Tricks for Packing Light: 2007
Share your creative tricks to fit your world into a small bag for a European trip.
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Travel Size Products
If you're looking for travel-size items, I've found a site that has a great selection: http://www.alltravelsizes.com/
They'll even ship the items to your final destination!
Hayti, MO USA Tue 01/01/2008
three ounces or less product website
I recently found the website Minimus. This is the perfect website to help you travel light and fight the liquid carry-on ban. Minimus sells hundreds of three-ounce-or-less products, from toothpaste to deodorant to laundry products like tiny cans of Static Guard. Check it out! http://www.minimus.biz
Saint Paul, MN USA Mon 12/31/2007
If I buy a skirt for $99, it had better come with Robert Redford to help me button/zip it. :)
USA Mon 12/31/2007
I bought a Wal-Mart broom skirt for $15. Works great for travel. I'd rather find a $99 skirt that comes with Robert Redford. :)
Kalispell, MT USA Mon 12/31/2007
Carry on friendly Soaps
I haven't tried these, but I found a site that sells non-liquid soap sheets for shaving, shampoo, conditioner, and laundry - see http://www.packinglight.net. Click on the link called "Packing Light's New Travel Aids" on the left side. For those of us trying our hardest to just do carry on, this might be just the thing!
Salem, OR USA Sun 12/30/2007
Tilley Clothes not that small
Just went to the Tilley's page and picked an item at random - the women's expedition skirt. Sizes listed inlude a 3XL so assume that is for people bigger than "6 pounds". It sells for $99, not cheap but certainly not completely out of range. I would consider this company for travel clothing.
USA Thu 12/27/2007
Columbia makes a line of clothing suitable for sink washing and attractive in appearance. They are sold in sporting goods stores.
Napa, CA USA Thu 12/27/2007
I'd love to wear Tilley's clothes, but they don't make them for people who weigh more than 6 pounds, and what they do make costs your first-born male child. :) Also, I don't care if I look like a tourist, since that's what I am when I leave the USA. I make sure I'm neat, clean, smiling and friendly and things usually work out fine.
WA. USA Wed 12/26/2007
Trips for Packing Light
I was just on a month trip over the Silk Road. The best looking couple on our trip wore Tilley's outfits and looked great every day. Next best were those people who dressed in black with some coordinating tops. I can't imagine why any one wouldn't want the Tilley clothes. They are so well made and hold up wonderfully. Also most women in Europe start out with some black and then go from there.
Fort Collins, CO USA Sat 12/22/2007
Packing neutral color clothes to dress in layers is the most efficient way to pack light that I have found.
Detroit, MI USA Fri 12/21/2007
Zip-offs, the colour black, and bag volume
I don't think zip-off pants look stupid at all. Combine them with that whole Jeff Probst look though, and then you look like a goof. Leave the Tilley at home too.
And please stop wearing black everything. There are other colors out there. A pair of zip-off kakis, a blue or green shirt is a better combination.
Regarding bag volume, different companies use different methods of measuring. The most important thing is, does all your stuff fit, and within carryon limits? And you can't just multiply lxwxh to get total volume since the overall shape (where it tapers, etc.) and extra pockets affect volume
Edmonton, USA Thu 12/20/2007
Black- it's a color too
Don't put down wearing black. I do it in "real life" as well as for travel. It is a good color for me and it is SO practical. I add red, purple or blue for some outfits. I also use khaki pants on occassion. So what if I like to base my wardrobe around black- it works for me and lots of others and we are not making you do it.
Charlotte, NC USA Thu 12/20/2007
Black is a color too
Don't put down wearing black. I do it in "real life" as well as for travel. It is practical and it's a good color for me. I occassionaly add red, purple or blue for some outfits and sometime wear khaki pants. It makes wardrobe planning easy!
Charlotte, NC USA Thu 12/20/2007
Yes - black is a colour
I didn't say black wasn't a colour. I just think all black all the time looks stupid, much like another poster thought zip-offs looked "incredibly stupid." Wear what you want. I was just expressing my opinion.
Edmonton, Canada Thu 12/20/2007
Measuring your clothes?
As I have said before, my bag reaches the weight limit before it is filled, so I don't worry about volumes, but I have individually weighed (Post Office) everything that goes into my bag, so I know how much I can carry. It seems its the non-clothes items (camera, battery charger, electric razor) that contribute the most weight.
