March 15, 2012

My Essentials for Travel

Tomorrow morning I am hopping on a plan to join Ray in Denver, Colorado where he has been working all week. We're spending a long weekend near the mountains. I frequently dream of traveling and really enjoy it when I actually go places. I've been lucky enough to travel somewhat regularly and I've learned a lot from visiting new places. As I pack up to go I am trying to keep in mind some of the things I've learned from previous travel experiences. Here are a few of my travel essentials.

1. I always bring a book to read but I also love just staring out the window, day dreaming, and taking in the scenery. I might bring my knitting so I can do something useful while I stare.

2. I always bring a book to write in. On long trips I try to write about my experiences every day, on short trips I bring it just in case I feel like writing.

3. I finally made a portable placemat for us to use. I'm sad to say that I haven't traveled with this before, but it is light, organized and I'm really excited that we'll have reusable utensils and napkins whenever we need them. I hate using disposable utensils and a cloth napkin can always come in handy. I know this will be perfect for us to use on bike or car trips but I'm bringing it for a test run this time. This placemat holds two sets of utensils and two napkins (I'll be adding some placemats for two to my shop next week)!

4. Camera. I'm not always good about taking pictures while traveling, it is challenging to find a balance between experiencing and capturing an experience. I love taking photos, though, so I want to get better at photographing while traveling.

5. Reusable mug. I love my Kleen Canteen mug because it works perfectly as a water bottle, too. I try to bring it wherever and whenever I am on the go so I don't have to waste paper or plastic when I'm thirsty (or need something warm to drink).

6. I love this little suitcase. It was my grandmother's overnight bag complete with locking closures and her initials near the handle. It fits everything I need for a weekend, it's easy to carry though the airport and fits in the overhead compartments of an airplane so much better than the rolling suitcases everyone tries to cram in.

One more thing I've learned to bring with me: snacks. I tend to overlook the need to eat and pretend that I'll be okay but then I get so hungry that I don't enjoy myself. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was in France and after visited Monet's gardens at Giverny I soon realized I was starving and couldn't stay as long as I would have liked. That was a long time ago, but I try to keep this in mind when I am away from home.

Where do you want to go on your next trip and what essentials will you bring?

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