My Travels to Scotland and London
I recently returned from a two-week trip to Scotland and London. Our transportation included planes, trains, driving on the “wrong” side of the road, the London Underground subway and lots of rainy walks. Packing challenges included hiking shoes for walking in the Highlands to a black tie dinner at the former home of the Selfridges department store founder and a sunny day at Runnymede with the Queen, Prince William and the Princess Royal to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, the basis of the US Constitution, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and over a third of the world’s legal systems.
This is the first in a series of how I use Purse Perfector during a trip that requires different purse organization on a daily basis. I’ll share travel tips and when I unzip or separate my purse organizer to get maximum use in any bag and never forget what I need in my day.
The preparation phase for purse organization for any trip starts with my Purse Perfector on the counter.
The tailored base of the purse organizer is sturdy and stable and allows me to evaluate what doesn’t need to take the trip with me. I take the smallest wallet I can, leaving all the specialty credit and loyalty cards at home. I usually a taxi wallet that can also fit in my pants pocket, an RFID credit card sleeve for only 2-3 credit cards (that don’t charge foreign exchange fees), a small coin purse, my passport and several photocopies of it. I place one copy in each suitcase, one in the front pocket of my purse organizer along with a copy of each family members passport.
Prepare for Take-Off
On the day of travel, I set up my travel purse organizer: take out all liquids for the plastic quart bag (not necessary if you have TSA Pre-Check): spot cleaning pen, hand sanitizer, most lip products, hand cream, etc. Now decide what needs to be added for the trip – folding travel toothbrush, chewing gum to alleviate ear pain, a small medication kit, earplugs and eye mask.
Because of the length and range of clothing needed for this trip, I had a checked suitcase with layers of causal clothes for the colder temperatures of Scotland and business, cocktail and more formal attire for the warmer, dressier part of our trip in London. Oh – and a variety of purse and bags!
I also use a small rolling carryon suitcase that contains my small mirrorless camera with additional lenses and filters, jewelry case, makeup, magnifying mirror, change of clothes (in the event my suitcase goes somewhere else), a few snacks, rain jacket and hat, comfy walking shoes and socks, and a lightweight nylon purse on top and ready to use with my purse organizer after we clear customs. Depending on the trip, I also have a hat for my husband and a small backpack.
My second carryon is a travel tote that includes my Purse Perfector which holds my Kindle, passport, glasses and sunglasses, pens, small notebook, iPhone, my wallets; the plastic bag with liquids; my overnight bag essentials: eye mask, noise canceling earplugs and/or headset, travel socks, magazines and other reading, paperwork in a plastic sleeve, iPad, knitting, pashmina to wrap around my shoulders.
In my experience, most European flights leave in the afternoon and arrive early in the morning, but our hotel room is usually not yet available. So I wear a couple of layers on top over pants and a pair of short boots. My Purse Perfector in the travel tote holds everything I need for overnight and I’m ready to place my liquids and creams back into my Purse Perfector and pop it into the nylon purse that was in my carryon. Depending on how much we want to do before we get back to the hotel, I change shoes, grab my camera and add it to my travel purse organizer. Another benefit of small wallets – my Sony NEX-6 camera fits in the large open pocket in the tall section that usually holds my wallet. Just to be sure I never miss a shot, I always add an extra memory card to one of the short flat pockets in the front of the purse organizer.
We arrived in Edinburg and picked up our rental car and headed north towards the lovely town of Fort Augustus beside Loch Ness. Within a few moments, I had transferred what I needed into my purse organizer, placed it in my purse, added my camera and was ready to go. We had a pleasant surprise when we took and exit that led us right into Birnam, the inspiration for many of the tales of Beatrix Potter. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at a small museum dedicated to her works.
On the Road Again
Back on the road, we exited the highway for the first of many alternating one and two lane roads winding through increasingly gorgeous countryside. There were so many shades of green and the bright yellow of mustard fields and Scotch Broom bushes and many black-faced sheep and frolicking lambs. It was so nice to have a second view of spring since ours had been winding down at home.
After checking into our hotel and getting our bearings, we walked to restaurant overlooking Loch Ness for dinner and had our first taste of fresh Scottish salmon – and haggis! Haggis, despite the bad reports we had always heard is very similar to scrapple or Goetta and was tasty. It was often on the menu for both breakfast and lunch.
It was almost 11 pm when the sunset and sunrise was about 4:30 am. We learned that some nights it barely gets dark at all.
It was a sunny start to our morning and we wandered the town, checked out the locks of the canal before taking the boat tour of Loch Ness. We did not see Nessie, but did spot the very shy white goats that live on the high cliffs surrounding Loch Ness.
Our day brought us upon lambs scampering around a tree, bluebells, great vistas and a deer-stalker feeding deer he will never stalk. In fact, the deer wait for him to return to his home for food.
The next installment of A Guide to Purse Organization While Traveling: Castles, cattle, Isle of Skye and Edinburgh.