I have done a bajillion appearances for my book since it came out (yes, bajillion. It’s a thing). I have spent more time in airports and planes in the last eighteen months than in all the other years of my life combined. As a homebody who appreciates creature comforts, (and who knows that the muse visits only the prepared) I have learned to do a good job of packing the right stuff. Here are a few of my favorites:
- A portable iPhone charger. The kind that doesn’t need a plug but will charge your phone all by itself, even in a jungle in Zimbabwe. If you’re like me, a significant part of your writing and research happen on the fly, on your phone. Although I always try to book a flight on an airline that offers plugs by the seats (Virgin America is great for this), sometimes you just don’t luck out. A portable charger will save your (phone’s) life. Here’s the one I use (it’s just $9.99): click here. No plug required.
- A power strip. Ever get to an airport charging station only to find that all the outlets are taken? Carrying your own lightweight power strip (which you can buy for less than $10 at your local CVS or Walgreens) takes the stress out of that. You’ll be the most popular person at the terminal… and you’ll get some writing time in. Also useful in hotels that are stingy with outlets and event venues with awkward placement.
- Ear plugs. Sure, talking to your neighbor is nice. Concentrating on your work in progress is nicer. Ear plugs help you focus.
- Beef or turkey jerky. (Unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case I hear Primal Strips are a good alternative). Hunger is the death of creativity. I can’t eat most plane food (I’m gluten free and the airlines haven’t quite caught on yet), plus I don’t like eating on their timetable. When I step on a plane, I am a veritable market of high-protein snacks, including nuts and trail mixes and, of course, beef jerky. (Although I’ve been known to cook a steak pre-flight, cut it into strips, freeze it, and then bring it along). Wanna write? Eat.
- A Google Drive account. Everyone’s got their own method of saving writing on the go, but I’m here to advocate for Google Drive. Super intuitive, updates in real time, easy to search. I’ve used Dropbox too, and that’s good as well. Save to the cloud, peeps. Catastrophic saving disasters can ruin a whole trip.
That’s it! What’s on your list?