The Hook’s Travel Tips or “How To Avoid Looking Like A Complete Douche While On Vacation.”

Foreplay is overrated at times (sorry, ladies) so let ‘s get right to it, shall we?



A laundry basket is for laundry, a garbage bag is for garbage and a hockey bag is get the idea. If you buy an actual suitcase you’ll feel, and look, like an actual traveler and not a refugee from the trailer park. And realistically, you’ll be better served by the proper traveling hardware rather than a white-trash substitute.




If you’re traveling by car with your family, you’re in for a thrill ride – especially if you have young children. Personally, I’d rather read a Batman comic than a map so it’s really no surprise I turned a two-hour trip into a four-hour ordeal that ended with my wife asking me to pull over – not for directions, but so she could find the closest divorce lawyer! So do everyone a favour and buy a GPS and maybe a portable DVD player for the rugrats.

Believe me, you want to be fresh and calm for what lies ahead.



Most people can’t afford more than one major excursion a year unless they go cheap and squeeze their family into a crummy motel run by the cast of Deliverance. So if you’re like most people and you’re hitting a decent establishment with your family, then act and dress decently. Break out the best clothes, and threaten the kids’ lives if you have to, but you don’t want to look like a complete failure as a husband and father if you’re fighting with your spouse while checking-in and your kids are running around like Jack Russell Terriers on Red Bull!

And if your clan includes a teenager or two, be prepared to tighten the, reins, yeah, I mean reins. Young men need to keep the ball caps facing front and the young ladies need to be told not to dress like they’re attending a  job fair hosted by Charlie Sheen!



The modern traveler seems to think the high cost of traveling should stand in the way of treating people with respect. If you can afford to leave your home on vacation and stop at Lululemon, Coach and the like, then you can afford to tip. If you can afford to stop for Grey Goose while you’re traveling, you can afford to tip.

Here’s the real deal on tipping folks – if you can afford all of the creature comforts you expect some unlucky bellman to haul for you, then you can afford to pay the poor bastard. And don’t kid yourself by thinking “The kids need to learn responsibility and carry their own stuff.” What about the wife? What lesson are you teaching her by making her carry her own crap through the lobby of a hotel?



This one is pretty self-explanatory, right?

Trust me, bellmen are worth the price of admission, as they say. We’re real, spectacular, and we can get you anything you need. (Honestly, whatever the need, we know a guy.)



This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to The Hook’s Travel Tips but attempting to absorb too much knowledge in one sitting can be hazardous to one’s health, so I’ll leave you with this final bit of wisdom – the term “Family Vacation” is truly an oxymoron but only because people don’t stop to think about the emotional scars a poorly planned trip can leave.

To all the dads out there – if you’re not careful, your trip will go down in flames and not only will your kids label you a complete douchebag, your wife will probably end up having a one-night stand with a bartender (Seriously, I’ve seen it happen!) and you’ll be wandering the streets in search of a shotgun to fellate.

See you in the lobby, kids…


About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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44 Responses to The Hook’s Travel Tips or “How To Avoid Looking Like A Complete Douche While On Vacation.”

  1. granny1947 says:

    Are you related to Douglas Adams??????

  2. Hook,

    You are the MAN! I loved this post; it is absolutely true. The question I ask myself is, “in these severe economic times, Are people being cheap, or are they travelling on such a thin budget that they can’t tip.” And, your next statement (‘well if they are so short of funds, they shouldn’t travel’) is absolutely correct! Try telling that to the kids who have, in the past, travelled every year!

    Keep them coming!

  3. penpusherpen says:

    I nearly fell off my chair reading the last line…
    ~ a shotgun to fellate.- um, what a mind boggler. 😉
    fantastically entertaining insight into the Family Vacation, and it’s pitfalls – shotgun not included… xPenx

  4. Tom Huff says:

    hmmmm….let’s see
    Suitcase’s – Check
    GPS – Check
    Decent Hotel – Check
    Good tipper – Check I think…I never know what is appropriate to tip a bellman as I don’t do the Hotel thing very often. Is their a rule of thumb how much one should tip? per bag? per use? per smile?

    Tipping a waiter is easy in the USA, if they don’t spill anything on ya and they at least smile, double the tax and then add a few bucks.

    I bet a lot of folks just don’t know what is appropriate. Not so much being cheap by not using a bellman, just not wanting to admit not knowing what to tip.
    Great post!

    Now give me a rule of thumb to live by!

  5. Kali says:

    I tip servers 10% for less than stellar service (maybe they were having a bad day) 15% for adequate service (lunch), and 20% for good service. Good service is worth paying for, and no, the salary paid to servers of any kind is *not* adequate compensation.

