Friday, May 11, 2012

Packed And On Our Way - Almost

I will be starting our vacation in Jamaica tired, because I AM SO EXCITED THAT I COULDN'T SLEEP last night!  It's gonna be great!

So I got thinking about the various vacations I've been on over the years and the packing nightmare extravaganza it can be, especially for travel on planes and out of the country.  I thought that today I'd share a few packing tips and thoughts with you.

Here are my bags ready to go; the husband/lover/best friend is more of a procrastinator and his are not ready.  Mine were actually ready, well, let's just say I was packing 10 months ago when I booked the trip.


1.  Label every bag - suitcase and carry-on.

2.  Put a ridiculous thing on every checked suitcase.  No one else will accidentally pick up your bag with that stupid thing on it.

That fluffy bow has travelled far and wide.  Nobody wants it.
3.  Follow the rules of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) for packing.
     - No sharp stuff

              Story of my experience:  Although this event did not happen at an airline security station, it did happen at a tourist security check.  My husband and I were visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. I put my purse through the xray tunnel, and it suddenly set off a sh** storm among the guards.  You see, I had forgotten about the 6 inch long pocket knife in the bottom of my bag.

You may be wondering why do I carry that weapon?  Because my son gave it to me - it is a hand-me-down, and I use it for tasks like cutting tags off of newly purchased clothing.  A bit overkill?  Probably, but there it was.  Our options were to surrender it to the guards (my son would have killed me), return it to our car (it was 22 miles away - we had come by subway), or leave and think of another plan.  So we left the building and formed our covert operation.  I watched the D.C. policemen and gave my husband the "all clear" signal.  He buried the knife under a bush in a garden near the museum.  After touring the museum, we did the process in reverse.  The knife is happily back in the bottom of my purse.

     - Use the 3-1-1 plan 
     - See the TSA guidelines for details

4.  Consider putting a strap around your suitcase for additional stay-togetherness and easy identification at the baggage claim area.

              Story of my experience:  Years ago my husband and I travelled to Trinidad and made our way to the baggage claim area to find my suitcase split open, undies and private stuff coming out all over.  It was a new suitcase, so I can only attribute this to overly aggressive baggage handling.  Whatever the cause, I was left with the mess.  A strap may have helped.  My parents have been using straps for years, so I have finally moved a millimeter closer in wiseness to them.

I found this at Walmart in the travel section.

1.  Next time I purchase luggage, I will buy a yellow suitcase, because:
     - Yellow is my favorite color.
     - Nobody else has a yellow suitcase.

2.  Wear comfortable shoes to the airport that are easy to get in and out of (you will have to do this) and do not smell.

3.  Get there early.  It is more relaxing to sit for an hour having a snack and watching weird people doing weird things interesting travelers, than rushing in late and potentially missing your flight.

4.  Consider the time between leaving home and arriving at your destination as part of the adventure, and not just a means to an end.  (This applies to the process of losing weight, too.)

5.  Give your travel partner the window or aisle seat, whatever he/she wants.  It is best when they are happy.  You don't want to see that "loose screw" marking on the wing anyway.

So off we go!  If I can get a good internet connection from Jamaica, I will blog Postcards From Jamaica
each day.  Watch for them.

Tu-da-loo!  Arrivederci!  Au revoir!  Bon voyage!

1 comment:

  1. Just a thought...if you bought your "bright strap so no one else would possibly mistake your luggage for theirs" at the WALMART travel section, I can't help but wonder how many other wise walmart shoppers thought the same and bought the same ridiculous green strap. hehe. I personally would have hung a neon green leopard print thong from the luggage tag. Then NO ONE would want to claim such an embarrasing bag. I hope you two have a very relaxing wonderful time. I hope one day when i grow up eric and I can go on vacations like that :) Love you both, hope the loose screw in the wing holds. Rachel