There’s nothing like cramped legs to make me cranky. So I end up walking the aisles of a plane, putting my feet up on the dash of the car or taking up the whole back seat to stretch out. What does this have to do with writing? A lot. I write every second I can spare, including while traveling. It’s hard to concentrate if I’m not comfy. So I’ve learned a few tricks to make the experience bearable. Then I get a lot more writing done.
I wear my traveling pants. These are not my best looking pants. They’re the stretchy ones with a little extra room. They look a little baggy when I stand up, but it’s worth the extra comfort when I’m stuck in a sitting position for hours. I also dress in layers to allow for the wide variance in temperature in cars & planes.
I wear slip-on shoes and minimal metal. Who wants to untie & tie shoelaces while trying to unpack the laptop and get everything else onto the belt to go through security? I don’t wear a belt with a metal buckle or much jewelry. It’s not fun making the security machine beep and having to go through multiple times. Except for my RNA medicine, which can’t go through the X-ray machine, I put my quart size baggy full of liquid & gel toiletries in my checked bag to decrease the security hassle. It’s bad enough getting patted down without security sniffing my shampoo too.
I include supplies for one day in my carry-on bag and stow it by order of access. If I get stuck overnight, I’m covered. I pack basic first aid, including decongestant so my head doesn’t explode when landing. My snacks include chocolate because I’m sure I would die without my minimum daily requirement. My favorite carry-on bag is a rolling backpack with lots of individual pockets. Even my laptop, which isn’t small, fits inside, with my small purse and all my valuables, including jewelry. I found out the hard way, baggage handlers steal. Airlines take no responsibility for theft of items stowed in carry-on bags, so make sure your carry-on fits in the overhead bins or under the seat.
I take memory foam. I can’t sleep on hard Hotel mattresses. So I cut an inch think memory foam mattress topper to the width of a standard pillow, made a case for it from a sheet, and I take it along to make the bed softer. If I’m traveling by plane, I roll it up to make a standard size pillow and stuff it in a case which fits in a large carry bag with a handle. It counts as my personal carry-on item. I can actually sleep with this thing, unlike a tiny neck pillow. If my connections are tight, its faster to stash my laptop in this bag than my backpack. I don’t travel far by car unless hubby’s driving, and then I use the pad folded in half as a seat cushion.
I take power sources for the trip. My old laptop took 2 batteries for one 5 hour flight, but my phone would last 3-4 days without charging. Now it’s the opposite. I pack an extra phone battery for my android, but my new laptop lasts 6 hours so I don’t need an extra battery for it. I bought an inverter for the car with a house and usb plug so I can use my laptop all day. I take a high-gain usb antenna for my laptop to use where wifi isn’t within easy reach. Even in hotels with wifi, this comes in handy if we get a room too far from the office.
I have more travel writing secrets but not more time. I need some sleep. If you have secrets of your own that make writing while traveling easier, please share. They shouldn’t be secrets.