This blog post is part of the Travel Belles “Across the Cafe Table” series, wherein Margo and Briana pose a question to contributors and fans of their online travel site for women. I’ve been meaning to get in on this action for awhile now, and this month we’ll all be writing about what is important when choosing a hotel.

This is a terrible question for me. I have low standards regarding just about everything, and hotels are no exception. In Las Vegas, I’ve stayed at the Sahara for $5 a night. I’ve bunked at The Gold Spike wherein you can’t see two feet in front of you due to lobby smoke. Another Gold Spike feature was the hour long wait to check in while the lady at the front desk called every room in the hotel in attempt to locate the establishment’s only hair dryer. I once stayed in a hotel in Lake Elsinore, CA that featured an unmarked police car in the parking lot, graffiti covering the door and three channels of free “adult entertainment” available on the TV. And then there was that place in New Orleans, wherein I had to provide my own towel and cockroach spray.

But I’ve stayed in nice places too! Although this is usually when I’m traveling with someone who’s standards are higher than mine (aka anyone). But if I’m going to shell out more than $100 bucks for a room, I have one requirement and one requirement only:

An I-pod dock

It has to be a real I-pod dock. I stayed in two different Baltimore A-loft hotels which featured some setup wherein you had to finagle with the television and various cables. I didn’t have the patience to figure them out.

An I-pod dock is vital to my hotel enjoyment because I like to link a place with music. Whenever I hear Janet Jackson’s “Again” (come on, we all had that tape) I’m transported to Southern California. Oasis’s “Wonderwall” makes me think of Washington D.C., O-zone’s “Numa Numa” song brings me back to the bars in Norway, and the current “Moves Like Jagger” gets me and my friend Denise immediately talking about Savannah and Charleston. R. Kelly’s “Ignition Remix” is an absolutely necessity if you’re getting ready to hit to Vegas strip (or do anything fun that involves drinking).

Kitschy charm, homemade cookies upon check-in, exclusive rewards programs, and mints on pillows are nice, but all I really need is an I-pod dock. Because I hate dragging along speakers on vacation. They take up too much room in my suitcase.