Lighten your load when travelling
“Like everything in life, sometimes you find out the hard way”
One of the most frequent and tiresome mistakes we make when travelling:
The longer you are away, the bigger the suitcase, right…wrong…when in doubt leave it out!
It was my first extended overseas trip and I planned to stay away for a year or more, depending on how long the funds lasted. As a gift, I was given a chic mulberry-colored suitcase, pre roll-away. In a mad panic I filled it with every conceivable clothes scenario, plus toiletries I was sure I could never find anywhere else in the world.
I left in the middle of an Australian winter and arrived into London in the midst of a scorching heat wave. A timid young girl in her best high-waisted flares, vertiginous wedged heels and turtle neck, I heaved my suitcase from the station all the way down the street to Earl’s Court. It was at that moment my love-hate relationship with my luggage began in earnest.
The chic mulberry suitcase was quickly ensconced under the seat of our jaunty little Beetle campervan, as we travelled around Europe, my flares were traded in for a pair of straight-legged jeans, and the wedges tossed in the bin for a pair of light-as-air sandals. It was simply amazing what I found in a foreign pharmacy, even if the directions were in another language, so much fun working it all out.
It wasn’t until we ditched the van for two tickets to Athens and a passage to Mykonos that the blister, bruises, and helpless rage against the luggage resurfaced.
On the boat to Athens I met a raffish youth travelling with no more than a change of underwear and a toothbrush. Oh how I envied his freedom, while here I was shackled to my suitcase. The envy turned to something much more sinister, when on reaching the island; we had to negotiate long and hard with a man and his donkey to take our luggage to our accommodation.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Lighten your load and free your spirit. Look at the flight crew, if they can do it with one roll-aboard and still look together and perfectly turned out so can you!
With less baggage you can cope with unforeseen circumstance like delayed flights, you also have the advantage of, no check in fees, no porters or trolleys, and the ability to make use of public transport instead of costly taxi cabs. With fewer bags you can be first to leave the airport and last to check in.
Tips on paring down
- Make a list and stick to it.
- Buy yourself a sturdy roll-aboard bag, with plenty of expandable pockets, but small enough to fit in the overhead compartment.
- Add a functional shoulder bag with lots of zippered compartments
- Check ahead re: travel appliances, hairdryer, irons etc: or you can purchase some nifty little travel appliances from your local travelers store.
- Co-ordinate your color palette and stick to wrinkle-free, hand washable fabrics in neutral colors. Include wardrobe essentials, not forgetting the LBD just in case you bump into Mr. Darcy, as well as stretch pants, that can take you from daytime to evening with a change of accessories.
- Remember to include, costume jewelry, belts, scarves, sarongs, pashmina, sun hat, umbrella, swimsuit, cover ups.
- Pack travel sized versions of your makeup and toiletries and remember, you can buy these in just about any country.
- When travelling, I roll soft items in and around folded items, if you use drycleaning bags, this will reduce wrinkling, underwear should be stowed in mesh laundry bags, don’t forget valuable space inside shoes. Fill up all the gaps!
- Remember this: your luggage should weigh no more than you can easily lift and don’t eliminate the fun and excitement of buying things at your destination!
Joy Greedy – Travel Writer and Published Fiction Novelist “In the Shade of the Tembusu Tree”. See Amazon