Packing Light? Any Great Tips?

Jan 30th, 2007, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 132
I find that two people can go away for three nights with one small ruck sack (30 litre capacity).
Wear the heaviest items.
Ditch everything cotton.
Take shirts not T-shirts. They look smarter when needed and can be undone when too hot.
Zip off trouser / shorts are great.
Small quantities of toiletries only.
One pair of shoes (walking type that look smartish)
Look at the long term weather forecast as a guide before you go.
Don't take anything you didn't use last time you travelled.
Make sure all of your clothes can be worn in combinations or together in layers, ie nothing clashes.
Dark colours don't show so many marks(!)
Go for function before appearance (maybe a close second)
If the pack feels even slightly heavy before you leave, it will way a tone by the time you get to your destination.
Take your camera etc to preserve the memories.
STUMBLEBUM is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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This isn't a tip about packing light, but rather a travel tip in general.

I like to bring a small spray bottle with me when I travel. If I get to my hotel and my clothes are a bit wrinkled from being in the suitcase, I can fill the bottle with water, spritz the clothes and hang them up. By the time I'm ready to wear them, the wrinkles are gone!
sherhatfield is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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pmuzzy, there are undoubtedly microfiber bras, but can't say I've tried them. I don't need, shall we say, a mega-bra anyway, so the thin, easy to wash ones work well for travelling for me.

I do have some pretty funny pictures of one place I stayed w/friends in Italy...the brilliant magenta item draped in the background of several of the photos is my friend's bra desperately trying to get dry...
annabelle2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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rubysplace is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:02 AM
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That is a very funny thought - the magenta thing. I did realize this weekend that the Victorias Secret IPEX bras dry wonderfully quickly. Just a thought.
pmuzzy17 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:09 AM
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..most things are covered but I also find that if I make a list of what I think I need a week before, I then make sure those items are cleaned buttons on ect. I thien put out all of the stuff on a table or on the floor of my bedroom 3 days before. I keep looking at the stuff. I then find when I pack the night before I eliminate half the clothes! I nefer have trouble packing for weeks in a 22" suitcase unless I am going on business and then vacation. I have trouble as I really need almost 2 different sets of clothes. Remember too that it isn't just how big the case is but how much it weighs.
travelbunny is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Lots of great suggestions. We pack very, very light with me in a 21" and my husband in a daypack. Even my 23 y-o daughter manages a carryon.

I'm sorting through our photos from our last trip and we all appear to have never changed our clothes. That's the trick! I do bring yoga pants, t-shirt and a hoody and change into that in the apartment to save my regular clothes for outside. For 2+ weeks in Paris and Rome I had
1 pr boots and 1 pr shoes, for endless walking
1 black skirt
1 black polyblend slacks
1 gray slacks
1 skinny jeans (didn't need)
1 gray blazer (didn't need)
1 black cashmere cardigan (wore every day)
2 blouses
3 t-shirts
nightgown/travel slippers
undies, wool socks, black tights
yoga outfit (including a travel mat)
my toiletries fit in my little airport friendly ziplock
1 black wool coat

We had plenty of room. We did check our luggage on the way home as we'd bought liquid things. I so use one of those things that allows you to fold then compress your clothes. I brought the Tide stain remover stick and it was a godsend with red wine on a white blouse on day 2.
rosetravels is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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check out your local outdoors/hiking specialist shop. They are well stocked with durable lightweight things and you might be surprised to find that they look good too.

Check out their compression sacks (designed for sleeping bags) - great for compressing bulky clothes too - and maybe easier to reuse than the zip bags mentioned elsewhere.
Piedmont_Phil is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:45 AM
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I always pack a thin sheet for the beach during the summer months. I place my small (thin) towel on top of the sheet which means I don't need to bring a large beach towel to Europe in the summertime.
wally34949 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We've mostly traveled with a carry-on. The exception to that has been when we have traveled with the European airlines (British Airways and Air France). They tend to be really strict about carry-on suitcase dimensions (a 22" does not make it on board) and even stricter about weight.

I usually have at least 3 guidebooks at home that I have purchased to plan for the trip. I may bring one of them, I may not. I make photocopies of the important sections (restaurants, sights and walking tours of the places we're going). That takes up a lot less space and weighs less than bringing 2-3 travel books. As we visit the places, I throw out the pieces of paper.
Mariarosa is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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If you are going to purchase anything at a hiking/camping store as Piedmont_Phil suggested, I highly recommend REI. They have a ton of high quality stuff that is great for travel, especially if you are trying to pack light.

They have everything from microfiber underwear which can be washed and dries in less than an hour so you only have to take a few pairs (hubby absolutely loves these and will never wear anything else), to pants that pieces can be removed to make capris or shorts and also dry quickly (great for when it is cooler in the morning but warms up later - just unzip and you have shorts), and clothing that just won't wrinkle no matter how badly you pack it.

The best part is, you can return anything. Yes, ANYTHING. It doesn't matter if it has been worn a hundred times and has holes in it, or you just don't want it anymore, you can return it. Most of the time, you don't need a receipt. The last time I checked they kept all purchases on the computer for at least 3 years. After that, they recommend a receipt.

