Things I Carry In My Day Bag When Traveling

Things I Carry In My Day Bag When Traveling

“You have to travel to see new light, find new hope, renew the mind and revitalize the soul.” Lailah Gifty Akita

Chances are good that if you need something, you will find it in my purse. It is a bit of a black hole. You would not believe the things I find. There is always food (not always fresh), usually chocolate, loose cosmetics, foreign coins from countries I haven’t been to in a long time, loose credit cards that have fallen out of my wallet, old car tickets that I couldn’t find when I needed them, foreign bills from my last trip, more than one coffee card, business cards from people I do not remember,  receipts, loose tic tacs, eye drops, theatre tickets, a toothbrush without a case, keys to I don’t know what, rubber bands and band aids.

I’m not good with a purse. i do love them and have many. I believe that each new one will be different.This will be the one where I become neat and organized. Within in a week I have enough stuff in it to flee the country. The only time I am reasonably organized is when I travel. I always start with a clean purse.

I usually leave in the morning for a whole day with a purse and light tote. I can’t fit everything I need into a purse and the tote is good for shopping.

Lip gloss – Terry clear gloss. if its sunny something with a sunscreen as well.

Cover stick – works for everything

Eye drops –  because I need them,

Clear glasses –  because I need them also.

Tiny umbrella hooked onto something if rain is a possibility

Small or large camera


Sometimes sneakers or extra shoes

Pen and moleskin notebook or paper if I misplace the notebook.


Floss for after the candy


Paper map. Technology doesn’t always work.

Business cards

Change for street performers and rest rooms. I give to every musician and every restroom. Trust me, in some countries you will want to pay.

Tissues – for those same countries.

Hand crème and hand sanitizer, because I have hands.

Allergy pills and Tylenol.

Ipod and noise cancelling headphones

Protein bars, almonds, cheese or something wrapped in a napkin from breakfast which always involves crumbs .

When I get home I clean out my travel purse. There are always cookie crumbs, loose cosmetics usually without the tops, loose pills that have fallen out of the bottles, loose coins, foreign bills, loose credit cards that have fallen out of my wallet, business cards from people I do not remember, loose tic tacs, eye drops -some are empty, a toothbrush without a case, stones and shells I picked up from somewhere, airline and hotel “giveaways”, loose jelly bellies and m and ms, loose crinkled tissues, gum wrappers, hotel keys, boarding passes, and papers from museums, galleries and stores.

Yes my purse usually ends up as a reflection of my disorganized brain. I’m not ashamed of it. Who has time to organize a purse when there are so many exciting things to do in the world? I carry my baggage with me.

Fly safe,


Ten Things That I Like To Do In Airports

Ten Things That I Like To Do In Airports

‘If God had really intended men to fly, he’d make it easier to get to the airport”.  ~George Winters

I love hanging out in airports. It means I’m going somewhere. It’s a comfortable transitional place for me. Even in the most foreign feeling country an airport feels like an airport.

1. Buy trashy magazines.

2. Try a new kind of gum and if it’s a foreign country add in different kinds of sweets and snacks. Use up all my foreign coins.

3. Shop or look. Even if it isn’t Heathrow, Tokyo, Bangkok or Hong Kong there are always fun stores in airports no matter how small. I love the tourist gift shops to see what they think you should be bringing home. Heathrow has great sales in July in their designer stores.

4. If it is Heathrow,Tokyo or Bangkok get a massage or get my nails done. Yes it’s weird doing that in front of strangers but it passes the time.

5. Sit in the lounge, check my emails, listen to music, read, write my blog and sleep.

6. If its Miami – have Café Cubano, LA – Chaya Brasserie, Chicago – Einsteins bagels, London – Gordon Ramseys Plane Food, Boston – Legal Seafood and Hong Kong – Hungs Delicacies. When I am in Tokyo I buy green tea Kit Kats like everyone else does. . In all other airports, explore!!!!!!!! Try some food place that isn’t Subway or Mcdonalds.

