In the past, I’d have my suitcase out and would have started throwing things into it a good 2 weeks ahead of my departure date, things like my maps and books, UK electrical gear, that sort of thing. The weekend before leaving would be laundry day and then I’d pack most of my clothes, leaving pieces I rarely wear for the few days leading up to the date to wear to work. Last minute stuff goes in my carry on bag the night before and just before zipping up. The most important things go in my handbag, including, obviously, passport, wallet, medications. I take a different wallet than my normal everyday one. It’s got fewer pockets and card slots, a bigger pocket for change and usually two separated places for bills. Foreign currency goes in one, Canadian in the other because I’ll probably need some at the airport.
Over the years, the advance time that the suitcase is on the bedroom floor seems to be shorter, often I don’t get it out until the weekend before. I’m leaving this week for the UK again but only taking my rolling carryon bag. The trip is about 10 days long but I think I can manage with what clothes I can fit plus my electronic gear and assorted cables. The number of those grows! I’m not taking my small laptop this time since it mainly isn’t a trip where we’ll be doing any other traveling or sightseeing so I won’t be writing a travelogue or probably taking too many photos that i would want to back up.
We will, though, be visiting Ipswich for a couple of days with a hop over to Bury St. Edmunds for a lunch/brunch. I don’t know how much of the cities we’ll get to see, though I’d like to have a look at the city centres of both even if just for an hour or so. Both are quite old and would probably have some really nice architecture. My husband will have a laptop with him so if I do take some photos, I can always load them on that for safekeeping and if we have wifi access, put them on one of the cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox or even Microsoft.
At least I will have a backup copy on the laptop. I learned that lesson well when we went to Rome. I transferred my photos to the laptop nightly. A few days after we got back, my camera died and the SD card got corrupted. I only lost a few pictures I’d taken that day and still had all my photos of Rome on the laptop. (And you know what? The replacement camera I got, same make and model, started going the same way after another 2 years, though the first one had started dying after only a few months. But that’s another story.)
Since I’m leaving midweek, my rolling bag is nearly packed and there’s a stack of things I need to put in my handbag ready to go. All my papers and reservations are printed out, saved on Google drive or Gmail and I’ll double check that before I go, as well. Online check in a few hours before getting to the airport. Pray to the travel gods that the flight is relatively ok and that I can maybe keep an empty seat beside me. That’s a 50/50 crap shoot since the airline usually oversells but I am hoping a mid week flight will be somewhat less busy. March break is over, the tourist season has yet to really kick in. I always try to get an aisle seat in the middle section of three. The center seats are usually the last ones people pick or they try to move out of if they can once we’re airborne.
I love to travel, but I really don’t find the transport aspect of getting there all that much fun. At least after this, for future overnight flights, my husband and I will be traveling together and I don’t mind getting up close and personal, sharing a confined space with him.
Once I hit the ground in the morning, I have to get into London which means a hike through the underground tunnels under Heathrow to the train station and then a cab from Paddington to Euston station where I should have a few hours’ wait until the train to Manchester. I bought an advance first class ticket so I will be able to take advantage of the first class lounge! While I’ve made the journey in first class in the past, I’ve never been in the station long enough to bother with the lounge so if there’s enough time, it’ll be something new! A free cup of tea at the very least and, according to the website for the station, the possibility of free “light” snacks. There’s lunch sorted. Arrive at Manchester Piccadilly and over to pick up the rental car and then home.
It’ll be a long day. Bring it on.