Clean Travel Tip #8

I snapped this photo with my iPhone while on Maui. Just looking at it makes me want to grab my suit and jump in... And now here are a few more handy tips for clean and peaceful group travel: - Everyone should establish their own separate, personal KEY ZONE. That's because this is where you dump your pockets, and you don't want to dump together lest you lose and/or take each other's stuff by accident. When traveling with others, I'll usually set up my KEY ZONE somewhere on the side of the dresser that's closest to where I'll be sleeping, or maybe even in a top drawer that no one else will be using. - If you are traveling with a super neat freak, offer to contain any non-zone personal items to a specific but out-of-the-way area, for example in a back corner or behind a chair. You may even choose to drape a blanket over the pile when its not in use. That way, all your traveling companion needs do in order to avoid seeing your mess is not peek under the blanket. - If you tend to be messy, be sure that every night before you go to sleep you take a quick look around to see that you haven't left anything out on the floor or in the way. This is unfamiliar territory, remember, and you don't ever want your mess to cause someone else to trip and fall during a midnight bathroom run! - Be generous with the distribution of drawers, hangers, horizontal surfaces, plugs, etc., making sure that everyone sharing the accommodations gets an equal right to the storage options. This should go without saying, of course, but I'm including this here just in case you tend to act without thinking things through fully. Remember: A considerate travel companion would never hog all the hangers, take the top drawers of the dresser, monopolize the only table top, etc. 'Nuff said. - If there is someone you travel with frequently, such as a spouse or co-worker, try to learn from any past conflicts/mistakes/needs and solve the issues so that they don't come up again. For example, on your last trip did you... .
..lose the keys to the rental car, making you both late to an important function? If so, then you need to establish a better ZONE for those keys, or perhaps allow the other person to take charge of them whenever they're not in use. ...realize that sand was getting in your bed(s)? If so, then you need to come up with a solution for sandals, beach wear, beach toys, etc., that better limits the sand to a balcony or bathroom. ...misplace important receipts among all of the other papers that accrued? If so, then you need to establish a RECEIPT ZONE that's separate from your PAPERS ZONE so that it won't happen again.
and so on. However you deal with past problems, doing so promptly and with grace can insure that such issues are less likely to crop up again. Remember that travel can be stressful on everyone! Even the smoothest of trips can involve hassle, delays, waiting in lines, unfamiliar bathrooms, different mattress types, etc, causing temporary irritation or discomfort. If keeping your things a little neater than usual will help to ease the stress for others, then by all means give it your best try! And if you're a neatnik traveling with someone who's housekeeping impaired, remember that messy tendencies often go hand in hand with other things that you love about this person--especially on a trip--such as their spontaneity, sense of humor, or generosity. Show them some grace whenever possible. And who knows? By the end of the trip perhaps one or two of your neater habits just might have rubbed off on them!

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