Packing Rule #1

Sept 2007 Vacation 317

We fit everything we needed (including toiletries) for 2 full weeks of travel in this suitcase (which others had as their carry-on), and carried two smaller bags as our real carry-ons.

Damany and I have always tried to travel light, often using one carry-on sized suitcase between the two of us, as our checked luggage.  This is the reason I put my packing method into practice, and now I can’t imagine how anyone could travel otherwise.

My number one rule when packing for any length vacation is to pack one specific color scheme of clothing.  This applies when I’m going away for 10 days, and will also apply when I travel round the world for six months.  No matter the time-frame, this is my true and tested way to keep the articles I carry to a minimum.

I don’t know if you do this, but I’ve always thought of every possible item I might need while I’m away, fill my suitcase, and upon actually getting out there in the world, wear the same 3 outfits over and over again; not using 70% of what is in my bag (even after choosing a theme to stick with).  I’ve never been a superbly heavy traveler…so you can imagine how much doesn’t get used by travelers (like my friend Jennifer) who need to bring the entire closet.

For me the biggest benefit to a travel theme is the number of shoes I carry.  Of course, there’s those people who don’t care to match…but I do.  Also, I have this thing where my shoes and shirt must match, or work together.  If it clashes when I look down, I’m not content with the outfit.  With a color scheme I am able to bring only one pair of sneakers, one pair of flip flops, and one pair of heels if need be (I probably won’t bring heels on my rtw trip).  To bring things a step further, I also then only need one heavy sweater, one jacket, one scarf, one pair of shades, one set of jewelry (if any)…the list goes on.

In the past my theme was usually based upon browns, neutrals, and rusty oranges.  From now on however, the theme (and the bag) has taken a drastic change…and it all started with the watch.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

amandaelsewhere June 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I love the look of long skirts and browns/orange color palate; It just LOOKs worldly.
As far as packing rules go, I only have one: NO CHECKED BAGS. And by NO CHECKED BAGS I don’t mean STUFF EVERYTHING YOU WOULD HAVE PUT IN A CHECKED BAG INTO A CARRYON. I can’t even begin to convey to you how stressed out I become when I see people trying to shove their huge (clearly not regulation sized) bags into overhead compartments. But I’d suggest packing an empty duffle for your RTW – you might surprise yourself with how little you leave with and how much you need to bring back!

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katrinamauro June 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I always end up bringing a bigger bag home than I left with…and sometimes buy another bag just to come home with. Though my RTW will be a much different trip, with a lot less purchasing along the way, I’m sure I’ll still come home with extra. While I LOVE not checking bags, I’ve only been able to do it a few times, as I’m pretty particular on certain toiletries (the no liquids rule kills the carry on for me). Maybe this is something I should try to get over before taking my extended vacation.

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