labeling our travel

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We’re heading off again soon, and I’m frantically in the midst of packing and organizing us, along with other less exciting activities like finishing up our taxes.  Yes, we have to pay them, even though we’re outside the U.S., and even though we technically get an extension until June 15, but I don’t like things hanging over my head.

One thing I do like: crafty gadgets.  Recently the hubby came home to a quiet humming coming from our home office, and he walked in to find me hunched over my newest acquisition: a desktop laminator.  It’s not like, a can opener, in terms of everyday usefulness, and I’m still having trouble justifying it to myself, even, despite my love of labeling and making things durable.

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Nevertheless, I found two good uses for our laminator already: luggage tags and a helpful “travel cheat sheet” that lists all of our flights, confirmation numbers, and contact information of the people and places we’ll be visiting.  The luggage tags have become more necessary as our number of pieces of luggage have grown to accommodate our little traveler and all of his gear, and I made the cheat sheet so that we’d have all of our travel logistics in one handy place.  Too often on our trips this information is printed on several pieces of paper scattered throughout my purse, and by the end of our trip it’s a crumpled mess at the bottom of our bag.

I printed our information on our printer (just our e-mail address, Skype name and an internet-based phone number, for security reasons) and backed the luggage tags with some pretty Japanese washi paper (you can buy some here).  For the travel cheat sheet, I just printed it up on the computer and cut it down to the size of one of my new laminating pouches.  The whole project took less than an hour, and we were super-styling on our last trip to Sri Lanka.  And we knew exactly where we needed to be and when, thanks to my trusty little travel cheat sheet.

So that makes my laminator totally useful, right?  Good purchase, right?  (Help me justify it, please.)