We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, March 16. 2015
An annual re-post for our travel readers -
Pic is JFK in a snowstorm last week. Managed to get out after an extensive de-icing of the airplane. Got lucky - the plane had managed to arrive the night before in a sleet storm.
I always forget something, so I have a travel checklist to run through.
Obviously one does not need everything for every trip - it depends on what your plans are - but I print it out, circle what I'll need for a given trip, then check them off when they're thrown in the bag. Perhaps it seems obsessive, but it is annoying to arrive somewhere and to find that you forgot to pack any socks. On my last trip, forgot to pack a t-shirt for snorkeling, had to buy one for $25. Mrs. BD does her packing her own way, and always brings too much stuff. That's what females do.
I travel too light, she travels too heavy.
My travel checklist below the fold. Obviously you just bring what you need for a given trip. Let me know what I have left out, and I will add items.
My special travel bag which I carry for meds and other stuff I can't lose like house + car keys
Boarding passes + bulkhead seats always
Swiss Army knife or Leatherman
cash, and lots of $5 bills for tips
meds - including meds one hopes one might not need, eg a Z-pak, advil,
neosporin, pepto-bismol, amoxicillin, rolaids, blister stickies,
camera + spare batteries + spare pocket camera
plastic trash bags for dirty clothing, wet clothing, or camera protection
stuff to read and travel guides
big tote bag/beach bag
small travel kit with grooming stuff, tooth stuff, etc.
- special gear for specially-planned activities (eg snorkeling gear, fishing gear, guns
and ammo and hunting stuff, tennis, beach, skiing, whatever)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Add to travel checklist:
ziploc bags (endless uses)
good knives (one paring, one chef)
coffee and filters
My problem always was forgetting to be sure the knives were all in the checked luggage. Many is the cool little penknife I've had to abandon at the security checkpoint.
I just go, minimal planning, even of the itinerary. whatever I need, I'll get when I need it, and I'll know I'm there when I get there. since I dislike foreign venues, including the east coast, this has never caused any real difficulties.
Would leave the antibiotics (except the cream) out, too many resistant bugs out there already. In the checked baggage a cork screw, maybe a leather man, definitely a four blade swiss army knife, a set of house keys. In the carry on, the makings of one meal (never know), a full water bottle, yet another set of house keys. flash light and much of the ten outdoor essentials TSA permits.
Unless things have changed in the last few months, you cannot get past TSA with a bottle of water in your carry-on luggage. They will take it away from you and add it to their huge pile of confiscated discards.
RE: Water bottle:
I carry $2 bills for tipping instead of $5's. People seem to really like getting $2 bills and I spend less. If they need more than $2.00 for a tip, I give them 2 bills.
I Also carry some type of small knife (Swiss army works) on any trip, both inside and outside of the US. A man without a knife is a man without a life.
Also, a small roll of TP (in a ziplock bag & flattened to save space) comes in handy in times of need!!!
Flew home from a hunt trip in Canada one time with Habanos and shotgun ammo in my jacket pockets by mistake. Forgot to empty my pockets.
Sheesh. Anyway, nobody noticed.
I know what you mean. I almost always forget my pocket knife in the bottom of my purse, and it's never been noticed yet. Even when you weren't allowed them. Scary.....
A small headlamp (straps around your head with an elastic band). They can be a real help at night - it leaves both hands free for searching through luggage, automobile glove boxes, etc., and can also be used as a book light (if you like old-fashioned PAPER books like me).
A trailer to carry it all in?
Carry an empty water bottle; fill it after you're past TSA.
I use a stainless steel bottle (Klean Kanteen), which when full could possibly double as a anti-hijacking device.
And yes, go through the TSA with it empty and fill afterwords.
I only travel with carry-on and have for many years.
This eliminates much of what you pack above. I do wear a sports jacket on boarding and remove it quickly to put in overhead on my bag.
At most, I may also carry my atttache in addition (if I have to bring my laptop and work, altho I have put my laptop in my other carry-on to avoid the attache).
Water? If need be, buy one bottle when you arrive and reuse.
iPhone as camera. wear running/walking shoes and pack one pair of nicer shoes, unless I need them shined, IN which case I wear the nicer shoes, have them shined in airport (St. Louis is known for its great shine and where I met Muhamed Ali while getting a shine. I have a signed card from him.)
Get a TSA pre screen card and a rolling under seat suitcase. I go on distant painting trips with nothing more and always have enough stuff. Wear your clunker shoes/boots and winter coat on the plane. ROLL your clothes into the tiny case and an amazing amount of stuff fits therein. If you are over 45 no one is looking at you anyhow no matter how cute and thin you are, perish the thought, and just wear/pack what you normally wear which is what is usually most becoming anyhow. I mail my oil paint ahead ahead so there is no possibility of zealous screeners confiscating it. Been there, and it was ugly. This is from someone who, decades ago, took 8 suitcases to Italy for the winter and did not even open 6 of them.
ROLLING your clothes is the VERY BEST way to put lots of crap in a small space. The fine art of rolling clothes is a must learn in the U. S. N. boot camp. (At least it used to be.) How do ya think sailors get all their crap in that sea bag or an on-board clothes lockers? While serving aboard a destroyer the sailor's locker space was 1' X 1' X 6' which stored every thing but ones pee coat. And, yes, I served with honor but not enthusiasm of destinction.
