When I fly, I never check bags -- I don't like dealing with baggage at the end of my trip, and of course there is that pesky fee I prefer to avoid.
Best Laid Plans
Recently I flew back home to visit my brother. When I got to the gate, the plane was full so I had to check one of my carry-ons after all. Since there was nothing I could do about it, I quickly tried to make sure the necessities of the trip were in my smaller carry-on, then off my bag went.
During my flight, I started pondering exactly what I had left in my checked bag. There was my makeup and clothes, as well as the one thing I really wished I had with me: my jewelry.
I generally travel with several pieces of jewelry that have meaning to me, because they help me feel more like "me" on a trip. Also -- here's a pro tip -- I can make a few looks go a long way by packing more accessories than clothes.
It wasn't my lucky day and upon my arrival I found that my checked bag hadn't made the journey to Des Moines and was stuck in Chicago. I had already decided where I would get new makeup, but of course I was concerned that somehow my jewelry might not still be in the bag when it finally got to me.
Practicing What I Preach
I had failed one of my own cardinal rules of travel: Carry on, on your person, anything that you cannot afford to lose -- either emotionally or monetarily. If my jewelry had been particularly expensive, of course I would have kept it in my purse, but I hadn't packed according to the value of my emotional attachment. Some things you can't put a price tag on, but it doesn't mean they're not precious.
Fortunately when I did get my bag, all of my possessions were in place. Unfortunately, I had spent a significant amount of time worrying about it.
Here's my personal list of essentials that must not be checked: Prescriptions, jewelry, cash, identification, makeup, my clear bag of liquids, and one change of clothes -- just in case. I also consider my book and now my iPad to be essentials. I like to be able to escape in a good book when I travel, and that means having the perfect read.
Anything else can be purchased or I can live without. Traveling light is the easiest way to travel. This includes traveling smart -- and smart means being prepared for whatever unexpected event comes along.
Enjoy your summer travel season and don't forget your own list of necessities!