Packing question re: carry on bag

Old May 13th, 2009, 05:48 PM
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Packing question re: carry on bag

I have insisted that my husband bring mostly long docker-type pants for our trip in late June. We will be in Rome, Tuscany, Bologna and Venice. I am thinking that some shorts would be okay in Tuscany. Your thoughts please.

Also, we are bringing carry ons only and wondering if anyone has had good luck with the plastic packing bags that deflate to almost flat. I used them once but then how would one redeflate them when returning home?

As always, thanks to all of you for all of your great help!
suz49 is offline  
Old May 13th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Italian men tend not to wear either Dockers or shorts, if that matters to you or him. But no one's going to think you're Italian in all likelihood, so it really doesn't matter. If it's hot in Tuscany and he wants to wear shorts, that's fine for sightseeing. I wouldn't go to a restaurant in them, though, although plenty of tourists do.

When we go to Italy in summer we do lots of linen, the kind that doesn't wrinkle easily. It's cool and light to pack and works well for most occasions from trekking around to nice meals. If your H's a Dockers guy, though, he might not like that idea.

In the end it really doesn't matter much.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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"Mostly Dockers" makes it sound like he's packing lots of pairs of pants. If you're trying to do carry-on only, you could get away with wearing one pair, packing one pair and packing a pair of shorts.

I've never bothered to use those packing bags. When I travel with carry-on only, I just discipline myself to pack my suitcase to no more than "lightly full" (not jam-packed), and I prefer to use an expandable suitcase. That way, I travel carry-on for all of the trip, but can expand the suitcase and check it if I have to on the way home.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:11 PM
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My husband has a few pairs of those "zip-off" pants where he got from REI. Shorts during the day, pants at night. Obviously, there're not as fancy dockers, but certainly fine enough for casual resturants.

FYI, I don't know what kind of material they're made of, but they dry very very quickly.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 07:45 PM
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Thanks everyone!

We certainly do not expect to pass as Italians but want to look "put together".

Checking the bag on the trip home is a great idea-why didn't I think of that?

Linen is great-just was afraid it wouldn't pack well.
I shouldn't have specified "dockers"--just wanted to indicate casual rather than dress trousers.

Thanks again.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 08:03 PM
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Our travels to Europe in the last few years (France, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands) reveal that Europeans are now nearly as casual as Americans in dress, so unless you are going to dinner at some expensive "4-star" restaurants,"dockers" and a collared sport shirt will do. I suggest just a couple pair of "wrinkle free" chinos, such as those you can buy at LLBean or Nordstrom, and some wrinkle free cotton shirts. (We now travel "carry on only', usually with one regulation size carry on for the overhead bin and a smaller camera-bag style carry on for incidentals - if the airlines and airports of departure will permit (check your airline baggage rules and the rules of your foreign airport).
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Old May 13th, 2009, 08:20 PM
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I have used the really big ziploc bags and pressed the air out of them. Not as tight as the ones made for packing, but it works for me. Then you can use them again if needed.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 05:51 AM
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Agree that a couple of pair of casual pants would be fine. I also take a pair of the pants that zip off at the knee - works great when you want shorts. When taking a carry on, I usually wear the "heaviest" pants on the plane.

We didn't like those packing bags. Instead, we also use ziploc bags and include 2 very large ones - one to keep dirty clothes in and the second can be used as a mini-washer if you don't want to tie up the sink.

To minimize wrinkles, put plastic film bags from the cleaners in between pants, shirts, dresses, etc. Clothes tend to slide in the suitcase instead of rubbing against each other (which helps cause wrinkles) - we found it works great.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 06:50 AM
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Be forwarned that they may weigh your bags even if they are carryons and make you check them in if they are deemed "too heavy"...

We have only ever travelled with carry-ons so we were stunned when they weighed our bags and forced us to put one of them in baggage b/c they were over 12kg. The 12kg covers the combined total for each passenger. I have a small bag that fits on a carryon roller - so BOTH bags together counted for me...the TOTAL had to be less than 12kg! DH's total was 13.5 and mine was 14. This was in the US PHL terminal and they didn't weigh anything on the way home (out of France) so maybe we got a lame desk clerk but man was I annoyed.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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I too use Ziploc bags. Just close almost all the way and press out the air. They keep all my clothing, etc. organized, compact and also help prevent wrinkles. I use very large ones for tops and skirts and smaller ones for smaller items. Also, if something liquid in another plastic bag would leak the bags for your clothes help protect them. I'm afraid I don't travel lightly enough for carry-on only, and my large bag has a section for hanging items where I hang pants and jeans.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 08:03 AM
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FYI there's a thread on packing cubes vs. those space saver bags in the Travel Tips section.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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Be careful with pressing the air out of zip lock bags - the packed bag will get flatter and you can fit more in the suitcase, but it will weigh more.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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I have used the special travel plastic bags for 3 trips to Europe now and love them.

I think it's worth it for the real ones rather than regular ziplocs... for one thing mine are larger than any ziplocs I've ever seen and more sturdy as well. You load the bag, seal, then run a special tool across the seal to make sure it's properly locked.

You then roll the bag and the air starts to bulge... just when you're sure the bag will explode... a one way valve lets go and out hisses the air.

On my first trip I put trousers in one, shirts in another and socks/underwear the third bag. So to change clothes, I had to open all 3. Not handy. For the last 2 trips I have put complete outfits of socks/underwear/trousers/shirts in each bag and thereby only need to open one at a time to get a fresh outfit. A 4th bag looks after the worn clothes.

Does it make your carry on bag heavier? Of course! But that's obvious since I seem to get at least double into the bag. A friend who traveled with the same size (21 inch roller) bag couldn't believe how much more I had.

This could be a drawback if someone takes a low cost flight or 2 in Europe with the very low carry on baggage weight allowances they give. For a transatlantic flight, no problem.

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Old May 14th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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I have used the packing bags on several long trips to Asia. They are fabulous, as long as you do not get carried away and forget the weight limits!

Mine have a reinforced hole in them, through which you suck out the air with a vacuum cleaner. When I pack to return home, I borrow the vacuum cleaner for hotel housekeeping.

In fact, you gave me the idea to use them this weekend, because for the very first time ever on an international trip, I am thinking of using carry-on only. So thank you for bringing up the topic!
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Old May 14th, 2009, 01:02 PM
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Just be sure you buy the kind you roll--not the kind you use a vaccuum on. Most brands I've ever seen roll unless they are the huge ones for things like blankets.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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I also use the large zip locks for my carryon and couldn't pack without them. For some reason we are always pulled out of the security line to have our bags searched. It's just so much easier to pull out the ziplocks and have the guards feel those than to have my unmentionables strewn all over the table. After security we just throw the ziplocks back into our bag and we're repacked.

I also pack each ziplock with an total outfit, since it makes it so easy to grab an outfit for the day and save one complete outfit for the return trip.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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I think that the shorts/no shorts issue also depends on the type of shorts a person wears and what they wear them with.

A man in a pair of tailored, knee-length shorts, a nice button up shirt with a square hem, and a pair of leather sandals will look a lot more presentable than a man in a pair of shorter jean shorts, a t-shirt with a slogan on it, and tennis shoes.

The condition of the man's legs is also important - toned with a little color or pasty white with buldging veins?
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Old May 15th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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We used the plastic packing bags and loved them - the kind you roll up, not the vacuum ones. They are reusable. We have used them five different times and only one is not usable again. As mentioned by others, you do have to pay attention to weight. We did fine with our 19" rollaboards.
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