Travel Tip - Any Card Will Do!

You know those systems in hotels where you need your hotel key card to enable the lights? My first run in with one of those was a scary one. I guess not as scary as my more recent experience — where the lights did not work at all without the card. The first system gave you light for about a minute until you needed the card, presumably enough time to find the little slot and put your key card in. Well, I had never even known of such a system. By the time my convenience lights went out, I was very inconveniently in the middle of the room, not knowing quite what happened. Suddenly, a coffee table and other normally safe items became dangerous obstacles waiting for a moment of bad luck. Add to that the curtains — the ones that block all light to let you sleep in — had been pulled closed by the person who cleaned the room. There was no light. I waited and waited, eyes adjusting slightly helped by the faint glow by the door.  I crawled towards the light, avoiding the nasty coffee table in the upgraded room, and opened the door to the hall. Then I saw it. A slot for the door key to enable the lights. I was saved!

I also discovered the hard way that this device controls all the plugs in the room, and my laptop shut itself off when it ran down its battery.

So I come, finally, to my tip: I discovered that ANY card of similar plastic will work.  So I keep an old card (something expired and not tied to a bank account, or a hotel key I forgot to return) and insert it.  Something I could live without if I forgot it. I still turnout lights and save energy for the hotel. But my laptop works like a charm when I need it, I don’t find myself in the middle of a dark obstacle course, and travel life is a lot smoother.

Article written by Sarah Wyland

Sarah Wyland
Sarah never gets in trouble for being on Facebook and Instagram at work, because its her job. As social media manager, she gets to tell the stories of travelers, teachers, and interesting places. Other titles she enjoys include dog mom to Knox, barre instructor, Crossfit athlete, avid reader, and world traveler.