I usually check a bag when I travel. As much as I love to travel, I don’t have the time or money to travel enough to qualify for frequent flyer perks like seat upgrades, so I usually end up with the cheapest seats available. This means that, despite generally arriving at the airport at least two hours ahead of time, I am in the last “boarding group.” by the time I get on the plane, the overhead bins are full. I am also five feet two inches tall, so shifting stuff around in the overhead bins so that I can fit my bag in there just isn’t going to happen.
There are some pluses to checking a bag, however. For example, while everyone else is still fighting over the overhead bin space, I am usually buckled in my seat and reading whatever book I brought with me. I also can walk faster through the airport than many others because I only have the one bag, rather than having to drag both my carry-on and my personal item through the airport.
As a result, I can bring some things with me, like a full bottle of shampoo for my son and me to share. I keep my hair short, but my son is growing his out, so he uses more shampoo than I do. Rather than trying to see if one of those three-ounce carry-on bottles will hold enough for both of us, or taking my chances that the little freebie bottles of shampoo won’t have an unfortunate effect on my finicky hair, I can just bring a bottle of shampoo that I know makes my hair look pretty good, and know that I will have enough to get both of us through the week. I also spend most of my hours indoors, so we are still working our way through the same container of sunblock that we bought in 2013. It expires in October, so I will want to bring the same container with us so that we can get as much use out of it as possible.
Then there’s clothing. I generally pack at least one more shirt and pair of underpants than the number of days I am traveling. If I am going for more than a week and know that someplace where we will be staying has a laundry facility, I will pack eight of each and plan to do some laundry while I am there (and if I am planning to do laundry, I will bring some of those laundry detergent packs/pods in my luggage so that I don’t have to pay inflated prices for detergent at my destination). I also pack at least three bottoms. I generally wear these foofy skirts when I travel (one of the skirts I travel with is a “broomstick skirt” that my mom bought me. My mom died in 2006, so the skirt is at least nine years old, but I only wear it when I’m on vacation, so it still looks pretty good). I bring one of those skirts (I generally wear the other one on the plane) and either a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, or a pair of capri pants. I generally only bring one set of pajamas, since I don’t wear them for that long in any one day. I only pack my bathing suit if the hotel I am staying at has a pool or if I have an actual planned beach day. I don’t have either for this trip, so I will not be bringing my bathing suit.
Since I am wearing a top, a bottom, and a pair of underpants while I travel, that actually means that I have two extra tops and pairs of underpants.
I generally bring at least two pairs of shoes, one pair of sandals and a pair of the Skechers Go Walk shoes that I wear for work at my day job.
I have asthma, so my maintenance medication and at least one rescue inhaler are required. I got a new rescue inhaler a couple of weeks ago, so I’ll probably bring that one.
Then, at the last minute, I throw my daily things in the bag, my allergy pills, my acetaminophen (paracetamol to anyone reading this who speaks UK English), my vitamins, my facial sunblock and cleanser, toothbrush, toothpaste, anti-perspirant and things of that nature.
I used to knit on plane rides, but I haven’t done much knitting in recent years. These days, I now bring at least one physical book, several ebooks, and my tablet computer. Now that I’m doing my National Geographic reading project, I will start bringing a couple of those with me on trips, as well. And since I am bringing my phone and tablet, I have to remember to pack their chargers.