Thursday, May 31, 2012


More Travel Stuff....The packing list

I love the first 20 minutes of the movie Up in the Air. Clearly written by someone who truly understands business travel in the 21st century, the education provided by the George Clooney character in how to travel is both hilarious and right-on. 

I travel something in the neighborhood of 40 weeks a year (some years more or less). It takes me less than half an hour to pack for a week...  Here's how it is done.

There are 5 categories of things in my luggage: 

  1. Duplicate items I keep in the bag at all times. These are highlighted in yellow below. I periodically check these to make sure they don't need to be laundered/replaced. 
  2. My camera bag-- I am an avid photographer, and frequently carry a DSLR, several lenses and other equipment with me.  These are in a daypack that I add to the mix as needed.  When added to the mix, my handbag and all contents goes into the daypack to keep the airlines happy. These items are highlighted in green below.
  3. Digital Assets--A new category:  I used to carry a lot of printed material with me.  Today, I have converted a great deal of this to digital format and carry it electronically on one place) Keep in mind, most of my travel is not to the I can always produce a printed copy if needed)
  4. Necessities in my handbag- ID, Money, Kindle, phone,etc.  Stuff that goes everywhere I do. No packing necessary.
  5. Then there's the actual clothes and stuff I pack each week. I rotate the wardrobe in shifts, according to the ACCESSORIES and SHOES to be packed: (Why?  this stuff takes up a lot of space, and can be rotated between outfits painlessly. I have a "pack bag" assembled for each of these color groups. It contains a belt, dress shoes and flats, a couple of necklaces, a couple of scarves, some earrings and whatever strikes my fancy, as long as it fits in the bag.)
    1. Clothes for which I need black and gray/silver accessories 
    2. Clothes for which I need cream and taupe accessories
    3. Clothes for which I need fun accessories, often red or some other offbeat color
    4. Clothes for which I need brown and beige/bronze/gold accessories.

Dressy jacket
4 shirts/blouses/tops
4 pairs trousers/skirts
Warm weather destination:
          2 pr shorts and 2 xtra t-shirts
Cold weather destination:
          Gloves, heavy socks, warm hat
4 pairs dress socks
4 pairs undergarments
Cardigan sweater
Rainwear (umbrella)
Lounge pants and t-shirt
Scarf, shawl
1 pair dress shoes 
1 pair walking shoes
Flip-flops or sandals
Costume jewelry bag

Lightweight travel pack or shoulder bag
Camera (lenses flash extra cards & batteries, charger, download adapter)
Insect repellent
Sun glasses

Kindle (uses same charger as phone)
Cellular telephone (charger)
Laptop (flash drive,  power cord/adapters,  network cable(s))
Detergent, spot remover, fabric softener sheets
Skin Care items

XXX- Duplicates always packed in my bag
XXX- Separate bag added to larger bag as required
Antibacterial wipes/Purell
The “Doctor Feelgood Kit”
·         Analgesic of choice
·         Diarrhea treatment of choice
·         Anthistamine
·         Pepto
·         Sleep aid
·         Mucinex
·         Skin rash cream
·         Necessary medications
Spare glasses
Pen(s), small notebook, glue stick
Personal address book (stamps)
Maps, guidebooks, phrase books, post-it® notes, restaurant lists, membership cards, business/calling cards, telephone access numbers
Large manila envelopes 

Passport, visas,
Copies of important documents
Driver's license,
Car and health insurance information
Travel tickets
Charge & ATM cards, cash
2 personal checks
Safety pins,
Sewing kit,
Ziploc® bags
Rubber bands
Toothbrush, paste, floss
Comb and hairbrush
Manicure tools

XXX- carried digitally on Kindle, Phone, Laptop
XXX – the only things I pack individually for each trip


Lifestyles of the Non-Rich and Non-Famous

I am thinking about lifestyles today.

Mine seems awful to a lot of people. Many others think it sounds vaguely glamorous.

The reality is that it is neither, and both, and many other things.

My life is screwy.  I miss walking on the beach at sunrise and sunset. I often think that I would like to have someone to walk on that beach at sunrise and sunset with me.... but who would put up with me being gone 80% of the time and exhausted or preoccupied the other 20%?   

My grandson thinks I have a cool job. And I kind-of do. I usually love it more than I am frustrated by it. It works for me, most of the time. But everything has trade-offs, and there are days when the personal cost overbalances the professional satisfaction.   

I think they call that life. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


My Annual Travel Rant

Monday was Memorial Day. Schools will be letting out for the summer soon. Families will be taking vacations. 

Lots of those families don't travel by air very often. Here is some advice that will improve the experience for both you and your fellow travelers. 

Traveling with Young Children


Food and Drink

  • Fluid restrictions are a pain, and the end result is $3 bottles of water in airports. Clip an empty water bottle to your carry-on and fill it from the drinking fountain --- they have nifty ones with Brita filters in them that even make the water taste decent. 
  • Granola bars and trail mix (preferably the kinds without chocolate) raisins and Goldfish crackers make great travel snacks. (Small, non-messy, resistant to crushing.) Anything melty, sticky, smelly, drippy or complicated does not work well. And that includes the Cinnabons the size  of a roast chicken sold with extra dipping icing in the airport. 
  • Airport food is getting better-- but that means that most of it is a lot like the food court at your local mall. Too fried, too greasy, too few veggies. There are actual restaurants in larger airports, but the selections are limited. Know this in advance and plan accordingly. 
Kids Traveling Alone

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