Saturday, July 9, 2011

Packing list

My dad used to reassure us, as we left on long trips, that there are only three things we really NEED to take on the trip.  Here's his list, updated for the times.  He says, You're going to be okay as long as you remember these three things: 
  1. Photo ID,
  2. Credit card, and
  3. Medications.
If you forget anything else, you might be uncomfortable or have to spend a bit of money, but you haven't destroyed your vacation.  Bring an ID, credit card, and meds, and you'll be okay.  

(My dad's original list was passport, traveller's checks, and the airplane tickets.  But e-tickets make traveling a little easier.  And we're no longer immortal or physically perfect.)

Here are some other things I will carry onto the plane today.  In addition to the things I usually carry to work with me (cell phone, wallet, lap top), these fall into three convenient categories:

Things to keep the brain comfortable  
  • books
  • something to write on, in case I want to make lists (like this one)  
Things to keep the outside of the body comfortable  
  • a shawl or blanket.  (Airports, airplanes, and restaurants are very cold, especially for someone who is used to living without air-conditioning.  I used to think this was a female/male thing, but on my last flight I loaned my shawl to a grateful, shivering business man.)
Things to keep the inside of the body comfortable  
  • empty water bottle
  • trail mix or other carry-able food 
  • cough drops or hard candy

The trail mix is something I make by mixing an oat-based cereal with pretzels, raisins, peanuts, soy nuts, and m&ms. The pretzels and cereal (okay, yes it really is store-brand cheerios) adds bulk; the peanuts and soy nuts are a bit of protein. The raisins and candy are an out-right bribe -- it's hard to bring dry food that is as appealing as the smell of hamburgers or bakery items. I make a huge amount of this -- I use the whole box or bag of everything I bought -- and then pack it up in smaller, person-sized pre-cycled bags, ready to dole out to the kids at that magic moment about 10 seconds before they start to get really hungry and bored.
A lot of trail mix, divided up into a bunch of pre-cycled plastic bags.
We're heading to the airport this morning, suitcases and bags already in the car. I hope I remembered my ID, credit cards, and medications!

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