Monday, March 11, 2013

Travel Light: "London Calling" by The Clash

This past week, I headed to London for a business trip.  Reflecting on my life as a road warrior, I've come to realize that preparing for my trips has practically become a ritual if not a science.  I can pack for a week long trip in less than 30 minutes.  Here's how I do it:

Packing Tips from a Road Warrior:

  • I keep two cosmetic bags packed and on my bathroom shelf.  1) small plastic bag full of travel size toiletries, liquid eyeliner, and small perfume - for short trips (a few days) where I can carry on my bag. 2) large zip pouch full of medium sized toiletry containers, a separate liquid eyeliner, a small perfume, and few extra bits - for trips that are one week (or more) where I plan on checking my bag.  These bags are replenished at the end of each trip and are ready to grab and go without fuss when packing.
  • I own a really great (Briggs & Riley) suitcase that is expandable.  Mine has traveled with me all over the world for almost ten years.  Yup - it's time for a new one!  Briggs & Riley make a very well organized bag that can hold a ton of stuff.  And I can fit more than a week's worth of clothes in this one suitcase.  How?  <see next bullet>
  • I only buy clothes that are easy to pack.  What I mean by 'easy' is that they are thin, light weight, and don't require ironing.  I even buy Lycra blended jeans, because they fold flatter and are less bulky than 100% cotton denim.  I also pack items that can be layered and worn multiple times.  I like Chico's Traveler's Line for pieces, but I also like Columbia Sport and structured pieces (blazers, dress slacks - again blended no iron fabric) from Macy's.  And I have built an entire wardrobe around the color black so almost everything mixes and matches.
  • I keep up with my laundry.  I am a terrible house keeper, but I stay on top of keeping my clothes clean, hung, and ready to go.
  • I pack while I'm getting ready for the day.  After I shower, I throw my toiletry bag in my suitcase.  As I'm getting dressed, I pack each item in the appropriate numbers for my trip.  This way, I won't forget a shirt or under garments or socks!  Oh, and pack at least one extra shirt and few extra under happens, trips get extended, and bags get lost..... <see next bullet> :D
  • Pack at least one change of undergarments and a t-shirt in your carry-on bag, if you check your luggage.  My bags were lost for three days when United and Continental merged. They caught up with me on the day I flew home....and, yes, United charged me $25 to recheck my bag!  (Grrrrrr.....)  This zip pouch stays packed and permanently resides in my computer backpack.
Packing for travel can be easy if you plan ahead.

"London Calling" by The Clash

Okay, so this song and Fergie's 'London Bridge' were on a repeat loop, in my mind, the entire time I was in London. The Clash won out, because.....well....they are THE CLASH!!!  Simply a brilliant piece of music with a great guitar and drum series.  I'm always a sucker for that gritty sound often heard in bars and rarely heard on recordings.  And the energy that drives the lyrics.....fantastic.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

"I live by the river...."

Touristy fun: Me in a red telephone booth with Big Ben in the background. (Embankment stop on the Thames water ferry system.)

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