What to wear/pack....Part 2

Old Oct 8th, 2005, 03:37 PM
  #21  
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Oh, yeah, I forgot something else. While in Burano (where we ate lunch) I stopped in a lace shop with some very pretty things. I wandered towards the back to find some people looking at tablecloths (the staff was unfolding them and explaining the sort of fabric, workmanship, etc.).

And I fell in love, right then and there, with a tablecloth (and 12 matching napkins). I do frequently buy linens when traveling, but usually tea or dish towels: cheap, local, colorful, something I can use everyday to remind me of my trip.

I bought it anyway. And I'm still in love (and it fit in my suitcase, though I was prepared to break out my emergency extra bag to accomodate it).

There was something I didn't bring that I wish I had: a hairdryer. I wasn't expecting to need one, but it turned out that my lodgings in Greece were a bit spartan. Oh well. I won't tell you about the shower.
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Old Oct 8th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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Hi Therese
We are off to mostly Italy in November (husband and three teens) and are packing light and will dress in layers. But we will be all over from Milan to Pompeii to Venice. I am concerned about having enough to stay warm in all the different zones... It is amazing the difference in temps between southern Italy and Paris (as far north as we will go)and the Dolomite Region as well as Zurich!
Any thoughts???
Thanks,
Yolanda
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Old Oct 8th, 2005, 04:03 PM
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Silk long underware is the best. It weighs nothing and takes up no room. A little more expensive but well worth it. Washes and dries in a flash.
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Old Oct 8th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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Yes 1jan1, silk underwear is good especially when travelling in winter.

I don't know about the weather today but a few days ago the area of Veneto and the Dolomites were having very bad storms and terribly cold weather.
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Old Oct 8th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I have some silk long underwear that I will bring, but I also liked the idea of a t-shirt or other light top underneath that could be more easily washed than the sweaters. The compressible bag is also a great idea.

Perhaps if Northern Italy is having such an early start to winter, February might not be too bad! I'll keep my fingers crossed!
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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You asked for it Therese, do you fit a normal sized pillow in your small carryon bag? If you do, thats incredible! and the sheet? why one sheet? Thanks for the detail.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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Therese:
I admire your organization but must admit, my 20-22# bags would never hold all you include. I must be missing something.....? 3-pr boots, all those pants, tops, blazers, sheet, pillow, extra bag for purchases would definitely not fit in my 22" and would be too heavy for carryon plus cosmetics. I so badly want to learn how to travel light - how heavy is your small duffle when packed and do you put this under the seat? I will re-read your info but thought I'd ask for clarification.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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Shadowcat-

I am a dedicated light packer but my one trip to Europe in the wintertime I packed and checked thru a small normal size suitcase. I put ONE sweater into my usual summer 22" roller... and it nearly filled it to the brim. I don't care... compression packing bags, silk underwear, whatever tricks, I simply cannot manage carry-on only for cold weather travel.

Sure you can still pack light, but I think a rolling 24-26" is reasonable plus a large carry-on tote of some kind.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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While I am lovin' all of this great advice, I want to ask the size of the suitcase(s), please? As a couple other poster mention, there is no way to put that number of pieces into a carry-on size suitcase (19-21"). You must have checked your bags, right?

At a glance I'm counting 8 bottoms, 20 tops, 1 cardigan sweater, 1 jackets, 3 bras, 8 socks, 10 undies, 1 pillow, 1 sheet, 1 shoes, 1 boots, 1 extra bag, plus cosmetics and toiletries.

