I am packing for a month-long trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I’m well-organized and an efficient packer. My suitcase of choice is a TravelPro Platinum II roll-aboard which I can pack for a trip of any length. The longest I’ve lived out of my roll-aboard is five weeks. No problem. It isn’t necessary to pack everything but the wallpaper. There are laundry services everywhere in the world. If I forget to pack something, experience has taught me that I can usually buy a replacement, if it’s really needed.
In the “old days,” I rolled my TravelPro aboard the plane and hefted it into the overhead bin. On arrival at my destination, I’d be off the plane and through passport control before most passengers on the flight found their baggage carousel. I quit rolling aboard a number of years ago because people got crazier and crazier about stowing their bags and other stuff on the plane. Now, I check my bag. Even if there’s a cost. I’m in no hurry. So, I let other people have the overhead space.
Preparing for a trip involves four processes:
- Arranging care for Robbie
When I travel, Robbie stays with Gwen and Mike who adore him and treat him as one of their own dogs. Going to Gwen and Mike’s is like going to grandma and grandpa’s. Robbie is excited to be there and makes himself right at home. When you’re fortunate enough to have someone who cares as much about your dog as you, hang on to them. Thery’re a priceless gift.
- Laundry and dry cleaning
A week or more before traveling, I begin thinking about the clothes I’ll pack, making sure that everything is laundered, dry cleaned, and ready to pack.
I clean my house before I travel because I enjoy coming home to a clean house. My friend, Harriett, shared with me her mother’s admonition: “Always leave your house in dying order.”
My friends, Annis and Judy, put a box in their office. As they think of things they will need to pack, they put them into the box so that when it’s time to pack they have everything at hand. I liked their idea and adopted it, with modifications, of course. I start with two lists, one for things I need to buy and the other for things I need to pack. As I add these items to the box, I check them off of the lists.
While I am in San Miguel, I will attend the San Miguel Writers’ Conference. Since I plan to write, I am bringing my laptop. I am also doing some photography workshops and a photo safari. That means bringing my camera bag full of camera gear. Here is where I draw the line. I will not check either my laptop or my camera. The rest of my stuff goes into my suitcase. I’m okay with that. I’m not as attached to my stuff as some people.