Jessie: Enjoying the height of daffodil season.
Every year about this time my thoughts turn to travel. Each spring I take a trip to Bethesda, Maryland for the Malice Domestic conference. I generally fly to the conference and with all the changes to air travel have learned to pack into the smallest carry on suitcase I can manage. I love the challenge of whittling the possibilities down to the fewest items I can manage. I aim to include one item per day I will be traveling plus one extra. Accessories, underpinnings, sleepwear and formal wear don’t count.
Over the years I’ve developed a list of clothing items that mix and match and collapse down to almost nothing when tossed in a bag. I usually only take one extra pair of shoes. I pack one pair of trousers, one day dress and one skirt. I scrunch in a couple of scarves for variety and a couple of shirts and a sweater. I wear one pair of earrings on the plane and plop a second into the suitcase. I throw a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen and a bright red lipstick into a toiletries pouch along with my toothpaste and toothbrush.
I never leave home without my iPad mini, my phone and the charger that juices them both. I load my iPad with books to read, maps of the area and my latest writing project in the Scrivener app. Just before heading out the door I tuck a small knitting project like socks or a lace-weight shawl into my purse and loop an infinity scarf that converts to a cardigan or a dress around my neck to keep out the blasts of arctic chill planes always seem to provide. So far, I have never missed anything I haven’t bothered to take along but have sometimes regretted the things I did make room for in the suitcase.
Readers, do you travel light? Do you pack for every possible contingency? Do you have any favorite travel gear you would recommend or tips to share?