Glow sticks: travel essential?

GLow stick

I should know better.

After being marooned on the 14th floor of a Honolulu hotel after an earthquake and having to find alternate lodging in 2 degree weather at 11 p.m. in Fort Wayne, Indiana after a hotel power outage, you’d think I’d remember to pack a flashlight along with a gadget to recharge my phone on the go.

But I had neither flashlight nor fully charged cell phone when I showed up at my Los Angeles airport hotel the other day to find all the electricity out, strong winds blowing through the lobby and the hotel staff in an unhelpful tizzy.

According to which staff member was making the rounds power was either out in “just isolated blocks” or “the entire city.”

Guests were being given flashlights (while supplies lasted) and encouraged to walk up the stairs to their rooms.

When the flashlights ran out, glow sticks were offered.

Trudging up seven flights of stairs to a dark room that may have stayed completely dark till sunrise didn’t sound appealing, so I took my glow sticks and headed to the hotel bar, where – for about a hour – drinks were being poured for free.

“No electricity; no security cameras,” said the bartender, pouring himself a stiff drink as well.

Ultimately, I bailed. Unwilling to hang around in case the power returned, and getting now help from the darkened hotel in finding other lodging, I hopped the shuttle back to the airport and picked out another hotel from the info board.

And glow sticks and a flashlight are once again part of my travel kit.

What emergency supplies are in YOUR travel kit?