In nine hours and forty minutes, our flight to the United States will depart. Thankfully, I am all packed and am ready to go to bed in a few minutes, in the hope of catching five or six hours of sleep before the twenty-hour journey to Los Angeles.
Fortunately, more than fifteen years of flying between Bangkok and the United States has helped me be a better prepared traveler. And by “better prepared” I actually mean, bringing less stuff and being more organized about how I carry it.
As a child of an airline employee, I learned at a young age to travel lightly, as trips were always on a space-available basis and you didn’t want to check bags in case you ended up on a different flight. These days I have a paid ticket but many of the good habits have continued.
I do check bags, though. Especially when traveling across the ocean. It is too far and liquid restrictions are too… restrictive, to be trying to compress everything into a 22″ rollaboard bag.
But one of the most important changes has been that I no longer feel the need to over-prepare. I bring fewer clothes than I think I need, knowing that I can always buy something if it is critical. I bring fewer items for on-board the flight, too. The ubiquity of seat-back on-demand entertainment means I do not need as much stuff, and trying to bring every toiletry and sundry item for any emergency is a lost cause, so I bring only the bare minimum.
We’ll see if I can learn anything from this trip and learn to pare down even more.