Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

I Need Some Traveling Tips, Please

Any seasoned travelers out there?

I’m leaving Friday to attend two of Dean Wesley’s Smith’s Writing Workshops, and I’m starting to get antsy about what to pack. (Though, I’ve got a nice pile started already…)

It’s two, four-day workshops with a day in between. So my plan was to pack for four days in a carry-on, and commit to doing laundry on the free day.

The Husband of Awesome™ (who will be holding down the fort while I’m gone – Thanks, Dear!) tells me I should pack everything I need and just check my bag.

Either way I’m in a quandary. I don’t have much experience with packing well. (Don’t get me wrong: I’ve traveled. I’ve packed! But all my trips for the last decade have been car or train trips. It’s so easy to over pack — because there’s room — and so I do.)

I like the idea of carrying on a day pack, and my laptop, and then just buying what I need when I get there…but I can see how checking a bag makes for easier entry and departure from the plane – not to mention that I can over-stuff a carry-on with lots of entertaining items for the long trip.

Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing Oregon. I’m finally going to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean…can’t wait for that!

Any suggestions for making travel easier?

6 comments to I Need Some Traveling Tips, Please

  • A.R. Hill

    Hi Kelly,

    Just my two cents here – I have done a *lot* of traveling via air with just a backpack and my purse (sometimes for trips as long as two weeks – my husband calls me the “Carry-on Nazi”). I usually only pack one or two small items for entertainment on the plane (iPod, book or some such) and then a journal/sketchbook for writing or drawing and plenty of pens/pencils. I find that I will generally only get to use those items on my flight anyway and it’s a pain to lug the extra things around everywhere afterwards.

    Rolling clothes into tight rolls instead of folding them helps them to take up less room, so you can easily fit four days of clothes into a backpack or duffel that way with plenty of room to spare. If you’re planning to pick up toiletries when you arrive, then that saves even more space (that is one area where I tend to waaaay overpack myself). If you need to pack dress shoes, flats or low wedges take up less space than heels, and so on.

    If you aren’t already aware, most flights charge extra to check baggage these days (though if that’s not a concern, then it IS a lot easier to check baggage, but then there’s also the worry that the airliner will lose said bag or send it to Zimbabwe by mistake). Also, checking baggage takes a lot longer than just going through with your carry-on. Again, I may be saying something you already know here, but pack all valuable items like jewelry and electronics in your carry-on, as there are many unscrupulous airline workers out there.

    All that aside, your trip sounds awesome! I hope you have lots of fun at your workshops, a safe journey and a safe return!

    A. R.

    • Hi A.R.

      This is terrific! Thanks. I’ve gotten a lot of differing opinions on the check/don’t check baggage thing…and so far, don’t check outweighs all else for numerous reasons. I’ll be carrying on…. and taking my luggage on the plane, too. 🙂 I have to carry at least one notebook for the class, so your ideas are spot on. Appreciate it! k.

  • Charlie Crizer

    The Pacific – for here be dragons.

  • Charlie

    Well, if you want to find dragons, they are a bit over that Pacific horizon. Or at least thats what the old charts say.

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