7. Try to guess where people are going. Try to guess what Asian language they are speaking or what Spanish-speaking country they are from. Speak in a fake foreign language and watch people try to guess what language I am speaking. Pick out the people who might be terrorists.

8. Try to guess who’s carry on luggage is bigger than regulation size and will they get stopped. Try to guess by looking at them what kind of stuff they have packed in their carry on luggage, why they bought or borrowed that particular piece of luggage and how they fit everything in.

9. If it’s early in the morning wait on the line at a Starbucks – that could take a half hour in a large airport. If I’m bored I’ll change my drink order a few times and ask questions. I’ve always wondered about people who do that. Are they just looking for someone to talk to or are they really so undecided about coffee?

10.Take a moment to be grateful that I’m in an airport and going somewhere,

Fly safe,


Annoying Things To Say To Stewardesses

Annoying Things To Say To Stewardesses

“A little girl turns to the stewardess as the plane is taking off and says,”When are we going to get smaller?” Anon

I can’t get this window to open.

Can you get me a blanket and a pillow?

I didn’t get upgraded because I’m too pretty. Flight attendants hate pretty girls.

Can you help me find the box cutter in my carry on luggage?

I’ll have a water and two sleeping pills.

I was using my cigarette lighter in the bathroom because I couldn’t see.

I have no idea who left this crackpipe in the bathroom.

How much more time do we have?

Can we lower the engine noise?

Am I going to make my connection? (like they know)

You went to college?

How is the pilot feeling today? Happy, sad, suicidal?

So are we just going to see clouds?

And my personal favorite. Could you help me put this heavy bag in the overhead compartment? (I heard a stewardess tell a 90 year old woman that if she couldn’t carry her luggage she should not be traveling.  I had “blood in my eyes”)

Fly safe


Top Ten Things Not To Bring On A Plane In Your Carry On Luggage

Top Ten Things Not To Bring On A Plane In Carry On Luggage

“Don’t let your luggage define your travels, each life unravels differently.” unknown

1. box cutters – ok I get this one.

2. Snow globes larger than a tennis ball. I think that they mean the large intricate ones that you buy in Christmas markets in Austria, Germany or Eastern Europe. I’m guessing it has more than 3 and half ounces of liquid. How do the TSA agents  feel taking Santa on a sleigh in the snow away from a kid in the airport at Christmas? I love snow globes.

3. Anything that looks like or can be used as a weapon – toy guns, baseball bats, hockey and lacrosse sticks ski poles, sabers, swords, knives of any kind and scissors that are not for nails.

4. Liquids over 3.4 oz. This limits my food shopping when I travel and my impulse food buys in the airport gift shops. This includes interesting sauces, weird nut butters, dips and spreads, jams, jellies, preserves, wine, liquors, salad dressings, olive oils, vinegars – things I am not comfortable with in my checked luggage. The TSA rule of thumb to remember is “If you can spill it, spread it, smear it, squeeze it, spray it, pump it, or pour it,” then travelers should check it. Why does the TSA being cute annoy me?

5.Guns, gun powder, bullets, explosive devices, spare parts of guns and fire arms, grenades, flares, gunlighters and ammunition. So where can you actually have this stuff? I would like to avoid those areas.

6.Tools over seven inches. This includes hatchets, axes and saws. I like this one. I often see people on planes who look crazy.

7.Anything flammable. I’m good with that. I have bad fire karma. My house burned down twice as a kid. The second time it was hit by lightning. This is probably not a good time to tell that story.

8.Illegal controlled substances. Does that mean drugs? Watch a few episodes of Locked Up Abroad (they are almost always picked up in the airport)  and you probably won’t want to be carrying that with you. These are not Martha Stewart prisons.

