Packing my Bags – With Books! (Weekend Assignment #357)

When you go on a trip, do you travel light, or try to make sure you have everything you might conceivably need? Specifically, what do you bring along by way of electronics?
Extra Credit: What’s the most important thing you ever lost, broke, or forgot to bring on your trip?

I don’t usually pack for a trip until the night before I leave, but I’m thinking about what to pack weeks in advance. One reason for the early start is so that I’ll have plenty of time to buy things that I think I’ll need. Do I have pants that look good and are comfortable enough for a cross-country flight? (I live on the West Coast. Just about every possible domestic destination is cross-country in one direction or another.) Is the weather going to be different, and do I have appropriate outerwear? (We don’t really have weather in Los Angeles, so the answers are usually “yes” and “um, maybe?”) What will I be doing while I’m there? And what if I decide I don’t want to wear that outfit to that place after all? I’ll need options in case I change my mind!

No, I don’t travel particularly light. I’m just lucky that I’m small, and my clothes and shoes take up less space than most adults’ do. That leaves me some room for the books. And yes, I absolutely plan those in advance too. It’s a tricky thing timing-wise; it’s not that hard to set aside a few books as designated travel reading, but scheduling my reading so that I don’t have an unplanned in-process book that I have to bring along to finish is a delicate enterprise.

But I have an e-book reader! Shouldn’t that meet all my reading needs? I’ll definitely be bringing my Kindle, but it’s highly unlikely that a couple of print books won’t be in my bag too. Besides, I left my Kindle on a plane once (but I got it back – thank you, Virgin America!), so I’m not about to put all my books in one basket, thank you very much. (I think that answers the extra-credit question.) Luckily, my laptop’s big enough that I don’t think I’d overlook it and leave that anywhere, and my iPod and cell phone – still two different devices, as I have not yet joined my husband on Planet iPhone – are pocket-sized and stay right at hand.

When I’ll be making my home away from home for a few days, I think I bring just enough of home along with me – or maybe just a little more than enough. How about you?

You can find the topic and participation guidelines for this writing exercise on the Weekend Assignment blog.

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