What to wear/pack... Part 7

Old Aug 30th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Therese-- I am enjoying the details of your packing, and learning a lot. Keep up the good work!
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 09:37 AM
  #42  
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"I'm sure many people will find this very helpful. But I am definitely going to refer my family and friends to this post when they accuse me of being anal-retentive. Yikes."

Heh heh. In fact I don't spend nearly as much time packing (or thinking about it) as this thread suggests. Most of my trips involve throwing my usual stuff into my usual suitcase and getting out the door to the airport. I take whatever happens to be clean, and that's pretty much it. If I've forgotten something I buy it once I'm there, or do without.

I post these threads here at Fodor's because they address questions that come up here very, very frequently. Lots of "packing light" proponents take a fairly low maintenance approach to their wardrobes and grooming, and anybody who doesn't is likely to look at their suggestions and despair. Use hotel shampoo? On my hair? Wash out my single pair of panties in the hotel sink every night? Wear the same blouse twice? Wear clunky shoes to swank restaurants? No, no, not me.

By describing exactly what I take, and why, I can allay the fears of high maintenance folks like myself. They, too, can enjoy the freedom that comes with a small suitcase.

It helps that I type very quickly (we'll overlook the typos for the moment).

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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 09:54 AM
  #43  
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I've got to go finish baking some cookies right now, so will solicit guesses as to the single strangest item that I routinely bring with me when I travel. Of course, I don't think it's odd in the least, but it's the mention of this item that typically prompts the listener to stare at me in disbelief. "Really? It fits in your suitcase? That little suitcase right there?"

So, what is it? And yes, if you look at old threads in this series you'll find it mentioned.
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 10:07 AM
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No time to look back through old threads, but are you the person who brought their own sheets? A pillow I understand and don't think that odd, but sheets?? I know someone here did that...
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 07:05 AM
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Pillow's the answer.

I do occasionally bring a sheet (just one, a full or queen-size flat sheet), but that's when I'm not sure of my accomodations. When I travel for work, I'm sometimes put up (by my hosts, the people who are paying for the trip) in a room that's not technically a hotel room but rather a sort of dorm that's associated with the meeting hall/university/conference center. Imagine a monk's cell with a TV. Far and away the worst aspect of this type of room is the typically inadequate bathroom: shower with not great water flow, slimy shower curtain that blows everywhere and wants to stick to me, and flooded floor. But at least it's a private bathroom.

The second worst thing is the usually scratchy sheets, and so that's when I typically pack one of my own. I don't usually pack a nightgown, so it more or less acts like a gown in that it's a barrier between my skin and the scratchy sheets.

The pillow is latex foam rubber. I've slept exclusively with this type of pillow since I was a toddler, as I have asthma, and the "feel" of it is so different from other pillows that I don't sleep well without one. It doesn't have to be a particular latex foam pillow, just one of that type.

Although it's very, very compressible, it's fairly heavy. I managed to find a weight for one on line that was 1.3 kg, and that sounds about right. A sacrifice I'm willing to make, even in this "constrained weight" instance.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 07:26 AM
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Therese: Your threads are always amazing. I enjoy reading them, always pick up a couple of good tips, and have passed this one (with the all the good links to prior threads) to a stylish friend who will be traveling to Europe for the first time with us in about 3 weeks.

Your comment a few posts up says it all -- you write these for people who don't want to walk around in shorts, Keens (which I love, but wouldn't wear out at night) and a backpack every minute of their trip to Europe. These posts provide all of us great encouragement to give packing light a try; you share some great examples of what to pack and how to do it.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 07:42 AM
  #47  
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Thanks, Molloy95 (and travlsolo2 and others who lend encouragement along the way). It's fun to share, and fun to get cool tips along the way (that Scottevest is calling my name...).

