Provisions: How to enhance your travel experience


• Airsleep app

Apparently, those Bose noise-canceling headphones used on airplane flights have become passé. Who needs “white noise” when you instead can listen to the soothing sounds of a desert wind, the pitter-patter of light rain on a window or the lilting roll of ocean waves. It’s free, but as with most apps, the really cool stuff is going to set you back a buck or two. But, really, what price can you put on nodding off instead of having to exchange banal chit-chat with that aluminum siding salesman from Topeka in the seat next to you.


• Doggie potties in Airport Terminal

We are a culture that adores our canine companions, so it should not surprise that an airport terminal now has a bathroom just for dogs. It’s at San Diego International Airport, and travel blog Gadling reports that it features a red fire hydrant so pooches can “aim,” artificial turf to give the illusion of grass, and plastic bags so the human companions can, you know, clean up. But San Diego has nothing on Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. It boasts a doggie “first class lounge.”


• Seven tips on getting a free hotel upgrade

The travel site Travel Zoo has compiled a list of seven ways you can wheedle your way to a better hotel room. Some are mere common sense, others quite devious:

1. Use your manners: Be nice to the front-desk employees. They literally hold the keys.

2. Be loyal: This means joining one of those loyalty programs, which means another card in your wallet.

3. Tardiness may pay: “By checking in later in the day, the numbers for that evening will be more firm and there may be more room to negotiate.”

4. Try out the new kids on the block: Newer hotels often are more open to trying to win your loyalty.

5. Make the initial investment : “Paying a little more upfront may translate to big savings later on.”

6. Tell them it’s your birthday : “We do not condone making up a special occasion, but if it is one — anniversaries, birthdays, etc. — by all means say so.”

7. Shhhh: “Try not to ask for an upgrade around other guests. Front desk employees will not want to start a chain reaction.”


• Jairo Eli de Leon (@iDe_Leon3h) “I was looking for a free place to stay & ended up in an abandoned hospital with a bunch of homeless for 8 days. #MarseilleFrance”

— Compiled by Sam McManis/