Souvenir Sunday: mouthwash tabs for travelers

On Souvenir Sunday we celebrate inexpensive, offbeat and/or locally-themed souvenirs you can buy when you’re Stuck at The Airport.

This week, we’re focusing on a curious-but-cool and very inexpensive “invention” that arrived in my mailbox that may just find a spot in my travel amenity kit.

These Listerine Ready! Tabs, are zero alcohol, sugar free, tablets that somehow change from solid to liquid when you chew them so you can freshen up with a bit of safe-to-swallow mouthwwash on the go.

They’re a step beyond those ‘breath strips’ that were all the rage for a bit (and I notice are still for sale, and now come in cinnamon). But these tabs seem to be more serious and ‘robust’ and might come in handy after those long flights when the line to the airplane bathroom is long and you really just need to make sure you don’t overwhelm your seatmate with your morning breath.

Would you use this?

*I’m on a fair number of press mailing lists and things (sometimes related to travel, sometimes not; sometimes chocolate, sometimes not) show up in my mailbox. I share the more interesting items in an occasional “Would you use this?” post and store some items away to use a ‘prizes’ for readers who send along story tips or photos of great Souvenir Sunday items found on the road.

Chicago O’Hare’s new state-of-the-art accessible restroom

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport has a new state-of-the-art accessible bathroom.

The new restroom is sure to be a much-welcomed amenity for some people with disabilities and their traveling companions who are passing through one of the nation’s busiest airports.

The 100 square-foot facility is in ORD Terminal 2 and is equipped with an adult, adjustable changing table, a passenger lift system, an accessible roll-in and transfer shower, and an accessible toilet and sink.

The new accessible bathroom is modeled on the one recommended by Changing Places, an advocacy group in the United Kingdom, and exceeds the federal, state and local regulations for accessible facilities.

“We are very excited that Chicago has opened a Changing Places Restroom at O’Hare International Airport,” said Sabrina Kimball, founder and CEO of Universal Changing Places, “This new facility provides everything needed by individuals who have self-care issues or are non-ambulatory in order to travel while having access to a changing facility that is safe and clean. Way to go O’Hare!.”

The new, state-of-the-art accessible restroom at O’Hare opens just as a new advisory committee on accessibility for both O’Hare and Midway airports begins working on how to remove physical and communication barriers and creating better wayfinding signage.

Currently able-bodied travelers should be glad the Chicago Department of Aviation and other airports around the country have accessibility committees as well as people on staff tasked with paying attention to this topic.

Improving wayfinding and removing physical and communication barriers at airports helps all travelers, including those with children in tow, anyone toting a heavy bag or two and, as I learned from a day walking through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in an “old suit,” anyone who may have a bit of trouble seeing or moving around.

Have you noticed something at an airport that makes is harder than necessary to get around? Share your experience here.

SEA & DFW airports wager over NFL Wild Card game

There’s an NFL Wild Card game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday evening and there’s some good natured smack talk and wagering going on between the SEA and DFW airports, and between restaurants in each airport.

*Disclaimer: I live in Seattle, so you probably know who I hope wins…

Travel Tidbits: deals on museums, NY hotels and trains

Happy Friday – Here are some travel tidbits about free museum admissions, deals on hotels in NYC, changes for Eurail ticketing and the closing of an iconic Boston restaurant.

This week, any Bank of America, U.S. Trust and Merrill Lynch credit or debit cardholders can gain free admission to more than 200 museums around the country as part of the Museums on US! program. List of participating museums is here.

Deals on hotels in New York City

Looking for a hotel in New York City? Hotel Week NYC 2019 runs from January 4 -14. Prices are at a fixed rate of $100 or $200 per night – a great discount off the standard room rates that can run $500 a nigt at this time of year.

Eurail is starting off the New Year with news about a “new and improved” Eurail program that includes access to Great Britian, Macedonia and Lithuania, expandiing the overal country count from 28 to 31. Travel on the Eurostar is now also included in some ticket packages.

And Durgin Park, a landmark restaurant that’s been at Boston’s Faneuil Hall since 1827, is closing on January 12, WBZ reports.

HMSHost has a co-branded branch of Durgin Park in Terminal E at Boston Logan International Airport .

While the airport Durgin Park remains open for now, a representative from HMSHost says they will be converting that location in the second half of 2020 to a quick-serve Mediterranean-style restaurant called Saloniki Greek.

Airport restaurant week returns to Chicago Airports

If you’re traveling to or through Chicago’s O’Hare or Midway airports between January 25 and February 7, 2019, the airport authority has a bit of advice: arrive hungry.

Airport Restaurant Week (ARW) is coming back to those airports, to coincide with and celebrate the 12th annual Chicago Restaurant Week taking place in town.

During this year’s Airport Restaurant Week (AWR), ticketed passengers flying through O’Hare and Midway will have access to free samples of some of Chicago’s world-class cuisine and be presented with special menus created by many of the airport’s award winning restaurants

Some of the locations participating at O’Hare this year include America’s Dog; Auntie Anne’s; Berghoff Café; Billy Goat Tavern; Burrito Beach; Garrett Popcorn Shops; O’Brien’s Restaurant & Bar; Nuts on Clark; Reggio’s Pizza; Summer House Santa Monica; Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, and more.

At Midway, passengers can check out demonstrations from concessionaires including Arami Sushi; Big &little’s; Big Shoulders; DeColores; Home Run Inn Pizza; Nuts on Clark.  

In addition to the freshly made food samples and special offers, passengers will receive a free Airport Restaurant Week oven mitt, bamboo cutting boards, chip clips, and recipe book while supplies last. A full schedule of ARW tastings, chef demonstrations will be posted soon.

Beyond Airport Restaurant Week, next month, O’Hare will open new fast casual restaurant Burger Federation in Terminal 3, and the airport’s third Garrett’s Popcorn Shop in Terminal 5.

At Midway new concessions due to open in January and February include local coffee joint Big Shoulders Coffee; new and expanded DeColores burrito restaurant; and the airport’s first Einstein’s Bros. Bagels.

What are your favorite restaurants at O’Hare or Midway airports?