Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMojo68

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Five Things Friday

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Five Things Friday

Has it really been over a year since I’ve posted a 5TF? Well, duh. Obviously so. I guess that’s what happens when This Girl gets busy and doesn’t blog like she used to.

But I’m also guessing you’ve noticed the uptick in posts this week, yes? If you haven’t, I forgive you. Just hit the “previous posts” button at the top of the page to review what you’ve missed. And stay turned for more. There’s posts already scheduled for the next few days.

Well that’s neither here nor there. Whether I did or didn’t submit posts that you did or didn’t read, let’s move on, shall we?

Speaking of moving . . . Okay, not moving in the permanent, relocation sense, but moving in the literal, body in motion sense . . . Which makes me think of movement. Which makes me think of transportation. Which makes me think of flying. Which reminds me that tomorrow I’ll be flying. Which brings me to my topic for today’s 5TF. See? My own little string theory right there, folks. Glad you were a part of it.

Frankly, My Dear . . .: Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

Frankly, My Dear . . .: Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

Remember last year’s adventures? Remember my beautiful new carry-on suitcase? [You can read about it here: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!]

So, I’m not a seasoned traveler. Yet. I’ve never flown out of the country, or visited terribly big cities more than once or twice in my life. But don’t count me out! I know a thing or two about packing essentials. Especially after the fiasco which was my first flight to Blue Ridge. [Read: And They Say Getting There is Half the Fun . . . ] Hey. Tomorrow’s flight is to Blue Ridge. Huh. You think history could repeat itself? Say a prayer that it doesn’t. Please. A small prayer.

Even the day-trips of the last few years have taught me how to move smart. And now I get to share my experiential wisdom with you. Aren’t y’all a lucky bunch of peacocks? Here’s my list of those don’t-let-’em-out-of-your-sight items you need to keep with you on any trip. [Editor’s Note: the writer assumes your wallet/ID/cell phone are material extensions of your existence, and thus do not recall a separate shout-out for the purposes of this post.]

Ready? Here we go:

  1. Cash. No duh, you say. But I’m not saying “Cash, or cash equivalent.” I like to live with my ATM card. All my transactions, right there, for tax and recording purposes. But there are some places that either don’t take cash (a roadside Farmers Market stand with tantalizing fresh fruits and vegetables) or charge a ridiculous processing fee for using an ATM. Gas station kiosks charge a fee, your bank charges you a fee. Pretty soon you’re out more than five bucks for a one-dollar soda. Carry the cash, in spendable increments.
  2. Beverages. Depending on your mode of transportation, you may need to purchase this after you head out (See No. 1 above). Some services offer free drinks, but some charge. If you’re driving, keeping extra bottles of water and a thermos of coffee in the vehicle. The last thing you want is dry mouth after Doritos and hummus.
  3. Professional essentials. This is the equivalent of a businessman’s briefcase. If you’re a writer, you’ll need either a notepad and pen or a laptop/tablet. If you’re a photographer, camera and lenses. Don’t pack your entire office. Just what you need to get the job done while you’re en route.
  4. Power cords. Don’t laugh. I’ve known a person or two who brought their electronics, but no way to charge them. Even packing them deep in the carry-on luggage isn’t the way to go. Keep the cords in easy access in your laptop bag or at the top of your suitcase. No digging, no draining.
  5. A sweet attitude. Oh, don’t you smirk [did you think I couldn’t tell?]. Let’s be real, traveling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. There’s squishy strangers, unkempt surroundings, and the occasional “Oops, we should have turned left about thirty-two miles ago” moments. A travel itinerary is a basic plan, but have you ever noticed it’s never delivered on a stone tablet? Go figure. Read the fine print: I guess that means it’s subject to change. Once in a while, you just have to suck it up and change with the changes. It doesn’t happen too often. Count it as an adventure, not a job.

Where will your next adventure take you?

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, My Dear . . . : Five Things Friday: Travel Essentials

With a map in my hand and the wind in my hair,
~Molly Jo

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

FIVE THINGS FRIDAY: Finding the Write Gift

The gift giving season is upon us and there’s always that one person who’s difficult to buy for. Am I right? And usually, it’s the write person. (See what I did there?)

On this week’s upcoming Firsts in Fiction podcast, we’re talking about that very subject. Over the last week, we (and by we, I mean Aaron, Al, and myself, along with our merry media elves) have posed this question:

What’s a great gift to get the author in your life?

