What to wear/pack... Part 7

Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 09:59 PM
  #181  
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Look's like Kristina leaves today (later on, that is). Have a great time, and thanks for sharing your blog. Lots of great stuff there, and not just about packing.
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Old Oct 4th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Bonjour from Paris!
I am here and all luggage arrived with me (since I was all carry on). Took the RER into the city from the airport and the only struggle was up and down a few flights of stairs in the Metro.
I will be posting my trip report and photos later on my website.
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Old Oct 4th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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This is an amazing thread, after about 2/3 of it my eyes were glazing over, but I do have a question for the person or anyone else who mentioned the Scottevest. I clicked on the site and it looks very interesting. Our trip is October 15, so I'd need to move quickly on this.
Questions: Was the sizing fairly accurate? It seems to run sort of small according to the measurements, but I'm not sure.
Were you happy with it? Did it hold up? Did it get through security OK?
I'm female, traveling with DH to Amsterdam, Belgium, France, doing some WWII battlefields, and this looks like it would work very well for me.
Any advice is appreciated!
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Old Oct 5th, 2008, 07:06 AM
  #184  
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Challiman, the poster who mentioned the Scottevest, crckwc1, hasn't posted since the one to this thread, so may not be too active on the forum at the moment. Were I you I'd call the company directly and ask about the fit, as it looks to be a very hands-on operation that would be able to answer your questions.

The product looks to be very well-made.
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Old Oct 5th, 2008, 07:09 AM
  #185  
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Great news re your smooth travels, Kristina. Have you decided yet how to spend the money you saved on your airport transfer? Croissants? Champagne?
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Old Oct 5th, 2008, 07:20 AM
  #186  
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Day 19+: Denouement

The cab home cost $45, as opposed to the $1.75 that it would have cost to ride MARTA home. The MARTA train comes all the way into the airport---you walk directly from the terminal onto the platform, so it really easy ridiculous easy to use. The closest station to my house is about a 30 minute walk, but some of it is very hilly, so not ideal for a jetlagged person with luggage, even rolling luggage. Until fairly recently MARTA operated a connecting bus that passed directly in front of my house, and the driver would very nicely stop to let me off there. Unfortunately the closest bus stop is now a 15 minute walk from my house (most of it uphill) and the total trip is much longer, as the bus takes a circuitous route to even get there. So I took the cab, wasting money and gasoline and trashing the environment.

Of course, this was work, so I'd be reimbursed for the $, but that's not the only thing that I consider in the equation.
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Old Oct 5th, 2008, 07:24 AM
  #187  
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Day 19+: Denouement, continued.

When I travel for work I have to keep very close tabs on my expenses, making sure to obtain and retain receipts as I go. It can get pretty complicated when the exchange rate is sliding around so much, so when possible I use a credit card, and can then check my bill to see exactly what I was charged.

This particular trip required that I submit receipts to two different sources for reimbursement, as the cost of the trip was split between them. It'd done, and the checks are on the way.
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Old Oct 5th, 2008, 07:31 AM
  #188  
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Day 19+: Denouement, continued.

The other thing that I make a point of retaining is my boarding passes. I fly so much that I earn lots of miles with my preferred airline's frequent flyer program (Delta SkyMiles), and so my incentive to earn them is even greater. Delta is normally very good about giving credit for flights on their own equipment---you can literally board a flight and then check your account at Delta.com, and you will usually find that the miles for the flight (which you haven't yet even taken, just boarded) will have been credited.

Codeshare flights, where I am ticketed on Delta but flying on another airline's equipment, are another thing altogether, and often require that I fax documentation that I've actually taken the flight to Delta's SkyMiles customer service center. The best documentation (in addition to your eticket) is your boarding pass, and Delta invariably responds quickly to the fax, posting the miles within hours of my sending the fax.

Note that this issue may also arise if you are moved to a different flight, particularly if that flight is with another carrier. Occasionally I've been put on another carrier that isn't even part of SkyTeam, but Delta still gives me credit for the miles.
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Old Oct 5th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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Day 19+: Denouement, continued.

