single airline. Talk about perks!
One thing I learned though is that when you spill something, no one ever has anything other than flimsy paper towels handy. If someone does have a cloth rag, it’s usually wet and gooey from wiping up spilled soda.
So what’s the solution? Always, and I mean always, carry your own towel.
Here’s an example, I was in Hawaii in January. In my pocket I had a very small camping towel. It’s the size of a wash cloth and is very absorbent. If you need to wipe your glasses, you’ve got the towel. If you’re perspiring because it’s hot and sunny outside, you’ve got the towel. There are so many things you can do with it and you will use it when you’re smart enough to carry your own towel.
Case in point: I walked 20 minutes to a Starbucks (I wanted a Latte and they don’t have them at the Fairmont Oronoco). Sure, they give you those paper things to insulate the cup, but have you ever tried to carry a hot coffee for 20 minutes with just a piece of cardboard to keep your hands from burning?
It just doesn’t work.
Lucky for me, I had my towel. I wrapped it around the cup and not only did it keep my hand from burning, it also kept it from getting sweaty.
See for yourself. That’s Hawaii in the background and that’s me holding my Latte with my trusty towel.
You don’t need to carry some gigantic towel. I spent a bit of extra money at REI to get this towel so I’d have something very absorbent in a small size. You can pack a sackcloth dish towel in your luggage if you want. I do like microfiber though because it doesn’t scratch plastic or glass which makes it good for cleaning glasses and sunglasses. Start somewhere though. Don’t leave on another trip without your own towel. Don’t put it in your checked luggage either. Keep it with you. Once you leave your towel behind, you will have something happen and you will wish you had it. When you do have your towel, something will happen and you’ll have your own story to tell.
Still not convinced? Have you ever spilled something on yourself in the car? If you have kids, have they ever spilt something on themselves? When they were infants, didn’t you always have towels? What happened? When they got older did they stop spilling things? Seriously, did they?
Don’t tempt fate…always have a towel.