Last-Minute Preparations for My Saturday Departure.
Everyone should have a checklist they go through in the last few days before taking off on a trip. Mine is pretty much in my head at this point, although I do scribble notes to myself for anything that’s out of the norm … a small gift for my cousin, Bob, and his wife, Debbie, for instance, because I’m going to be spending a night with them back on the east coast.
My mental list is divided into categories:
* Prescriptions — do I have enough of the various pills I take to get me through the trip?
* Toiletries. I know this stuff can be replaced anywhere, but if I’m going to be starting out on a train for two nights between Sacramento and Chicago, it’s nice to know I won’t have forgotten my toothbrush.
* Laptop. I make sure it’s working and that I have the power cord and all the login information I’ll need.
* Camera, long lens and an extra lens cap. (Better yet, two.)
* T-shirt, gym shorts and rubber slippers. A lot of us have to make a trip to the lavatory in the wee hours and it’s awful having to struggle into your clothes and shoes for that short trip down the hall. I sleep very comfortably in the gym shorts and T-shirt and, when the moment comes, I just slip my feet into the slippers and off I go.
* Clothes. I wear jeans, a polo shirt and comfortable shoes. I pack a pair of nice slacks, six undershorts, several pairs of socks, dress loafers, a nice sweater, and a lightweight raincoat. And shirts. Lots of shirts, because these are the most important item of clothing. (For the ladies, it’s tops.) At least six polo shirts, plus several dressier Hawaiian shirts. All in wrinkle resistant fabrics.
* Miscellaneous. Spare reading glasses, a travel alarm, power cord for my cell phone, my scanner and ear buds, and a list of radio frequencies for the trains I’ll be on.
* Two itineraries, Amtrak eTickets, hard copies of all confirmations, some NARP brochures and my business cards.
* At least three pens and a reporter’s note pad (4″ x 8″, spiral bound at the top; it fits conveniently in your back pocket).
That’s it. It’s foolproof.
So how come I always forget something??