I'm going to LA tomorrow to visit my BFF. My bosses told me to take a vacation. Seriously. They did. So I used the magic of Visa and Safari to make it happen. That's cool, but now I have to pack. I can't put it off much longer. I am not much of a packer; I throw a bunch of stuff in the smallest bags that will reasonably carry me through and hope I didn't forget anything. It takes me like 20 minutes. (I spent a half hour when I went to Italy. I figured leaving the continent warranted another 10 minutes.) Even now, I'm blogging to put off packing for another few minutes.
My friends are all methodical packers. I discussed my methods with one recently and was struck by how very different people can be about this issue, and I decided the main dividing factor is whether or not you're a geek. Geeks do gadgets FIRST.
Here's my plan. For any trip.
1. Pack underwear, something to sleep in, my toothbrush, and my phone charger. Because these are the things that (a) I'm most likely to forget and (b) I can least likely do without.
2. Decide which major gadget will go with me. This takes most of the 20 minutes I spend on packing. Laptop or iPad? Both? If iPad, will the keyboard go? This decision launches the remainder of the packing because then I know which bag I'm taking. (Minor gadgets that go everywhere with me: iPhone and Canon S90.)
3. Put gadget(s) in bag. Include cables and widgets (camera kit or whatever). Put DSLR in bag. Decide I don't need it and take it out. Repeat several times. Add a half-dozen nursing journals which I will not read on the plane but which will make me feel that I'm a responsible professional because I have them with me. Add a vampire book which I will read on the plane in case catastrophe strikes and my iPad/Kindle/iPhone all die and I can't read e-books.
4. Plan for toiletry contingencies beyond the toothbrush. Yeah, you roll your eyes, if you don't have a lot of piercings. I might need hemastats or witch hazel or an extra bead or ball here and there. I NEED MY DIAL SOAP. Between taking care of my piercings and my little blond afro, this is my second major time-consumer.
5. Final 2 minutes: stuff extra pants, shirts, and a sweatshirt into bag. A sweatshirt is required even if I'm traveling to the Sahara, because the hotter it is outside, the more air-conditioners get cranked.
Voila. I note that most people seem to spend a lot of time packing clothing and then toss a book on top of the clothing. Like, a lot of time. They pack A DAY AHEAD OF TIME. Eh. So now I'm going to go pack. See you in 20 minutes.