Life has gotten complicated. In the past, all you needed to put in your travel bag was PJ’s (optional) and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Extra outfits. That’s it.
Nowadays, you need to remember your cell phone in case someone is trying to reach you while you’re out on the open road. And that means you need to remember your cell phone charger. And the car charger in case your phone goes dead while you’re driving.
Oh, and you need to have your blue tooth because many states have outlawed driving with a cell phone in your hands. So you need to take your blue tooth charger as well.
You don’t want to forget your camera to record the trip memories. If it’s a digital, you need the battery charger and an extra battery or two. And an empty memory card in case one gets filled up before you can print them. And if you want to see or send pictures while you’re on the road, you need a SD card USB adaptor –basically a little plastic thing with prongs that you stick your memory card into and then plug into the computer after you find the USB port, which differs from motel to motel computer. To save some trouble, it’s easier to take your own computer—a laptop, of course—and then you know where the USB port is going to be all the time. But then you need to remember your laptop charger and have to worry about paying fees every day to the motel for using their Internet airwaves or whatever.
And if you are going to have significant conversations in the car or at your conference/ family reunion destination, you really, really will appreciate having an MP3 Digital Voice Recorder along. They are smaller than a lipstick and much more useful. But you need to remember the trick to keeping it charged is to take to cover off the opposite end and plug it into a computer’s USB port (after you find it) for a half hour or so each night. It’s terrible to lose the tail end of the story because you didn’t wind up your recorder. And you need to take along the earphones to check out the recorder every once in a while to make sure it really is working and getting the conversation down.
And don’t forget the audio books—a selection that both the driver and the passengers will enjoy. And your CD’s for all those places in your cross-country trip that, unbelievably, have no decent radio stations.
I suggest that the modern traveler will find it helpful to have a supply of little baggies labeled “phone charger”, “blue tooth charger”, “ear buds for MP3 Player”, “camera battery charger” “memory card USB connector thingy”, “cell phone car adaptor” to keep the various cords and chargers untangled and to avoid embarrassing mistakes…. Maybe a few instruction booklets, too.
It’s hard to really “get away from it all”, isn’t it?