Pack It Up!

So we went on a road trip this past Presidents’ Day weekend. It’s the first pack-your-stuff travel I’ve had in 2023. After my four conferences last year, you’d think I’d be a pro.

I’ve got these handy-handy travel items:

  • Packing cubes to fit my gear; I even have these compression ones (not that they pack any tighter)
  • Compact rolling suitcase; the story is that I actually ordered a super lightweight case, and when it “showed up” on my doorstep, it’d morphed into the heaviest suitcase set imaginable (dear reader, I returned those—with much help)
  • Toiletry bag with a nifty hook to hang it anywhere (and oh so many pockets!)

But despite my detailed list and travel tools, I still managed to forget things on this trip:

  • Music: There’s this area where you go through the mountains, and it has zero radio reception. I usually bring along some CDs to entertain the kids me (yes, that’s right, I said CDs—don’t judge)
  • Ereader: The smart me decided to carry my phone for reading to save on space. Only I’d forgotten that these library books I e-borrowed had recently expired. Whoops. (Never fear, I did also take a physical book along with me. Yeah, not sure how I did that math on saving space.)
  • Plug: I poorly timed this outing with an online event I was supposed to run. I even brought along my Yeti mic on the road…but I forgot the connecting plug. And I couldn’t find that type of mini USB cord in any nearby store! My daughter eventually suggested that I just pose behind the mic as a prop…

Here’s hoping I’ve refined my trip techniques before all the conferences happening in the near future (next up: Left Coast Crime).

Oh, and there was a sweet ending to the roap trip I took (for my daughter’s volleyball tournament):

Share your travel tips and stories!

28 thoughts on “Pack It Up!

  1. Jen, I was extra-delighted to read your post, b/c last night at 2 am I took the plunge and signed up for my 4th conference of the year: Bouchercon in San Diego. So now it’s Left Coast Crime, Malice, Bouchercon and New England Crime Bake. I am definitely with you on the organization anxiety. I start mentally packing weeks ahead of time, then I throw things in a (huge) suitcase at the last second in a huge whirlwind of panic. (I tell myself I’m trying to spare the cat the trauma of seeing that packed suitcase for days ahead.) Watching a Reese Witherspoon rom com recently, I learned that one must have a “spinner” suitcase. (I do.) Then it matters less how heavy it is, ha. Huge congrats to your daughter and her team–and can’t wait to see you soon!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I had to laugh when I read this line, Jen— “Packing cubes to fit my gear”—because I read “Packing cubes to fit my anger.”

    Rage packing is all the rage, I guess! But I must admit, I have packing down to a science and have a list I pull out every time so I don’t have to reinvent my wheel every time. I took a 3-week trip to Iceland (cold) and Italy (hot) with a single carry on. And I don’t stress any more about forgetting anything because I never forget to pack my credit card.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Congrats to your daughter, Jen! And long live CDs. I like having that physical copy of my musical interests.
    Alas, experience has taught me I have no packing advice to give. I’m notorious for forgetting something every single trip, so that disqualifies me from offering suggestions.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congrats to your daughter! By the way, the prop worked. I didn’t have a clue. LOL

    I’ve been intrigued by an ad I keep seeing for this “hang-up” suitcase. You pack it and then hang it in the closet where you’re going – or wherever. No unpacking, instant closet. But I’m afraid I’ll order it and be terribly disappointed.

    Like J.C., I’m not sure I have tips. I start with the best intentions, but alas. Something always goes wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sort of. It seems like cubes that collapse. There’s a hangar at the top. So when you arrive you hang, unfasten, and the thing drops down to expand the cubes with clothes all nicely folded inside.


  5. Like Becky, I always end up needing the credit card to buy something I’ve forgotten. Jen, you are much more organized than I!
    Yay, team — and congrats on the win! I was captain of my junior high volleyball team back in the mists of time. We were NOT the champs!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Other than being listed on the roster as captain, not much. Oh, I went out for the coin toss to see which team served first. Go Lady Warriors!


  6. Congrats to your daughter! That’s awesome!!

    I have become a packing cube convert. I can cram sooooooooooo much into those cubes. I love them. I also have some things that are perma-packed, as it were, so I can quickly add whatever is needed for a specific adventure. Makes putting everything together faster and I’m less likely(ish) to forget things!


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