Don't Travel Like This

I love to travel, but I am actually a terrible travel-er.

Here I am… leaving for Guatemala in less than 24 hours, and I have packed absolutely nothing. I mean, I have the bag my husband prepared for me to bring so he could reduce luggage with the baby. And I have the electronics that are much cheaper here in the US than in Latin America ready to smuggle through customs. But that’s it!

Assuming those items don’t fill up my suitcase, I will need to bring along some clothes, socks, and books for myself.

Books are actually an ordeal for me to pack. I should probably get a reader of some kind, but that seems too simple. I have to pack several options because… you know… I never know what kind of mood I’ll be in. And what if I finish something on the plane ride there and have no additional material? Or it’s something I don’t feel like reading! Backups required. Of course, right now I’m in the middle of a hard back. Ain’t that the way?

I think I like the drama of packing under pressure. It really amps up the enthusiasm around an upcoming venture. I get to be mildly panicked, peaking desperately at the clock every five minutes. Then, I chastise myself, “Why did I wait? I need to go to bed. I have an early flight….”

We haven’t actually traveled much this year. Not like last year… when the baby was on fourteen flights and I boarded several others without her. Still, for some unknown reason, with all this gallivanting, I have never bothered to purchase travel toiletries. My co-workers mock me.

Why do I not have a separate travel bag stocked with shampoo, curl cream and toothpaste? No idea.

No, instead, I like to rummage through my chaotic kitchen drawers, clamoring for gallon-sized Ziploc bags, of which I always seem to have only one. Then, I try to cram all my full-sized products into said bag just in case any of them decide to explode mid-air. (Remember that Friends episode?)

Really, I think most of my packing woes stem from indecision. Black or brown? Do I need a coat? A jacket, maybe? How casually or dressy should I go? By “dressy” I pretty much mean “dark denim”, so let’s not get carried away here. Wait… will dark denim be dressy enough?

 So I’m just giving a little preview of what will be happening in my home tonight. Imagine shoes tossed everywhere, grocery bags tied into knots trying to stand in for Ziploc bags, and periods of deep breathing and heart palpitations.

It’ll be fun. Actually, since I’m writing this in the morning, maybe I should run by the store and pick up some Ziploc bags and travel shampoo. Well, we’ll see… I’ve got all day…

What are your packing tips and tricks? 


  1. Sarah! I think you should definitely pick up travel stuff! I've seen a zipper pouch in the travel section that is filled with all the essentials and it's already "carry on bag" ready. The right ozs. and bag size, etc.

    And, Santa or someone needs to bring you a Kindle. You and Rory Gilmore are for sure, prime candidates!

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  3. The plain Kindle is $69.

  4. That's so funny that you referenced Rory... I actually thought about that scene when I was writing! :)

  5. You've seen my compact packing abilities, or lack there of:) How is it that for a weekend I can fill up a full size suitcase with no problem?! I will say that on my last flight my checked bag weighed in just under the limit at 49.5lbs--a personal best!
    One thing I always mean to do for travel is to create a master packing list to keep for all trips. That way I only have to customize my articles and not worry about forgetting the basics...like underwear...which I am not admitting has happened:) I still haven't done it yet, so I will gladly throw that onto your to-do list today. You know what they say, busy people get things done!
    Good luck with your contraban! Have a safe trip and a great time!

  6. I can never bring myself to pack ahead of time! I tell myself it's because I just mentally pack...
    Totally jealous you are going to guate. Can't wait to read about your trip!

  7. Sarah-- I think you're just bringing out your inner-Guatemalan side : ) All I can say if having a already ready bag of toiletries is the way to go. I have a everything I could probably every need-- shampoo/conditioner, gel, soap, advil, bobbypins, and whatever else all in one thing. Then when I travel, or have an overnight event with teams, etc--- it's ready to go. One less thing to think about.

    Also, I got a kindle last year and LOVE it. Especially because you can check out books for FREE from your local library-- all right from your computer. As long as you have a library card-- check and see if you library does it. It's been great. You can make wishlists, holds and check out up to 8 books. It's ben my life saver down here.

  8. These are awesome tips friends! After writing this post I did decide to "splurge" in the travel-sized aisle at Target. I mean, really, I should have done this years ago.... And you guys are selling me on a kindle... we'll see... And Holly - late last night I stated thinking I want a standard packing list for those things you can't pack the night before but need to remember in the morning (toothbrush, cell phone charger, etc.). I feel like I'm constantly writing that list. :)


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