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Cause I’m Leavin’ On A Jet Plane
Boomers need to lose some of the baggage, travel light, and enjoy the trip.
Last summer, my husband Doug and I made our third trip to Europe. And from a strict luggage point-of-view, it was by far the best.
Granted, the whole venture was planned on the spur of the moment. We hadn’t thought we’d be able to get to Switzerland for our youngest son’s college graduation, both because of the expense and because our daughter was getting married a mere week after we’d return.
But at the last minute, we knew we had to go—-and by “had to” I mean really, really wanted to. It was to be a six-day trip, and let me tell you that is not enough time to meet yourself coming and going. Jet lag is not my friend. Jet lag actually reduces me to a weeping puddle of pathos, from which it typically takes at least three days to recover.
So we made one great decision. We decided if I was going to bawl for three days, we sure weren’t going to make the situation any worse by hauling around too much luggage. We decided to take one carry-on wheeled bag, plug a smaller tote bag. For two of us. Period.
It was fantastic. Now I think maybe on the other trips, I might have actually been crying from a displaced shoulder or something. Do you realize how few clothes you need on a trip, if you’re willing to wash out some items in a sink if necessary?
John Flinn, who writes a column called The Competent Traveler for The San Francisco Chronicle, offers advice on hand-washing that a child could follow:
I’m surprised at the number of experienced travelers who don’t know about this trick to cut drying time in half: Lay out a dry towel on the floor, place your clothes on it and roll it up lengthwise. Take off your shoes and shuffle back and forth a few times on the roll to squeeze the moisture from your clothes. Give it a quarter turn and repeat. Let it sit for a few minutes and repeat once more. When you unroll your clothes, they’ll feel almost ready to wear.
Doesn’t that sound like some serious vacation fun? From now on, no matter how long of a journey we plan, we are not checking luggage. We’ve got no one to impress except each other, and that’s already been taken care of.
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Are You a Late Boomer?
If looming retirement is catching you off-guard between an aging parent and a revolving-door kid, you might be. If you've delayed travel only to discover they've changed the names of all the countries, you are. And if you're a member of the Baby Boomer Generation who's ready to give back but you've forgotten where you put it, stay tuned. From healthcare to personal finance, from career changes to volunteerism, it's time to boom where you are planted.