That’s All?

27 Jun

When a dear friend dropped us at the airport for our giant tour of Europe he couldn’t help but comment on our luggage.  Or rather the lack of it.  We both had a bag that converted from a cross-body duffle bag into a backpack.  I also had a purse that could hold an iPad, if needed.  That was it.  The Mister had been badgered into this plan after months of enthusiastic encouraging from me.  I had packed this way when visiting in 1992 with my parents and sister.  I knew that we could get by easily with what we were bringing.

It helps if you arEuropeDeparturee sharing toiletry items with someone.  One tube of toothpaste, one bar of soap, etc.  It also helps if you make a trip to a post office during your trip and send extra stuff home via slow boat.  It’s not expensive unless you have a language barrier and use express by accident.  I was able to send all the bits of paper and souvenirs and clothes home instead of carrying them.  This was especially handy since I brought clothes that were perfect for the trip but made me feel as stylish as a nun.

My favorite quote about packing light is from my travel guru, Rick Steves: “You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: ‘Every year I pack heavier.’ ”  When we were in Hawaii we rented a car and that meant we could take rolling bags.  I’m not opposed to rolling bags, I promise.  But getting them up and down stairs, into and out of boats, train cars, taxis and buses takes the spontaneity out of pretty much everything.  You can check them or hope to slug them in a locker but these options aren’t always available.  I also find that with a rolling bag I pack too much because I can.

At the end of our Hawaii trip, the Mister realized that we would never make our connection in LA.  I had made the flight arrangements believing that we would be carrying on, like we always did.  What saved us was a last-minute (as in they were literally locking the doors after we arrived) trip to the post office.  There we put the majority of our crap into two boxes.  Every liquid, every sharp thing, every questionable thing – they all went in the boxes and were shipped home.  We enjoyed a luau and the last night of our trip knowing that we would only have to get our bags and our butts to another plane.  Baggage claim can ruin a connection and, in doing so, ruin the end of a good trip.

As we prepare for our British trip we are still planning on bringing one bag.  There may be a car rental as part of our travel plans but there will also be planes, trains and a whole bunch of tiny staircases.  If you can travel with less you won’t regret it.  I converted the Mister, after all.  There’s hope for us all.



One Response to “That’s All?”

  1. Lady Light Travel 2014/06/28 at 16:02 #

    The only way to go!

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