Since summer is rapidly approaching, I thought it might be time for some travel tips. It's been some time since I shared any, so here are a few:
1) Cell phone signals are completely designed to drive people mad. They say, "Oh, I have four bars" or "I have full bars." Yeah, right. It doesn't matter. The phone still won't be able to make a call. A raincloud will block the magic wireless signal. A raccoon will sneeze and distract the Cell Phone technology. The only way that cell phone companies make full bars is when they drive people to drink. TIP: Be sure to write an angry letter to your phone company before you travel, then you can sign and send it in at your leisure.
2) It's really hard to tell how nice a hotel is online. Especially if by nice you mean "clean, no bed bugs, under $100". You might, for instance, arrive at your hotel to discover that it's in the back of a parking lot behind "Romantix Erotic Toys" and "Lotty's Restaurant, Lounge, and Liquor Store." You might also discover that the NO SMOKING signs on your floor are largely ignored. On the bright side, there are no bed bugs (you can check this by lifting the sheets and looking for tiny pinprick blood stains on the mattress). TIP: Bolt the door.
3) If the Department of Transportation thinks to install a permanent sign that says "Severe Weather Warning Next 20 Miles" you should expect to experience some severe weather. Don't say things like, "I think we're going to beat the storm" when you see the cinematically dramatic black clouds zeroing in on you. Also, when the HAIL starts to beat your car like a drum at mile 21, realize that this is because you said you were going to beat the storm. TIP: When the visibility drops to two feet because of the thick hail and the road is flooded and you can't see the dividing lines on the road anymore, feel free to roll down your window if it helps you to see better. DO NOT however, stick your face out the window, especially if you are going 75 MPH. This will hurt.
4) I understand the deeply felt need to go to a gas station that has a name like "SMOKER'S FRIEND." But you should know in your heart that it will not be worth it. TIP: If a surly attendant comes over to pump your gas or something, don't say, "Hey, a good slogan for your gas station would be LIGHT UP BEFORE YOU FILL UP." He is cranky enough already.