I guess if I traveled more, or was less particular about taking as little as humanly possible while still having access to every sort of thing I am likely to need while away, I would not find packing to be such a production. Things being what they are, though, I've spent the past few days spending irresponsible amounts of money on things to make our fast-approaching trip to Germany a breeze. And here are the finds that thrill me the most! the things that cost the least. TYPICAL.
Yep, a tiny purse-sized pack of dental picks is up there with the gorgeous black lab coat I found on the clearance rack at Eileen Fisher. I am telling you, the older I get, the more I appreciate a good dental pick! I have sort of registered that these purse-sized cases are available, and the single-use toothbrushes you see sometimes too, but the lightbulb only lit for this trip. I prefer biodegradable wood ones, but I like the little bristles on these for long days far from my toothbrush.
And there will be long days, because we aren't just flitting off to Cologne, Regensburg, and Munich for no particular reason, but to be groupies for a choir we especially like with singers we know and love. It's more of a social thing than a vacation - our particular group will be traveling together with a tour guide and going to museums and concerts and, I hope, some restaurants. But I've done this before and I know - they will get us out the door early and drop us back at our hotel very late before doing it all over again the next day. This little dental pick case will be a good friend I'm sure.
I'm also completely besotted with the Venus travel razor I found in the travel-size section of a local drugstore (it's at Shoppers', fellow Torontonians - I found mine in the TD Centre.)
The little pink case has drainage holes and fits in the palm of my hand; the actual razor can be refitted with blades readily available the next aisle over. I have been using a standard man's razor handle since I started shaving my legs lo these many years ago and I am not used to the Pink Overload (or do I mean, Pink Overlord?) but omigosh it's so TEENY! I can't wait to use it. And believe me that is not something I normally say about shaving devices.
You know what I really love though is this phone charger from Kate Spade.
I found that at a Winners store about five minutes before a physio appointment this week and had to line up right away to buy it even at the risk of less hand-fixing time. I can't stop looking at the stripes! I really, really love stripes. And it's so much lighter weight than my current tubular one. It's not even as big as my phone, which is the outdated and miniature-compared-to-the-6 iPhone 5.
And... it should be able to charge my phone fully a couple of times, which will prove extremely helpful I am sure. I say this because I am testing it out on my phone as I type, and the charging is happening superfast. Thankfully I also tested the cable and discovered the one supplied is for an android phone. So, I will leave that at home.
To extend the battery life of my phone and avoid the expense of the noise canceling headphones I had wanted for this trip, to block out the sound of plane engines, I decided to make use of these little iPod Nanos.
I'm not sure why I have two. Probably one is Pete's, but another possibility is that when we traveled last time I couldn't find my original Nano and decided to spring for another because they are really not that expensive. Now that I have two, and located their chargers no less, I have charged them up and loaded them.
The grey one implies sleep to me, so it's housing eight hours of the sound of rain falling on a river, with the odd roll of thunder in the background. This is ideal for sleeping in a room near an elevator or over a busy street; I just clip the Nano to my pyjamas and lock in my earbuds with the headband I knitted myself for our trip to Italy, and I am good till morning.
The green one - green means go! - is for daytime use. I loaded that up with my unabridged audiobook of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, narrated by Juliet Stephenson. I mean if that woman and her wonderful voice can't get me through turbulence, nothing can. And because I've watched the miniseries so many times I will be able to follow the plot easily no matter how many extra bits were cut for the screen, in practically any stressful circumstances.
Pete and I are hoping to share one checked suitcase, plus daypack-sized carry on bags. So, the small stuff is the biggest thrill for me!
Per suggestion - I looked up our airline's guidelines for knitting needles and the answer was 'Pack it in your checked luggage or say goodbye to it forever,' so I am going to pack sock knitting in my checked luggage. I mean we will be in a bus a LOT for 10 days, so I am pretty sure I will be reaching for it a fair bit.
Instead of flight knitting I am hoping to make do with the two Nanos, a stack of good reading, and a cute miniature sheep I bought myself for Easter and promptly misplaced, but will find again in time I hope. And I am thinking about bringing a little sketch book and a felt tip pen for drawing or possibly even writing with. Pretty sure a watercolour pan set is impractical in Economy. Even without one though, I can create shapes to colour in later. Carol says I should pack delicious little food treats too, so I don't feel so hard done by when the plane starts bumping a lot.
And also: sleep. Our flight over is at night, and with luck, that will be possible.
What's your favourite way to stay amused on a long plane trip?