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London and Portugal: "A Tale of Two Cities" or Otherwise known as..."What Do I Pack?"

London and Portugal: "A Tale of Two Cities" or Otherwise known as..."What Do I Pack?"

Jun 4th, 2006, 05:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
London and Portugal: "A Tale of Two Cities" or Otherwise known as..."What Do I Pack?"

Today I became giddy with excitement as I counted the weeks on my calendar – only 5 1/2 weeks until we depart for London and our stay at the Ritz. A few days later, we depart for Portugal...Tavira (a condo) in the Algarve, to be specific. Two polar opposites: The City and the Fishing Village. A bit of panic overcame me as I immediately ran to my closet...What and how do I pack for such a trip??

I will be upfront and state that I have a serious obsession with clothes – I love them. Alright, that’s not the "real" serious problem. I am a serious OVER-PACKER! That’s correct -- I am cursed with the inability to sensibly pack.

To give you an example…this past winter, for a two night stay in NYC, I filled an expandable 24 inch suitcase with a variety of outfits. One for every mood – and I have many of them, lol. Also lots of shoes - Love them too. Of course I didn’t wear everything during that trip and on our journey home I was made to learn a lesson. It is very difficult to pull a fully-loaded suitcase through the streets of NYC in 2 feet of snow. The Over-Packing gods were truly trying to teach me a lesson! I vowed never to Over-Pack again. My husband laughed and smiled and laughed (a bit of a devious laugh, now that I think about it). >

Well, the urge is re-surfacing. My DH says that we will need 4 four suitcases for the trip – he gets one and I get three. I sense a challenge somewhere in his statement.

I already know that I will be packing a black evening suit that will carry me from tea at Fortnum & Mason to the theatre. I know I will take one of my favorite silk/linen skirts (wears amazingly well) with a knit top to dinner with S&BIL. Sigh. See what I mean?

Then there is the sightseeing clothing. I definitely like having my daytime clothes and my evening clothes. So that’s two sets of clothing a day (while in London for 4 days).

The Portugal portion of the trip is more relaxed – light cotton skirts and tops, a few pairs of sandals...

Okay, I will stop...for now. I clearly need your help. Maybe we can accomplish this trip with only two 24 inch suitcases and a teenie weenie one for whatever I might buy on our trip.

seetheworld is offline  
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,687
Don't panic, I'm here to talk you through this difficult situation you are facing!! Help is available for overpackers, and the hardest part is admitting you have a problem and asking for help. You have taken that important first step....

Let me share with you my ordeal, a harrowing story of an overpacking binge that spun out of control and caused me pain. (mostly back pain) As you know I recently took a trip to London and Portugal. I had to pack for 2 different climates and a wedding. I am usually more on an underpacker, but on that day I felt insecure and afraid of running out of clothes. God forbid, what could be worse?? In the midst of my insecurity, I went on a packing binge, and I was very sorry the next morning. I knew as I dragged my refrigerator-sized suitcase off the baggage carousel that I had made a mistake and I would never pack like that again. I hope I can help prevent you from the same.

You do have one packing advantage that I didn't have. My trip was in April and it was quite cold in London. At least you will not need a winter coat or bulky winter clothing. Another advantage you have is that you will be staying in a condo in Portugal, so I assume you will have a washer and dryer? If that's the case, you can take a lot less.

Good luck with your overpacking problem. Overpacking is an illness, but it can be conquered....
P_M is offline  
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:33 PM
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I really want to reform myself PM! Really, I do. My family outwardly laughs at me -- they don't think I can do it. They know me all-to-well...

I am told the condo has a washer, but NO dryer. But it should be hot in Portugal in July, no?? Hotter than London, I would think.
seetheworld is offline  
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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...and oh PM, what exactly is a "refrigerator-sized suitcase"? Inch-wise, that is.
seetheworld is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 03:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,687
I'm not sure of the dimensions, but it's big. Perhaps it was more like a mini-bar in a hotel room, but at the time it felt like I was lugging around a full-sized fridge.

Good luck with your recovery, stw. You can beat this!!
P_M is offline  
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