Monday, October 31, 2011

Ten trivial travel thoughts

in no particular order....

  1. Leggings are not pants.  I don't care WHO told you that you looked fine in them.  You don't.
  2. Pearls do not set off metal detectors - yet another reason to wear them!
  3. I have never come back from a trip and wished that I had packed more.
  4. That said, it's never a bad idea to be prepared for the whims of weather.  Snow on October 29th is a rude shock.
  5. Blister bandages.  Yes, they're expensive.  Buy them anyway, put them in your bag, and at the first sign of a "hot spot" on your feet, apply said bandages to the clean and dry foot.  Make a mental note that you should send me flowers.
  6. Mom jeans.  Just get rid of them.  Yes, they're comfortable, but they look atrocious.
  7. Safety pins.  Put two on each skirt or pair of pants that you pack (put them at the waistline, about two inches in from each side seam).  If your hotel does not have nice pants hangers, you can just pin your garments to the wire hangers, and your clothes will still hang nicely.
  8. A travel-sized roll of duct tape is all it takes to be an airport hero.  Hinges, clasps, and zippers on luggage are prone to breakdown at the MOST embarrassing times.
  9. If you choose to wear footwear other than loafers to fly, you're just making an unpleasant situation worse.  Why compound the aggravation?
  10. Pill envelopes - save a TON of space.  Are the right size for the prescription stickers (your pharmacy will print you extras if you tell them why).  And are nearly indestructible, and quite cheap.  Space is critical when packing - see number 3 above.

I have secured a part-time job for the holidays, and what may prove to be a VERY demanding volunteer position too.  The blog will live on, but perhaps not on the very predictable schedule that I have kept heretofore.  Your forbearance in these challenging times is appreciated!


  1. Excellent!!
    May I commend you on these rules - especially no 1 which should be in capitals! ;-).

    As an avid traveller I now live by the adage of ' less is more'. Basic hiking pants and T's; add in one pair of black pants, one long sleeve black T , One pair ballets + one pashmina and I am off to see the world

  2. What a great post, I totally agree with you on no 1 and no 6. And thanks for the tip on using safety pins to hang your clothes! I came across your blog this weekend more or less by coincidence, and I just love it! I spent hours last Sunday going through every post from the beginning and enjoyed every minute of it, and I got very inspired by your "Not so crazy eights" - it was exactly what I needed. Looking forward to following your blog!

  3. Dear Vivienne,
    Congratulations on your new holiday job and the volunteer work. And thanks for a great post. Your suggestion about blister bandages is a good one, and echoes a lesson I learned the hard way walking around Stockholm a few years ago. Moleskin works well, too.

  4. I have been thinking long and hard about my mom jeans,,,this may be the clincher to toss them (or only keep for yard work, that's allowed right? Lol)

    I have been reading you for a few weeks too, I also went back and looked at everything. I'm glad you found work , bit I will miss you!!

  5. What a fabulous list, Dear Vivienne. You deserve flowers already for all the great tips. I'm happy about your part time job. I'm still only part-time employed (semester to semester college teaching gigs) and on the hunt, so I feel the distress and uncertainty with you. Sending much encouragement and thanks for your blog, which is always an illuminating and inspiring moment in my day.

  6. Congrats on your job, Vivienne!

    I also put a safety pin on the inside hems of all my pants, skirts, and shorts for emergencies. Although I also keep some in my purse and at my desk at work, having one on my person at all times has saved my life twice. (Twice may not seem like a lot, but it is when your bits would otherwise be hanging out!)

  7. Great list and I especially like #3 and #8 made me laugh! I hope you enjoy your holiday job and new volunteer role but I will miss your posts. I do hope you find time in the coming year to create a book out of your wonderful posts. You have a lot of talent.

  8. Number 8: duct tape. This is always my dad's suggestion, and I'm sorry to say he's right. I could have used some last month...

    I'm adding to my permanent packing list a travel-sized clothes line that isn't dependent on hooks for hanging. I had one with me in Russia ten years ago, and it was a life saver. You can purchase them at REI.

  9. This is such a handy list. Luckily I haven't worn leggings since 1987 so I am good with #1.

    I am going to Italy next spring and will be buying lots of those blister pads. And the safety pin idea is genius. I also think the pill envelope is smart. Often my pill box full of vitamins comes unhinged during travel and they go all over the place.

    Congratulations on your new job and the volunteering position. xo, A

  10. Good luck with both new jobs, both paid and unpaid. I will miss seeing your post first thing in the morning, but I will enjoy whatever you do manage to write in your free time.

  11. Love your post!!! I am a new convert.My problem is how in the world to pare down my closet full of clothes. I certainly do not wear everything, but I cannot seem to decide what stays and what goes. You would think at 54 I would know ......
    I spend way to much time in the mornings deciding what to wear to work. My office is casual, but I still agonize every morning over what to wear.Sorry to run on, but I'm reading your every post :)Good luck with the new job!!