Hints for Happier Travels

Great Take-Along Find

Drink Up! You Won’t Spill a Thing

My Two Favorite Traveling Companions
My Two Favorite Traveling Companions

Whether it’s coffee, ice tea or water, it doesn’t matter. There’s a better than average chance I’ll find a way to slop it, drip it or knock it over entirely. This is especially true when I travel. But about a year ago, Contigo Autoseal mugs came to my rescue.

We were introduced to this great find by friends. They raved about how well insulated they were, then they demoed how you could turn a full mug of liquid upside down without spilling a drop. That’s when we decided that we had to have them, and went to Amazon.com and ordered two of our own.

The mugs we first bought were for the sole purpose of keeping our coffee hot and contained. Since, to me, coffee is the elixir of life, it only seemed fitting.

Contigo mugs are very affordable at $19.95 apiece. Simon’s is silver, and mine is blue, but telling them apart is easy because of a slight difference in texture. Of course, it’s even easier now, because mine has several dings, dents and tiny scratches from all the times it has hit the patio and rolled. When my fingers encounter these battle scars, I get all choked up at the thought of all the precious liquid that was saved by this marvelous mug.

Next we ordered two insulated tumblers with built-in straws. We use these for cold liquids, including cocktails.

Our Contigo Lineup
Our Contigo Lineup

The mugs are silver, taller than our coffee mugs, and have a lid that has a small handle on top so you can hang it on a belt, fanny pack or backpack. Since they are identical, Simon had to use puff paint to draw our initials on the stainless steel surface so we could tell them apart, before a single ding had been dung.

The really fun feature on the lid is a push-button straw.  You push the button, and your mug flips you the bird.

The spill-proof element, along with the extraordinary insulation that will keep your hot liquids hot and your cold liquids cold all day, makes all kinds of very nice things possible.

For one thing, I can tuck my mug upright in my purse without worrying that it could tilt and give the rest of the contents a coffee bath.

You can take your mug into a coffee shop and ask for the equivalent of what ever pretentious name they call their 16 ounce brew, and ask to have it put in your Contigo. The coffee stays hot, remains in the mug and the environment says, “Thank you.”

It’s true that the coffee and tea served by the airlines is made with the water carried onboard (nasty stuff!). So I now fill up my mug from a coffee stand on the concourse, before boarding. Even if we hit heavy turbulence, I have nothing to fear. Nothing will be slopping on my adorable Otto, my seat or me.

Hints for Happy “Contigoing”:

  • Designate each mug for one type of drink. If you decide to dishonor your coffee mug by putting tea in it, your tea will have  a distinct hint of coffee. Unless you’re weird, you will find the flavor unpleasant at best. It’s not as critical for cold beverages, but any hot drink you drink regularly will leave its flavor print, no matter how thoroughly you wash it.
  • If you’re not a black coffee drinker, you’ll find the lid a challenge to keep clean. Try soaking it in hot soapy water for a few minutes before rinsing. Any milky residue will disappear.
  • Pressure can build inside the airtight vessel. I found this out the hard way one morning. When I pushed the button to take a swallow of coffee, a small amount sprayed out as the pressure was released. Just to make sure that I wouldn’t forget the lesson, this occurred on a day when I just happened to be wearing a white shirt.
  • There is a cautionary note in the instructions that prohibits using the tall mugs for carbonated drinks. Well, I think I can make the sacrifice of foregoing the rum and cola, and opting for orange juice and coconut rum instead.

Contigo products make excellent gifts or Christmas stocking-stuffers. We found that they also made a terrific gift for ourselves.

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