Ingenious Hotel Hacks, According to Twitter

DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images
DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images

In addition to being a forum for arguments sent across the world, Twitter can sometimes be a source of helpful information. For travelers, this was illustrated recently by Twitter user Rick Klau, who passed along a helpful hotel hack garnering over 400,000 likes. The trick? To close stubborn hotel room curtains letting in light and disrupting your precious sleep-in time, use one of the industrial-strength clothes hangers from the closet. Their clips will pull the fabric together and keep it shut.

This doesn’t work in rooms with hangers permanently affixed to the coat rack, but that’s OK. Users who caught Klau’s post provided a number of other tips that can be deployed by hotel occupants to make their next booking more comfortable, according to The Washington Post. Among them:

1. Use the USB port on the television.

If you can’t find a free outlet or one within easy reach, there might be a USB port on the hotel room set to use for charging electronic devices. (@MichaelHeide)

2. Isolate remote germs with a shower cap or ice bucket baggie.

If you’re apprehensive about touching the TV remote—long considered one of the most germ-infested surfaces in any hotel room—wrapping it in the shower cap or plastic wrapper for the ice bucket might ease your concerns. (@mshilary)

3. Use your ironing board as a desk.

Hotel desk or chair too low? You can break out the ironing board and adjust its height to make a temporary workspace. Keep it high enough and it’ll act as a standing desk. (@acroll)

4. Use the shower steam to press out clothes.

Take advantage of the steam from your shower by hanging your suit, shirt, or other wrinkled clothes from your suitcase on the back of the shower door. The steam will loosen the wrinkles. (@DrCSpencer)

5. Put the dry cleaning bag to good use.

Got dirty clothes? Grab the dry cleaning bag from the closet—apparently an endless MacGyver resource for hotels—and stuff your used attire inside so you know what to wash when you get home. (@ohmercy_me)

[h/t The Washington Post]

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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Instead of Taco Tuesday, Sweden Celebrates Taco Friday (or Taco Fredag)

ptpower, iStock via Getty Images
ptpower, iStock via Getty Images

If you think Swedish cuisine is limited to meatballs and herring, you've never celebrated Fredagsmys—the Swedish version of Taco Tuesday. The day, which translates to "cozy Fridays," is a chance for Swedes to get together with loved ones and eat comfort food at the end of a long week. And instead of indulging in more traditional Swedish fare, the Fredagsmys cuisine of choice is Tex-Mex.

Fredagsmys takes the already-Americanized taco and puts a Swedish spin on it. On Taco Fredag (Taco Friday), ingredients like tortillas, ground meat, peppers, and tomatoes are laid out smörgåsbord-style. The spread may also include some toppings that are rarely served with tacos outside of Scandinavia, such as yogurt, cucumber, peanuts, and pineapple. After assembling their meal, diners enjoy it in a cozy spot in front of the TV, ideally surrounded by pillows and candles.

The Swedish tradition of starting the weekend with a taco feast has only been around for a couple of decades. In the 1990s, the Swedish potato chip company OLW introduced the slogan “Now it’s cozy Friday time” into the national lexicon. Old El Paso capitalized on this concept with its own ad campaign showing Swedes how to assemble tacos at home. The Swedish spice company Santa Maria noticed the emerging trend and further popularized the idea of eating tacos on Fridays in its TV advertisements.

Tacos may be the food that's most closely associated with Fredagsmys today, but any quick junk food is appropriate for the occasion. Burgers and pizza are also popular items, as are candy, chips, and popcorn. The meal makes up just one part of the night: Settling in on the couch in pajamas to watch TV with loved ones is just as important as the food.

Making time for comforting indoor activities is a necessity in Sweden, where the weather is harsh and daylight is scarce for much of the year. The Danish do something similar with hygge, although tacos aren't an explicit part of that tradition.