Now lets talk about packing……
I have always heard the adage…..put out everything that you want to pack and then put half of it back!! Every time I start packing I think this but have yet to actually do it. AND, I have yet to go on a trip where I didn’t think that I took too much stuff!!!
In today’s world, it is even more important to keep the weight of the suitcases down to avoid excess baggage charges at the airport. And for this trip to China, we have to keep the weight down to 40 pounds….the maximum allowed on internal Chinese flights.
We have recently invested in suitcases that have four rollers rather than two. We used one that belonged to a friend and found it to be so much easier to travel with…..this trip will be a good test. It is also good to update your suitcases before a big trip. The newer ones are so much lighter and easier to maneuver.
Fortunately most of our trips have not been in the Winter, so I haven’t had to worry a lot about taking bulky coats, however we have had some trips that crossed over the seasons. We have learned to pack and dress in layers so that we can feel comfortable in all temperatures.
For this upcoming trip, we will be in an area where temperatures stay in the 70’s and lower 80’s. SO…. I am planning to take lightweight skirts and dresses, 2 pair of pants, 1 pair of Capri’s and 6-8 shirts. Because we will probably have some dinners out with “dignitaries”, I will also take a lightweight dressy black jacket that can be paired with skirt or pants. I have found that Jersey type fabrics pack better. Some are really heavy and I try to stay away from those, but many are lightweight and wrinkle free.
Since we may have the opportunity to visit some less developed areas, I will probably take one pair of jeans.
I will also bring a lightweight rain jacket (Northface) and a fleece jacket (Columbia).
Now for shoes…..I am addicted to Flip-Flops and sandals. My favorite for sightseeing are Chacos…….
I also carry a pair of plain old Reef’s…..
That sounds like a lot of shoes, but at least they are mostly small and dont take a lot of room or weight in a suitcase.
It is important to know the customs of the countries that you are visiting. For instance, in India, women should not have bare shoulders and skirts should be below the knee. So for that trip, I took mostly Capri’s. There we also needed to be able to easily remove shoes since most houses were “shoe free” zones.
In the past I have not taken a travel iron, but am going to look for one this week. We found that many overseas hotels will not give you an iron in your hotel room so I am hoping to circumvent this by bringing my own. It is not for my clothes as much as for Michaels. He has to dress in a business casual style which normally requires a bit of an ironing touch-up. This is the iron that I have been looking at……it has dual voltage which means that you dont have to use a converter with it.
We have learned to pack all of the liquid items (Shampoo, mouthwash, etc) inside gallon size Zip-Loc bags and have avoided a few disasters by doing so. We do the same for toothpaste, deodorants and antibiotic creams.
Speaking of medicines, we each take at least one round of Antibiotics with us. Our Doctor prescribes a basic one that will ward off stomach bacteria as well as respiratory infections. These have come in handy more than once!!!
Michael and I both take a selection of vitamins and non-prescription pills each day. My solution for carrying those (without having to carry huge bottles) is to buy tiny zip-loc bags (the kind used for beads) and to put one night’s pills into each bag. We carry our prescription meds in the original bottles and always carry those onto the plane rather than checking them.
When we pack, we normally have one suitcase for my clothes and one for Michael’s. However, we always put at least one complete outfit in the other persons bag. That way, if one of us loses our luggage, we have at least one clean outfit to wear. By the way, our bags have been lost numerous times and have always shown up within 24 hours…..a bit inconvenient, but not debilitating.
Finally, when we are traveling to countries whose food is completely different from ours, I have learned to pack a small jar of peanut butter. If worse comes to worse, you can always buy a small package of bread or crackers, spread on some peanut butter and have a nourishing meal!!!!
OK…that is about it for the suitcases…..