Heutzie’s tips for packing for travel

I’ve taken my fair share of trips and learned a few things along the way about packing for vacation. This list isn’t complete. These are just points I’ve encountered that I’ve never seen covered in other travel tip lists.

  1.  Plan what you’re going to wear. Pick a color palette. That way you’ll be able to assemble more outfits with fewer traveltipspieces of clothing because everything will coordinate with everything else. For example, for my next vacation, I have a palette of black, tan and red. I’m only packing black bottoms, a pair of red walking shoes and a pair of black ones and a pair of black dress shoes. All my tops will coordinate with each other and all tops work with all the bottoms. A few scarves will change up the look and yes, I will wear items more than once.
  2. Think through your entire outfit and your entire day/itinerary. I forgot to pack socks once and had to spend the entire first day of a business trip wearing boots and bare feet. Disastrous? No. But not ideal either. Similarly, I showed up at a resort with no pajamas. At home I sleep in the nude, but on this trip I was sharing a room with my gal pal, Cheryl, who luckily had brought extra pajamas.
  3. Wheeled suitcases are great and take the lug out of luggage. But you better be able to carry your suitcase, if necessary. Wheels fall off. Stairs and landings happen and sometimes – it’s happened to me – you will be required to hoist your luggage over your head and through a bus window. Besides, airlines charge extortionist rates for overweight luggage and who wants to start a vacation being slapped with a fee?
  4. As a solo traveller, I recommend you travel lightly enough that you and your suitcase will fit in a bathroom stall together. You cannot leave your luggage out unattended and do you really want to leave it with a stranger?
  5. Forgot trying to de-wrinkle clothes in a steamy bathroom. I make wrinkle releaser. Put 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of liquid fabric softener in a clean 500 ml (approximately 2 cup) spray bottle. When you arrive at your destination, fill the bottle with water. Spray this mixture on any wrinkled, washable clothing and hang. The wrinkles will fall right out. I haven’t ironed anything in years!
  6. Pack a few plastic bags. They’re great for your return trip when you’ll have dirty or wet clothing you want to store and possibly bottles of liquids (perfume, wine from a prince’s vineyard) that you don’t want leaking onto your gear.

Bon voyage!

Nothing left to lose

We were boarding our chartered bus about to start a three-week tour of Britain with 30 strangers from all over the world. My mother, surveying the group, turned to me and whispered “Watch out for the old ones. They’ve got nothing to lose!”

I laughed. At the time, I was just 26. My mother’s warning conjured images of desperate men and women cornered in a final gun battle with the police. With nothing left to lose they were capable of anything.

These old people I was about to spend nearly a month with – what kind of geriatric desperados were they? Every day they defiantly stared down the Grim Reaper. They knew each day could be their last and they sucked the life out of every moment with gusto.

These bright-eyed people with nothing left to lose had done the hard work of living – jobs, mortgages, spouses, children, in-laws and all the other myriad adult decisions we have to make in a lifetime – done and dusted. cool-old-people1009-640x480

Now they could throw all caution to the wind. Carefree and thoroughly engaged in the world, they didn’t give a damn what anyone thought or said about them. They wore whatever pleased them. Said what was on their mind. They stayed up all night talking, laughing and dancing and ate pie for breakfast, if they wanted to.

As I remember them now, those people with nothing left to lose had it all.