A friend once told me that everyday he wakes up in a hotel it feels like waking up with a hangover. "I'm not sure where I am or how I got here but at least I have my pants on." Add in the fact that we stay in a variety of hotels with countless floor plans, alarm clock models and coffee makers, sometimes you'd think you were at a bachelor party the night before. Throw in a 4:30am wake up call and that bachelor served nothing but "Mind Eraser" shots followed by Jagermeister to chase is all down with.
I call it T.M.A. (Temporary Morning Amnesia) and typically it takes about a minute to clear. Sometimes there are clues in the room to help clear the mental fog. The Crowne Plazas we stay in advertise for their hotels inside the shower head. Since I'm often in the shower within the 60 second window before T.M.A. wears off this can be a huge breakthrough. The Eureka Moment! "Damn! I'm in Hartford! No free bagels downstairs but at least the coffee maker is the single pod type rather than the rarely washed pot used by many to make Ramen Noodles."
And old trick I've worked into my hotel routine to avoid the amnesia is to write the three letter airport code of the city I'm in on the room key envelope along with the van time and leave that propped next to the alarm clock. I've become so used to this being the default when on the road that if I don't see the cheat sheet when I wake up I can safely assume I'm at home.
In the era of smart phones though - the cheat sheet is old school. My morning mind has never been so clear since finding the "Good Morning!" app for my android phone!
Everyone has their own killer app. For some it may be Facebook or Evernote or their Twitter client of choice. Mine is an alarm clock that reads whatever text I type in the night before as well as the current time, temperature and forecast. Granted, the forecast is useless for me unless I'm returning to the same hotel later in the day but I like waking up to the lady computer voice and I get to her say as much as possible. I like waking up thinking that Rosie from "The Jetsons" is in bed with me and she's already made coffee.
Since finding this app, the only T.M.A. I suffer from on the road is when I wake up in the middle of the night after leaving the television on. Interestingly enough, the only standard thing in hotels is the remote control. I never seem to have trouble finding the off button. (Through the plastic ice bucket bag that I wrap the remote in. Those remotes are filthy!)