Last-Minute Travel Secrets: MacGyver Would Approve

Last-Minute Travel Secrets: 

121 Ingenious Tips to Endure Cramped Planes, Car Troubles, Awful Hotels, and Other Trips from Hell

9781613735046In Last Minute Travel Secrets, author Joey Green shares 121 MacGyver-esque ingenious tips to endure cramped planes, car trouble, awful hotels, and other trips from hell. From uncorking a wine bottle with a sneaker to using a motel bathtub as a washing machine, Green divulges his unusual hacks for life on the road. 

Joey Green is the author of more than 50 books, including Last Minute Survival Secrets, Joey Green’s Fix-It Magic, and Polish Your Furniture with Panty Hose. He has written for Rolling Stone, National Lampoon, Time and more.

Excerpt from the book: 

How to Sleep on a Plane with a Beach Ball 

What you need

  • An inflatable beach ball, 20-inch diameter (uninflated)
  • sweatshirt, sweater, or T-shirt (optional)

What to do 

  1. Put your tray table down.
  2. Inflate the beach ball and secure the nozzle shut.
  3. If desired, place the inflated beach ball inside a sweateshirt, sweater, or T-shirt.
  4. Place the beach ball on the tray table with the nozzle facing the surgface.
  5. Wrap your arms around the beach ball to hold it in place, and rest your head on the beach ball as a pillow.
Author Joey Green sleeps on a plane with a beach ball.
Author Joey Green sleeps on a plane with a beach ball.

How it works 
The beach ball provides sufficient elevation from the tray table (approximately 14 inches) and keeps your body in a comfortable position for sleeping when you rest your head on the cushion. To decrease the height and soften the pillow, just let a little air out of the inflated beach ball.

Sweet Dreams 

  • A beach ball can be used as a pillow of any size, a back support, or a seat cushion on a plane, train, or bus ride. It also makes a great play toy to entertain children anywhere in the world.
  • Concertgoers, crowds at sporting events, and graduates at commencement ceremonies often volley beach balls around the crowd.
  • Trained seals can frequently balance a beach ball on their noses.
  • A beach ball can be used to play volleyball or water polo.
  • Several American cities have painted their water towers to resemble a beach ball, including Hallandale Beach, Florida; Pensacola Beach, Florida; and Ocean City, Maryland.
  • The multicolored wait cursor that appears in Apple’s Mac operating system when the computer takes longer than usual to execute a certain task is often known as the “spinning beach ball of death.”

How to Wash Your Clothes in the Swimming Pool 

What you need 

  • Bar of soap
  • Bucket (or small garbage pail)

What to Do

  1. Sitting alongside the pool, saturate the clothing items with pool water.
  2. Rub the bar of soap into the clothes.
  3. Knead the soap into the items for 3 minutes and pound the clothes against the edge of the pool.
  4. Fill the bucket with pool water and pour it over the clothes to rinse the soap from them.
  5. Repeat step 4 until all the soap has been rinsed from the clothing.
  6. Wring the water from the garments.
  7. Hang the garments to dry by draping the clothes over lounge chairs or bringing the clothes back to your cabin and draping them over the retractable clothesline in your shower.

How it works 
The first 5 minutes of hand washing removes most of the dirt fro the garments, and rinsing the garments in pool water removes the soapy lather from the clothes.

Airing Dirty Laundry

Hundreds of men wash clothes in the Yamuna river, a tributary of the Ganges River in Delhi, India, turning one of the world’s most polluted rivers into an enormous launderette. The men, known as dhobis (Hindi for “washermen”) visit homes to collect thousands of soiled garments before washing  them in the river near the industrial neighborhood of Okhla, where the river overflows with sewage, industrial waste, and chemicals. They dry the clothes in bulk on the muddy banks.

Author Joey Green
Author Joey Green

How to Deodorize Flatulence with Whiskey

What you need 

  • Mini-bottle of whiskey
  • Napkin, bandana, coffee filter, or maxi pad.

What to do

  1. If anonymous passengers in your vicinity expel gas, stinking up the surrounding area, purchase a mini-bottle of whiskey from a flight attendant and ask for a napkin.
  2. Dampen the napkin with some whiskey, hold it over your nose, and breathe through the napkin.

How it Works 
Whiskey masks the scent of the sulfur compounds responsible for the foul-smelling odor of intestinal gas.

Creating a Stink 

  • The average individual passes gas between 13 and 21c times a day.
  • Changes in air pressure cause the digestive system to generate more gas.
  • Many airplane passengers, intimidated by their proximity to other people and the social stigma associated with releasing gas, attempt to hold in their flatulence. However, five gastroenterologists from Denmark and Britain published a study in the New Zealand Medical Journal in 2013 reporting that stifling the natural process “holds significant drawbacks for the individual such as discomfort and even pain, bloating, dyspepsia and pyrosis just to name but a few resulting abdominal symptoms.”
  • Women’s farts tend to smell more odiferous than men’s.

How to Hide Money in a Necktie

What you need 

  • Necktie
  • Stitch-remover tool
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Piece of fabric, 3 inches long by 2.5 inches wide
  • Velcro strip, 5 inches long

What to Do 

  1. Most ties have a stitch sewn up the center of the back of the tie to hold together the two sides of decorative fabric. Using the stitch-remover tool, remove the stitches from the bottom 5 inches of the wide end of the back of the tie.
  2. Most ties contain a stiff fabric core to maintain the shape of the tie. Sew the piece of fabric to the inner fabric core (but not through the front side of the decorative fabric) to create a pocket.
  3. Sew the opposing sides of the Velcro strip to the opposite fabric flaps of the backside of the tie.
  4. Insert your folded cash or credit cards in the pocket, close the flaps of the back of the tie, sealing the Velcro strips securely, and wear the tie as usual.

How it works 
The Velcro strips keep the back of the tie sealed shut, concealing the secret pocket containing your cash and credit cards.

How to Cook a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with an Iron

What you need 

  • Clothes iron
  • 2 slices of American cheese
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Aluminum foil

What to do 

  1. Preheat the iron to the wool setting with the steam setting turned off.
  2. Place two slices of American cheese between two slices of bread and wrap the sandwich in a sheet of aluminum foil.
  3. Place the wrapped sandwich on a wooden cutting board or ironing board.
  4. Place the hot iron on the top of the wrapped sandwich for 20 seconds.
  5. Flip over the wrapped sandwich and place the hot iron on top of the other side for 20 seconds.
  6. Carefully unwrap the grilled cheese sandwich and enjoy.

How it works 
The soleplate of the iron doubles as a cooking grill, heating to 300 F on the wool setting, just the right amount of heat to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Buy the Book: Last-Minute Travel Secrets

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