How I travel

Oh how I wish I had more time to tell you about how I  pack a bag, I have traveled so much in my life that I have a weird science when packing, (though everyone has a different method) and this time I have 75 beanie babies, a stunning Little Black Dress, lasagna pans, Gluten free rice lasagna, meatloaf tins, knives, a beautiful vintage crochet dress that I bought in a second hand shop in Soho, London, a sun hat,  a set of blocks, my favourite pinny, a set of cut out play people, Darth Vader, my new mono pod (thank you darling),  gloves, calendars, books, farmy baby animal books, more books, paintings, recipes, prints.  Cameras, chargers (for everything), kindle, laptop, up to date passport (yes I have panic checked the date a number of times), three tops (short sleeved, long sleeved, baggy shirt), three bottoms (jeans, black tights, long skirt) and two pairs of boots (one black, one worn out brown). One warmie. My coat.  Flats, sundress, knickers, pink bras. And a nightie that I am not going to describe for you. I love nighties, I am not a pajama girl.

I love to travel, but I think you know that already.

I roll my clothes to protect them from creases and actually use tissue when rolling the good dresses. kunekune

I label my chargers with my name so none of my children nick them.  And I carry them and all the leads in an expandable mesh bag. I also have an old hospital laundry bag to carry my washing. And my dirty knickers – clean knickers, washing bag from Kim.

The other useful tip: I have a largish sunglasses case (sunglasses long time lost) it is big enough to house anything I need while I am marooned in an airplane seat. Lip balm, handkerchief, ear plugs, pen, lotions, passport number, glasses, contacts, peppermints. No-one wants to be the girl who is popping up and down and up and down opening the overhead lockers looking for stuff – observed, in silence,  by the Whole Plane. I have everything I need in this little case. It also beats rummaging about in your handbag IN THE DARK. When I sit down I pop it into the front pouch along with my ballet flats,  and my book. I stow my bags and my boots above and I am good – leaving myself plenty of leg room. I have long legs. I only every travel in boots. I have this feeling I may need sturdy footwear in case I have to walk home. And I would you know.. walk home.  But I take on flats to change into for the long eleven hour flight.

I start out with three books. One for part one of the travel-  it  is smaller and called a leaver, I leave this book in the airport ladies with a sticky note saying’ swap ya’. I cannot tell you how often I have come back that way two weeks later to find a new book in its place with the same sticky note on it. Swapped and swapped and swapped. The second book is to get me all the way home. This is a keeper and will be given to one of the readers in my family. The third book is for just on case and resides in the suitcase, I can grab it between flights. I HATE to have no book!

I always wear tight socks and take 1/2 an aspirin before take off.  I travel in my blackest skinny yoga pants and layers. Sometimes planes are hot, sometimes cold. I have a hand bag (this doubles as a camera bag of course) and my old leather messengers satchel for the lap top, paper, notebooks and books. I no longer carry a cabin bag. The aisles of planes seem to be shrinking!

I carry a large scarf, more of a shawl really for over my head at bed time. Around my shoulders for warmth. Or rolled up as a pillow. sheila

I leave for New Zealand tomorrow, Jake has started taking over the chores, my hair has had a good cut  and I am packing.  Can you tell? Bet you have tips for me!

Love, love

your friend


PS The KuneKune breeder has told me to add a little olive oil to Tima’s dinner. It is the winter dry. Her hair will grow back, she said.  So all the pigs will now get olive oil once a day. Godot’s black leg is now beige, definitely dirt.  Queenie is still fat. Boo had a trial stay at the Matriarch’s and spent the afternoon squished in the Bay Window watching for me to come back from the hairdressers. Ton was grateful for the peace.  They visit Nanny every Sunday so it is not a strange place for them.

Yesterday in the Lounge of Comments Paula told us this:

Kitty litter: I started using layer crumbles for kitty litter about two years ago. It clumps perfectly, has no chemicals, and cost around $10 for 50 lb bag here. Get the cheapest crumbles you can find and they work great!

How is that for an excellent tip! I love the Lounge of Comments, it is the seat of all our wonderful learning..right down to kitty litter.

