Book Expo America Survival Guide pt. 4

#Hacking your hotel at BEA


You may have noticed that the cover dropped (a little early thanks to a glitch over at Amazon) for my new book, Playing With Fire: a #HACKER novel. If you’re curious, you can check out all the details here.

In the spirit of that hack, I decided today’s post would be all about how clever hotel hacks you can use at #BEA15.

Let’s face it, if you are forking out $300 a night for a hotel, you deserve to get your money’s worth, amirite?? No problem! I’m here with some super handy tips from not just my own experience, but those of some of my fellow traveling authors. Prepare to be #HACKED!

1) Stressed from the flight and need a little pampering? Your hotel room can be a DIY spa. Use a few drops of lotion mixed with sugar packets from the coffee area and rub gently onto your face. Take two tea bags, dampen with warm water (or just use the used bags after you have some tea), heat a washcloth with hot water and the wring it out. Lay down, rest the tea bags across each eye, and cover your face with the washcloth until it begins to get cold. Remove it all and wash your face to get the sugar scrub off. Now your skin is soft and glowing and your eyes aren’t puffy. In the morning, you can use your used coffee grounds to make a similar scrub by adding the grounds and a few drops of lotion. Sugar and coffee grounds make excellent exfoliators. Ok, so it’s not exactly a spa getaway, but you will feel a little less gross at least.

sugar scrub

2) If you are staying at a hotel that offers free breakfast, grab a few extra fruits and yogurts and keep them in your mini fridge. They make great late night snacks, or you can take them to the convention with you for a pick me up.Don’t have a fridge? Fill your bathroom sink with ice and cover with a folded towel. The ice will last about half a day. Mini cereal boxes also make crunchy snacks. If you mix several of those tiny boxes together, it’s poor traveler’s trail mix.


3) Remember the last post when I told you to toss a dryer sheet in your suitcase to keep your clothes from smelling like jet fuel? Well when you get to the hotel, tuck it in your A/C unit to keep your room smelling fresh too! Unless of course you like the musky odor of cleaning products and stale BO. Whatever. I try not to judge.

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4) Forgot your shaving cream? Conditioner works just as well. Lotion makes a decent shoe polish, and shampoo can be used to treat a stain in a pinch. Got smelly dirty laundry to put back in your suitcase? Toss in an opened soap bar to help with the smell. Desperation breeds creativity.


5) If your hotel doesn’t offer breakfast and you are on a budget, bring a few packets of instant oatmeal or cup o’ soups.  You can boil water in your hotel coffee pot and cook these items right in your room, in a coffee mug, no microwave needed. Cover leftovers with a shower cap and toss in the fridge.Just do me a favor and don’t cook food IN your coffee pot no matter what weird website tells you you can. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want my mouth on anything in that room that isn’t hermetically sealed.


6) Forgot your phone charger? Most TV’s have USB ports on the back you can use in lieu of a wall cube. If you don’t have a cord at all, ask your desk clerk if there are any in lost and found that you might be able to borrow. Generally, hotels have TONS of these because people are always leaving them! Not that you are forgetful like me, but I once forgot the whole phone so…yeah.


7) Pillow too fluffy? Pull open the pillow case. Often, they will fold the ends of pillow cases to make pillows firmer and fuller. Pillow too thin or soft? Put a folded towel inside the pillow case under the pillow. It can thicken and help firm it up. I’m a pillow snob. Nothing is worse than the too soft or too fluffy pillows. Also, I sometimes just pack my own pillowcase because, I’m a little crazy like that.

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8) Day sleeping? Use a pants hangar from the closet (the one with the clips on it) and clip the curtains together. But honestly, if you are napping while the sun is up at BEA, shame on you and we can’t be friends anymore.

9) Shoes dirty? Cover them with shower caps before you toss them back in your suitcase! You don’t want NYC street grime on your clothes, no matter how dirty they already are, especially if you just stepped in something sketchy outside a bar in Astoria at 3 am and then had to take the train back to the hotel. That’s where mutant powers come from, folks.

10) Afraid you’ll lose your room key? Drop one in an envelope with your name on it and leave it at the desk for yourself should an issue arise. I’m not saying you’re going to get to drunk too find your room key in your purse, but I’ve seen what BEA after hours parties can do to a person, and it’s not pretty. But sometimes, it’s pretty damn funny.


Those are my top ten. I hope you find them super helpful! Happy traveling and I can’t wait to see you all at BEA! Oh, and remember, the first 100 people to come see me at booth PDZ 565 get some very cool #HACKER swag!



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