Monday, January 29, 2018

Let's Adventure!

I'm a sorta kinda prepper. As in, I'm not willing to shell out much money on things I may not use in the future, but certainly can't use now since it's being saved for an emergency. However, there are a few little things I have like a paracord bracelet (that I never wear because I just can't seem to enjoy wearing dangly things on my person) and things like a pocket knife, flashlight, poncho, etc. Cheap things that are more likely to be needed for things like finding your phone, getting caught in the rain and you have to walk several minutes, or you can't wait to get home to open a package.

I have packed before. I have been to Edmonton before, and Vancouver seems to be closer to my home climate. So there's nothing new to research really. But I still do it. Because I'm me. However, I have found a few things that are either new ideas to me or I ignored for lack of money or whatever in the past.

I've run through airports before. It wasn't long after my first trip before I realized that LIT is tiny compared to "normal" airports. We just don't warrant an international airport I guess. Anyway, despite the temperature in or out of the airport, and the fact that sometimes I do have to go outside to go to a different terminal or gate, I sweat. There are times I literally run. There are times I walk, but the rush and stress of a new place and uncertainty cause sweating too. In general, I love flying, but getting to the gate makes me uncomfortable (hence why it's one of the few things I'm always super early for). So, I'm thinking of distributing the weight a bit. So here's my tentative packing list, etc.
  •  Travel Scarf This is so simple it embarrasses me for not even conceiving of it myself. The ones they sell are too expensive for something I can make. It might be crudely made, but scarves hide mistakes pretty easily. It's just fabric with a pocket. What I plan to do is get some 100% cotton thin cloth and double it over, sew the short edges closed and either a zipper or velcro. This would be a good place to keep the passport and lipbalm. 
  • Carabiners I realized how useful a belt is even when not needing to hold up pants. I wear mostly jeggings, and the night I discovered this simply wonderful idea was one of the few times I wore a dress. I had worn the belt simply for fashion, but when I was looking for where to put my keys (on a carabiner), I was about to attach it to my bra like when my pants don't have belt loops. The belt! DUH! So, now I'm thinking of using a belt and carabiners. So far, I'm not sure what ELSE I can put on a carabiner, but it makes me feel like I have a hero toolbelt so, there's that. 

  • GPS Tracker Sometimes when you're cheap, it's really best to look in the Children's or Parenting section. They have a little less greed, I guess. There are GPS trackers, and I guess the added fitness tracking doesn't help the cost, but I don't need that. I just need something to help me when I'm lost, or to say to a friend, "Come get me, but I don't know where I am." Safety. But this thing is marketed for helping you keep track of luggage, kids, and pets. I got 5. For checked luggage, carry ons, and myself. And one will be in my car when I'm back because... I lose that too.
  • TSA Baggage Locks This feels vaguely familiar, but I think I ignored it because it's just clothes and I was never too concerned about losing it. I have nothing of value that anyone would want. I think this is more to keep it from accidentally unzipping or something. I had a little ribbon that I tied, but this feels more secure.
  • Baggage Belt I forget what it's really called, but for the same reason as the locks. The belt I have also has a lock.
  • Lanyard My passport holder has a closing and I can just attach it to a lanyard if I need my hands free.
These are things I've traveled without just fine, but I remember the stress of traveling. It's miserable enough worrying about being turned away by customs. I'm trying to take away as much stress as possible.

I'm going to pack LIGHT. I always say this and I always end up taking things I never wear, despite the last con I went to I had forgotten my suitcase and wore what I traveled in and "costume" pieces all weekend and did just fine. But this time I'm going to be hard on myself. Thankfully, I've ended up with mostly jeggings and thin t-shirts as my non-work wardrobe.

I can wash or buy. I don't particularly like using the laundry room in the apartment building in Edmonton, but it's there. I sometimes try to overpack socks and underwear, but considering these are fairly cheap items, I think I'm going to keep it to a week or two's worth.

I don't NEED to take shampoo. Again, these things can be cheap if you're in a bind. However, I'm sure my husband keeps things like shampoo and toothpaste in the house. And I'm going to be staying at a hotel for the last week, and yeah.

Shefra dresses pretty much like me. I don't have any particular style. It really depends. Work is some trousers and a nice top. Errands and socializing is jeggings and loose t-shirt. I feel frumpy when I wear my flannel shirt, so I don't wear it when I want to feel "pretty." But Shefra don't give a fuck. So, really, for costuming, I just gotta find that flannel shirt.

All in one apps. Even on my phone. I did have an app for each airline, but Google Trips takes care of that. Plus it has city guides. I did get a taxi and public transit app for both Edmonton and Vancouver.

Laptop? I've been going back and forth on this. There's computers at the apartment. I'm not sure I'll have time to get on much at the convention. I made sure to download offline games on the phone. I might take the tablet if I'm just wanting a bigger screen...

Keeping track of paper work. I'm a checklister. Besides having booking passes and hotel reservations printouts, I will also have convention paperwork, especially since I am also a lead for it. I have this passport holder I got when I ordered passport photos through a photo store in Edmonton. It was for my permanent resident documents (expired now), but I decided it was perfect for my "keeping important things safe" mentality. Despite wanting a lanyard type passport holder, if it doesn't have that pocket thing, nope. However, I could always just get a lanyard and ... *adds something to the list* Anyway, I am taking my planner with me. It's small, and I'm mentally preparing to fold things in half so they fit. Not the tickets, though. Before I go through security or customs, I'll get my passport, the tickets, paper that says I am coming back (in case customs thinks I'm trying to sneak in), and ID in the passport to hand to the TSA and Customs people. The planner will hold everything but ticket and passport. Once I get on the plane, the passport goes in the purse.

I plan on having my backpack and flower tote for carry ons.


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