"I'll be home for Christmas/ You can count on me/ Please have snow/ And mistletoe/ And presents 'neath the tree/ Christmas eve will find me/ Where the love light gleams/ I'll be home for Christmas/ If only in my dreams" ~ "I'll Be Home For Christmas Lyrics"
The holiday season means holiday travel. Has anyone else been dying for their travel plans to come sooner? I have been counting the days to my vacation. I’d be sitting at my desk wondering how I can just skip the next few days to my departure date. Matter of fact, skip the flight, just let me be home!
I am thrilled to be going home for Christmas! Nine months is too long for me to be away from home. When I decided to stay in Shanghai, I knew that no matter what I would not miss Christmas again; so, I bought my tickets super early (which means lower prices) and claimed my days for annual leave.
Now the time has almost come, and I am looking at a half-way packed suitcase. With many trips under my belt, I am no stranger to packing. Traveling during the holidays, while exciting can be stressful, and one thing I don’t want to worry about is my suitcase. My packing style does not entirely change when traveling over the holidays back home, but there are a few things that I do do differently.
First, I set my suitcase up as usual, but with space to bring things back to Shanghai. When going home, I don’t necessarily need to bring clothes because 75% of my closet is back at home. I tend to bring more back. I roll my clothes to allow for more space. The shoes go at the bottom in dusters or bags. My books and notebooks go in the center on top of my clothes. Large liquid items such as lotions, hair products, and soaps get tightly sealed in zip-loc bags and are placed in an available corner. Finally, my toiletries are also sealed in zip-loc bags (oil cleansers, toners, serums...etc.) before being placed in their respective bags.
Second, I put gifts away in unusual places. Inside a sock, in the roll of a pair of jeans. I want the gifts to be tucked away, so they are not apparent to the eye when I open my suitcase and an unexpected person comes in my room while unpacking.
Third, I carry precious gifts in my carry-on. Just like my camera that I carry on with me, I keep precious gifts (designer items and pieces from travel) close by. If they aren’t on my person, they are in my bag at arm’s reach. I do not want to be separated from them. Not only must I have my eyes on these items at all times, but I certainly do not want to risk losing them in lost luggage. Could you imagine the devastation of losing a one of kind item found in a foreign market, gallery, or boutique?!
Lastly, I prepare for the unexpected. After an unexpected detour to Seoul returning to Shanghai from the states, I prepare a second toiletry or essentials bag. This is so that in the off-chance, my flight is detoured or there’s an extended layover, I have essentials that can carry me through a day or two without my luggage. This is a must so I’m not restocking at airport stores. I also keep pertinent information on hand like memberships and contact copies, so I can refer to it when needed.