Saturday, July 16, 2011

Traveling by the book

I keep repeating  the mantra, "the only things I can really need to remember on a trip are ID, credit card, and medication."  Nothing else I leave behind will really ruin my trip.  Still, I admit I've made some expensive mistakes in the past by not packing right.

Swimsuits are close to the top of my mistake list.  I love playing in or near the ocean, and even more, I'm a sucker for hot tubs, especially hot tubs that contain my husband.  Three times in the past five years I've broken down and bought a swimsuit while I was traveling.  This is expensive for a pair of reasons: I already have suits at home, and even if I didn't, I could have bought them cheap if I'd planned ahead.  My cheapest travel-bought suit was $45; my yard-sale suits (brand new racing suits) cost $2 each.

Books are another thing I have thrown away a lot of money on.  In this case, I mean "thrown away" literally. I'm a fast reader, and would often buy a novel in one airport, read it on the plane, and toss it at the next airport.  (Actually, I'd leave it at the side of a trash can, just in case another traveller wanted it).

I get yard-sale books for a quarter apiece, but I used to read them as soon as I got them . . . until finally I wised up and started storing my yard-sale novels in my suitcase, instead of on my bookshelf.

So now my suitcase, when I store it at home, contains these five items:
  1. A toiletries bag, refilled after each trip;
  2. A swim suit
  3. A pile of books
  4. A pair of travel pajamas
  5. A clear plastic bag with a paper saying "chargers".
(The last is to remind me to pack my computer and phone chargers).  Your list might be a different one, but the idea is the same: learn from silly mistakes and store those things you just-gotta-have so you'll have them when you gotta.


  1. This made me laugh. I've had to buy a new computer charger twice because I've forgotten to pack mine and they are NOT cheap. Glad to know I'm not the only person who does that :).

  2. Gives a new meaning to "cash or charge?", doesn't it?

  3. ooh, I like the idea of storing a pair of travel pajamas. I always remember to bring a suit (my mom ingrained that in us early -- pack a suit, no matter what, for vacations. you never know when you'll need one!). And I'm good with books. But I have often forgotten to bring pajamas.