Tennis Balls, Maxi-Pads & Other Essential Travel Tools

Open Jaw

Joey Green

Road warriors often boast about the insider tactics they use to reduce the impact of long hours spent in airports, on planes and in hotels.

But as Harriet Baskas reports for USAToday, even the most seasoned traveller might learn a few new hacks from Joey Green’s lengthily-titled new book Last-Minute Travel Secrets: 121 Ingenious Tips to Endure Cramped Planes, Car Trouble, Awful Hotels and Other Trips from Hell.

But be forewarned, Baskas writes: “While a good number of the tips Green offers will seem familiar (i.e., extend the expiration date of frequent-flier points by buying something through an airline’s retail portal) many are just plain goofy, but would likely work in a pinch.”

For example, in the chapter on airplanes and airports, Green offers instructions on how to make earplugs out of tampons, how to deodorize flatulence with a mini-bottle of whiskey and a napkin, and how to make noise-cancelling headphones out of a pair of pantyhose and a tennis ball. (Now there’s a good look!) And he says maxipads are so handy they can easily be transformed into slippers, diapers and sleep masks.

Baskas does have some praise for Green’s cheap and cheerful pillow idea -- an inflatable beach ball set on the tray table — adjustable by letting out a bit of air.

But a review of the book published at the Library Journal website wasn’t as forgiving. “The author may have missed his calling,” wrote Janet Ross. “As a stand-up comedian with a suitcase full of tennis balls, maxipads and pantyhose he’d be a hit for sure.”

Ross found a couple of Green’s ideas to be particularly ridiculous. “Since when is it other than idiotic to “Electrocute an Intruder with a Table Lamp” (in a hotel room) or “Incapacitate a Hijacker with a Pot of Coffee” (on an aircraft)?”

In a 10-point list of ways to gain access to airport lounges, Green suggests standing by a lounge door and asking someone to take you in as their free guest and looking on resale websites such as eBay and Craigslist for discounted day passes.

(will not be published)