Unpacking. I generally unpack within a couple of hours of arriving home from a trip, as I want to get my laundry done and my suitcase put away.

Doing so gives me a chance to reflect on what I could have left behind, and what I wished I'd taken. On this trip I never got a chance to wear the following items:

gray patterned dress knit top (apart from wearing briefly during the Ryanair check-in)

white woven blouse

white herringbone woven blouse

I don't consider this a failure in my planning, though, because if it had been cold and rainy in Bordeaux they'd have come in very handy. Had I not done laundry in London mid-trip I'd most likely have worn them.

The next question is whether there was anything I'd wished I'd brought but hadn't? Well, not that I'd bring it on this trip, given the weight restrictions, but I've come to realize that I'd really like to have an ionizing travel hair dryer, as this type does leave my hair smoother and softer. I don't know if these exist. I did look for an ionizing model while in Bordeaux, but not too hard, and didn't see one.

Yeesh, talk about high maintenance...
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Old Oct 5th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Therese, thanks for your suggestion of calling about the vest. I think I'll do just that.
I take it you live near Atlanta. My bro and SIL live in Alpharetta, and on a visit last year I rode the Marta from the airport and it was so nice and easy and clean! Sure wish other cities that presently have nothing like that would head in that direction.
Thanks for all the packing help, too.
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Old Oct 6th, 2008, 02:15 AM
  #191  
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My pleasure, Challiman. I'm also considering the Scottevest, so do report back with your experience.

If anybody else still has any lingering questions or suggestions, please feel free to post them before this thread toddles off to sleep.
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Old Oct 6th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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Back from our 18 day trip which included 4 days in Rome, a 7-day Greek Isle cruise, and Oktoberfest.

Enjoyed this thread before I left and am happy to see it is still in the top 50!

Will be posting about how successful my packing was soon...
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Old Oct 6th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Looking forward to how the trip worked out, lvillinois. Did you bring back a dirndl? ;-)
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 06:28 PM
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Back home again, this time after a week's business trip to Portland, OR. So not European, but all the same packing tips came in handy, plus I scored something I'd been looking for...

Remember my search for a small, dual voltage, ionizing hair dryer? Well, the dryer at my hotel (a big fancy U.S. chain) was terrible, so I headed out to the drugstore around the corner and found exactly what I'd been looking for, made by Revlon. It's small (the handle folds down), weighs a lot less than my regular one, and is advertised as being 1875 watts, and "true" dual voltage. It will be interesting to see whether it is: U.S. dual voltage appliances will typically only work on the lower setting when in Europe, and then tend to run really hot. My next trip abroad is in January, to Paris (first stop on a 'round-the-world itinerary), so we'll see it works as it should.

Oh, and yes, the trip to Portland was entirely carry-on, and I took a truly ridiculous amount of clothing with me (I literally changed clothes at least once and sometimes three times a day) and purchased more while I was there. And no laundry, not even rinsing out stockings.
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 07:21 PM
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I'm glad to see this thread will not die. But it sure takes a long time to download on my slow connection.

Something I looked for was a small, hard plastic makeup kit with a separate lid. In bathrooms with not much counter space, I wanted to use the upside down lid to contain and organize what I use each morning. I found just what I needed in the craft section at Target, three plastic boxes that clip on top of one another. I use only the top tier and lid, but if I develop an urge to haul around more makeup, I could add another tier or two.
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 08:02 PM
  #196  
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Love your screen name, Coquelicot. One of my favorite flowers, and then it's got the other name as well, so whenever I hear the one I have to remember the other.

Yes, the unending thread... But then the topic is unendingly fascinating to some of us (and unendingly tiresome to others, but then that's what makes the world so interesting).

I picked up a couple of other items in Portland which will come in handy when I travel. I found them while visiting the Saturday Market (which takes place on both Saturday and Sunday, and I was there on a Sunday). They are large woven scarves, both labeled "Tibet" (and according to the salesman made of wool, but I gather possibly yak wool, and very, very soft), and both fringed. One is a red and green paisley, and the other is an apple green and gold small floral print.