80 Comments on “How I travel

  1. Us seasoned travelers have it down to a fine art don’t we LOL The only thing I can add that I do is make sure I have a toothbrush and toothpaste in my carry-on (I know they give you one on BA, but prefer my own), and phone numbers of friends/relatives handy so if no one is there to meet me I can call pronto! Carry two purses, one with American dollars, the other with sterling, for that cup of coffee while I am waiting for the person who was supposed to pick me up!
    Have a safe flight my friend.

  2. Celi, wishing you nice trip back home to visit your Kids ~ enjoy the wedding and be sure to share a few pictures with us! Bet Boo, Ton, Sheila, Tima, Tane,
    Marmi and her Kitties and ALL of those other animals are already getting sad and wanting to jump in your suitcase ~ wanna go with Mamma~
    I love how you pack!! Some gals think they should take everything but the kitchen sink!! But after we travel the world we only pack what we NEED!
    (yes I’m glad the passport is ok!). Last week I had a client who went to O’Hare with her husband and 2 adult sons to fly to Mexico and enjoy the warm sun and blue water ~ however, when she checked in ~ the airline said “we need your passport” not the passport card!!! Soooo ~ she told her husband and sons to go ahead and get on the plane and get on their way! She went immediately to the passport agency in Chicago and at 1pm she walked out with her passport; had to stay at the hotel and got on the plane the next morning and arrived at her Cancun resort at 11am and joined her family on the beach!!
    And when I booked their package last Sept I asked if everybody had passports ~ “yes we do”!!
    Have a safe flight and great time!

  3. I had no idea what layer crumbles were, so I looked it up and discovered that chicken layer crumbles being used as cat litter is quite a big thing. Amazing 🙂

  4. I don’t carry actual books, I just load four or five new ones onto my Kindle. Saves a heap of space, and the case has its own light. A spare ‘stupid’ (as opposed to smart) phone to stick a local SIM card into. I wear flipflops onto the plane (jandals to you, Missy), fluffy socks once I’m sitting. Wet wipes to at least feel clean after 21 hours in the air, also handy when the hostie spills orange juice on you at the beginning of the flight. And of course, a sewing kit so my hands can make use of all that enforced (and non-sleeping) idleness.

  5. Wow!!!! Great photo! You captured the colors and mood perfectly! What a beautiful bird!

  6. There’s something I do that deletes all my words instead of posting them… so here are some different words to those I originally typed. Love this post and your packing for all sorts of reasons, but don’t have time to retype it all… I’m excited for you. Safe and uneventful travelling. Is Tima hoping you’ll absent mindedly pick her up and pack her too!? Poor Boo will miss you however much TLC he gets.

  7. Well, I learned something too, layer crumbles sound very intriguing. I read they have no dust issues which is always an issue with regular cat litter. Definitely going to try it. Starter layer crumbles are finer so might clump better and it’s cheaper which is great! 75 beany babies? That’s a lot of beans! 🙂 Time to close it up before a kitten finds its way inside. My cats always sit in my luggage when I pull it out and stare at me, looking petulant. I’m amazed about the ‘swap ya’ books concept. I really like that. Safe and delay free trip!

  8. I use corn husk bits kitty litter. It’s horribly dusty but clumps well. I’m going to look for layer crumbles. The farm store is a trek, but cheaper would be a real boon. I am a stay at home armchair traveller so really looking forward to going to NZ with you again, Celi. I loved your last trip (but do feel for the poor bereft animals). I could not leave my old dog at this time in his life. But I’m up up & away with you, you brilliant amazing packer. Bon Voyage!

  9. What an interesting lot of stuff you are packing. I am not a distance traveler, thus can be of no help to you.

    But…I wanted to thank you for recommending “All the Light We Cannot See.” I am nearly finished and only began reading this book days ago. I’d rate it as among the best books I’ve ever read. I cannot put it down.

  10. I do the scarf/wrap thing too. I actually take 3 of them all twisted together. One as a pillow, one for arms and one for legs.

    Also – remember to roll those ankles and feet around. And I have some wrist exercises where your arm is straight and you push gently on your fingers where the wrist is stretched |____ like that where you fingers are up. Then you bend your wrist the other way where your fingers are down. I get mighty stiff on a plane.

    Lastly – I never travel without some ziplock bags of various sizes. Seems there is always some little items that needs to go in a bag. I also find packing underwear and nightgowns in gallon bags allows me to press all the air possible out and compact them for travel.

