Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cecilia's Tips on Travel Packing

Hello, dear Readers! My mind is on packing right now, so I'll go ahead and share some of my travel packing tips.

1. Travel light: This is the most important "rule" in travel packing. First, airlines have limited weight allowance, and second, you'll have an easier time navigating with light luggage. I call this Freedom! It's infinitely better if you can pick up your luggage, roll it around, carry it up some steps, all by yourself. I have learned to hone down what I bring. I keep in mind that usually I can find whatever it is I've failed to bring.

2. Check the weather of your destination: I bring this up, dear Readers, because on a trip to Vietnam one February, we expected the weather to be tropical, and to our group's surprise, Hanoi was very cold. We didn't realize that Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) have different temperatures.

3. Pack or at least gather your clothes and necessities early: My husband likes to pack the night before he leaves for a trip. Oh, I'm not like that at all! I like to open up a suitcase ahead of time and gather my clothes and necessities without a lot of pressure. The extra thinking time allows me to "edit" what I'm bringing.

4. Use rolling luggage: I like to bring 2 pieces of luggage. One is the check-in suitcase with clothes, toiletries, shoes, and whatever else I need. My check-in suitcase is expandable to allow for my purchases. The second bag is my carry-on for my laptop, Kindle, camera, accessories, small writing notebook, prescription medicine, and a granola bar or two. I also have a small sling purse for my passport, money, reading glasses, pen.

5. Clothes: The weather of the place you're visiting as well as the manner of dressing in that place determine what you should bring. In other words, a trip to London will demand different clothes from a trip to Hawaii. But consider bringing 2 or 3 pairs of pants, 2 or 3 skirts, 2 dresses including a basic black or gray, 6 tops, 2 sleepwear, 1 pair of walking shoes, 1 pair evening shoes, some scarves, fun jewelry, and I like to bring lightweight hotel slippers. Don't forget a cardigan or a bathing suit if needed. Bring a bar of Ivory soap or some laundry detergent to wash a few items at night. Choose clothing that you can mix-match and that will dry overnight. Lean towards neutral colors that you can accessorize. Bring a few "fun" clothes or tops so you look festive; after all, you're on holiday.

I've heard of women who bring clothes that they can abandon so they can replace the space with their purchases; I've heard of people who use disposable undies. I can't get into these but mention this for your information.

I'll be honest and confess, dear Readers, that if I have the space and weight allowance, I sometimes bring Cadbury Fruit and Nut chocolates and snacks wrapped in plastic; and I've been known to bring a bottle of Margarita (in a plastic container). I've never been sorry when I brought these. In fact, our travel companions, who laugh that I bring these, are usually the first in line for end-of-the day Margarita cocktails before dinner.

6. Other tips: rolling your clothes will allow you to pull out what you need easier, and the clothes will not be as wrinkled. Bring a plastic bag for dirty clothes. Bring extra camera memory cards and a travel transformer.

Don't bring expensive jewelry! I witnessed someone who lost a diamond ring in her cruise ship cabin, and she was very sad over the loss.  And once I brought jade earrings that aren't expensive but which I treasure because the stones came from my father. While in a train, I lost one earring and spent 15 minutes crawling around trying to find it and didn't.

However, I prayed to St. Anthony, finder of lost objects, and lo, that night as I removed my sweater, the earring fell out. It had gotten tucked inside my sweater. I credit St. Anthony for helping me find that earring. This is an aside, but St. Anthony has helped me and my family find lost items. I make a "deal" with him and promise to make a donation to St. Anthony's Dining Room in San Francisco, and this saint delivers!

Here are other links re travel packing:

Travel Fashion Girl
Packing Smart and Traveling Light
10 Packing Tips Every Traveler should know

I want to assure my regular readers that even while I'm having fun planning my next trip, I am carrying on with life, and am working on my novel, other writings, and so on. Have a great weekend! There's a heat wave in Southern California right now!

And read also:
Travel tips: Buying airline tickets online
Salvador, Brazil - the Center of Bahian Culture
Falling in love with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!!!

This is all for now,

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