Your Travel-Packing Advisor

Wondering if the busybodies at the TSA will let you bring bottle rockets on board an airplane?  Concerned that your “support” Komodo dragon won’t fit in the overhead compartment?  Ask Your Travel-Packing Advisor, he knows what you can get away with.

Dear Travel-Packing Advisor:

I read somewhere that your finger and toe-nails grow faster when you’re on vacation, it has something to do with the curvature of the earth when you fly.  Problem is, my husband “Earl” always forgets to clip them before we go on a trip and ends up buying souvenir clippers wherever we go.  His latest is a real beaut, complete with enameled image of Bagnell Dam, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, and the cruise boat “Larry Don” off in the distance.

Anyway, we are getting ready to leave on our “dream vacation of a lifetime” to Puerto de Vallarta and I have insisted that he bring clippers from his ever-growing collection along with us instead of pulling his old routine that he “forgot” to bring any.  We are retirees on a fixed income, and I see this diminishing our quality of life as we enter our “golden years,” in addition to stuffing our medicine cabinet to the gills.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Louise Bockenheimer, Poplar Bluff MO


Dear Louise–

I “hear” you as the kids say today, but I’m going to have to side with Earl on this one.  As long as Earl’s clipper-buying habits are limited to vacations and do not become an “obsession,” this is a much better hobby for him to have than go-kart racing or lap-dances.

Dear Travel Packing Advisor–

My husband “Marlon” and I have a long distance vacation planned and I wanted to get your take on something.  We will fly first from North Carolina to Los Angeles, then from there to Oahu where we hope to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our travel dollars by buying all our food at the U.S. Army Base, Marlon will get the former serviceman’s discount at the commissary there.

I have told Marlon that he’d better pack an extra pair of underwear in his carry-on in case our luggage gets misdirected and we are without fresh “linens” for awhile as we wait for Piedmont International Airlines to find it.  They gave us the best price, but their only prior experience is short-hop trips to South Carolina and crop-dusting in Florida.  Marlon says that’s okay, read the back of the ticket, they have to give you your luggage back or $50 a day.  I said that will be little comfort to me when you start to smell like a ballpark men’s room, and Marlon says “I was in the service, you just turn your underwear inside out for a day or two and it’s fine.”

Mr. Travel Packing Advisor, I have never heard of that and not sure I want to incur the risk.  Can you point me to an official U.S. government website to allay my fears?


Wanda Oehrke-Pfeiffer
Mumphreysboro, N.C.


Dear Wanda–

By a wonderful coincidence you are both wrong.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation the maximum liability of an airline for lost luggage is $3,800, so you may actually come out ahead if some drug-addled baggage handler decides to rifle through your Samsonite for valuables.  On the other hand, flight attendants may not let Marlon on the second leg of your flight if the odor from his boxer shorts is deemed a health hazard.

Dear Travel-Packing Advisor–

I love my wife dearly but whenever we are about to go on a trip she hovers around me chattering while  I’m packing my suitcase and I end up forgetting something.  She does the same thing when I get the check in a restaurant and am trying to figure out the tip.  “Did I tell you that Eunice’s daughter Cheryl-Lynn is finally getting married?” she will ask or, “I hope you remembered to change windshield-wiper blades at the car’s 30,000 mile check-up,” when I’m trying to figure out what 15% of $63.47 is.

Now we are getting ready to go to Puerto de Vallarta and she has started in again, saying “Don’t forget to pack your toe-and-fingernail clippers.  Also your SweetDreams patented anti-snoring device.”

Mr. Travel-Packing Advisor, I just know I am going to forget something  if she keeps up with this inane chatter and I don’t want to be in the “doghouse” our whole vacation.  I only get two weeks off a year, I’d prefer to get yelled at in the comfort of my living room, sitting in a Barcalounger with a cold beer.

Thank you,

Earl Bockenheimer


Dear Earl–

I recommend you try the Golden Banana when you get to your destination, I understand they have the best deal on lap-dances.

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One thought on “Your Travel-Packing Advisor”

  1. If I lived in Poplar Bluff I might not want to travel much–it’s a nice town with a lot of scenic spots nearby. On the other hand, I doubt you can find many souvenir nail clippers there.

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