  6. We have four teenagers still living at home…we rarely stay at hotels when we travel, usually opting for cottages (when we do, the kids complain because we snore!). We do have decent luggage, and a GPS that works most of the time, and we tip when the service is good!


  7. I can’t afford to go anywhere…dammit. But I like good service when I do…so the tips are always awesome as long as the service matches!!

    Oh and I nearly forgot…

    I wanted to let you know I’m awarding you The Versatile Blogger Award!! You are one of the chosen

    it’s like the chain letter of blog awards…you can thank me later 🙂

  8. Good one Hook… I really need to make sure no one’s around when I read your posts or else I’ll end up looking like a fool smiling n laughing to myself… Have a lovely week…

  9. mindslam says:

    Great advice there man… far as the GPS…got me a Garmin Nuvi last year….freaking love it!

  10. gmomj says:

    This is a very cute post.
    We got the luggage.
    Don’t know why the GPS is important to not looking like a douche but I’ll take an expert’s word on it.
    We have it.
    We’ve got the crumb crunchers but don’t travel with them.
    We smile a lot and try not to be a bother and I carry a a bunch of 5 and 10 spots.
    But do tell.
    Do I tip the staff that I call in to clean the jacuzzi with the used soap on the edge???
    or pick up the used condom that been smushed up alongside the bottom edge of the bed.
    I never know and the staff seemed pissed that I noticed.

    • The Hook says:

      Well, tipping in cases whre someone has been deliquient in thier duties is a tough one – you have to rememebr the person who responds in that case isn’t usually the same one who screwed up in the first place.
      Do’n worry about whether the staff looks pissed – they’re probably just pissed about their lot in life, not having to serve you.

  11. melsar93 says:

    The tipping one is hard and not because I’m cheap (well mostly not because I am cheap). When I go to a restaurant I always tip 20% unless they really screwed up something. My issue for bellman is that I almost never carry cash and it never occurs to me to get some bills for tipping until I am standing in the hotel lobby (which I guess makes me lazy and forgetfull instead of cheap is that less douchebaggy?)

    What I need is a way to wave my iPhone and send the guy hauling my 3-ply clothes containers up 15 flights of stairs the .15 per bag I know he deserves. [Since tone does not translate on the interrubes please make sure you read this with as much douchbaggery as possible because that was my goal with this sentence].

    I hate my iPhone for the most part, but actually a tipping app that moved money into the bellman’s pocket is something I might use.

    As for the guy who doesn’t know what to tip per bag there actually is an app for that.

    • Tom Huff says:

      .15 a bag? wow you are cheap! 🙂 lol!

      Come on Hook! What’s the rule of thumb???

      Certainly more than .15 per bag isn’t it?

      I always give at least a fin or a sawbuck

      • melsar93 says:

        When I do have cash I’ve always gone with a dollar a bag, but it could be more than that these days.

      • The Hook says:

        No, that’s pretty damn good. Most people bring so much crap, they would never consider a dollar a bag.

      • The Hook says:

        You’re bang-on with your estimate. The average person gives $5 or $10 and there are quite a few out there who give significantly more – I just don’t encounter them enough.

    • The Hook says:

      I understand that some people don’t actually mean to stiff the bellman, it’s the ones that know what they’re doing and just don’t care that have earned my hatred. And your app suggestion really rocks!

  12. bmj2k says:

    The best tip is leave the family at home.

  13. Kim says:

    There’s no substitution for a suitcase :S
    Perhaps a travel backpack, but that is actually it.

  14. eva626 says:

    great tips Hook..ill keep these in mind! haha

  15. oldancestor says:

    My mother-in-law insists on using taped-up cardboard boxes as luggage. It’s better for both of us that she doesn’t speak English.

    I hate to stop and ask for directions, and my wife has had 8 one-night-stands with bartenders. I never correlated the two before. I just assumed she had a thing for bartenders.

    One of these days I’m going to tell her how I feel about her philandering. One of these days…

  16. Jackie Paulson 1966 says:

    Great tips, awesome Read! I don’t take vacations, If I ever do…I have this post pasted into a file called Vacation List.

  17. lol…great post. As we’ll be departing soon for our travels, these tips are especially helpful. We wouldn’t want to be caught acting like douches! At least not anymore than normal. 😉

  18. Woman says:

    LOL!!! I travel with a hockey bag!!! Can I get douchebag of the year award????

    I still cannot get over the use of the word douchebag in your blog!!! I love it!!!!

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