Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thoughts from the plane

Here are some non-running lessons I learned from this trip to Boston and Maine. You would think I would have learned them already after my many trips to England and elsewhere, but no, I never learn. And probably won't this time.

Some of these lessons are race-travel specific, and even Boston Marathon specific (and thus not likely to be relived), but basically I could apply them to any trip.

•Pack all the running clothes, shoes and gear I think I will need, even if some goes unused. (This one is a free license to pack!)

•Other than running gear, I do NOT need as many clothes as I think I do.

•Here are some items that I really don't need and won't wear no matter how much I think I will: Dressy clothes. Fancy shoes. More than a couple pairs of jeans or pants. Lots of shirts. You get the picture.

•I see no problem with wearing the same outfit two or more days in a row (or non-consecutive days, if I'm being fancy). I should pack (or under-pack) accordingly.

•However, it doesn't hurt to pack extra underwear. It hardly takes any space and no one wants to run short on that.

•Running shoes can double as walking/hiking shoes (as long as it is not a hiking trip). Bring a pair of slip-on shoes or sandals. Think hard about whether you really need yet another pair of cute casual shoes. I will admit, I did bring a spare pair of running shoes along. And I did wear every pair of shoes I brought, but only once each for the sandals, extra casual shoes, and spare running shoes.

•Don't overestimate my willingness to bother with make-up or curling my hair. Most likely I will happily make do with the hotel hairdryer and my sunscreen moisturizer and be too lazy for anything else. Although I did use my curling iron a few times (after leaving Boston), and it really is an easy way to make my hair look better. I am going to shop for a smaller model for travel.

•If I am going somewhere that has irresistible shopping, like the Boston Marathon Expo or LL Bean, keep in mind that I will probably wear stuff purchased there and reduce packing accordingly!

•On the same lines, leave extra space in my suitcase and carry-on to add new stuff. This is especially important when flying, as you can't just haul extra shopping bags on the plane anymore. Not very many, anyway. (This is not a new rule for me. I have lived it again and again and again.)

•Either limit the number of magazines I bring or force myself to discard them before going home. No magazine should travel cross country more than once. (This is very hard for me. I have carried magazines to England and brought them home again. I don't know what's harder to get rid of, an unread magazine or one I've read that has some snippet of something that I think I want to keep.) (Can you download mags on the iPad? Something to check into.)

•Take advantage of the iPhone (and soon, iPad). I have downloaded books, and can add more if needed. There is no reason to carry more than one or two real books. (I can't go completely cold turkey.) Don't pack hardbacks. Read them at home. Books that aren't available on Kindle or whatever can be read another time.

•Try not to pack too much food. Try to eat the food you bring (if possible without overeating). Try not to carry too much food home. All of these are very difficult for me. I am working on the first (not overpacking) so that I have less trouble with the second and third.

So those are my travel tips from X-thousand feet (I have no idea of our flying altitude). Not brain surgery. And lucky for me, my dad came without a real carry-on, so he is now the temporary owner of a new LL Bean duffel bag filled with race gear and other purchases (including the Boston Marathon commemorative pillow, so cute!).


Teechur said...

There are many magazines available on the iPad, some are better done than others. Popular Mechanics is AMAZING on the iPad (or is it Pop Sci). I have learned how to pack for long distance races...important tip, never ever ever pack your running gear in a checked bag. First NYC Marathon they lost my bag with my running gear in it! (Fortunately they found it and I had it before the marathon.) If you do forget stuff for the marathon (beyond your shoes) you can always buy it at the expo, so I don't stress as much as I used to.

lindsay said...

LOL I bring too many clothes too. I've been working on that--id really prefer to just have a backpack to lug around! Having to pack running clothes interferes with my desire to be minimalistic...

And yes - you can get magazines on the iPad. I should end my RW subscription bc I am 5-6 months behind on actually reading them.