Tonight, you don't have to.

This item appears on page 53 of the October 2010 issue.

Tell ITN about the funniest thing that ever happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the United States.) There are no restrictions on length. The ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.

This month’s winner is LINDA LEMIEUX of Elk Grove, CA:

My husband, Pete, and I rented a car and drove around Europe for 30 days in September 2000. When we arrived in Pisa, we found all the hotels were full because a music festival was going on. After seeing the Leaning Tower and the church, we drove on to the Cinque Terre, arriving at 7:30 p.m., but, again, every hotel was booked.

Totally exhausted and not wanting to drive 30 miles back on the dark mountain roads, I suggested we stop at the city campground and sleep in the car. Pete was totally against it but, at my urging, stopped. For €10 we got a parking space and two shower tokens. He found our spot and parked, announcing he was going to sit up all night. Not a happy camper!

I folded down the backseat and laid out a large beach towel and our two travel pillows. Then I gave him some clean clothes and sent him to the shower. I headed to the women’s shower.

On my way back to the car, I heard this awful grumbling as I passed the men’s room. I yelled in, “Pete, are you all right?” He grumbled back, “Yes!” Later he explained, “While washing my hair and shaving, the hot water turned cold and I had to rinse off in it.”

At about 9:30 p.m. I coaxed him into the backseat, after which I draped my long cotton dress across the windshield, securing it to the side windows, and covered the side windows with maps. We lay down and I covered us up with my floor-length raincoat.

By this time, Pete was not only mad, he was embarrassed, but I must say that I was pretty proud of myself. Then I started laughing.

“What’s so darn funny?” Pete asked.

I said, “You know how you’ve always worried about the car being stolen out of the hotel parking lot every night? Well, tonight you don’t have to.”