9.Disabling chemicals – bleach, fire extinguishers, chlorine, spray paint, tear gas, recreational oxygen (what is fun oxygen?) How did they make up this list? Did someone think of things that could be dangerous? Was it a committee? Are these things that were confiscated? I have to say I would also be suspicious of someone with a fire extinguisher, spray paint and tear gas in their carry on.

10. Anything they feel like taking. I’ve lost many lip glosses, lipsticks, tweezers, batteries and sewing kits. Sometimes I feel protected and other times I feel they are saving the world one confiscated item at a time.

Fly safe,


The Perfect Packer

“ Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just enough baggage. “

Charles Dudley Warner

The Perfect Packer

I am always on the lookout for the perfect suitcase.  I am convinced if I find the perfect suitcase, I will become the perfect packer.   The perfect suitcase weighs nothing and fits everything.  Every time a new suitcase comes out, I try it in the hopes that it will be ”The One”.   I am a regular at Savinar Luggage  ( savinar  As my salesman’s  son becomes more and more successful as a comedian,  I acquire more and more luggage.   One year I treated myself to the fancy Rimowa luggage one sees all over Europe.  I bought my kids some cheaper duffle bags.   The duffle bags worked much better for me than the suitcase. I ended up borrowing theirs and eventually getting my own.    You shop and you learn.

I am a crammer. You can cram much more into a duffle bag than a hard suitcase.. If you need more room,  use the outside compartment for dirty underwear,  dirty socks and souvenir brochures.  Most airline personal will not be interested in stealing that (except for some reason in Moscow  –where they even took my luggage tags)  .

The perfect packing bags for crammers and over packers are called space bags by Flight 001 (  I think they are designed for carry on luggage. You put as much as you can pack on one side of the bag and  sit on it to get the air out. Then you can pack more. Technically you put your dirty laundry on the other side – or  you can pack more stuff in them (like I do). It is  brilliant and much more organized in the duffle.  I am a big believer in packing accessories.

I don’t like to wash things out on vacation, which is why I bring so many clothes.  In St. Petersburg,  I decided to have the hotel wash a shirt for me.  The cleaning bill cost as much as  the shirt. I believe the shirt was Prada.   I went back to overpacking.

The rule of thumb with airline travel is, the more things I need to bring, the less weight the airline I am flying allows me to carry. Those small planes between cities or countries wreck havoc with my packing plans. Remember the old days when you could bring 75 pounds?  If you were over , you just paid a small fee. Today you better hope your children are the right weight to fit on the plane.

I bring a fold up extra bag for shopping. I  have to pull  it out at my first destination to put in half my stuff to meet the luggage requirement on a smaller plane.   I always say that I am not going to do it again .  It is hard to juggle two bags with the lack of airline help or porters- a word that is rapidly becoming extinct.

The airlines are basically telling us, don’t travel if you cant carry your own  suitcase.  We wont help you.  It has  finally come to this.  I watched a stewardess tell a ninety year old woman if she couldn’t put her bag in the overhead compartment, she shouldn’t be carrying it.  (Stewardesses and women fliers are another blog)

I see these people with their carry on luggage for two weeks. I look at them in awe.  I wonder if I am looking at some kind of packing genius. Do they never wash their clothes and don’t care? Do they wash everyday and pack their clothes wet to the next destination? Do they own that perfect article of clothing that works for all occasions and is never soiled or wrinkled? I always want to open up their suitcases to see what I have brought that they considered unnecessary.

A good tip  to know  is that you can always make up the extra weight in your carry on bag.   Mine is always way too heavy for me.  You only have to have your luggage not arrive a few times, or get bumped off a plane in Brussels wearing white furry after ski boots in the spring,   to know that you better have everything you might need with  you.   I always travel as if I am going to Cuba or Burma and will not be able to buy anything  I need ever.

I just heard about this new suitcase. It is not a hard suitcase and it is not a duffle. It is something in between.   I think it could be the perfect suitcase.    I will  let you know.

Fly safe,