It sounds crazy that you can return used and damaged stuff, but trust me you can. We bought almost everything my husband needed when going to Iraq at REI (clothing, hats, backpacks, sleeping bags, shoes, etc). After he returned, we realized he didn't need some things and returned a lot of it. No questions asked, they just gave him the full value of the items in cash. Two years later when we were moving, we found a bunch more stuff and returned it (no receipt) with no problem.

The only catch is, you have to become an REI member. It is a one-time fee to join their co-op. I think it is about $15. Small price to pay for what you get though. Not only do you get the freedom of easy returns, but you also get dividends on purchases. Last year we got $96 in dividends and used it to purchase more stuff. The first year, we bought so much stuff we had over $350 in dividends. So we got the dividends, spent that, and we still returned most of the stuff we had previously purchased that had helped earn the dividend. So basically we got a bunch of free stuff.

I swear I don't work for REI, just when I find something I think is really great, I tell everyone about it. And this is one of those things.
shey is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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We never travel with more than one 21" roller-board and one "personal" size tote bag per person no matter if we are going to be away for a week or three. It's easy to pack light once you get your mind working properly. All you have to remember is two rules: 1) no one will notice that you wore the same thing to dinner two or three nights in a row and 2) most hotels have one day laundry service.

After commiting those rules to memory, a few days before your trip put out all the nice clothes you want to take on the spare bed. Admire them for a day or so then put at least half back in the closet, pack the rest and put more spending money in your wallet. Works every time.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 01:56 PM
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I almost always do carry-on even for three week trips. I cannot stress enough - black, black and black with a few white shirts or accents. I wash under garments in the sink with shirts. A bend of cotton with a little polyester is always the best. Two or at the most, three pairs of shoes, one being sandals. Always wear the heaviest of any clothing. Travel size cosmetics. I have come to the conclusion that a 22 inch carry-on with a packpack is the best. You can jam your purse and computet in and anything else into the backpack. The airlines don't seem to pay as much attention to backpacks. I don't roll but I do look at my suitcase and roll undergarments and pajamas and put them in the corners. All clothes are folded like you see in stores and alternated horizontally and vertically. You can do it.
lippincottfarm is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 05:16 PM
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A few people have mentioned carrying on a small suitcase (21" or 22") and a tote or backpack. If I've read the restrictions correctly concerning international flights, one carryon means one carryon; including purses, small backpacks, laptops, etc. I know I would always take a small suitcase and a small backpack but it doesn't sound like it's an option anymore. Has anyone tried this in the last month or two?
jeremygil is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I've gone to Europe for a month with a carryon before and plan to do it again in April. Many great tips already, but in a word, what helps me get by are
SCARFS! Lots and lots on them--they weigh nothing and can change an outfit completely.!
artlover is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:18 PM
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When you go matters, but I never travel without one pair of jeans. I'm just not willing to give them up because they're the most comfortable, and we usually travel in the fall when the weather can get nippy. Plus, you can wear them several times.

I always take a few tops and one sweater that goes with everything. Also a small bottle of Febreeze to freshen things up, just to buy an extra day or so out of a pair of pants or other clothing before we wash.

I gave up on microfiber & doing laundry in my hotel room on my first trip. We were moving around a lot and I just hated not having clean, dry clothes. In Rome, we had our room draped with wet socks and underwear, and in the humid rainy days we had there, nothing dried.

Packing light is easy once you realize that laundry is a necessity during a long trip, and it helps tremendously in deciding what to take because you're no longer trying to take it all.

I also learned on my trip that my husband is more than willing to go to the laundromat. He loves getting the experience of doing something with the locals, so on our second trip I took all my regular underwear, and DH washed clothes while we were in Paris.

If you don't want to wash your clothes, you can also pay to have it done. In Istanbul and Athens, we dropped off our laundry and for about $10 had everything washed, dried, and folded for us in a few hours while we went to lunch and poked around a neighborhood.


jules4je7 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 509
Regarding the Febreeze - I've never used it but it seems like a great idea. I went to the store and I did not see any bottles that were less than 3 oz that would conform to the liquids rules. Do they even make a travel size bottle? Or do you but a travel size bottle with spritzer and put the Febreeze in it?
Mariarosa is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,099
I don't carry on, so I have been able to take a bottle in my checked baggage. I found mind at a grocery store, but I can't remember which one. Jules
jules4je7 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Yes there is a travel sized bottle of Febreeze - but they are getting harder to find. I'd just buy a small empty spary bottle and fill it from your large Febreze bottle at home.

I have small pump, spray and squeeze bottles picked up in travel stores and sometimes at Target/Walmart. As long as the capacities are less than 3 oz. you can transfer all sorts of liquids to meet carry on requirements.
janisj is online now  
Feb 7th, 2007, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
I have a question about Febreeze.

One time I had a large party and several people smoked. The next day as I was airing out the house I noticed the wool verticals smelled. I purchased some Febreeze and sprayed the wool verticals with it.

The Febreeze rather ruined these expensive window coverings..suddenly they look rather old and there was sort of spots..not exactly spots but worn spots on them. I threw the Febreeze away as I was afraid to use it on any other material.

Now these verticals were about ten years old but until than they looked brand new and were beautiful.

Has anyone else had Febreeze ruin any material?
LoveItaly is offline  

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