This guest post is brought to you by Amy Moore.
As a wife of a pilot, I travel standby. That means I don’t always make it to my destination, and I rarely make it using the original route I plan. Checking baggage is not an option, so I have to keep the luggage to a minimum. Add to that I usually have two preschoolers and their many accessories along with me. You probably can see that the packing process gets a little stressful.
But, I travel often and I like to think I’m good at it. I’ve got the TSA checkpoint down and can get through with the kids faster than most single passengers. I can route myself through very creative stopovers and sweet talk even the most jaded of gate agents to get me to my destination.
My constant packing failures keep me humble. I’ve tried to get a packing routine down to no avail. Every destination is different and requires me to think differently. I usually have a couple of items I put great importance on and I make sure I have them, but I never make it with everything I need. Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve forgotten on my various travels.
I forgot socks on a hiking trip once. That left me with one pair – the socks I was wearing. I tried to wash them in the sink one night during the trip, but that made the situation worse. It was really humid so they didn’t dry during the night, so then I had wet dirty socks. That one pair of socks got thrown away the moment I hit my door at home.
This is the same story as the socks. I had the pair of underwear I was wearing, and that was it! This time I ditched the pair I was wearing and went commando. Not my proudest moment, but you have to do what you have to do!
Believe it or not, I forget this a lot. I think it’s because I leave it out so I can use it the morning before I leave. I mindlessly put on deodorant and then forget to drop it in my bag. Once I forgot to put it on before I traveled, realized it at the airport right before my flight, and didn’t have any to put on. I bet that was fun for the people next to me.
Also an item I keep out for use before I leave. I never realize I’ve forgotten it until right before bed, and that’s usually too late to replace it. If I’m traveling with my husband I can beg to use his, but no one ever likes to use someone else’s toothbrush. Sometimes the front desk will have one for purchase, but I’m always embarrassed to make that call of shame.
5. Contact Solution and/or Contact Case
Another item I’ve forgotten more than once. My husband is blessed with perfect vision so he’s no help on this one. I’ve tried to use water as a replacement. Yeah, don’t do that! Dry, painful eyes taught me that lesson the hard way. I’ve used the disposable cups to put my contacts in when I’ve forgotten a case. That particular hotel had one of those plastic coffee trays in the bathroom with beverage stuff on it, so I set that on top of the cups. It wasn’t the best “case top” but I improvised. I’ve also slept in my contacts, but that’s an obvious last resort.
6. Reading Material
This may be the most painful of all. There are only so many times you can look through the Sky Mall catalog without falling into a bored coma. It can also lead to the dreaded chatty seatmate. I like to give off an anti-social vibe to avoid this scenario and burying my nose in a book or magazine is the easiest way. This is less of a problem now that I have an iPad, but just thinking about it makes me shudder.
I’ve been trying to learn from my mistakes. I now have a full set of travel toiletries so that I don’t have to think about packing anything the morning of my flight. Let’s hope that helps!
>>We’ve all had planning mishaps or packed the wrong things. Learn from others to avoid travel mistakes on your next trip!
Big thanks to Amy for sharing some of her not-so-proud packing moments with us! I’m sure we’ve all been there once or twice. Amy works for Everything-Everywhere.com as a liaison to the travel industry. You can catch up with her on Twitter.