I think your wardrobe advice is incredibly savvy Therese, but I am curious as to the size of suitcase(s) you needed to house it all.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Therese, we are sisters in packing! This is much on my mind as I leave next friday for Spain.
I too carry a 22" roll aboard and another "carry-on", smaller bag in which I put my purse.
Also in the "carry-on" I put my camera, book, toiletries bag, and usually a small zip lock bag with t-shirt and panties in case I have to check my roll-aboard and it goes astray. I'll be forced to check when I fly LFH-MAD on BA with their draconian carry-on rules.
I usually bring 2-3 pairs of black shoes as well, depending on the destination. If it's Europe then it will be a pair of slip-on black leather loafers, a pair low back boots with a 2" heel, and in summer, a pair of sandals.
I bring 2 pair black pants, sometimes jeans (gasp!) and another pair of no-wrinkle pants. Skirt in summer, none in winter.
Lots of nice, solid color t shirts with a cotton lycra blend that I buy at Target. These hold up well and look dressier than a standard T. They can be worn unders sweaters.
As for sweaters, you can't beat cashmere for warmth to weight ratio. They take up much less space than a big bulky cotton sweater. This is how I managed to do carry on to Paris in March and still stay warm.
I pack everything in big, zip-lock bags, and press out all the air. Not only does this compress the contents, but it makes things much easier if my bag gets searched. I can fit 5 t shirts into one, 1 gallon bag. I always buy the "One Zip" brand.
I also always bring a black pashmina wrap and a small, flat black purse for going out at night.
I'm not going to ask about your sheet and pillow, since I seem to remember a very heated thread on this a while back. ;-)
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Okay, some answers.

First, the luggage. Several of you express doubt that I could really manage to fit everything in carry-on luggage only. But in fact I do. My rolling bag is 20-22" long in maximum dimension, very standard. There's no "expandable" section to it, and on my way over I'd actually underpacked a bit (because I knew I'd have purchases to pack on my way back). The other piece of luggage is a small duffle, total interior volume somewhere between one third and one half of the larger piece. I generally put both pieces overhead (remember, I board early) though sometimes will put the smaller piece under the seat in front of me so that I can prop my feet on it. Note that I only took the second piece because I was going on a long trip---for shorter trips I generally only take the 20-22" rolling bag.

I did not check my luggage on either the flight from ATL to JFK or the transatlantic flight JFK to ATH. I did check it on the ATH to FCO flight because I made the mistake of asking the Alitalia clerk whether it was okay and she made me weigh it and it was over the limit (I don't recall what the limit was). Delta doesn't use a weight limit for carry-ons, only a size limit. I also checked my luggage for the return flights to the U.S., largely because I was connecting at CDG, and there's often a lot of running around and going up and down stairs and on and off buses to get between terminals there.

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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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Hi Kristina, I agree with you about cashmere sweaters. I love them also. They are lightweight, take up little room and at least in my case keep me warm.

I only carry a carryon bag on the plane. I have my travel documents, wallet, cash,credit cards, ATM's cards, glasses in this also. I haven't but I will in the future have a change of lingerie and some kind of a sleepshirt (silk) because last trip to Italy I was the only one at Venice that got my checkin luggage. How lucky is that? I was panicky for a few minutes, LOL. I put my day shoulder bag in my checkin luggage along with a small evening bag. Both have items in them so no wasted space. I could never pack for a European trip in a carryon but I am going to buy a smaller piece of luggage and it sounds like Therese's luggage has held up well.

BTW, I have always felt if I have enough for one week I have enough for a real long trip. Always packed that way for even a couple of months. Handlaundry at the hotel, take clothes to a local cleaners, rebuy cosmetic/bathroom items etc. Throw away any and all bathroom items before coming home. That opens up room for purchases. And a folded up duffle bag in checkin luggage on way over can be used for "dirty clothes" on way home which can be checked in also (gads if someone wants them they can have them, LOL) which makes room in the original suitcase for items. Happy travels everyone!!
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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There was a heated post about sheets and pillows? I missed that, I'm afraid.

Anyway, the pillow does actually fit easily into my small bags, but there's a trick: my pillow is made of soft latex foam. I've used this sort of pillow pretty much my entire life: my mother was instructed by our pediatrician to provide one for me when I was a child because I had pretty bad asthma, and they were considered hypoallergenic (and certainly preferable to feather pillows). They feel very different from regular pillows, and sleeping on a regular pillow, no matter how expensive or fluffy or whatever, gives me a stiff neck. They are hard to find (hotels never have them) and when I find them in a shop I buy eight at a time (because of course my entire family has fallen in love with them as well). They are, unfortunately, expensive.

