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New Tricks for Old Dogs: Hacks for Packing a Bit Smarter and Lighter

New Tricks for Old Dogs: Hacks for Packing a Bit Smarter and Lighter

Old Jun 30th, 2024, 12:18 AM
  #21  
 
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What a great thread - thanks all.

Melnq8 - I have to take a few pills now too. Luckily the prescription one is tiny & comes in its own blister pack. The vitamins & supplements go into small ziplock bags with the type & dose written on the bag in biro. Where thereís different coloured pills, I put a few in one bag. For overseas trips, I usually get a list from my Dr & add that & the contents label from the packages.

i use ziplock bags for anything that will fit in them - lingerie, tops, jumpers etc. I use a soft sided bag and line it with a very lightweight plastic sheet to ensure nothing gets wet if itís stuck on a baggage trolley in the rain.

Iím a pretty light packer but not interested in doing carry on only for more than a week or more than one climate zone. Iím usually doing a mix of city & country. Thatís my excuse & Iím sticking to it 😂.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 07:25 AM
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I hear you Bokhara, I'm never going to be a carry-on only traveler. We pack light, but our trips are long, hiking centric and often in winter. There's just no way. And no interest.

I tend to pack lighter than my husband. He's just recently discovered the joy of taking a smaller suitcase (which took a bit of nudging). Less to lug around on trains and buses. Less to lift. It took years, but I think I've finally convinced him that less is more. He still manages to stuff in his favorite feather pillow, as it's a must have item for him (we're both a bit weird when it comes to pillows).

The only liquids I pack in my carry on (which is a daypack) are for the flight - toothpaste, vaseline (my cure-all product), maybe a bit of hand lotion. Everything else goes into my checked bag, so no need for qt bag gymnastics. I admire those who can pull it off; I'm just not one of them.

We pack for a week no matter the length of our trip and do laundry as needed. I take my own fragrance and dye free laundry pods, a starter kit of coffee supplies with a bit of sugar, as we usually stay in apartments and never know what they might have. We take layers - fleece jackets that fit under waterproof jackets and warmer coats, etc.

Shoes (pack a pair, wear a pair) are wrapped in our dwindling supply of reused plastic grocery and shop bags, liquids placed in a waterproof bag. I've learned over the years that I can get by for a month on a 3.4 oz container of shampoo, conditioner and face wash, but still tend to take more than I need 'just in case'.

We take a couple of bars of soap, and if we run out, easy enough to replace. Add some face cream, scrubbie, sunblock, sunblock balm for lips, Benadryl cream and Neosporin, toothbrush and paste, and I'm good to go. We usually take a selection of cold meds, OTC pain relievers, and a pouch full of bandaids, paper, cloth and padded waterproof tape for the inevitable hiking induced toe problems.

A British friend once told me I'm "a simple girl with simple needs" and I suspect she was right.

The problem is coming back...finding space for the chocolate, and other acquired items...like ekscrunchy, usually hard-to-resist food items. I've read her trip reports and despite my packing experience, I'm not sure how she does it
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 10:04 AM
  #23  
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Melnq8--We actually learned to do carry-on BECAUSE of our active vacations. We took hiking and cycling vacations everywhere, and on cycling trips, we lived in constant fear that my special bike seat with special gel pad, our biking shorts, and our precious rain gear would get lost on the various connecting flights we had to do. Too many times we saw fellow trip members get stuck--it ruins their trip. We knew exactly when and how to sink wash (no matter what in those olden days, cycling shorts and hiking socks took two days to dry in a bathroom unless we had heated towel racks) and packed accordingly.

But I admit that one year, when we were segueing immediately from a week of hiking to a week of cycling, I gave up. I could NOT make it work. Yeah, we knew to wear our hiking boots onto the plane, but I just could not get everything else on, especially the much-needed hiking socks. Luckily, both trips were in the States. I called the hotel on the first stop on the hiking trip and asked if I could mail ourselves a package. Yep, we could. Hiking boots and socks got put in the post the next day. At the end of that portion, we shipped them back to ourselves.

We were able to do carry-on on all legs.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 10:24 AM
  #24  
 
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Yeah, I get that. Just not something we want to do. Hiking poles for instance - no way. And I don't want to live in hiking boots for a month, it's nice to have a pair to change into for a break. And the bulky winter items - coats, traction cleats, etc.

I also have no interest in fighting others for coveted overhead space. I once had a woman get pissed because I put my daypack in the overhead above my seat, reserving my footwell for my purse and my feet. She figured I was using space meant for those with multiple large bags, i.e. her. The whole overhead scrum just puts me off.

Not an issue when flying Business Class, but we don't fly Business Class very often.

I've only had luggage misplaced a few times, and it always turned up. Yeah it wasn't fun, but not insurmountable. I don't worry about it much anymore, although it can certainly put a wrinkle in one's travel plans (I hope I'm not jinxing myself).

