What We Take


When Ruth & I pack to travel, there are always some “essentials” included.  Some of our essentials are surely different from others.  I’m sure everyone has quirky items that MUST go with him or her.  For example, I never go anywhere in the world without collapsible scissors, packing tape, and my lucky 10¢ Euro coin.  Ruth always has her suitcase half packed with small sizes of feminine cosmetic products, lots of chewing gum, her favorite spices, and a flashlight.

I’m fascinated by what people seem to need when they hit the road, and I collect articles about this subject.  Just yesterday I read one about the essentials that comedian Lewis Black, according to Nell McShane Wulfhart, packs.  His take-along treasures include Melatonin gummy bears, a necklace he believes sucks up negative energy that even he describes as goofy, and something called a neti pot.  “How sad is that?” he asks about this last thing.

Another comedian, Whitney Cummings, according to Nell again, always carries resistance bands to work out on planes, an ostrich pillow, Woolite, and a travel-size rose scented candle.  In the future, I plan to ask every frequent traveler I know what unusual stuff they always take along.   A man recently stopped Ruth, who was walking out of a hotel carrying a Mr. Coffee maker.  He sniffed and asked her, “Isn’t the hotel’s coffee good enough for you?”

I’ll bet that one of the hardest parts about working for TSA is to keep from laughing when an agent goes through a carry-on bag.  On our most recent trip, the TSA confiscated every Creole food item containing liquids that Ruth bought in a Louisiana supermarket.

At least I got to keep my pretzels.  the 3rd last time we crossed from Canada to the U.S., the border agent asked me if I had any food in the car.  “No,” I said.  He told me to open the trunk.  It took him 15 minutes to find my half bag of pretzels.   “Aren’t pretzels food?”  he asked before he told me to have a nice day and move on.   Be warned.


About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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