I just got back from a short trip where I ran very low on some medications that I need to take every day. It caused me a lot of worry even though nothing bad actually happened. I spend a lot of time trying to anticipate what might go wrong and plan accordingly to avoid inconvenience or worse. At the same time I resent that I have to do it at all. Both feelings are valid, but in the in end, it puts me in a situation that minimizes the overall fun and/or productivity of a trip by adding stress and worry to the trip. I'm sick of extra stress and worry. Diabetes is hard enough on it's own. I want to minimize it's negative impact in the ways I can actually control. So, my task today is to create the perfect travel kit.
I want to create the smallest, lightest, totally pre-packed travel kit that is left in the carry on case, even when I'm not traveling. I want less nervousness and forgetfulness the night before the trip, so I'm going to try to refill the kit for the next trip when I RETURN from the last as a part of the unpacking ritual. What makes sense to me to include:
Med Pack: enough medical stuff to last for 2 weeks at a minimum. Pump sets, reservoirs, insulin, clicker thing, extra needles, meds, glucose tabs and glucose gel, extra pump clip, test strips, extra meter, medic alert jewelery, Aleve, Tiger Balm patches for achy muscles, antacid etc. And a letter from the doctor stating I need needles etc. because I'm diabetic.
Tech Pack: phone charger, camera battery charger, computer cord, ipod charger, memory stick, extra batteries for my blood test moniter and pump. Get extra's of these to live exclusively in the travel kit.
Travel Accessories Pack: a set of light pajamas. A set of make up: mascara, blush, concealor. A toothbrush and toothpaste. Deoderant. Again, get extra's of these too, to keep in the travel kit all the time.
A back pack or carry on: to bring on the plane rather than check. Something I can carry my computer, reading material, ipod, notebook, wallet, tickets, stuff from my purse like my everyday diabetes bag with blood test machine, test strips, clicker, batteries, needle, insulin vial PLUS the perfect travel kit described above. And if it's a back pack, one that isn't too heavy. And ugly. This will be a challenge to find one that works well but doesn't force me to trade beauty for function. I'm willing to, but I won't be happy about it.
Once the perfect travel kit is figured out, then on to the overall "lighter, more efficient travel" concept. A wonderful discussion about this is on Russell Davies' blog. If anyone has any other things to include or great travel packing tips, please share. It's definitely a rich and relevant subject, and so much funner when viewed as a challenge, rather than a problem, which is something I need to try to remember on the resentful days.
Later that day:
Here's what I found. I'm pretty happy. It took a couple of hours but I really feel better knowing that I am prepared. One thing that worked really well was bringing all the stuff I need to pack with me to the store and actually packing it there. It wasn't theoretical. The solution worked because I really packed what I really need to take. I ended up with stuff (I think it's called the cube system) from Eagle Creek, which isn't exactly groovy looking but it works really well:
a packet for each thing: meds, tester/pump tech & support, tech, toiletries.
that all fits together into a nice, packable bundle.
I feel better already.