    Safe travels and poor Boo just does not understand why you are going. I mean why would anyone want to leave all the sticks and kitties – your farm is like heaven on earth to him! 😉

  11. Have a wonderful time!
    I am looking forward to reading about your adventures!

  12. I wonder if Godot got into some oily dirt to try and dust himself. I would of thought that his beautiful, pristine, white feathers would have have been stained too. Maybe he changed his mind because of the feel of the dirt. Sheila is looking quite svelte. I read about Queenie and was sorry to hear that she is not living up to her end of the bargain. She looks like the old time Herefords that remember from my childhood, short and stout. I know I struggle with feeding too much, especially when we were raising heifers. You just have to look at me and my fuzzy chubby little rabbit to see that now. Too bad you can’t put Queenie out to graze cornstalks. I am in awe of your packing abilities. I am a lousy packer, just can’t see how to fit it together efficiently. However my husband is excellent at packing so I gather and he assembles it into the baggage neatly. Best wishes for a trouble free flight.

  13. Have a wonderful trip! Look forward to pictures of summer in New Zealand!

  14. Love,love,love your packing list. I too take a small shoulder bag of essentials that can go crosswise over my shoulder so I have hands free. My other luggage is a carry-on bag made of patchwork, overhead locker size, and a set of fold-up wheels. Cheapo airlines charge an arm and a leg for hold baggage, so I manage to get everything in the one soft bag. I use my kindle for travel reading – there are so many good books on it I could travel three times round the world and not run out.

    Jock was reading over my shoulder, and he gave me a story for you:-

    Joe Bloggs arrives at London Heathrow, en route for New York. He checks in three pieces of baggage, and says to the counter clerk “I would like this one to go to Toronto, the blue one should go to Hong Kong, and the other one to go to Helsinki.”
    “I’m sorry, sir, we can’t do that.”
    “Well, you managed it last time.”

    I hope your voyage is calm and uneventful and that you can adjust quickly to the warm NZ weather.

  15. Have a safe trip. Wow you really know how to travel! I have only ever flown max eight hours, didn’t mind the trip out as we were all excited, but hated the trip back When we do do another long trip I will look at your post again as your ideas are so good, mind you even for a short hop the glass case is a good idea, saves all that scrabbling around in a big bag! Have fun in NZ x

  16. Love your packing routine – and I always, always have a book with me., everywhere I go (especially the doctors’ offices – one doc and I have a yearly book discussion). I like that you call your one book a “leaver” . I will borrow that term and try very hard not to make it my own. Safe travel.

  17. We fly to New York in 10 days and I just had a panicky passport check! All good, I am pleased to report. Happy trails, and I look forward to your adventures back home.

  18. All I have to say is that it is a good thing you left stuff over there from your first trip. Your bags are filled with more fun items than need items!! At least you will have the room to bring all of your personal stuff back when you head home. Have a safe trip. If you need anything while you are gone just let me know. Maybe it will be sunny and 40 when you get back!! ha…ha…………

  19. …and jewelry! (i know you are bringing fabulous jewelry!) Do you wear it all or pack some too? I’m wondering if your bag goes over the airline weight limit? Great packing! Have a wonderful trip! We will enjoy it too!

    • I have two bags and way under the limit so far.. international is 50 pounds.. I put my silver into my bag until I am through the scanner, I lost an armful once by taking them off and putting them through.. never saw them again.. so not they are packed in my handbag.. sops is looking forward to hers.. and connie loves her bangle.. c

  20. My goodness, what a lovely rundown of your routine! I have yet to be a world traveler (raising my kids first). I will have to write down some of your tips.
    I will be buying layer crumbles for my litter box! What a wonderful, wonderful tip!!
    Too bad the kittens aren’t a bit smaller so Boo would have something useful to do while you are gone.

  21. how can you get so much in your case without becoming overweight…as far as I can see you take everything but the kitchen sink….Ha! ha! I really do hope that you have a safe uneventful journey and that you will have fun in NZ…..The Farmy will miss you..and so will we xxxxxx adios for now

  22. Maybe the Matriarch would allow a basketful of kittens too to keep Boo happy.

    I borrowed All The Light We Cannot See at your suggestion. Husband snatched it first,and so now I’m under the gun to read 530 pages by Jan 20th.
    Love your ability to pack a variety of things. Got a little dizzy actually and now have to go back and reread … So I can possibly absorb.
    I hope you have a wonderful trip. I’m looking forward to this one as you said it will be a very different scene, a large farm, I think you said.

