I will be traveling with a large and representational and therefore perhaps high maintenance? group from my college to a large and official and therefore perhaps a bit high stress? conference in Philadelphia. We will be taking off at a ridiculous hour on a Saturday morning, have brief layovers--what I would, if I had booked the travel myself, have decided were unrealistically, terrifyingly, connecting-flight-missingly brief layovers--read "dashes through unfamiliar airports"--going both directions, and I will be staying four nights.
In my travel algorithms, this means
- clothes that will make a possible nine point five outfits, because sometimes you need to choose.
- six pairs of shoes, because you can't possibly accurately predict the precise shoes you might need, when in a foreign land such as Philadelphia.
- various grooming products that I cannot live without I am so not joking!
- scarves, obv.
- pocket money to run to the drug store (oh, I have already researched the drug store nearest the hotel, yes I have.) for stuff I will have no doubt forgotten, such as my toothbrush perhaps.
- important reading material, plus
- chargers galore, and
- other stuff I can't bring to mind right now, but any one of which forgotten might make the trip an utter disaster.
Oh, and also I still have to put together my presentation.
So the real question is this: carry on? or check?
I am, as the above list no doubt
screams implies, a checker. Yes, I know you have to pay the fee. Yes, I know they lose your luggage sometimes--indeed, my luggage has been lost once or twice. Yes, I know it adds time (which is money!) to the torturous hours you have already spent in airports.
But I loathe the wrestling of luggage in the tight space of the aircraft. I loathe other people doing it around me. And honestly, I loathe the idea of doing without a single thing that I may need to feel comfortable, put together, myself, when I am so very far away from home. It is already making me a little crazy. Currently, I am considering the following options:
Plan A: carry on. For this eventuality I bought a bunch of little empty travel containers of various shapes/sizes/capacities. Pare down my clothes, etc. to the bare minimum. Try not to act squirrelly and rookie-like at the TSA security extravaganza.
Plan B: carry on. Buy almost all grooming products when I get there, at the drugstore I have researched. Wasteful, but you don't have to struggle with the little bottles, quart-size ziploc bag, the suspicious grillings of the TSA personnel, etc. Worth it, possibly?
Plan C: check. Like a sane person. Seriously.