So, while I'm thinking about it, any of you who've come up with some great solution to a common (or not-so-common) problem should feel free to chime in here. Or if you've got a question, or just want to express stunned incredulity.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 08:09 AM
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I have a cunning way around the ryanair stupid 10 kilo rule - where I get hubby or whoever I'm with (or a luggage locker) to hold a small bag of items for me which I then pop back into the hand luggage after the weigh in - before I go through to the gate. Illegal/unfair etc. I know....but I'm so sick of them. Anyway, I've vowed never to fly with them again....since a few weeks ago they made me miss my flight and I had to stay at an airport hotel with the baby etc.

Also I wear about 6 kilos of clothes - I'm like an onion. Though it does take me a while to strip at security.

The pocketses thing is a good idea. I never thought of that. I have an old mac where the pockets are ripped and everything goes into the lining.....that should be good for another 6 kilos.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 11:53 AM
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Okay, so I'm now sitting here chuckling at the thought of you wearing 6 kg of clothes, Lawchick.

Great idea about the temporary luggage locker. I won't be needing to use that option, but it might be a solution for somebody who has to deal with something like camera lenses (Kristina?).

I'll point out here that I'm generally a very law-abiding, follow-the-rules sort of person. But since it's very clear that Ryanair's operating on the assumption that they can basically trick me into paying more that I plan to, I don't feel the least bit guilty about bending the rules in this instance.

What was the issue with your last flight, Lawchick? Assuming you don't mind sharing, that is.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 12:39 AM
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I was flying back from Dublin to Brussels and the computers were glitchy at Dublin Airport and it was taking hours to get everybody checked in. All of the people for ryanair flights were put into two queues, streaming slowly towards the check in desks. All the flights were showing delayed on the board - except mine. On about 10 occasions me or hubby left the queue to enquire what was going on and to confirm if our flight was also delayed...and also to plead with them to check us in. Each time they said our flight was delayed, we could not be checked in and to get back into the never ending queue. Lo and behold when we got to the check in desk - our flight was gone. Husband, me, baby and about 20 others were left behind. I created havoc. Ryanair blamed the Dublin Airport authority, DAA blamed Ryanair and so on. We had to stay at a hotel at the airport until the next morning and even then we were on standby....but we made it in the end...but our plane was delayed that morning and Ryanair baggage handlers managed to pull the handle off my checked in suitcase.

It's twice as difficult when this sort of thing happens with a baby. I had to get food/nappies etc.

I'm still really annoyed, but I'm amusing myself by writing scathing letters to them. So never again....and if ever, I will be wearing my extra baggage.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 09:46 AM
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I'd say "twice as difficult when this sort of thing happens with a baby" is underestimating the hassle by a factor of at least 5. I never had any substantial delays when traveling with either of mine as infants (and they are now teenagers), but I do feel your pain.

Any Ryanair is presumably not going to pay for any of costs of the delay, of course (though if DAA is saying that it's RA's screw-up then perhaps you'll have some recourse). Glad to hear that it turned out okay in the end.

Thinking of you traveling Ryanair with an infant does put me in mind of one of the funnier statements on Ryanair's web site (which is itself a masterwork of carefully worded but still very confusing information):

"Strictly one item of cabin baggage per passenger (excluding infants) weighing up to 10kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm is permitted. (handbag, briefcase, laptops, duty free etc must be carried within your permitted 1 piece of cabin baggage)."

Whenever I read this it strikes me that perhaps Ryanair considers infants to be cabin baggage, but that in this instance they'll waive the "one bag only" rule. What they really mean, of course, is that the infant doesn't get his own separate carry-on allotment, but it still makes me giggle.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 10:25 AM
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My daughter recently flew Etihad Airways from Bangkok to London via Abu Dhabi, and when checking her baggage allowances, she was entitled to take one falcon with her as hand baggage. Had she traveled first class she could have taken up to 6 falcons with her as had baggage LOL.

Therese, interesting series of threads BTW.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Next, jewelry.

