If you have been geocaching for some time, you have probably come across or at least heard about a Travel Bug Hotel. But if you're somewhat new to geocaching, or you live in a place where they just aren't common, this might be a new term to you.
So let's start with a basic definition. A Travel Bug Hotel is a geocache that caters to travel bugs and is meant to serve as a drop off and pick up place for them.
[Note: if you aren't familiar with travel bugs, then you should probably go read the Travel Bug FAQ to start with. Then come on back here and continue on!]
There are always exceptions, of course, but here are some general conventions when it comes to Travel Bug Hotels:
- They are normally a regular or large size geocache (since it would be hard to leave even one travel bug in a micro container!)
- They are often a simple traditional cache (but sometimes the cache owner will make it a simple puzzle or will hide a container with a combination lock, and the combo is given on the cache description page)
- They are usually placed for easy access (near highways, airports, freeway rest stops etc.)
- It can be tricky, but the cache owner needs to make the cache BOTH easily accessible but not easily muggled!
- The idea of the Travel Bug Hotel is to help travel bugs get moving to their goal
- They often have "Travel Bug Hotel" or something similar as part of their cache name so its obvious what they are (BUT not everyone thinks this is a good idea since it might catch the attention of a "less-than-honest" geocacher who may take the travel bugs or trackable geocoins and keep them - yes, some geocachers actually do this terrible thing!!)
- Some owners will offer suggestions about the movement of travel bugs – for example, take the same number of travel bugs that you leave – but this cannot be a requirement, according to Geocaching.com
- Any geocacher is welcome to find and log the Travel Bug Hotel cache whether or not they drop off or pick up travel bugs
- Travel Bug Hotels range from a simple lock-n-lock container all the way to amazingly creative and elaborately built structures and cabinets that actually look like hotels!
Some Resources on Travel Bug Hotels:
IslandButtons has a Pinterest board with dozens and dozens of amazing pictures of travel bug hotels.
What is YOUR favorite Travel Bug Hotel? Share in the comments below!