Posts Tagged ‘packing’
When it comes to travel, there are planners and there are wingers. Because travel should be an adventure, I am a winger.
Packing for a trip turns some into O.C.D. Girl Scouts, who attempt to anticipate and be prepared for anything from missed connections to zombie apocalypse. Wingers don’t have that problem, in fact we never pack diarrhea medicine or photocopies of credit cards. We know we can rely on other travelers to have a sewing kit, first-aid kit or rain poncho.
I came across a list of expert packing tips recently. Along with the usual, this list advised not to pack holes with socks when traveling to Japan. This made me wonder if there are countries where one should pack socks with holes. If that’s useful information, I have some of my own to share.
Getting in and out of an airport is often the most challenging part of a trip, so unless you are the type who always arrives early, never carry more than you can manage during an O.J.Simpson-like sprint through a crowded terminal. If you don’t have luggage with wheels yet, you might consider replacing the set you got for graduation.
Incidentally, when it comes to luggage, red is the new black. After baggage claim areas became a sea of nearly identical black bags, many travelers began choosing easy-to-spot red. Now the baggage carousels resemble checker sets–alternating red & black. If you are shopping for luggage, consider something distinctive, like chartreuse, sunflower, or puce.
If you have a black bag you’re not ready to replace, you can used colored masking tape for a low-budget customization. Shown here are some possibilities like, Domestic Flight Domo, Ghetto Gucci, or The Rasta-Wayfarian.
Vacation is supposed to be fun, right?
Speaking of fun, you know who needs to lighten up and have some? TSA. Just once, I’d like to fill my bra with something unexpected like a puppy or water balloons full of goldfish, or maybe put some Play- Doh in my pants to make that pat-down more interesting. Unfortunately, TSA is not known for its sense of humor, so I do my best to be humorless, I wear easy-on/easy off shoes, and save my best terrorist jokes for other venues.
Though some still prefer an over-sized shopping bag that won’t fit in the overhead bin, wingers need a more practical carry-on bag.
Mine needs to accommodate everything I’d rather not check, my laptop, camera, jewelry, toiletries and cowboy boots. Being a winger, I only carry an extra change of clothes when traveling for business, since the likelihood of having one’s luggage delayed or lost is relatively small. However, if you are a more cautious type, you can always throw a change of undies in your purse. In the event of a mid-air mishap, your mother will be comforted knowing you had clean underwear.
Getting ready for a trip can be hectic. If you don’t have time to do laundry before a trip, throw all the dirty clothes you’d like to wear in a suitcase. Take the suitcase to the nearest Fluff & Fold to be laundered. When you drop it off, apologize profusely that you don’t have a proper laundry basket. When you return, you’ll have a suitcase full of neatly folded clean clothes. Voila! It’s just like when Mom sent you off to camp.
No matter what kind of traveler you are, you can’t be prepared for everything, but you should be ready for anything. If you can’t travel light, aim for traveling light-heartedly. Leisure travel shouldn’t be stressful, so do your best to enjoy whatever unplanned adventures arise.
I always think traveling should be conducive to blogging, it is not. Each time I travel, some circumstance derails de blog schedule. This is unfortunate, because I like to get away whenever I can.
Say road trip to me . . and my response is Pavlovian. I start salivating like a dog who has just heard the word “walk”. Destination doesn’t matter. Different places offer new experiences–anywhere is good. Name the place, I’m there.
Some people are better travelers than others. I’d like to think I’m the best traveler in the house, but Beloved Soul Mate can pack for any trip in about an hour. He throws his six favorite things in a suitcase and reaches for his shaving kit. I, on the other hand, will still be trying too decide if I need a bigger suitcase when the airport shuttle honks its horn.
For me every trip is an adventure. Destination is secondary . Some places are better than others, but I I’m a big fan of anywhere! Unfortunately, traveling is often fraught with unpleasant surprises, inconveniences like lost luggage, missed connections, bad weather or worse. If these sorts of things will spoil your trip, you might be better off staying home.
When I travel, I like to look to the example of great female travelers. Sally Ride has logged the most miles. Amelia Earhart was the most intrepid. Harriet Tubman was the best route-planner, but in my mind, Dorothy Gale was the quintessential traveler.
First, she was spontaneous. Spontaneity is a good trait for travelers. She left home without a map or set itinerary. The best adventures usually happen without either. Sure, her journey started when everything at home had just been upset by a natural disaster, but if she’d stayed home waiting for FEMA, she might have never have seen OZ.
I’d like to be able to travel the way Dorothy did. She was a sensible enough to travel light and wear good shoes. I usually get the shoe part right, but I’m still a very long way from one piece of luggage, and have no enthusiasm for having an animal in my carry-on.
Her trusted travel companions were people she met along the journey. I like that. Travel has a way of putting us into situations with people we’d normally not know–most of them are interesting–generally not as interesting as a lion with anxiety disorder, but interesting enough.
On a recent trip, inclement weather caused all the flights to be delayed. Two hours from home, I didn’t feel like sleeping in an airport. Like Dorothy, I teamed up with the two individuals nearest me. We exchanged names, rented a car and got to know each other on the way. Combining heart, brains and courage, the impromptu tour group turned into a beneficial partnership.
Dorothy found that each day brought new adventure–most of them were not very pleasant. Firestorms, an opium poppy field that was surely owned by a drug cartel, even being abducted by terrorists of the Winged Monkey faction, yet none of her mishaps were great enough to make her turn around.
At the end of her journey, Dorothy had good memories of the people and places she’d encountered, but mostly she was just happy to be home in her own bed surrounded by the familiar faces she loved.