“So what are taking to London with you,” I asked my friend, Linda, as she got ready for her long-awaited trip overseas.
“I’m not packing much at all,” she shared.
Not much at all? Now I was impressed as I tend to over pack, but getting better. (See my AC article, “Traveling Lighter for a Better Trip” (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/300351/traveling_lighter_for_a_better_journey.html where I share how I learned the hard way, paying $50 for an over packed suitcase. In this article, I’ll show you how to do it.)
Even if I’m improving, the old me still panics, worrying I’ll leave something important behind. However, you’ll have a much more enjoyable trip when you think “light”. Who wants to be bogged down with unneeded stuff when you should be free to explore new territories? Even worse, if you have too many suitcases, you increase the chances of losing one, even temporarily in your travels, making for a nightmare trip.
Just how do you pack lighter, yet still have enough necessities for your trip? I had to starting thinking about this now, even though it’s almost a year before I leave for my trip of a life-time next summer when I join my church travelers for our 21-day excursion to Holy Lands and Egypt. Here are a few trips I’m learning from Linda, and others who’ve traveled abroad….
*First, get out your bathroom scale and be sure to weigh everything you pack, making it a science. Let it be a challenge to see just how light your suitcase tips the scales. Shoot for ounces rather than pounds. In fact, have a contest with your spouse to see who came come up with the least amount of pounds.
*If possible, plan to travel in the summer so you don’t have to pack heavy woolens, boots, and wraps. Thankfully, our trip overseas next year is in June so we won’t need heavier clothing to keep warm.
*Check the weather report before you leave. It’s good to be prepared, but too often, we carry both summer and winter clothes in our suitcases when we don’t need a two seasons wardrobe.
*Leave your crafts behind. I know this is a hard one for compulsive knitters and stitchers like myself, but let’s face it—you’re there to see new sites–not do what you normally do at home.
*Carry a small camera–In fact a throw away is best–no extra film, etc.
*Think silk! One of the pointers Linda mentioned was she was bringing silk clothing, wearing only a few ounces and pounds. If you roll up your silk tops, bottoms, and other clothing, that leaves room for other essentials.
*Buy small bottles of shampoo, or better yet, use the samples in your motel rooms. You also don’t need that bulky hair dryer, as most motels have them.
*Don’t carry food–Hey, you’re on vacation, so eat out!
*Leave your books behind–After you get home, you can study about where you’ve been.
*Use miniature bottles for cosmetics, as they are usually heavy items in their original containers. Start stocking up on samples every time you buy cosmetics long before your leave for your trip–samples of perfume, face cleansers, etc.
*Limit yourself of two pairs of shoes–walking and formal.
*Think adventure and not style show, leaving heavier, formal clothing behind.
And, finally, don’t wait until the last minute to pack. If you start planning ahead of time, you’ll be more organized and less prone to just throw stuff in your suitcase that you don’t need.