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The BEST advice I've read here - what to pack and what to wear

The BEST advice I've read here - what to pack and what to wear

Jun 15th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,762
janisj brings up an excellent point about packing differently for the way over and the way back.

last week i packed as usual (i am of the folding neatly school of thought) on the way to mexico, but on the way home tried rolling method for dirty clothes and did gain some space that way. also i leave behind things like beach towel, straw hat, 1/2 full suntan lotions, gaining even more space. Lastly, my 24" has an expandable feature that I could also use to add about two inches additional space to the main compartment.
suze is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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The funny thing is most people overpack to save money. I might need extra batteries, my shoelaces might snap,the B& B doesn't have washcloths, I might not like the hotel soap, etc, and I might have to buy something expensive overseas.... When you buy all of the extra items and use a fraction of them (and more often than not jetison the rest) it would have been cheaper to just buy what you need.

If packing light allows you to save one taxi ride, you probably will have enough to buy most convenience items.

It is fun to pack a lot of your favorite clothes, but carrying them home dirty is no fun. Carry less.

palmettoprincess is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Actually - when I pack light I tend to dress better than when I take everything plus the kitchen sink.

If one takes the time to select a coordinated travel wardrobe and attractive accessories - then every outfit will look good and be in fashion. I've found (and this is really a generality) my friends who pack a lot have a lot of unconnected outfits and are really limited to what they can mix/match. They more often end uploo
janisj is online now  
Jun 15th, 2006, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Hit post by accident ;

They more often end up looking like they just threw anything/everything in the bag . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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"I will resist bringing a favorite outfit because it looks good on me."

What kind of advice is that?

Who would bring an outfit that doesn't look good? In my experience, favorite clothes that make you look good get worn more often, and are more appropriate, than the other stuff that sits in the suitcase.
kswl is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Indeed, kswl-I found that comment strange as well. So frumpy, ugly, clothes from the travel catalogues that drip dry, long muu-muu style dresses and pants that can be zipped off into shorts should be the norm? I don't THINK so.
Spygirl is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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This is very timely. We leave in about 3 hrs for 4 weeks in England, Norway, and France. The first time we went to Europe in 1984, we were gone 6 weeks. We traveled on a ship, in a rent car and on a train. We had 7 that's right 7 big pieces of luggage and by the time we got off the train in Venice and then on to the ship there, we agreed never again!

Well, we did get better. Last year in Japan we had 1 large bag and 2 carry ons, but even just 1 large one was still a pain!

Today we leave with two roller carry ons, my largish soft purse and a small soft storage type case for my husband's electronics. I found a expanding suitecase and it is packed in my carry on. My husband is not too happy, he wanted to bring more stuff! Hopefully after our several train rides and rental cars he will be happy with less. We will see!
cwn is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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Perhaps she means that she will resist bringing a favorite outfit that is not of the right season or weight or color that is appropriate? Such as a white outfit for train travelling? If that is her meaning, I concur---just because something is a favorite doesn't mean it's appropriate. But my choice would always be something that looks good on me!
kswl is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I think she meant she has learned to pack appropriately - and doesn't toss in "just one more outfit" just because its one of her favorites, looks good, etc.

I did not take it to mean that everything else in her suitcase does NOT look good on her.
starrsville is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
What's helped me the most in paring down my packing is discovering almost paper thin silk & cashmere sweaters. I no longer pack the bulky knits that take up so much room.

I also took another fodorite's advice and bought a large cashmere shawl http://www.whiteandwarren.com/shop/detail.php?id=38# that I take on the plane to use as a blanket. I found mine on Ebay for 1/3 the price. It doubles as an evening wrap on chilly nights.
Linda431 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I have learned from years of over packing to lighten the load, but one thing I never leave to chance is my Migrane Tablets, I wouldnt dare take a chance that I might get them abroad!

I've learned to pack less on my outward journey, so that I can buy nice things from the country I'm , and not worry being over my limit with luggage when taking them back. I've also learned not to trust sunscreen that I buy abroad, since I was diagnosed with Melanoma 8yrs ago, I always take my sun block my dermatologist recommended to me
lucielou is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Spygirl, it is possible to pack light and not look like a slob. I always go with a 22" roller and I have the NICE clothes that I want for dinner, shopping, going out and just looking good while sightseeing. Not bringing everything you own does not mean you don't care how you present yourself, it just means you pack differently than some. You do what works for you, others do what works for them.

