I’m an expert packer. I even wrote, published and sold a travel organizer that was advice to packers and lists of what is most needed to pack for a trip, regardless of length.
One of the things that I’ve found over the years is that whether I’m going on a retreat for a three day weekend or a week abroad or Thanksgiving at Grandma’s, there is rarely a change in what I need. I still need my things, whatever that might be no matter the location or the length of time or even, believe it or not, the season.
My clothes don’t do a lot of switching around. I’ll add a coat in the cold months, and wear pants/jeans more than capris and cullotes, but overall, my outfits are universal to the seasons. I almost always wear a sweater, and my jewelry rarely ever changes. I wear the same sneakers every day unless I want to shake it up a bit and put on my black boots, but that’s a style choice, and not out of necessity.
One thing that I’m almost always guaranteed of is that I’ll forget something. I don’t forget to put it on my list, but I’ll prepare it, and then forget to grab it. It’s not a successful trip unless I’ve forgotten something necessary. In this day and age, however, 98% of the traveling we do takes us to places somewhat like where we live, and so forgetting something isn’t the end of the world; unless of course, you’re traveling to the end of the world. Prescription medicine is probably the only exception, and yes, I’ve forgotten this once on an emergency trip for a death in the family.
Still, it can be annoying as well as a waste of money to continually replace something that you already have at home, sitting on the bed or dresser waiting for you to return and scowl at your forgetfulness. And after a few times, you have a collection of them mocking you.
My top ten items that I’ve forgotten. I call this list My Forgetables.
1. Laundry bag. I have several laundry bags that I’ve bought for just the occasion of traveling, and half the time Iend up needing a grocery store bag.
2. Camera. I think Iforgot this one Thanksgiving. I had to use my cell phone, which at the time was horrible.
3. Cash. There are ATMs nearly everywhere, but the fees in airports or out of state are ridiculous. Outrageous might be a better word.
4. My poncho/scarf. I loved this poncho. I bought it for my Halloween costume, and it has several colors and a pattern that I’m not normally drawn to, and so I wanted it for a retreat as part of the mood and inspiration I was looking for. Needless to say, it stayed home. On the sofa. Within eyesight of the front door. I was going to wear it, and then forgot. Ack!
5. Boots. Same as the poncho. These are knee high black leather-looking boots that set the tone for my day. They give me a boost and almost feel like I’m another person with confidence and talent.
6. Eyeglass case. I’m always afraid that I’m going to knock my glasses to the floor when I’m sleeping in a strange place. These are always on my list and more than half the time, I forget them.
7. Water bottle. Cold. On the table next to the door. Or an empty one to fill up on the other side of security. Airport water costs upwards of $2.50 or more. Absurd.
8. Tylenol. If you need it, forgetting it is tragic.
9. Phone charger. I have a friend who always forgets his phone charger at his destination, so he never has it when he returns home. It takes about a week to ship it or buy a new one.
10. An extra bag or pocketbook. One of the things I’ve recently discovered is that carrying a bag for travel to a destination is not the same and doesn’t work as well while you’re on the trip itself. I either have a large bag that’s mostly empty with its contents strewn all over a hotel room or retreat center or I carry too much because I have no place safe to leave it. Now, I bring a bag to use on the trip that is different from the bag that I use to travel to and from the trip with.
What’s the one thing that you always need and invariably always forget on your travels?