He’s not kidding around, either. He’s a Motel 6 expert. “A tip for the lonesome traveler: Always ask for a room on the end of the motel because the chances of having a party next door are a little less. Or, if it’s a three-story hotel, get a room on the top floor and then you don’t have to worry about the couple above you deciding they’re going to go at it all night long.”


The author Stephen King.

Kenzo Tribouillard/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

And when it comes to packing, he keeps it simple there, too. “I take the basics. And I don’t have any particular requirements for shampoos, emollients, anything like that. They usually have it in the Motel 6.”

Here’s what he takes on every trip.


“I’ve got to have my audiobooks, which I keep on my iPad now, it’s much more convenient than having to drag along a CD player and earphones and all that jazz. Got to load in at least one or two movies that you really want to see so that you have something to watch. Or two or three episodes of ‘The Americans.’”

Crossword book

“I gotta have my big crossword book because you can’t always read. If you’re on an airplane flight from, let’s say Maine to Los Angeles, you have to have something to do.”


“I’ve got this old suitcase that my wife hates that I’ve been carrying around for probably 30 years now, it’s an old battered gray Samsonite suitcase. My feeling is that if you can’t get everything you need into that one suitcase, you don’t really need it. It doesn’t have any wheels. It’s old school.”


“I always carry a couple of books. There’s the book that I’m going to read and the backup in case the book is terrible. The best book that I read recently was ‘My Absolute Darling,’” which is just a knockout, maybe the best thing I’ve read this year. But you’ve got to have at least one book by someone that you trust. You don’t want to be caught short.”

Jeans and T-shirts

“I’m not very good with big bunches of people; most writers are not. We work in solitude. We’re not built for the audience the way that some actors and comedians are. So I decided that if I was going to be afraid at least I would be comfortable. And it makes it easier to pack, too.”

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