Finding the Write Gift

Finding the Write Gift

While I don’t want to give away the store (err, answers) here, I thought I’d at least share some of the FIF Family’s suggestions.

So put on your Santa hat and have a ho-ho-holiday time as we count down the best gifts to get your writer.

1. A private island. (Molly)

A Writer's Paradise - a Private Island

A Writer’s Paradise – a Private Island

Seriously. How often has your writer tried to get away from it all by locking themselves in the back room, sitting in a car, or running away to a coffee shop? See No. 3, below. Seclusion is necessary for the writer. In order to create our own worlds, we have to shut out the real one. A writer’s island holds no distractions like TV, ringing phones, or ~ dare I say it ~ the occasional familius interruptus.

More practical:

  • noise-cancelling headphones
  • a gift card for a spa day or one night at a hotel
  • pocket notebooks to jot notes in when your writer can’t get to their workspace
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: white noise CD, postcard, small plant, candle

2. A private jet. (Al)

A Private Jet for Your Traveling Writer

A Private Jet for Your Traveling Writer

Writing isn’t just writing anymore. Now it means book signings, conferences, marketing meetings, publicity appearances and more. A private jet is the ticket to get your writer out the door and back home faster. And with no other passengers to distract him or her, it also serves as a mobile private island. See No. 1, above.

More practical:

  • gas cards and travel expenses
  • writers conferences and retreats
  • offer to keep them company and drive them to their next writing commitment
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: travel journal, map, luggage tags, small photo album

3. A cafe/bistro/restaurant of their own. (Molly, Aaron, Al)

The Write Cafe

The Write Cafe

We all know writers have ink in their veins. Let’s not ignore the caffeine IV they require. How often have you stopped into a Starbucks and seen someone leaning over their laptop, typing frantically with one hand while holding their coffee in the other? A small cafe allows someone else to be responsible for the food and clean up. All the writer has to do is write. And, bonus, when that book contract is finally signed and the manuscript published, you already have a place to invite everyone to celebrate the success!

More practical:

  • treat them (and their family) to a nice dinner
  • gift card to their favorite coffee shop
  • single-serve coffee maker and a month’s worth of coffee
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: creamer, individual serving tray, souvenir mug, tea spoon

4. An office supply store. (Molly, Aaron, Al)

Endless Office Supplies

Endless Office Supplies

Solve the problem of running out of ink and paper by giving your writer full and permanent access to everything imaginable from a new computer to colored paperclips. No more moments of frustration when they can’t find their favorite brand of pen. And when they start a new project, they can supply their writing space in coordinating themes and colors.

More practical:

  • ink and paper
  • computer maintenance program
  • mailing supplies
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: desk organizers, day planner, journal/pen set, stickee notes

5. A private library. (Aaron)

A private library - just what a writer needs - more books.

Just what a writer needs – more books.

Research is essential to writing a compelling story, but small town libraries (and some bigger ones) don’t always work out. Books are checked out by others. Magazines are ripped and torn. Plus, you can’t keep any of them. A private library assures your writer their much needed references will be available any time they need. When one thought rabbit trails to another, at least you’ll still be able to find your writer in the stacks. Information is King, and you just gave your writer the kingdom.

More practical:

  • new computer and software
  • Kindle or other eReader and a gift card for downloads
  • external hard drive
  • GIFT BASKET OPTIONS: books on writing, collector’s editions of favorite books, magazine/newspaper subscription, gift card to book stores

And since we’re in the season of giving, here’s an extra entry. Give. Most writers supplement their writing income by teaching, editing, and a plethora of other talents. It takes time, energy and resources away from their works-in-progress. You can help them hurdle over the starving artist syndrome by donating:

  • Time. Clean their house, run errands, be a once-a-week personal assistant.
  • Resources. Do you have connections or knowledge that can move their story along?
  • Money. It costs a lot to live the write life. Even without the big-ticket items in this post.

What gift ideas do you have for the writer in your world? Leave a comment here and join us Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30 PST for this year’s Firsts in Fiction Holiday Podcast: Finding the Write Gift.

[If you have a question for the authors visit Aaron’s website for Ask The Author and if he uses your question on air this week, you’ll get a code for a free audio download of his novel, The Bargain. You don’t have to be a writer, and you don’t have to view the podcast to participate.]

And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!