The first time I took my
was fun for a thousand reasons. Reason
#1 happened the day before we left for the airport to embark. I was downstairs watching a truly awful movie
on TV when I heard her shout down, “Why don’t you get up off of that couch and
pack for our trip?” Shouting back up the
stairs, we had the following discussion:
Will that backpack fit into a suitcase?”
the backpack fit in the suitcase with the rest of your stuff?”
Away I went. I tried to explain to her that everything I
needed for 10 days in
fit into the backpack. The more I
explained, the more frustrated she got.
I could tell, she wanted to bring along all of the shoes in the closet,
several dresses (just in case we had a nice dinner) hats, rain gear, enough
makeup to bury Dolly Parton, and at least 14 different outfits. I didn’t get upset with her, being a seasoned
traveler I knew what she wanted. She
wanted “options!” I had to talk her
down. I said, “Honey, the locals wear
cargo shorts, flip-flops, and Hawaiian shirts to even the nicest
restaurants. I’m bringing one pair of
flip flops and if they blow out, I’ll buy a new pair while I’m there. Trust me, they sell them.” I packed 5 shirts, two pairs of shorts, three
swim trunks, underwear, deodorant, a comb, some sunscreen, and my camera. Eventually, I talked her down to one full
The second time we went to
shared one small roll-aboard suitcase that fit in the overhead bin of the
plane. She had to “go there” just once
to see just exactly how much she didn’t need.
When we came home the first time and unpacked, I had her put everything
she did NOT wear into a pile. That pile
was easily three or four times bigger than what she wore.
I’ve written about “packing
light” many times before. I’ve blogged
till I was blue in the face about better luggage, lighter packing, smaller
amounts, things you need, things you don’t need, etc. The topic keeps coming up, over and over, and
I guess some people need more “gentle prodding” than others do. Now that airlines are charging (by the pound,
it would seem) for extra luggage, heavy luggage, extra heavy luggage, etc, it’s
as good a time to get motivated as any.
Check out http://www.onebag.com. I don’t get paid to, but I fully endorse this
site. They break down the science of
packing into three areas:
- What to Pack, avoiding the temptation of lugging around too
- What to Pack It In, understanding what to look
for in efficient & effective luggage; and
- How to Pack It, particularly the management of clothing so
that it doesn’t get wrinkled.
Each area is described in
ridiculous detail in various easy-to-find sections of their website. I was excited to discover that many of the
tips I’ve passed along through the years are mentioned on this site. I only wish I’d discovered them here first,
before learning most of them the “hard way!”
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding
business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT.
Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask
the Expert podcast show.