Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Travelling light - how to organise your clothes

This is how I usually travel for 4 - 5 days within South Africa. This is an actual picture of my luggage when we flew to PE for our anniversary last year.

(when I wrote those two sentences, it reminded me of the lady's voice on the London Underground. This is West Ham. This is a district line train to Upminster. If you haven't been on the Tube, you'll think I'm crazy).

Anywayyyy, and this is how we travelled to the UK and Ireland for 22 days in May 2008. The blue and grey bags are mine and the lime-green and red ones belong to Dion.

Aren't you impressed?

I never thought I'd EVER be able to travel like this. Never.

But wait!

We went on a 3-day trip from Dublin to Cork and surrounding towns (Kinsale, Clonakilty, etc.) and I only took the backpack! I know, I can hardly believe it myself.

Do you remember my super-duper plan to keep within the cabin luggage allowance of 15kg?

It worked.

I threw away decluttered 7 long-sleeved tops, 1 t-shirt, 4 pairs of socks, 2 books and of course, all the presents we took with us.

I was prepared to throw away some more stuff so I packed those right on the top in case they asked us to pay. Fortunately, I was only 0.8kg over so they didn't charge us anything.

I will definitely do this again when we travel because it worked for me.

How do you make sure you stay within the baggage allowance when you fly? Or do you just pay if your bags are too heavy?


Colleen said...

When I lived in nyc and travelled a lot, I practiced carrying my bag up and down the 3 flights to my apartment. I figured if it was important enough to pack, I would have to be able to carry it through the maze of subway stairs to get to the airport. Funny, how much of what I thought was "essential" got left at home because it was too heavy to carry.

Marcia said...

Colleen, I wish I'd done this before our trip. Because what was light here was still WAAAAYYY too heavy for the London subway :)

Thanks for sharing your great tip!

MoziEsmé said...

I try to pack super light on the way by telling myself it gives me an excuse to shop when I get to my destination. Then, once I've experienced the work of carting all the luggage around, I'm less likely to buy much when I get there . . .

Mememe said...

Here's what I'm doing now, which has worked for me great. I'm on vacation now for a month, and came in with a medium suitcase that was half full, and a smaller suitcase that had shoes and some books that I carried with me on the plane.

The most important part is to pack a day or two ahead of time. I pack a day or two ahead of time, and then lock the suitcase and leave it there. In my mind, then, I'm fully packed, and I have everything that I need. Then, the following day, I take everything out of the suitcase, lay it out on the bed by groups so I can see how much I have of a particular thing. Then, the goal in this stage, is to cut everything in half. If I'm going for one week, and I have packed a different outfit for each day, I pack as many as I will need for 3-4 days. I can always mix and match outfits, and either wear something twice or wash by hand.

The most important thing for me, as a woman, is to be able to manage my own bags. If my bag is too heavy to lift (you can't always drag), then something has to go.

Depending on time, I then repeat the former step to end up with the bear minimimums. Unless you're going to some remote island somewhere, places will have all the basic necessities. And, if you travel light, you'll have room for souvenirs. Otherwise, you'll have to either leave something behind, or figure out what to do with all the extra stuff.

Sorry... This was long winded. Just that I have been traveling a lot lately, and that's what's worked for me so far.

Marcia said...

It’s amazing how you can THINK you’re packing light until it comes to crunch time, right? :)

I love long-winded! That is a great suggestion and a friend actually told me that before our Thailand trip - pare down to what you want to take, and then take half of that.

She was right - I didn't even use half the clothes in Thailand.

This time, I used everything except for my thick (South African) pajamas because UK homes are well-insulated unlike SA'n ones :)