I’ve been on the move and traveling even more than I usually do – which, you might imagine – is insane. Sometimes I wake up and have no clue where I am — and it takes me a few minutes to get oriented. In my Seattle bedroom? In Belize? (Both bedrooms have ceiling fans and windows in the same place) In Iowa? San Francisco? In the last four weeks, I have returned from Belize, gone to San Francisco to see my two grandkids, flown to see my daughter and her family and help move them to their new Denver digs, and now I’m headed to Palm Springs next week (where it’s 100 plus degrees!) to help my elderly mother-in-law. It’s a bit much, and way too many planes and subsequent flight delays and airport aggravation.
I have my carry-on roller suitcase and backpack standing in the corner of my bedroom, and I keep packing and unpacking in these same containers. The backpack is always preloaded with my noise canceling headphones, a warm scarf or knitted cowl neck warmer, and my back cushion. My travel outfit is the same and therefore requires no thought on my part: a comfy and loose pair of pants with a pocket for my driver’s license and phone, a short sleeved tee shirt and a warm, soft sweatshirt-type-but-nicer-looking-than-a-sweatshirt outer layer because I am always cold on the plane. And Birkenstock-like, not very attractive sandals that slip on and off easily. (Ahem, Birkenstock footwear is now in fashion!) Simple jewelry and I’m good to hit the runway…the airplane one that is.
A couple of things came to mind this last trip that I know I couldn’t be without – so I thought I’d share a few of my tips with you:
1) Packing Cubes
I’ve had these packing cubes you see from eBags for years. They have a two-way zipper are now available at Ikea and most outdoor gear (think REI) or luggage stores. I end up using the large one you see for jeans and pants and even t-shirts. The medium one, if needed, holds workout clothing, the small one is for underwear and sox, and the one with the drawstring top? It came in a pair to hold shoes, but I have my knitting in there for the plane. I really enjoy the zen of knitting, and usually have a small project or two that keeps me from overthinking take off, landing and times in between. And if you are a friend of mine, know that you probably will be getting fingerless gloves for your next birthday!
I got off track here with the knitting thoughts though. The three packing cubes are wonderful to pop in a drawer of a hotel room or guest room! All of your clothing will stay compartmentalized and there is no need to unpack and repack. They are great gifts for friends or family who travel a bit! I do also take a kitchen garbage liner for my dirty clothes too.
Back to knitting, this little gadget called “The Knit Kit” is ingenious! Read about it here.There are nine knitting essentials in this small compact plastic disk – things I use every trip like a folding scissors that can be taken aboard, a knitting counter, crochet hook, and a tape measure. I haven’t been able to find it in the knit shops here lately, but again I have gifted this to the knitting relatives and friends in my life. As an aside, I lost the crochet hook part of this, and called the company. Believe it or not they sent me a replacement FOR FREE! You gottta love that. I sure do and it has made me a life long loyal customer and advocate!
I wrote about food for travel almost three years ago, and still follow my take on the plane or in the car suggestions. I’m adding to this list string cheese: it’s not just for kids but tastes so good and salty and proteiny during the travel day. And if I have a particularly long travel day I often pack hard boiled, shelled eggs, cut in half, to keep me happy and to avoid the need to buy one of those less-than-optimal plane “snack boxes.”
Let me know if I am missing something travel-wise or food-wise that you find necessary or just plain fun!