    • yes an old farmhouse and gardens and fields of wild flowers.. big trees.. beautiful, very different for us this time.. c

  23. Oh…what a thrill…the journey…I vicariously go with you and send you blessings for safe travels, Cecilia! You’ve got it right down to a science…this is a valuable post…if I ever travel I’ll be referencing this! ♥

  24. Oh…what a thrill…the journey…I vicariously go with you and send you blessings for safe travels, Cecilia! You’ve got it right down to a science…this is a valuable post…if I ever travel I’ll be referencing this! ♥

  25. Oh, I have a tip! I have a tip! PASHMINA from heaven. I have an old, dove grey, and very large pashmina, which, among other things, has served as a blanket for 8yr old Chloe when I accidentally plonked us on an overnight train to Berlin instead of Prague and ended up in a cheap youth hostel at 1am, safely cradled an entire glass orchestra from Murano thru three countries and two months before I got it home, was a “nightie” for one week when I forgot to pack any bed clothes, and has protected my computer in my on-board bag for about 15 years now. I wouldn’t ever be without it.

    Happy trails Celi and so good about Godot’s leg. One less thing to worry about. 😀

  26. Thanks Gods (to quote Boo) I am back on line in seemingly warp speed – Yay 🙂 When I pack I put everything out and then decrease by two thirds and still have too much. I will be following you in NZ but will also be going back to catch all the photo’s I couldn’t download for 3 weeks. Bon Voyage and safe landings. Laura

  27. So many great tips on packing! I have not done much international travel and try to pack lightly for domestic trips though am seldom successful! I have been flying Southwest a lot lately and they dont charge for my 1 checked bag. I wonder about food for those long flights? Most domestic flights barely serve free beverages anymore let alone any type of healthy food. I take some sort of snack, nuts, fruit, etc. And once through security, buy an expensive bottle of water so I am not dependent upon the beverage cart to get to me. I love the idea of flats or socks, as I too travel in boots and then take them off once on the plane. Excited for you! Cant wait to join you remotely!

  28. is Beanie Babies ‘code’ for my kitten?? We need photos of you in both dresses please.
    The glasses case idea is brilliant and one I will steal. I always carry a wee bottle of water in a spray bottle (don’t forget the rules). Airplane air is so dry and a spritz of water on my face makes me feel almost human during a long flight.
    I’ve done the ‘swappa’ book thing several times – such a great idea.
    Safe travels and have a wonderful time. The farmhouse sounds brilliant and the weather should be perfect – hot, but perfect. XO

  29. I can feel the excitement in your voice… travels C and I really am curious about 75 beanie babies…. ?????? Are they all the same ? Wedding favors ? Suitcases are an interesting study. There is a book ” What She Left Behind ” by Ellen Simon that was recommended to me about a woman discovering her own past as she has been enlisted by her foster parents, employees at a museum, to catalogue items in a long – shuttered state asylum. There are suitcases and piles of abandoned belongings that she goes through and of course she discovers things about her mother who is in jail for killing her father.

    Can’t wait to go to NZ and feel the warmth and the champagne bubbles !!!

    • The beanie babies are in the toy suitcase, there will be lots of children there so i am taking a bag of things to play with, blocks and beanie babies.. what will they do with those I wonder!?.. c

  30. Who DOESN’T travel overseas with a gluten-free lasagna and an army of Beanie Babies? I cannot stop laughing because I can picture it right now!

    I hope you don’t have to walk home. New Zealand is a long way off. I do the same, though. Just in case. I trust my own two feet better than anything.

    I keep my mp3 player in my glasses case because it keeps it from getting banged around and keeps charger and headphones together. Like you, I repurpose what I can. And now I’m going to the feed store for a giant bag of layer crumbles. BRILLIANT!

  31. I went to set my iPad clock to New Zealand time (I have several cities set up for various blogger friends so I know what their time is) but did not know which major city you are closest to? I’m so excited… maybe the warmer weather at your destination will help me forget my frozen limbs of late! Have a wonderful time Celi!