I guess these old dogs are content with our old tricks



Last edited by Melnq8; Jun 30th, 2024 at 10:27 AM.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 05:40 PM
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🐶 woof woof Melnq8
Iím a happy old dog - who will happily bite the next idiot with oversized bags who attempts to pull my small cabin bag out of the locker above my seat. 🤣.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 02:00 PM
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Thanks for starting this thread, I had been thinking about starting something similar.
Several trips ago, I purchased "pack travel pouches" that look similar to what you purchased. Mine are silicone, and I love them! They have not leaked at all, they can stand up on a shower shelf but are easily flattened and tossed into my toiletry bag. I find that they can be cleaned out very easily.
The other genius purchase, after years of troublesome clothes lines, is plastic folding hangers. After the first trip where I took 3, and my husband kept taking them, we now take 5 between the two of us. They are lightweight, small, and can be easily hung.
Another new purchase, after too many marital conversations about the bathroom light being too bright, is a very lightweight nightlight that can also work as a flashlight. It has a USB chargecord, and only needs to be charged every couple of nights.
Another important item, though a bit heavy, is a portable phone charger. For those days when we're staying in a city and out and about all day, between using the GPS and needing to communicate with my office, I can run low on battery. If nothing else, having the charger gives me peace of mind.
Always we take extra plastic bags for anything, and ziplock bags which are very good for picnic lunches or extra pastries and the like, and for protecting our clothes from any liquids that we bring home.

We are now taking month-long trips, which is so wonderful and such a privilege to be able to do. Hubby takes only a carryon and a day bag, but I take a 25-inch bag and a backpack (still working, remotely, so the laptop is a must-have). Which larger bag, BTW, includes a couple of hubby's items too. I don't cram the 25-inch bag full, but I have more than I want to fit in a carryon for a month of travel.

Two trips ago, I surprisingly ran out of contact lens solution (obviously I didn't pay attention to how much was still in the bottle). I easily found my specialized brand in a local store in the Dutch town we were in, and for months after the trip, I smiled when I used that European container of solution, remembering where and when I had purchased it.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2024, 05:06 AM
  #27  
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Lexma90--I suspect we might be related. I think those plastic fold-up hangers are so important that I gift them to anyone who is traveling overseas for the first time, even to comparative strangers. After they return, they just hug me. Those hangers solve so many problems, not only with drying clothing in the bathroom but also for having instant hangers in those hotels where they give you three hangers for the two of you. We brought along blow-up hangers in the olden days; these are a dream replacement.

When we were traveling early on, before packing cubes existed, our luggage looked exactly like Elizabeth Hurley's in the Austin Powers movies. Labeled Ziplock bags were the solution to a week of one-night stays. In those days, I showed the kids how to create packets of layers for daily cycling routes (cycling bra, short sleeve shirt, long-sleeve shirt, cycling shorts), allowing them to pack and unpack at each hotel by tossing those puppies around the room wherever we landed. I reuse most of my ziplock bags even now, and before we leave on any trip, I go to my "reuse pile" and create a variety-of-sizes pack for each of us to put in the front pocket of our carry-ons.

PORTABLE PHONE CHARGERS are my life. Yet I must force Mr. IPAD, my husband, to bring one. I don't get it. I don't even go to a doc appointment without one. Waiting rooms without plug sockets with unexpected hours of waiting time don't become a problem for me. I get to watch everyone else gnash their teeth while I happily read.
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Old Jul 4th, 2024, 06:26 AM
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Wow! You are impressive! Thanks for the research, the links and the great ideas.

I have loved those Olay cloths for years, many places we have stayed don't have wash clothes and I like having them to more thoroughly clean my face after a long day. I also use them on my feet if I was wearing sandals to get off the dust before heading to bed. They also are available in a sensitive skin version.

I love the packing cubes, so I don't need to fully unpack. I often wash my lingerie in the shower with me, I think it rinses much more thoroughly and I bring the soap from REI. I think the Rei camping section has a lot of good products.

I can't wait to try the foldable hangars, and reusable deodorant tube.
At first I thought the mirror was a bit but much, but after remembering our last trip and struggling to find a spot in the room that the light was acceptable, I may try that, too. Who knows how scary I looked during parts of that trip!
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Old Jul 4th, 2024, 08:31 AM
  #29  
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Coral22--"Wash my lingerie in the shower with me." I totally approve.

You will love the foldable hangers. I think I may even appreciate them more, if that is possible, for when we go on "night on the town" weekend trips. I'm packing dressier clothes then, and unlike with my overseas travel, I truly MIGHT be seeing other people we're meeting up with sometime soon. I hate arriving in a hotel room only to find pants/skirt hangers in the closet. Sure, I can call housekeeping, but if I have theatre tickets or dinner reservations right after we arrive, I just want to get things organized and get out the door.

Hence the make-up mirror, too. But I have to make it clear--I'm pretty blind, and I'm going to assume most people here are not. I must be close to a mirror to do my makeup. Full length mirrors in hotel rooms can work pretty well for me because I can be just inches away, but as everyone knows, they often mysteriously put those where no light source can possibly reach.

Oil of Olay dry clothes. Aren't they wonderful? I think what I should have explained to others was that they replaced TWO items in my luggage--my special face wash AND my old Neutrogena Make-up Remover Wipes. For those that don't know, these Oil of Olay dry cloths, once wet, remove make-up beautifully. They are godsends on overnight flights. As you said, they pretty darn well on dirty feet (and on stinky armpits) in a pinch.

Aren't we lucky that we can find some new things? I feel blessed.
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Old Jul 9th, 2024, 01:16 PM
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LOVE a good packing thread. It's been too long! Thank you! Gracias! Merci beaucoup!

My hangers don't fold but I do always tuck 2-3 super lightweight plastic ones in the bottom of my bag (tried the blow-up ones on a trip to Europe eons ago, they were only funny not useful at all).

I always thought 'packing cubes' were a dumb idea... takes up space and weight in the suitcase and you can't wear them -lol- but recently have ended up with a few that a fabulous super light weight mesh only and they 'rock' to keep undies etc in order without using ziplocks.

Cheers!
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