Starrsville, thanks for starting this thread, good info all the way around!
grantop is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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You know, it is easier to pack light when you know it is going to be either hot or cold. Places like the US Pacific Northwest, where you could have highs of 85 or 65 in August, drive me nuts.
missypie is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Pack less, wash more. And your clothing comes back from European hotel laundries beautifully cleaned and pressed, folded with tissue and individually wrapped in cellophane. It sometimes looks better than it did when new!
kswl is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Sorry, I can't agree with the original poster on medications approach.

Twice I had to run out to buy meds.

Once it turned into a wonderful adventure into an underground mall shopping in Montreal when I was only refilling my OTC, nothing urgent.

2nd time in Las Vegas I felt a cold coming, and needed vitamin C. Such a simple thing as vit. C was out of stock!!!!

So... it's better to lag it around and bring home rather then need them in the middle of a night.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Oh, no doubt, kswl, as well it should, when you're paying U.S. 8.00 for a single pair of underwear, sometimes twice what it cost you to buy. (although when I'm in Thailand, I always send out to get my laundry done, 2 big loads come back cleaned and pressed for about $3.00). I'd rather bring 2 weeks worth. It doesn't really take up that much space.
Spygirl is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 12:03 PM
Join Date: May 2006
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use hotel Laundry--shoot brig more clothes -buy some -have you actually used Hotel Laundry in Europe and not had heart failure from the prices.........
maggiebb is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,237
Okay all you light packers, I want to follow your advice, but I have the packing challenge of the century for our upcoming trip.

We're going to our son's wedding in Lithuania, so I have to bring one outfit (including shoes, tiny purse & a wrap )that will not be worn again.

This week temps in Lithuania are in the high 80s, but last week highs were in the upper 40s. That could be the case when we're there too, and it is almost always quite cool at night so we'll need some warm things. In addition to the wedding, we are doing the typical sightseeing things in cities. Then, we will be spending 2 days at a beach area on the Baltic Sea. We're ending our trip with a 5 diay bicycle trip in Germany so we'll need light cycling clothes and raingear.

I've got some ideas in my head about what to bring, but laying it all out on the bed will be the shocker. And, unfortunately for us, it always seems to be the other "stuff" that really adds bulk. To top it all off we're taking an intra-European budget carrier for part of the trip, and our weight limit is 20K or 44 pounds each.
julies is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 332
Honestly, I've always been a light packer but I've found the last few times that I've packed too light. I can hardly believe it myself. 1 medium duffel and a 12x8 handcarry is what I lug. Perhaps part of the issue is that I am quite petite and find it difficult to find well-fitting clothes even in the US. Still, my last 2 trips had me wishing I had brought this or that...things that I wouldn't want to go to the store for, like a fleece jacket. Firstly, b/c it would be a bit $$ and a pain to have to go out of my way to shop (I'm not much of a shopper even at home) but mostly b/c nothing would fit anyway. It's no fun to come home with a souvenir shirt/skirt/dress if you never wear it again at home b/c it never fit in the first place.
HunyBadger is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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And Huny-because I hate that feeling of not having packed enough, I rarely have that feeling anymore while on travel because I do the opposite. For example, this last trip to Vienna this past month, for 6 nights, I took 7 different pairs of pants/jeans, 1 skirt, 7 pairs of shoes (3 pair flip-flops) all kinds of tops and outerwear-in addition to accessories and what-not. And you know what? I did end up wearing most of it -(but certainly not all of it).

I do not shop overseas for clothes-like you, I rarely find anything that fits properly, I don't have the patience to try on a hundred different things, and/or it's way more than I want to spend. I was quite happy this trip with my over-packing-didn't have to run out and waste time buying anything but drinks and snacks for my frigo, and I could change my look according to the weather (which went from hot to cold) and occasion -tripping around to dressed for the opera house. (Vienna is much more formal than many cities, people tend to dress up more when they go out).

And yes, the Viennese were very much checking out the clothes and the look, at the Musikverein and the opera house at intermission, just to give one example.
Spygirl is offline  

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