It’s almost here! It’s almost here!
As I’m running out of things to do, and running high on pre-travel jitters (I haven’t even had tea in days, I swear!), I thought I’d share my to-do list and parts of my packing list that may, or may not, be very important and vital to a good packing and travel experience. Feel free to ignore any and all points.
- Start a Travel Playlist
I know. Completely necessary! As my musical tastes have a very wide range, the
songs I have collected have but one thing in common: they talk about traveling. Some are more of a stretch than others. “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” is an obvious choice, as is “The Parting Glass” and “The Traveling Man”, but “Baba Yetu” might raise some eyebrows, not to mention “Sister Christian” or “Arwen’s Vigil”. What can I say. I like variety! The important thing is to pick songs that put you in a travelling mood.
- Pack a Towel
Unless you’re a fan of Douglas Adams, this isn’t really necessary, though a towel can come in handy if you’re planning on staying in hostels, or get the urge to go swimming in nearby streams and lakes when hiking. Many hostels have towels, but charge to let you use them. As for my fellow Hitchhikers(kidding mom! No hitchhiking, I promise), this is RULE 1. Always know where your towel is. You never know when your home might be destroyed for an intergalactic bypass.
- Clear your camera’s sim card
This is one that is actually kind of important. Nothing like missing a Kodak moment because you just snapped your 2000th picture of old buildings. I hadn’t cleared my sim card since before my last trip to Europe. Whoops. On this same note, make sure your camera still works, and that you have plenty of rechargeable batteries. Phone pictures can’t do justice to the views your destination has to offer.
- Buy Gum
Gum is a travel necessity. Not only does it help clear your breath of the remnants of airplane food, it’s a good way to keep your ears from popping during take-offs and landings. It also keeps your mouth busy, so you don’t consume every eatable in sight once you’re freed from the mile-high prison of in-flight movies and Hobbit-sized legroom.
- Say Goodbye to your Books
- Accomplish the Impossible: Finish your Laundry
Is there such a thing as “no more dirty clothes”?
- Write a Blog Post
- Download plenty of reading material
Don’t for one minute think you could, or should, bring your precious hardback babies along with you. Promise them you’ll always love them, then find the free digital version. You’re responsible for carrying all your luggage. Luggage carts only exist in airports. Hauling half your weight in a backpack and two wheeled suitcases is not as fun as it sounds.
- Mentally Prepare Yourself to Talk to Strangers
- You’ll be sitting next to them for hours on end. They’ll see you eat. You’ll see them eat. It’ll be like some kind of awkward airborne blind date, with bad food, no excuses to leave early, and no friends to blame when it all goes south. If you’re lucky, they won’t be in the mood for talking, and you can bury yourself in a book until exhaustion takes over. But it’s good to be prepared.
- Chances are, you’re going to have to ask directions to the nearest bus stop/train station. Even without language barriers, this can be a daunting task.
- Freak out and think you’ve forgotten something important
You’re not really traveling until you freeze in terror on the way to the airport, certain that you’ve forgotten your laptop’s charger, spare batteries, a credit card, or, horror of horrors! your passport. The feeling of relief when you realize it’s all tucked safely where you packed it five days ago because you were super excited is almost worth the five-alarm heart attack. Almost. If you really have forgotten something, other than your passport, don’t worry; there are stores in other countries, after all, and Amazon delivers anywhere that has a postal service.
Everyone has a different “last minute” packing routine. Mine generally involves giving up on getting to sleep at about 4 AM, and prowling around my room until I’m positive everything is in its place. But Once everything is done, we’re all the same. We all just need to board the plane, stow our bags, and settle in to the beginning of a new adventure.