day 34. flagstaff

if you remember, flagstaff was the town that made me turn around and go home when i first started this trip two months ago. i was told by two auto parts people that my engine would probably need to be replaced because of an oil problem, but as long as i checked the oil every 100 miles i would be able to make it back to LA.

of course i did make it back to LA, and after a $6 part i went back on the road a few weeks later, and here i am still with a slight oil issue, and a hood that doesnt like to open, but ive made it around the country and today i will go to the Grand Canyon followed by Vegas and then i will be back in LA.

because a lot of hotel and motel owners read the busblog heres some tips i have for you

1) when the checkout time is noon, dont have your maids knock on doors at 11am, particularily on doors that have the Do Not Disturb sign on the handle.

2) some people are grossed out with the idea that hundreds if not thousands of people have entered the room and “lived” in it throughout the year. have a checklist that declares that not just the sheets, toilet, sink, and pillowcases have been cleaned, but also: the remote control, the tabletops, the blankets, the spreads, the carpets, the faucet knobs, and the door handles. if you can establish that your rooms are clean, you can demand a higher rate.

3) this is a new world. i am just one person and i carry several electronic devices. therefore motels should invest in one or two power strips next to the bed so the modern traveler can plug his ipod, laptop, video game, camcorder, and digital camera battery charger in and place those items on the night stand. instead we have to disconnect lamps all around the room and spread our equipment all over. i was particularily amazed that “executive” and “residence” inns didn’t have a place for a variety of electronics.

4) if you are advertising hi-speed Internet (like 75% of better motels & hotels do), make sure that you are providing an ethernet cable long enough to reach the bed. just because you invested in a desk for the room or suite doesnt mean that we want to sit at that desk to use our computer. sure it looked great in the blueprint, but it’s a lap top that the majority of us brought into the room, let us put it on our lap, on the bed, as we watch tv.

5) it’s time for motels and hotels to go green. its nice that you ask us to re-use towels if we stay more than one night. we can live with that. but how about stopping your bizarre behavior of the little soaps and the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner? even the best spas use soap dispensers as well as shampoo and conditioner dispensers right there in the shower. not only would you save money on soap, but you will please the greens by cutting down on paper waste and plastic waste from those little bottles.

6) keep the hot tub open until 2am. if you’re worried that people will party in there and be loud, simply ask them to keep it down. communication really does work. and since most motels shut down their pool and hot tubs at the ridiculously early 10pm, the chain that begins to cater to responsible adults will win.

7) any front desk worth its salt would have an ipod charger available for the guest who left his behind. most of us have ipods. most of us on the road lose something. same goes for digital cam battery chargers and cell phone charger. its easy to invest in one ipod charger, and a universal digital camera battery charger, and several cell phone chargers. ask $5 for a charge and not only would you recoup your investment but your guests would probably love you forever.

im sure i will have more tips later. its now time to see americas ass crack.

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