In the Outside Pocket: Packing the Little Things

When packing for a trip — whether it’s a weekend in Cincinnati or a round-the-world cruise — the big things tend to take care of themselves. You’ve already safely packed away your ID, your clothes, a toothbrush, and whatever treasures you need to unpack at your destination: Great Uncle Isidore’s love letters, the bizarre plastic thing your little niece left behind on her last visit, a small parcel of German bearer bonds, your lucky six-iron.

What can really make a difference in the journey itself, though, are the little things. The small diversions. The tiny creature comforts. Things you keep nearby for those times when you’re between here and there and there’s nothing to do but wait. Your carry-on’s outside pocket can hold the difference between tedium and joy.

Here’s some inspiration for your next adventure.

Floral Nostalgia

Leone Violet Pastilles are little Old World candies in an attractive vintage tin. They’re also time machines. Pop one in your mouth and you are transported to an earlier, more genteel age, a time of steam engines and leather-bound trunks. Leone, the renowned Italian confectioners who make these, also offer a selection of unusual flavors like mojito, amaro, and espresso, as well as rose, currant, and orange blossom. If violet flavoring isn’t your thing, try a flavor assortment in a cute collectible container.

Where to, Buddy?

If you’re the kind of traveler who gets stumped wondering what to do next, try keeping Directions handy. The small, hardcover book from Workman Publishing consists entirely of a one or two sentences per page intended as, according to the subtitle, “Really Good Advice for Getting from Here to There.” Author Hallie Bateman offers up quirky directives like “Keep a list of names you like. You never know when you’ll need to name something,” and “Try bartering. It still works!”  When you’re at a loose end, open to a random page, and see where that direction leads you.


This is an excerpt from the latest issue of Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine. To continue reading, click above for a digital or print subscription.