Here's what I use this type of scarf/shawl for:

Doubled over and looped at neck (to wear with coat in cold weather)

Folded small and looped around heavy shopping bag handles (so as to keep thin handles from putting so much pressure on the skin of your hands)

Draped over my shoulders (as cover-up and/or warmth when wearing something a bit dressy and bare in the evening; a nice splash of color is you wear a lot of black)

Draped over me in-flight (essentially a second blanket, and unlike the airline's version one that I don't mind having so near to my face)

I used the apple green/gold one on the flight home from Portland.
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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Hi Therese-
I wanted to give a follow up to my traveling carry on to Paris as well.

I wore everything I brought except 1 long sleeved t shirt. I never had to wash out anything.

Had I not had the "dressy" event, I could have done without the high heels and dress and there were a couple of items I only wore once and could have done without (sweater vest, skirt). I wore my new Clarks books almost every day and they were wonderful.

I didn't do much shopping, but I did come home with 2 new scarves, 3 ties for my husband and 8 heavy duty cool plastic resuable shopping bags from a Parisian grocery store which I will enjoy using at my local Trader Joe's. In addition I had a huge, 3 lb, spiral bound Michilin Map Book which I'd borrowed from friends while there and had to bring home for them because I'd forgotton to give it back!

I also bought a 200g. can of Foie Gras in Perigeaux for my husband but it was comfiscated by the French TSA before I got on the plane to come home! If I'd checked my luggage on the way back, that would not have happened. Personally, I don't think of foie gras as a "liquid" but they would not let me on the plane with the can.

At the airport on the way home there was a major meltdown of United's computer system and I was very glad we were not checking bags as it was very hard to even get a boarding pass printed.

Finally, I have to say, going through security was a bit of a hassle with everything:
Take off coat, jacket, scarf and shoes.
Take out liquids bag and laptop.
Rolling bag
Smaller carry on bag
Push it all though the machine and walk though the screening gate with boarding pass and passport in hand while trying to keep your eye on everything.
It's just a lot of things to juggle at one time.
On the other hand, it's a small price to pay and I didn't have to wait for my bags on arrival in Paris, or worry about them not being there when we had to change planes in DC on the way home.
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 07:47 AM
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But remember that the only difference between going through security with your carry-on and without is the actually carry-on bag:

You'd still be wearing coat/sweater/scarf/boots.

You'd still almost certainly have some sort of liquid that you needed to put in a ziploc bag even if it wasn't all of your toiletries (and note that airports increasingly don't make you bother with taking the the ziploc out---ATL's been doing this for a while, and PDX was the same).

You'd still have your laptop, because nobody checks a laptop (and note that here again many airports are now only asking that you open your laptop case, not take it out).

So far as I can tell, short of traveling naked there's no hassle-free way to get through security.
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Old Nov 11th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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While I generally agree with Therese, I will caution that her experience with laptop cases does not agree with mine.

My laptop still must come out of the case! The only exception I have seen is the new "TSA friendly" laptop cases which the TSA "claims" can just be "opened". Since my experience has been that training TSA agents is kind of hit or miss I am not bothering to invest in the approved case anytime soon. I will let my fellow travelers train the agents first.
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Old Nov 11th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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Before our last trip someone on Fodor's suggested a travel vest, which I basically disregarded at the time. Then I found I needed one for my photography things and the usual map, guidebooks, etc. I wore that vest every single day, no purse required, leaving me hands free to play with the camera, hold on in Metros, examine things in shops. It was wonderful.
I now plan to incorporate that vest into my carry-on plans, it is a jacket with zip-off sleeves and depending on the weather I'll have either a jacket or vest. It has 18 pockets. I know I sound like a salesman for this product, but think it will be so much easier to get to things in flight, even if I still take a small carry-on. I'm only 5'2", and if DH isn't with me I often can't reach the overhead bins, so this is really great for me.
The pockets are secure, so as the vest goes through the screening it should keep things in place and not as easily grabbed by those that try to snatch things at that point.
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