Pre-flight Checklist: minimalist packing? What's that?
The run up to a vacation is a big part of the fun of the trip itself. For me, the anticipation of an event can almost overshadow the real thing. (In generations past people encountered this phenomenon on their wedding night, a quaint practice now generally pushed up to the third date.)
So it is as we prepare for our 2010 trip to Saint Martin. Fortunately, in an uncharacteristic move, I compulsively kept records from last year's trip allowing us to cut corners, save some money, and be just a wee bit more informed than last year. Task One is packing more intelligently than last year. Thank you, Evernote.
We are typically minimalist packers. When we have bareboated in the Bahamas we traveled with a medium-sized duffle and a backpack carry-on apiece. It's easy to do that in tropical weather because clothing is minimal and even optional at sea and at anchor. One year, the Admiral's duffle didn't arrive and she had to buy a bikini and a couple of t-shirts to get her through the trip. She did so without difficulty. On a 10-day trip to Crete we packed a small roll-on and backpack apiece.
Given our experience you'd think we'd travel to SXM with even less, counting on the fact that what we forget or don't really need we can purchase there. That would be too easy and rational. No, in the push to take Every Fun Thing We Own on this trip, we find ourselves taking more "stuff" than ever: Nooks, netbook, DSLR, P & S camera, small video camera, iPods, inflatable floats and snorkel equipment. We are essentially taking a photo/video studio, a home entertainment center and a library. And don't forget the cables and chargers. I count six charging cables, one netbook power brick, a battery charger and an AC adapter for the French electrical system. Welcome to Radio Shack.
So, as I survey the jumble of equipment on the guest room floor, I ask myself, will we will really need to listen to music while reading on the beach? Do we really need the netbook so we can gloat during our vacation and post photos to Facebook? Do we really need the floats so we can drink beer while drifting in front of Club O? Do we really need three cameras to record it all?
Yes, we do.