Years ago Sally and I would travel with suitcases filled with clothing and books. If we were going to a resort or traveling by air, the books would cosume both a big part of my suitcase and my carry-on. Technology and age have changed these priorities, especially for me.
I haven’t actually carried a real physical book on an airplane in years. The first practical e-reader, the Kindle, was released in late 2007, and I believe I purchase one shortly thereafter. Since then, I’ve purchased and downloaded almost every book I’ve gotten as a Kindle book (1). In 2011, I bought my first iPad (an iPad 2), and installed the Kindle app. I never replaced my original Kindle device, and it is now long gone. So my reading library – especially while traveling – is now my iPad or even my iPhone. Since I carry those whenever I travel anyway, this is a 100% weight and space savings.
The iPad and iPhone are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to electronics, of course. Sally does use a real Kindle device, which requires it’s own micro-USB cable. All of these devices will charge using the same USB wall plug. And I have my cameras, which use two different batteries, and thus require two different chargers. The newest addition on this trip is the backup disk drive I bought, but this also charges using a USB wall plug, although again with a unique cable (USB 3). Any I always take two of everything critical that could fail.
Another class of item that’s been growing for us over the years is our medications. The good news is that we’ve actually lived as long as we have, and that there are pills to help us feel better every day. They also help us try to preserve our general health and fitness for the future. In my case, I have a slew of pills I take everyday to treat my arthritis. I put the pills into these daily organizer strips that help me ensure that I take all of them everyday. And I need almost three weeks supply for the trip, plus extras in the event we’re delayed returning or I lose or damage some. So I’m taking four weeks worth.
Related to the meds are eyeglasses. Sally and I both wear eyeglasses, of course. She uses progressives, while I have bifocals. We each will take a backup pair, as it will be hard to see if we lose or break our primary ones. We both will take presription sunglasses, as we hope to be in the bright sun a good part of every day, looking for wild animals. We also both are taking sunglass clips, that attach to the frame of our primary glasses for casual or city use.
The image above shows most (but not all) of my meds and packed eyeglasses. All of this stuff has to be in my carry-on. I’ve put my largest lens there for size comparison. I’d rather be able to take another lens.
(1) The only hard cover text I’ve bought in years was Keith Richards’ memoir, “Life”. I’ve also acquired a number of photography books in paper form, as it’s pretty hard to appreciate the photos in a Kindle book.