Staring down a couple weeks of travel for work, mentally steeling myself for the planes and the trains and the hotels and the working every time zone. Making the packing lists early even though I know won’t really pack until roughly 10 minutes before I have to leave for the airport.
The lists do help, as do legit decades of practice, but there’s magic in packing cubes and the discipline of never checking a bag
Other things I’ve learned about packing for work travel over the years:
1) only take pieces that work for multiple outfits
2) repeat as many outfits as your meeting schedule allows
3) always pack a scarf and a bathing suit - they take up no room and you will never regret having either
4) statement costume jewelry is more packable than an extravagant ensemble and will get you just as far if something unexpectedly formal comes up
5) never travel with shoes you haven’t road tested
6) collapsible water bottles aren’t worth the hype
7) if you travel more than once or twice a quarter, invest in a separate toiletries kit that’s always stocked and ready and refill whatever you need to at the end of every trip.
8) earplugs and noise cancelling headphones, always
9) good luggage doesn’t have to be expensive, but you shouldn’t cheap out on your bags. There’s amazing value for money in the $250-450 range
10) always, always leave money for the housekeeping staff in the room. The absolute minimum is $5 per night.
You weep, Janus!
Or is that laughter,
though you have no daughters
in this, this baleful start
to a new beginning,
a new life? You seem to be guarding
something, brothers. One at each door.
Is it the little secret of the new year:
that everything waiting for us up ahead
will be exactly as it was before?
— from January by Nancy Schoenberger