  32. I think we’d travel well together! I also carry an eye mask in case they don’t give me one and I used to carry a spray mist thingy when they let us in the past for my face. My mum travels with a rosary and whistle and a teeny tiny mouth organ in case of a crash landing that she survives – she will pray for help and blow her whistle so the rescuers can find her and the mouth organ is to entertain other survivors! Seriously – she is quite possibly a little more bonkers than me 😉

  33. Hi Celi. Thanks for the tips. I’ll be travelling to America next month so i’ve made a metal note! The weather here has been fabulous. The kind of summer you remember as a kid – long, hot, endless blue sky days. Lets hope it stays that way for you. Safe travels. Cheers Sarah : o )

  34. I do the suitcase on the floor for a week prior, and my old ginger cat always tries to pack himself, I have exported ginger cat hair to three continents so far. I travel with three pairs of shoes, black trainers, white trainers and crocs. I buy op shop clothes when I arrive and leave them behind when I’m coming home, leaves room in my bag for my medieval tent you see. 😊 so what if you have an army of beanie babies? I can fit an entire C12th home in my luggage and not go over weight. Coming home…..not so good 😌
    Love the ‘leaver’ book, I will do that next time.
    You won’t need the ‘warmie’ it’s been 30degC all this past week and nights are stifling. Total fire ban any day now.
    Safe travels C.

  35. I love how you travel… distance no barrier ready for anything & everything, and homemade gf lasagna and meatloaf yum 🙂

  36. Boo needs a baby to foster while you are away. Happy safe travelling tomorrow. I’m off to bed early, so I will be ready for the virtual journey!

  37. Wellington has been enjoying some lovely summer weather and the forecast is looking good too…..fingers crossed because we do “changeable” weather here really well, but you know that! It is a huge flowering season for Pohutukawa and Manuka and the wild flowers are thriving every which where at the moment so lots to photograph.
    Safe travels!

  38. I’m looking at my packed bags, full with memories of my mom. I used to leave most of my clothes behind knowing that I would come back soon . But now that my mom is gone I’m not so sure when I’m coming back.
    Thanks for all your packing tips, I use a small comstic bag for the stuff I need while flying, a scarf is essential and so are socks to keep my feet warm. I also get rid of my boots and wear hotel slippers in the plane that I leave behind .

  39. And I thought I was a good packer 🙂 ! Always seem to need extra insurance [insecure?] and pack that one extra top and one extra bottom and that extra pair of shoes!! Don’t carry books in any form but always buy a pile of local papers and magazines the moment I get in . . . .happy landings yet again . . . .hope you get to wear dress number one 🙂 !

  40. A lasagna pan!!! That beats all. Had to laugh about your packing & was trying to imagine Beanie Babies with the pan. Hope you have a wonderful trip! The kitties will be grown up when you return.

  41. So happy to hear about Godot’s leg! Yay! Can’t wait to see pictures and hear all about your trip. I use a three part mixture of olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil on my face during the winter…so that certainly makes sense. That’s funny about Boo! What are layer crumbles?

    And lastly, at the risk of sounding like a crazy stalker, I have no packing advice as you seem to be the Queen! But I will say, that I just absolutely love everything about you! Have a safe trip ~ April 🙂

    • Layer crumbles are a chicken feed. You can buy them at the feed store in 50 pound bags for 10 dollars as pellets or crumbles. I will certainly be trying this when i get home though i would much rather the cats all live outside, i am feeling rather over -run!.. c

  42. Godspeed! Enjoy your time away–and soak up all that warmth! That was a rather unusual list of items to pack. I half-expected the kitchen sink to show up in there. 😉

  43. Bon voyage! Hope you have a marvelous trip. I’m looking forward to the photos as travel is not really something I can do. Safe trip. I wonder how many airplanes it would take if everyone could join you for the trip.

  44. I always wear my boots too. Safest. Look how Tom Hanks in Castaway regretted it! I have a wee bag that I wear across me for just that very reason – I guess too, morbidly, it helps with IDing. I love your book idea but I haven’t been anywhere for a very long time. 😦

  45. We are all getting excited about this trip as if we were leaving and packing, too. What fun. Your use of the eyeglass case would be great to use in my purse for those little items that seem to float around. It would cut down on having to paw through to locate things. Well, have a wonderful time, send us lots and lots of pics….especially of you in your pretty dresses and jewelry.

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