Enjoy tips on packing light and having the best travel experience brought to you by a seasoned traveler.
I have already started packing for my honeymoon, which is less than a month away. I tell people that we plan on bringing only one carry-on each and one backpack each and they look at me like I am crazy. How are you going to know which of nine pairs of shoes you want to wear out to dinner one night? How could you possibly let your new husband see you in the same outfit day to day? Don’t you need a different bikini for every single day of the week? What if it is too hot? To cold? Too rainy? What if a monsoon comes? Oh well, I think I will be OK with one pair of skechers and two pairs of flip-flops. If you know me, shoes are not my obsession and I will happily get by with the basics.
Simplicity is the way to go.
After a friend and I traveled from Spain to Morocco on a giant ferry and had to carry our ginormous suitcases (ironically chock full of brand-new shoes and boots) up several flights with no husbands around to help, I vowed never to pack that heavy again. On the way down, there was a generous Londoner who let us use his phone when we couldn’t immediately find our friends on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar (or figure out how to dial in Africa). Lesson learned, check with your provider before you go out of the country to make sure you can make calls in foreign places. Also, it is a good idea to let your credit card company know you will be making charges because if you don’t, you will have to once again figure out how to use the phone to call them so they can unfreeze your card. It is pretty difficult to not only locate but also use a Spanish pay phone, so you don’t want to set yourself up for that.
Be prepared for unforeseen circumstances.
This can be hard to plan for, and for me it has just been trial and error. Even though I am advocating packing light, you just have to think about what you can’t live without on a daily basis and have the forethought to bring it with you. I’m not talking about iPad or fidget spinner. More like toilet paper and Alka-Seltzer.
Bring your own empty water bottle that has a definite seal. I have bent over with my water in the side pocket of my backpack and doused myself. Also, you can fill it up at the water fountain after checking in so you aren’t spending megabucks at the newsstand or waiting until the beverage cart comes around.
Don’t bring every hair cream and tool known to man. The hotel will probably have free shampoo, and if not, then pack the free shampoo you pocketed from your last hotel. Even though I like to look good, I go with scrunchy air-dried hair on vacation to save time and space. If you insist on bringing tools, make sure you have a voltage adapter, depending on where you are going. It’s worth a google to find out if you need one. Obviously, you will need to charge your phone anyway. Since I pack the small size toiletries, I can put them in my carry-on and don’t have to fret about a lost bag. It is terrifying when your bag doesn’t show up. Luckily this only happened to me on my way home from Chicago so I wasn’t going naked on vacation, but I imagined my bag going to one of those awesome warehouses you see on TV where they sell diamond rings and designer clothes out of suitcases that were never picked up from baggage claim. Also, when your connecting flight gets canceled and you have to spend the night at O’Hare (hmmm, might not be a coincidence that bad things happen at the airport in a certain city), it would be so nice to grab a sweatshirt from your luggage rather than wonder where your bag even is during the shuffle. (New technology has allowed me to tack on my Tile tracking device, so I can always know where my bag is—as long as I have my phone.)
I believe that the lighter your load, the more freedom you have.
You just get weighed down by stuff and when traveling, you want to be free as a bird to hop on a boat or run for cover when it starts raining, or when you are trying to catch a bus or stalk a famous person (like the time I thought I found Tim & Faith’s house in Nashville .