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RandiLynnMrvos



September 1, 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Photo: Amel Hasanovic

Surprisingly audacious reflections of a humble writer


ONE HAPPY TRAVELER  

Don't get me wrong—I like to take trips, but the minute the flight schedule is finalized, I freak out and begin to pack.  That can be as early as six months in advance.  The guest room is no longer a welcoming place for visitors.  Suitcases are pushed up against the wall.  Outfits hang on door knobs and dresser pulls.  Shoes, t-shirts, and snacks have been tossed to the foot of the bed and folded clothing is piled on top of the dresser.  

Packing is not only disorderly, it's worrisome.  

I worry about taking the wrong outfits.

I worry about forgetting something.

I worry the airport might lose my luggage—wait...that really has nothing to do with packing.  Or does it?  It does.  I pull out extra outfits to fit into my carry-on, just in case.

One of the stressful parts about packing is cramming toiletries into a quart-size baggie for the carry-on because I need to take:  
  • facial moisturizer
  • body moisturizer
  • lip gloss
  • shampoo
  • hairspray
  • hair color touch up
  • hair volumizer
  • Bumble and bumble hair gel 
  • Aveda smoothing hair lotion
  • cuticle oil
  • mascara 
  • eyelid foundation
  • under-eye concealer
and hope that the baggie remains closed as it makes its merry way through the security scanner.   

To hell with the mega-dollar fine, it would bring me to my knees if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) deemed any of my carefully packed liquids prohibitive.  Why?  The TSA states, "Federal law and operational considerations RESTRICT THE RETURN of prohibited items that are left at the security checkpoint."  


So, prompted by fear, I check the website to see what toiletry items are allowed in the quart-size baggie and find that my items meet the requirements.  Then, I read on about the restrictions for a carry on.  You can't take axes, hatchets, ammunition, dynamite, firecrackers, sparklers, hand grenades, or tear gas.  You must leave the cattle prod at home.  But you can bring antlers, a blender, a bread machine, a Harry Potter wand, and a hookah.

You can't bring more than 3.4 oz. of peanut butter—it counts as a fluid.  I wonder if Jif thinks of their creamy product as a fluid.


You can take wine, but not a corkscrew. You can bring a bowling ball, but not bowling pins.  You can bring a balloon, but not inflated.  

The TSA unnerves me, but I'm relieved all of my beauty products are legal.  Now, it’s time to move on to the luggage. 

You'd think that having a 26" suitcase would be sufficient for a 10-day trip, but it has to hold clothes plus:
  • a hairdryer (you've used the hotel hair dryers, right?)
  • snacks
  • three hairbrushes
  • three pairs of shoes
  • an umbrella
  • a raincoat
  • denim jacket
  • leather jacket
  • earmuffs (yep) 
  • scarves
  • a water bottle
  • a tote for toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, and razor 
Getting all of these items in is like working a sliding puzzle—you know the combination puzzle that challenges a player to slide pieces along certain routes to establish a certain end-configuration.  It may take me hours, but I will achieve that certain end-configuration.  

My husband and I plan to travel next year, so I'm already packing...and freaking out.  
The guest room will never be orderly for months.  

But on the bright side, I won't have to pack antlers.

Or a bread machine.

It pays to pack ahead to eliminate some of the stress.  And knowing I can successfully squeeze all of my essential liquids in a quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag will make this writer one happy traveler.

À la prochaine! 


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