A couple Marines fit all their stuff in a seabag using carefully cut plywood plates and threaded rods.
This can be used to greatly reduce the amount of space clothing can take up, but it's known to be harsh on fragile items.
A seabag isn't supposed to weigh over 200 pounds.
Thanks for the list. The comments supplement it.
Of course, regional variations apply.
Rather be lookin' at it than lookin' for it is my motto.
Speaking of traveling, has anyone heard from Doc Mercury? How's he doing?
I only bring a carry on and a monstrously heavy camera backpack so wouldn't bother with much of the above. I don't travel to get dressed up. I wear my hiking boots on the plane (your momma wears combat boots!) as they take up so much space, and just bring one basic black dress and costume jewellry and ballet flats in case we go out to dinner. We don't usually, as dinner is expensive: we try to get hotels with a free buffet breakfast, then get bread and cheese for lunch, and maybe one or two good dinners to get a taste of the cuisine.
But mostly, we'd rather be out exploring, or hiking or getting photographs, or tracking wildlife, than gussied up.
When we were in Antalya, we had the bus drop us off at the most awesome antiquities museum and stayed til it closed while the rest of our group (all incredibly cheerful Aussies) passed on the art to go back early to booze at the hotel. After the museum closed, we happy culture vultures walked several miles back enjoying watching the various groups (Russians, Turkish families, EUropean tourists, all sorts) on the beach.
I've always been grateful for a long ago recommendation of yours about those blister pad things. We walk 8-10 miles every day on our trips and when it's humid, we always end up needing those.
For trips I like the Ex Officio washable clothes in exciting colors like black and bone that can squish into a tiny space in your carry on. With a few scarves to brighten an outfit up or cover myself in a mosque, plus a goretex jacket, and a packable down jacket, a bathing suit, and a travel towel that folds into about four square inches, I'm pretty much set. When you are carrying thousands of dollars of Nikon and Olympus gear with you, it pays to be very inconspicuous to try and deter thieves, so I never carry a REAL camera bag but just toss it all into a grey bucket Pacsafe slash proof backpack with no logos.
Also, I minimize loud colors or patterns that make me look American or rich, and never wear camera straps that advertise the brand. Knock on wood, looking like a churchmouse has worked so far. I get lots and lots of pictures with nobody even noticing me or my gear).
I do always bring either an Ipad or a Nook so that I can preview my photos, and have lots to read on boring train or plane rides, and a built in GPS and don't have to carry stupid heavy paper travel guides. Also a few packets of Starbucks Via if, God forbid, we end up in a cheap hotel with no breakfast and no coffee.
Blister Pads? Please tell me more--I once covered the south of France with two feet which had open sores on the entire bottom of each foot. The pharmicist was stunned when I walked (hobbled) in there to ask for help! Just couldn't get enough of the culture! Those uneven brick roads were playing havoc. I thought I was being smart by bringing my Mephistos working shoes--too hot and sweaty the didn't help. The clark sandals with the rough sole lining created even more of problem. Pads? Would love to know more!
this is one type (made by Bandaid) http://www.band-aid.com/read_review&productId=1053 They are waterproof and stay on for at least a couple of days by which time your blister is healed, and you have been able to keep on hiking and sightseeing. I've seeen other types, and as Bird Dog has noted they do sell minor regional variations in Europe.
Looks a lot like the list I made years ago for going camping.
-Sandals leather and rubber
-Boat shoes I think they're called, rubber soles with stretchy mesh upper
-multiple credit cards stashed in different locations so if your wallet disappears you're OK. Besides with lots of cards, you can buy anything you forgot, which is why I own 3 tropical straw hats.
-sunglasses, which I forget every second trip.
For blister prevention allow me to recommend Kentwood socks. A friend passed the tip on to me two years ago as I walk while playing golf and always had problems with blistering no matter how well conditioned my feet should have been from the miles I put on them. Long story short, I have had no blisters in the past two golfing season. A caution, they are expensive, upwards of $20 a pair but well worth it to me.
mama always take's one of those rubber, wedge door stop, it has actually been used on more then one occasion
Travel light, travel light, travel light. And furthermore: travel light. For a five month backpacking trip to South America, nearly all in the Andes, I took 2-3 pairs of pants- one a quick dry- 2 shirts, and a sweater. Plastic poncho. I bought cheap athletic shirts on the trip. A copy of the South American Handbook came in handy. I sold it before I left South America. Sleeping bag.
For travels to the Third World, I give a five-star recommendation to Polar Pure Water Disinfectant. It uses dissolved iodine crystals to disinfect water. You add a capful of the dissolved crystals to a quart of water, and wait about a half hour. The iodine taste isn't strong, and if you object to it,you can add kool-aid or the like. I used it in Central America, including mountain streams and rivers. When I used Polar Pure, I NEVER had a problem with the runs. I cannot recommend it more highly. It lasts a very long time.
Not long ago the gummint took Polar Pure off the market because someone had bought it to use the iodine crystals to make some drugs- meth? Good to see it's back on the market.
Another source of safe water is to get hot, sterilized water into your system. Coffee- a pleasure in most places in Latin America- and soups help. Before I went to South America, I never drank coffee. I found out that plain Colombian is rather tasty. I later found out that coffee was useful in keeping awake at 4 a.m. on oil rigs.