Packing Pains

Why do we obsess over what we pack? The worst things to forget are a cell phone charger, passport or photo ID, enough cash and the name and address of your hotel.

Nevertheless, packing can be painful even for an experienced traveler. The night before my trip to Chile I found myself in frenzy mode packing one small roll-aboard suitcase for 3 weeks and covering climates from Santiago and Buenos Aires warm and sophisticated, to Patagonia trekking, to Tierra del Fuego freezing and zodiac boat cruises right up to glaciers. Seems like I always need more time to pack and plan and research. It helped a lot to Google the weather for the next 10 days in all three areas of Chile (north, Patagonia and extreme south). So I packed 3 pairs of shoes…light sandals for the city, light but sturdy and water proof hiking boots, and very light tennis shoes. I’ll need the tennis shoes when I bike through the wine area. Heavy things I can leave at home: hair dryer and more than one reading book.

What does one do on a 16-hour flight? I’ve downloaded podcasts, news programs, music and my favorite CD’s, and I always bring my inflatable pillow and silicon ear plugs.

Now I’m euphoric. Packing done, boarding pass in pocket, good music, good book and time to relax and read the pages I copied out of the guidebooks. Adios!

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About Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is the nation’s preeminent expert on women travel. She is the award-winning
author-editor of 11 books.

Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries around the world.

She was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Marybeth has appeared on CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.


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