Traveling with a techie

Half packed suitcase

It was time to pack up the car. Bruce and I needed to be in Vegas later that day for a convention we were both working at over the weekend. Almost everything was stacked by the door to go with us.

Like most trips we take, there were some unusual items to put in the car. There was the TV we would be using as a monitor during one of our sessions. There was the suitcase of cables that always traveled with us. There was the food we needed in case there weren’t things we each could eat during the event. There was the desktop computer and the 3 laptops which would be used for our three presentations and the vendor fair.

“Are you ready to pack the car?” I asked Bruce. “I think everything I need is packed.”

“No,” he replied chagrined.” I just realized I missed the extension cords.”

“Wait a minute. You packed an entire suitcase of assorted cables. Isn’t an extension cord in there?”

Turns out, it wasn’t. Unpacking the suitcase showed we had packed the VGA cables, the chargers, the HD connector, the USB cables and chargers, and just about every other cable a modern computer needed were in the suitcase. But not a single extension cord had made it in. And we would realize in a bit, neither had any power strips.

Now, we lived (and still live) in a one bedroom apartment. There aren’t too many places to hide a 30 foot long, orange, extension cord. But Bruce had managed it. Turns out it was in the back of the walk in closet. As were the three white cords he also wanted to take.

Bruce handed me the cords one at a time and I put them on the bed. Then he put everything back in the closet and crawled out himself.

“You know,” I said, “the conference will have extension cords. You aren’t the only techie coming. We could have left them here.”

“I think we will need them. I’ll find space.” was all he replied.

“Well, if we are bringing all of these, should we be bringing the power strip from the living room and the one by our bed?” I asked, knowing that if I didn’t he would see them and grab them at the last minute anyway.

“Yeah, I better grab those. And a couple of other power strips from around the apartment too. Can’t have too many power strips.” I just looked at him as he said this. I knew I shouldn’t have asked.

Finally every cord and power strip was back on the bed. A bit of shuffling and most of it fit in the suitcase. The only things that didn’t fit in the suitcase were the 30 foot cord and the projector. (Yes, we travel with our own projector too.) They would have to just go in the car loose.

Now it was time to pack the car. Because we were taking things for different times in the weekend, we needed to pack so the stuff we needed first was on top.

Bottom layer of the trunk gets the 30 foot cord and the suitcase of cables. Next to that go the first two bags of groceries. On top of the suitcase goes the suitcase of clothes. On top of the groceries go his CPAP and the projector. Spare water containers and shoes down the side of the trunk.

Next came TV wrapped in a blanket to protect it. Around it goes Bruce’s computer bags and my computer bag. The desktop and its monitor went between the front and back seats. The rest of the groceries go on the back seat, as does the ever important Dr. Pepper bottles. Finally, pillows for the trip and jackets are piled on for extra padding. Just in case.

Finally, the car is all packed and we can leave. Or so I think. Bruce makes one last pass through the house looking for something, but won’t tell me what. Finally, he returns to the car. He almost forgot the chargers for the computers.

It wasn’t the first time those had gotten left. Mine had been forgotten and replaced the last three trips. Glad he grabbed them. Never did figure out how they got out of the computer bags in the first place.

Off we went — Vegas Ho!

Over the course of the conference, we used almost all of the cables. And, he was right. We did end up needing that 30 foot long extension cord. And all three white extension cords. And most of the power strips. At the end of the conference, our hotel room looked less like a place where people relaxed and more like an electronics store. Computers, tablets, kindles, phones, computers, cords. We had used almost all of it in one way or another.

In the morning, we repacked the car and head back home. Home where only the most immediate things came out of the car because we were so tired. Time to prepare for the next trip…

And that 30 foot extension cord that was oh so important? It stayed in the bottom of the trunk until after Christmas… And now there is another one there as well as the one that’s around this apartment somewhere. (I think.) Because who really needs a 30 foot long extension cord when you live in a one bedroom apartment?


Based on real life trips with my husband. Not all of this happened on the same trip, but most of it did. And yes, we still have more extension cords than I want to admit…