On the other hand they are extremely compressible. I just squish it into my suitcase (usually the very last thing) and zip everything shut.

The sheet is because I don't always end up in the nicest lodgings (because somebody with a tight budget is paying for and booking my room). No issue with linens actually being dirty or anything, but they're often a bit scratchy, and since I usually sleepy without a gown it can be uncomfortable.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Oh,yeah, the extra bag that I pack in case I can't get everything in my luggage for the trip back? It's not the sort of bag you could ever check, really more like a shopping bag with handles except that it's made of rip stop nylon. It doesn't even zip shut.

So it's the equivalent, packing-wise, of another garment.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 01:25 PM
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Agree absolutely about the cashmere for great warmth for relatively little bulk. Important for packing, sure, but even more important for the nicely-dressed traveler. Good quality cashmere is expensive, but worth it.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 02:08 PM
  #36  
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Hi Therese - we're kindred spirits - I'm a great packer also. But being a size 2 or 4, it's rather easy. I know my husband (usually a minimalist) gets frustrated when traveling with me when I have just a 20" rollaboard for Europe, and a purse. For our upcoming trip he has to use a 26" - highly unusual for him! But he has to pack an overcoat, sports coat, stuff like that.

I was wondering, however, what size you wear (if you don't mind)? Maybe some people here wear a larger size and just can't imagine getting everything in like you did. Maybe this might "comfort" people of the opposite sex or larger sizes and help erase packing anxiety.

PS: I carry my own down blanket on-board. It comes in handy for cold planes, waiting in cold train stations, fold it up for a pillow and helps me sleep in a strange place. Plus, it packs down to nothing and weighs nothing.

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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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Here's some other stuff I thought of as I was starting to pack for my own trip.
I found a very thin, lightweight, pair of black silk sleep pants. These compress into a couple of inches. I sleep in them with a t-shirt. I used to travel with pajamas, but this saves on a lot of space. I also have a lovely green silk robe that comes with it's own pouch, but I don't always bring it unless I'm renting an apartment.
I also bring an inflatable neck pillow and earplugs on the plane.
Therese, I did a search for the thread on bringing a sheet, but could not find it, sorry.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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Aggiemom-
You are so right! Size does matter!
When we went to Paris, my husband had to make do with only one pair of shoes, which he wore on the plane. We could not fit another pair of his size 12's into his carry-on, along with his clothes which take up much more room than mine do (I'm a size 6 or 8).
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 02:47 PM
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Wonderful advice throughout.

I'm not a boot person unless the weather is cold or cooler. 'Suggest any of the nice flats on the market, or kitten heels for comfort yet dressier occasions.

Also: I'm also a basic black kind of person, but shots of color really help with the boredom. Therese has a lot of good ideas. I also recommend a top or dress from Issye Miyake, that often packs to nothing, or thin knit tops or dresses. Therese's idea of V-necks also work better than tpyical T-tops -- they feel a little dressier and do double duty at a restaurant.

I usually do a 22" or 24" suitcase if the trip gets very involved, and try to avoid the 26" one. The latter just gets too heavy, unless I am planning on a lot of shopping, i.e. I'll put up with it towards the end of the trip.
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Old Oct 9th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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Yes, Kristina, size does matter! My poor DH is just an average guy (in the clothing department, that is) but no matter how he tries he can't pack like me. We have three teenage daughters (all petite like me) who push packing to the max.

We only have 20-22" in the house and they must use those. They are also responsible for handling their own luggage.

It's amazing what they can cram in there when they're determined they can't live without it. One time, our middle daughter packed five pairs of jeans, five pairs of shorts, 38 shirts, three pair shoes, three bathing suits, underwear, toiletries etc for a four-day trip to California!! She got it all in the 22" and even managed to squeeze in her vacation purchases on the way back.
 

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