Traveling Light

29 05 2012

I believe in traveling light. My mantra is that I am working towards vacationing with a toothbrush and an extra pair of underwear. I probably will never meet that ideal, but I have managed to hammer my “travel light” mantra into my Hubby and daughters’ heads. For example, my girls know that we do not take things like hair straightening irons on vacation. Last year when we went to Hawaii every time we were picked up by the shuttle service to get to or from the airport the driver would look at the four or us, including two young women, and say, “Is this all your luggage?” When we answered “Yes” we often got a response like “wow!”  I considered that a success! I have to say that we are not “luxury” travelers. We do like our comforts but we don’t tend to do any thing on our trips that require really nice outfits, even “just in case.” So I rarely carry anything with me that doesn’t get worn on the trip. I know I have packed well if I put on the last clean pair of pants and shirt the last day of the trip. We also usually travel places that have stores. Worst case scenario I have to go shopping while on the trip. That is not a sad thing for me.  However, the only time I have had to do that was when the kids were younger. Somehow I didn’t count right when packing for  Eldest Daughter and I didn’t have enough shirts for her. A couple of cheap souvenir t-shirts fixed that problem!

I realize that not everyone want to travel as lightly as we do but I thought I would continue the travel theme of last Friday’s post about souvenirs and give you some of the helpful hints I have come up with over the years.

1. I have a drawer in my bathroom that is devoted to travel. It is filed with a variety of bags that can be used to hold bathroom type items and also has travel sizes of everything I might need. The length of the trip dictates the size of the bag and the number of items.

2. I never skimp on the number of over the counter medicines I take. I don’t want a trip to be sidelined because I didn’t bring cough medicine or something for diarrhea. I have learned this the hard way too many times to ever leave the house without at least the basics.

3. I save the clear cases with zippers that sheet sets all seem to come in now. I have discovered that women’s shoes will fit in them nicely, keeping the shoes corralled and my clothes clean. They could also be used for other packing needs such as for the aforementioned medicine, hair gadgets, etc. I keep every one that comes into my house!

4. I never take a heavy coat, I layer. A jacket of some sort of wind breaker type over a sweat jacket or sweatshirt usually keeps me warm and cozy. If is really cold them I add a long sleeve shirt, gloves and a scarf.

5. I always take at least one extra pair of shoes. Even shoes that have been comfortable old friends have been known to turn on me at the worst possible time. Happy feet are needed for a good vacation!

6. My hair is pretty wash and wear normally, but vacation is about seeing things and not being seen so I don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. This cuts down on the hair products and gizmos I might otherwise feel I need to take.

7. I no longer fold clothes, I roll them. I really didn’t think it would make a difference but it did. Rolling seems to free up space in the suitcase.

So, are you wondering how much luggage we took for a week in Hawaii? They were charging to check luggage so we took just one largish suitcase for Hubby’s clothes, and bigger than 3 ounce bottles of liquids, as well as some space for souvenirs. The girls and I all used small suitcases that could be carried on to the plane. Hubby had a carry on bag for reading material on the plane.   Yep, four people, four carry ons and one suitcase. And if you are wondering, no we did not do laundry while we were there.

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4 responses

29 05 2012
Michele

Why did Hubby need a suitcase when all of the women only needed carry-ons?

30 05 2012
Woman in the Middle

Mens clothes and shoes take more room as they are just bigger. And we needed at least one piece of checked luggage in order to take larger than 3 ounce bottles of hair products. My girls have LOTS of hair! Add the humidity and it required a bit of product! Also, packing as the girls and I did in carryons, we needed some room for souvenirs.

29 05 2012
The Waiting

We’re going to drive to Florida with the baby for a week later in June. Any tips for packing for a baby?

29 05 2012
Woman in the Middle

Well, the one thing I found out when traveling with babies is to pack exactly twice as many clothes as you think you will need. Ten days equals 20 outfits. If you are going to visit relatives who have a washing machine, you can take less. But otherwise diapers will leak and throw up will happen. If you are changing time zones try to keep Baby on the same time as at home. And those are my helpful travel hints!

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