Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pack Three Pair of Shoes and Shut Off Your Phone.

                                                                                                           Zelda Benjamin

Years ago, packing for vacation was all about how many pairs of shoes to pack. That is still somewhat of an issue, but I've managed to live by the rule of three - only three pair of shoes. Which three pair is still somewhat of a dilemma. Depending on my vacation destination, the choices vary. Outdoor vacations are the easiest. I pack hiking boots, sneakers, and a pair of espadrilles. City destinations are where the dilemma comes in. Sneakers and espadrilles are a given. Taking a second pair of espadrilles in a different color is always a consideration over flip flops.
The season dictates my third choice. In winter, the third pair is always boots. But even that decision has an assortment of choices. Do a I go for style, comfort, or water repellant?

With my shoe dilemma almost resolved, I find myself with another dilemma. What devices should I travel with? In this case less is best, but can I survive for 2-3 weeks completely disconnected? For me vacations are all about having fun with family. If you're standing near a famous site and everyone is sharing a different experience while tweeting, posting on fb, or taking a selfie it takes away from the moment.

How ridiculous it must look when you are part of a group with your arms in the air shooting the same scene that's been photographed over and over and never changes. 

For shots like these, I prefer a camera.  I'll admit, I use my smart phone camera for photo-ops I don't want to miss. 
So far, I've got my cell phone and a camera. Do I limit myself to only three devices?  My kindle is a must for long flights. I could pack a few books, but with luggage weight restrictions that's not a practical option. I like to leave room for a guide book. It some how gives me a human connection. Locals will stop and talk to you if they see you thumbing through a guide book. These little chats often lead to the best adventures on your vacation.

With all these devices, do I really need to bring my laptop? The latest security checks can be a hassle to turn on so many devices while you push your bags through the scanner. If and when I turn on my smartphone, I can connect to anywhere or anyone. Do I want to be so connected on my vacation?

What if I have a moment and want to work on my WIP (work in progress)? I happen to like taking notes, but that means if I'm on the move I can't do everything at once. How can I take the photo and jot down my thoughts if I need more than two hands to do it. 

If things aren't confusing enough, along comes Google Glass. A smartphone you wear like glasses. You can snap a photo, translate, and check your flight. Definitely compact and easy to pack, but not my style.

I've packed my three pairs of shoes, my camera, my kindle, and smartphone. Still debating whether or not to take the laptop. If you're curious, you can follow me on fb, call my cell if you have my number or email me. I'll connect at some point.


  1. The dilemma of the modern woman! I don't notice clothes anywhere on the list. Hmm. Love how you've simplified the shoe part of the equation. Nice post, Zelda.

  2. You and I think a lot alike. I have yet to travel with my laptop, though now that I have a contract and real book deadlines that might change. I had never heard of Google Glass...good grief.

  3. Hi Zelda--
    I see I'm not the only one with a shoe packing dilemma. But I usually pack 5 pairs of shoes, unless it's a really short trip. And I manage to fit everything into a carry-on bag. Nice post.

    1. I seriously need to know how you take everything in a carry-on bag.

    2. You really have to limit what you take. It's like the shoes rule of three. I pack 3 pair of pants. If a I take shorts, a dress, or a skirt on pair of pants go. Summer packing is easy because T-shirts roll down to nothing. Once you do it and realize you don't need all the extra stuff, you wonder why you ever packed so much.

  4. Three pair is my limit. I prefer to pack in a carry-on too.

  5. sigh. I'm dreaming of the day I have to choose between my phone and my Google Glass. :) For now, I'll enjoy my vicarious vacation through you!.