Travel size has always been a confusing term for me. When it comes to packing I’ve had enough practice over the years to be able to squeeze 7 days worth of items into my 22” carry on and computer bag. It’s just a matter of understanding that some items have dual use - shorts can also be swim trunks, packing a blazer with multiple patterns can look different with a new color shirt and slacks, and a navy suit jacket with slacks can be a new outfit. I know, I hear you all right now, men have it easier. And I do agree, shoes are the hardest part. I recommend flat deck shoes to pack instead of trainers that often bring an inch or more of cushion as a sole.
3 fluid ounces of a liquid is travel size. A whole industry has flourished in packaging over a government regulation. It’s not something I am fond of. As long as the “3floz” is on the package, we can all sleep easy on take off’s and landings. I have not been stopped or asked about Antiperspirant by TSA. It is not a liquid, it’s not really a solid, and some brands are jells – it’s a gray area for me. Travel size shaving cream will last me a month, travel size toothpaste will last two weeks, and you can’t bring enough mouthwash or hand sanitizer to last more than a few days, best to buy at the destination.
While the things I carry with me are travel size, if you have seen me in the last five years, I am not travel size. Yes, I can get the seatbelt on with inches to spare. And yes, it gave me pause last night when a man in front of me was having trouble making the belt click with the extender. Many Americans are not travel size. Anyone remember when seat-belt extenders were more commonly offered?
On my last jaunt to Orlando, a destination that fills flights with families, it was apparent that the number of items and the size of these items for kids is getting much more complex in scale and size. Strollers are checked at the gates, however, safety seats can be brought on board along with every electronic distraction puzzle or coloring book. Parents have become Sherpa’s. I would say that 99% of parents are doing a great job keeping kicky and screamy at acceptable levels. Let’s face it, kids are the only ones travel size, but act like crazy drunks on a bender because it’s their first time flying or the air pressure change is driving them crazy.
So let’s agree, fellow travelers, to be good to one another in the air or in the terminal. Let’s not be pushy in the screening line when we need to take a few extra minutes, the rules drive us all crazy. Tall people help the shorter people place and remove carry-on’s from the overhead compartment. Help the single parents, moms and dads, with the kids running up the isle or turning around in their seats to talk with you. Be polite when asking to have them stop kicking your back. We are all travel size in an aircraft that is feeling smaller the further we go.
Once we get to the taxi line there will plenty of time for fighting.