A Cheap Way to Keep Your Vacation Going When You’re Back Home [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Nov02

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A Cheap Way to Keep Your Vacation Going When You’re Back Home [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]

Most of us at once point or another have spent a few nights in a hotel room.  While many travel for business, it’s the big vacation that we all look forward to.  In planning your perfect trip, the hotel you stay in is a big part of the equation.  Well, I have a tip that will keep your vacation going, well after you’ve arrived back home.

In picking the perfect hotel for vacation, your decision is usually based on three things: price, location, and amenities.  You might be looking for one with a giant pool, or one with activities for the kids, perhaps a casino, or one that is simply steps off the beach for under $100 a night.  Picking the right hotel can make or break a vacation, not just from a financial standpoint, but also for the fun factor.

Whatever your choice, as long as you had a good time on your trip and enjoyed your hotel – there’s one simple thing you can do to keep the fun of the trip with you:


Why would I want to do that when I have the good stuff at home? The simple answer is YOU PAID FOR IT.  Most hotels include basic toiletries as part of your room rate and will replenish fresh bottles each day housekeeping cleans the room.  If you are staying multiple nights, keep putting the bottles away, each time they are restocked.

Here’s the logic behind my reasons why…

Shampoo and moisturizer from the Borgata Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey

I first did this on years ago during a stay at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.  I loved the special mint crème shampoo they had in the room and decided I didn’t want to just leave it behind to get tossed out.  So, I took the bottle home.  While in the shower a few months later, I ran out of shampoo and remembered I had stashed the little bottle under the sink.  It was a life saver and instantly brought back memories of the good times that I had during that trip.  Those happy memories instantly put me in a good mood and I was ready to face the day.

A little while later, I had a horribly stressful day at work, thanks to a fellow employee who took, yet another, fake sick day.  I was overworked, angry, exhausted and just wanted to get home.  I decided to take a hot shower to freshen up and hopefully sooth my flaring temper.  I remembered how using what was left of my Borgata shampoo had brought back happy memories that put me in a good mood and I decided to give it another try… and it worked.  I could almost close my eyes and remember strolling along the Boardwalk or enjoying a cocktail at one of my favorite places, The Irish Pub.

From there on out when traveling, if it’s been a great trip, or a place I just want to remember, I swipe the complimentary shampoo and conditioner.  The lower class hotels I’ve stayed out that just offer generic stuff I usually don’t bother taking.  Some nicer places offer specialty scented shampoo and conditioner that instantly remind me of that specific trip.  On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I stayed at the Fremont. Their shampoo has a cherry/passion fruit scent that I found extremely pleasant. I currently have a small stash under my bathroom sink.

Some hotels have their name, phone number, and website on the bottle giving them free advertising and another marketing tool.

I don’t find this as strange as a friend of mine, who takes everything from his room, including the toilet paper.  I have no desire to wipe with those low grade shit tickets.

So, what happens to all those little used hotel soaps and shampoos you leave behind?  Many hotels simply throw them away, filling up landfills.

A growing group of hoteliers are recycling the soaps and sending them overseas and to homeless shelters.  Clean the World, is a non-profit program that sanitizes the soaps and sends them out to the needy.  The Global Soap Project focuses on sending them to impoverished nations such as Uganda, Kenya and Haiti.

Most leftover soaps are either completely sterilized or melted down to form new bars.

Over 9,000 children die in the world every day from diarrhea and respiratory diseases.  62% of those deaths can be prevented by simple hand washing.  An estimated 2.6 million bars of soap are discarded each day from U.S. hotels and sending those to the needy can make a difference.

But, as with everything, these programs cost money and many hotels simply do not have the budget to participate.  Thankfully, a growing number are.

So, whether you take your shampoos home, or leave them behind, hopefully they don’t end up in a landfill.  At least at home, when the bottle is empty, it goes into my recycling bin.

THE 411

Item: Hotel shampoos and soaps

What: complimentary toiletries given to travelers as an amenity by most hotels


I do recommend taking them home. I hate seeing all of those bottles ending up in a landfill.  Many hotels will have signage indicating if they are reused for charity and any place that does that deserves applause. 

The memories of your vacation can be kept alive by these little bottles and they don’t take up much room in your suitcase for the ride home.  My blogumn is all about making life easier and more fun… for me, this is just one simple and often overlooked way… and it’s FREE!

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