Posts Tagged ‘Packing’


I used to travel for work.  It was exciting to accompany groups on international tours.

But when Bill and I retired to the joys of a quiet country life I vowed to curtail roaming.

The travel fever had subsided after eight years of tours.   Flying became challenging instead of an adventure, crowded instead of elegant,  uncomfortable instead of fun.  And our international tours were fraught with the anxiety of pleasing 25+ people at a time.

“Enough was enough,” as Dad used to say.  It was time to stay home.

The urge to travel afar did not plague me for years.

But now there is a strange compulsive need to discover and collect travel accessories!

Where other folks love fashion catalogs, or gardening issues, or even food catalogs, I love TRAVEL THINGS!  Not PLACES you know – THINGS.    I literally “pour” over all the travel catalog treasures:

  1. mix and match wrinkle free outfits,
  2. ideas for minimizing packing,
  3. under-seat carry-ons,
  4. travel soaps,
  5. jet lag help,
  6. sleep masks,
  7. first aid kits,
  8. packing cubes
  9. clotheslines to string up in hotel bathrooms,
  10. blankets,
  11. pillows
  12. air purifiers,
  13. collapsible mirrors,
  14. sample size detergents, and
  15. the whole range of THINGS to make travel less cumbersome, sleeker, easier to manage, safer, more comfortable, and organized.

Even articles about how to be away from home for a month with one carry-on have my full attention.

Oh, the temptations there are in direct mail catalogs, newsletter articles, travel blogs, and even invasive social media advertisements.

With instant take-off in mind,  I started a real collection that is taking up space in the closet (I am READY!):

  • A passportwallet that is positively amazing for all it will hold and ease of access.
  • Shoe bags that do double duty holding slippers and shoes or socks and shoes, or  other things besides shoes.
  • A drawstring makeup bag. Open it up and see all your cosmetics spread out (no digging).
  • Oblong packing cylinders (don’t ask me to describe what these are for because I am not sure)
  • A valet tray with snap up corners. Snap the corners, and it becomes a walled tray for keys, watch, change, etc. Unsnap and it lies flat at the bottom of your luggage.
  • A mini umbrella and a foldable reversable raincoat.
  • Neon colored luggage straps for easy identification.
  • A collapsible water bottle.

The collection keeps growing and it will one day soon be ready to go.

And surely there will be another day when the urge to roam will take over.

Will the travel things I thought were perfect actually work?

Will the odds and ends necessities come in handy?

Will I be able to find what I need when I need it?

The question now is where in the morass should I pack my toothbrush?








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I am going away for just a week and departing over a month from now, but believe it or not, I am packing.

This is ridiculous I know, but THIS time I vow to have the right clothes and accessories with everything kept at a pared down minimum!  It will all mix and match and will fit into my very light, versatile carry-on bag that will also fit into the overhead.

Dressed to impress, and with ultra-lithe grace and beauty, I will be able to easily lift my suitcase to its lofty heights as we board the plane.  No more looking pitiful so the young man behind me will offer to do the lifting.  I am woman after all and I am strong.

Taking into account that my personal body weight may fluctuate (probably upward) anywhere from two to five pounds between now and then, and that my feet will probably swell on-the-go, I am determined to put together the perfect Carry-on that has everything I need to survive a week in comfort, high style and elegance.

Who am I trying to impress anyway?  Well, my family, son, daughter-in-law, brother, sister-in-law, niece and her family, and a very dear friend are all joining us in San Diego for a mini-reunion.

So I am packing now.

This morning. Early.

Over a month in advance!

And as always, I am facing the insanity of indecision.

Why is it that men do not have problems DECIDING?  My husband is so infuriating because he packs the night before departure!  He (literally) throws in two pairs of slacks He wears jeans on the plane and takes only two sets of shoes – one for comfort and one for dress.  He tops it all off with an all-purpose jacket and three or four shirts and he’s good to go.  Aaaargh!

Not me.  I have to be color coordinated and always prepared.

-I did manage this morning to put together a casually elegant, look-how-comfortable-I-really-feel outfit after trying on all my favorite things to the point of exhaustion.

–  But then I agonized over a second, more concentrated ultra elegantly casual  tourist outfit, sporting carefully selected jewelry and accessories. There is a very fine line between casually elegant and elegantly casual by the way.  Anyway, tourists have to walk I guess, so elegant walking shoes are also a must for this second outfit.  Fortunately I found a pair of those, but the outfit itself is still pending.

– Aaaargh –  I also need glamorous evening apparel “in case” we go somewhere elegantly elegant and that requires more elaborate jewelry with a bit of glitz.  That outfit is also still pending.

– And what about cover-ups in case it’s chilly? Haven’t even considered that yet.

– Like Bill, I could try bringing only two pairs of shoes – one on my feet and one in the luggage, but I always wind up with at least one pair on my feet and three, preferably four more for different heights and color and style. The carry-on suitcase is already bulging and getting almost too heavy for me to launch into the overhead.  I will try to keep it to four sets of shoes even though three’s a crowd in a carry-on.

– What about purses?  I would like to bring only one, but what if we do go somewhere elegantly elegant?  My travel purse looks well, utilitarian – Bleh!  That means I need to pack another purse “for dress.”

Ultra Casual Travel Purse

–  A bathing suit is a must of course, and coverup and sandals for the beach.  That could bring things up to five pairs of shoes.

– What about the weather where we are going?  It may be chilly.  I will need long-sleeved tops and short-sleeved tops and jackets and cover-ups.


Now I am already worn out from all this thinking and trying on, and I may not be able to zip the suitcase closed!

Worn Out from Packing

The only positive thing to come out of packing over a month in advance is the exercise!

To be continued…

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