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Two Ways to Travel Lighter

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Orlando Bloom is coming with me on my flight to Maine tomorrow.
Orlando Bloom is coming with me on my flight to Maine tomorrow.

You’d think a travel writer would have the packing thing down pretty well, right? Well in the case of this particular writer, you’d be wrong. Plainly speaking, I suck at packing.

 I’ve gone away without a toothbrush, a nightgown and even my underwear. Twice. When my son was young, he spent a week at the beach wearing two left shoes. I had thought I was so clever to buy him two pairs of shoes exactly the same so we’d increase our chances of finding one. He may still walk a little lop-sided but it’s just part of his charm, and I sure didn’t want to spend my precious vacation time shoe-shopping for kids, which is right up there was toilet-cleaning as a least favorite chore.

Fast forward several years to last fall when we went to the beach and I did the same thing myself – took two left flip-flops. The only benefit is that I’m sure no one noticed my thighs as I clumped down the beach in my husband’s boat-sized sandals.

I congratulated myself last fall when I packed one suitcase for a 10-day trip to Spain and Portugal. I did do well, except that every item of clothing was black or gray. I looked like a character in a Fellini film, which may explain my awakened desire to frolic in fountains.

Today I am getting ready to pack for a trip to Maine where I’m going to be staying at the Point Lookout Resort in Waldo County and am debating the appropriate attire for kayaking and eating my weight in lobster. I’m fairly sure they’ll supply the bibs so I can leave that at home. Actually eating lobster in a kayak makes all kinds of sense from a cleanliness standpoint but where would I put the melted butter?

Anyway, I am excited because I have recently acquired two items that are going to help me save space and travel easier.

1. USB rechargeable batteries. I’m trying to be all eco-good and have rechargeable batteries for my camera, but the recharging gizmo is huge and tangly and a pain to travel with. So when I found these AA batteries that you can recharge by putting in a USB port, I Immediately bought two at

2. An iPhone. Why, oh why did I resist getting an iPhone for so long? My husband, son and many of my friends rave about them, but I was adamant about not having my email follow me around. I thought it would stress me out to take it with me and I’m on a strict lower-my-stress regime these days. What I didn’t realize is that I would be so busy playing with all the other fun things on my new toy that I wouldn’t even notice my email coming in. (I’ve only had it one day now, so have just begun to discover the joys of iPhone. If anyone has any favorite apps, please let me know.)

But the real beauty of the iPhone is that now I can travel without my laptop. I love you baby, but like a skunk-sprayed dog, you’re just not that much fun to travel with.

So tomorrow when I board my Airtran flight to Portland with my chicken salad sandwich, chips and carefully packed suitcase, I’ll be taking Orlando Bloom and Chris Martin with me as well. I downloaded episodes of Extras to my iPhone and we’ll be spending some quality time together.

So if you see me on a flight soon, I’m the one in the aisle seat, giggling. And wearing a left and a right shoe, I hope.

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