Not too much to say here, as I don't wear that much: a watch (a Timex with a black leather strap for work and travel), plain wedding band (no engagement ring), and earrings. I occasionally wear bracelets if I'm going out but otherwise don't bother, as they bother me a bit when I'm using a keyboard (and as you've likely realized by now I spend a lot of time at the keyboard).

I do have a small box in which I usually carry my earrings and bracelets for travel, but for this trip will be using a small ziploc bag instead (in the interest of saving the ounce or so that the box itself weighs). A total of perhaps 20 pairs of earrings. I could take fewer, but that would require thinking about it in advance, and then limit me later on. What if I don't feel like wearing the gold hoops that day?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 10:30 AM
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Falcon? I'll admit to wondering at first what on earth you meant by "falcon", but then realized that you actually meant a real, live falcon. I gather it's a fairly popular sport (presumably among the wealthy) in the Middle East.

Hmm, I wonder if they cause much fuss. Do they need to be sedated for the trip?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 10:35 AM
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For those of you who'd like to check out Etihad's baggage policies, here you go:

http://www.etihadairways.com/etihada...nformation.htm

Stunningly detailes, and the parts about falcons are especially good reading.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 04:14 AM
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Just thought of yet another item that goes in my "dry" toiletries bag: ear plugs. I tend to use my noise-canceling earphones on the plane, but if I'm really going to sleep then the ear plugs work better. Some airlines hand these out (along with eye shades) on TATL flights, but I find that they tend be itchy, and so bring my own brand. These can come in handy in hotels as well, not just at night (if the area is busy) but if I need to get some rest during the day, when there's generally more noise.

I also don't like the eye shades given out by the airlines, as the elastic tends to slip down and cut into the tops of my ears, and they also make me feel a bit claustrophobic. I'm considering trying to find some that are more comfortable.

Any suggestions? I've seen some that permit you to open your eyes while you're wearing them, and that seems like it might work for me.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 06:01 AM
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This is going to sound stupid but how about some loose fitted swimming goggles with the lenses painted out. As long as you don't mind looking a tad odd...think they'd work well and wouldn't be as stuffy feeling as the cloth eyepads, which I can't stand either.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 07:05 AM
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It doesn't sound stupid at all, actually, and as it turns out this "goggle" style of eye shade is becoming increasingly common.

Here are some that I found on line:

http://www.dreamessentials.com/a_mask_dream_away.aspx

http://www.dreamessentials.com/a_mask_dreamlite.aspx

http://www.dreamessentials.com/a_mask_contoured.aspx

http://www.dreamessentials.com/a_mask_mindfold.aspx

And now I'm going to have figure out which one I want. Oh, and buy it online using SkyMiles Shopping.

Anybody have any experience with any of these products?
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Okay, made my choice. The "Lights Out" sleep mask (from Magellan's). I had to pay for shipping, so the total was about $15, but I did earn miles (3 per $1, I think) and didn't have to get in my car and drive anywhere.

Black, of course, so if you see some woman conked out wearing a sleep mask that makes her look like a bug, it may be me.

Don't wake me to ask, though. ;-)
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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I came across a cool little gadget today, courtesy of another Fodorite's mention of it on (I believe) the Airlines forum, something that I'd forgotten that I needed.

I mentioned upthread that I use my own headphones to access in-flight entertainment. These headphones are noise-cancelling (Bose, QC3), and when I plug them into the usual plane speakers I have very little control over the volume. I can control the volume from the button on the arm rest, or the AVOD screen, of course, but typically the input is so loud that I have trouble getting it to be low enough on the headphones (the high volume is necessary if you're using not so great earphones to hear over the ambient din, I guess). And even if it's not too loud to start out, I can't adjust the volume as gradually as I'd like.

So here's the solution:

http://tiny.cc/u9hdS

It's labeled as a "volume control cable" here, but it's also known as an in-line attenuator, and I expect it will improve my in-flight experience.
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