Have you ever had that dream where you spend a few days running around at full speed then wake up at 3 in the morning and you can’t get your LCD monitor to fit into your carry on bag no matter which way you turn it?
I had that dream last night.
The dream continued at the check in counter. Since my monitor wouldn’t fit in my carry on, I wrapped it carefully in my checked bag along with all of the other necessities of life and AU. Predictably, the bag was overweight and I get the raised eyebrow from the agent. He notes that I’m female, blonde, and have a pink suitcase with a Hello Kitty sticker on it then says something about stepping out of line to move some shoes into my carry on. While I’d like to take him by the neck and tell him that just because my suitcases are pink and Hello Kitty is my BFF doesn’t mean its not full of critical infrastructure like a monitor, a laptop, portable hard drives, engineering textbooks, pentel sign pens and extra packs of HB lead.* Since I am working on being a lady, I just smiled and handed him my credit card. Then I pulled out my bedazzled blackberry and texted “OMG WTH” to all of my gal pals and cranked up Miley on my ipod.
I don’t travel all that much compared to our Technical Specialists, but I do have a few tricks that have helped me a lot. Maybe they will help you, too.
- Travel Space Bags- these little guys don’t need a vacuum cleaner to shrink your clothes in flat bundles. It takes some practice folding and arranging your clothes to get them perfectly flat. I also use the regular vacuum seal bags when taking things that won’t come back- like diapers when traveling with a baby.
- Painters tape- I use this to keep my shampoo and lotion closed, my lipsticks from coming apart, my hairspray from spritzing everything in sight. I also use it to bind books together so they don’t shift around, keep a leaky space bag from filling with air and taping index cards to my hotel room wall.
- Screw top contact lens cases- if you are traveling with only a carry on, use a contact case for foundation, lotion, hair gel, etc. I have a personal rule where if I have a checked bag, I carry absolutely no liquids in my carry on, unless I am doing a lot of transfers or something else where the risk of a lost bag is greater.
- Robeez bags- Robeez are little slippers for babies and toddlers that are popular here, but a necessity in Canada. In Canada, you don’t wear shoes in the house. All kids keep a pair of inside shoes on their desk at school and pile their boots by the entrance door. For babies, their inside shoes are Robeez. Robeez come in a little tough plastic zipper bag that is perfect for holding your ipod, earbuds, blackberry, digital camera and other little nibbly odds and ends. It’s easy to take them all out together and throw them in a bin if necessary. I also save the zipper bags that bedsheets come in for the same type of thing on a larger scale.
My flight boards in a few minutes, so either I will wake up from this dream in my warm bed at home, or when I hear the tell tale “ding ding ding’ of the airport slots at LAS.
*I do have everything on this list with me. I would, however, neglect to mention the four pairs of shoes, full set of hot rollers, three kinds of hairspray and two kinds of mascara in this scenario.