CO USA Wed 12/19/2007
I also weighed each article of travel and hiking clothes on a kitchen scale and put the data on a small spread sheet. This way I can select the items and calculate the weight before packing. Its pretty accurate since the bag and cubes are weighed as well. When its all done and packed - I double check with a $10 luggage scale hook to make sure (before Id also go to the Post Office -but the scale is easier!) - helps me keep my carry on under 8kg! It sounds like a lot of work but once its in the PC - its all done and easy to maintain and add items. Do it on a rainy or cold day!
Newport Beach, CA USA Wed 12/19/2007
Weighing for Travels
I don't have a computer handy. I'll have to pack what I think I'll need and weigh my suitcase on the bathroom scales. I'd have to take out stuff from their if it weighs to much.
St. Paul, Minn. USA Wed 12/19/2007
Cubic Measures for Packing
You could measure your clothes by the same formula to see if they fit in your suitcase.
New Mexico, USA Mon 12/17/2007
Carry-on Bag Volume
To find volume just multiply the given dimensions for CUBIC INCHES. If the bag is flexible, the total cubic inches available may be more because of the bulge created by over-filling. Extra cubic inches may be calculated by including a bag that zips off the outside of the main bag.
Napa, CA USA Sat 12/15/2007
OK, here is a test of your NCLB math ability. The Jansport bag says it is 21x13x10 inches. What is its volume? Campmor says 3250 sq in. The real answer is 2730 sq in. How can you trust anything else they claim? Looks like a nice bag, otherwise, but, on the same website, check out the Outdoor Essential bag at 1-3/4 # and $29.95. (They also fudge on the volume) I used one for two weeks in Germany in October. It worked fine. It's slightly smaller. I find that to be an advantage because, despite its light weight, with a weight limit I can't fill a regulation bag completely, and this bag isn't so limp when filled to its weight limit. I also own a Rick Steves convertible bag (currently retired after 5 trips).
CO USA Thu 12/13/2007
Ebags also says the Jansport Euro Sak is 3250 cu. in. Who knows how they figure this. Maybe Jansport does it. Anyway, I bought this bag and it is very nice and will work well.
Croatia Thu 12/13/2007
Rick steves has a great packing list on this site which I use everytime but I found another that is equally as usefull. You have too cut and paste to print easily though. http://noambit.typepad.com/my_weblog/packing-list.html
Jacksonville, FL USA Thu 12/13/2007
Check out the Jansport Euro Pak on Campmor.com. They are currently on sale for $49.97! They are a very well built bag very similar to Rick's backdoor bag. They also have a lifteime warranty. Also have backpack like shoulder straps and only weight 3 lbs. empty. Sounds like a good deal to me.
USA Wed 12/12/2007
I pack to dress in layers. I take my three favorite t-shirts for pjs and wear my long sweater for a robe. I take socks for slippers. Works fine.
San Bernadeno, Ca. USA Wed 12/12/2007
No more wheels
I have decided to stopped using my wheeled bags. I found a Victorinix Swisswerks Weekender bag at Sierra Trading Post at a deep closeout discount. The bag is 20x13x9¾", has backpack straps, a carry handle and a padded shoulder strap. I use one compartment for shoes and all of my folded items fit into the rear packing compartment and are secured with compression straps; documents in an outside zippered pocket. The bag is expandable by about 1 inch but I have not had to use this feature yet. It has become my favorite bag. The workmanship is excellent and the backpack straps are the most comfortable I have tried in a travel pack.
Orange, NJ USA Thu 12/06/2007
Flame Retardancy on Board the Aircraft
In response to Tara in Las Vegas question about Flame retardancy on board an Aircraft... Synthetic fibres will burn at at faster rate and will in fact melt onto your skin. Natural fibres are best. Have no doubt, it does make a difference in Firefighting protection. That is why Flight Crew uniforms are 100% Virgin Wool and very expensive Vs the Polyester equivalent. This is Federal regulated Law mandated for safety requirement.
Canada Thu 12/06/2007
As a 'mature' (the jury's still out on that one) female, I need Something for sleeping in that doubles as a robe, and that I can run out into the street in, should my lodgings catch fire, etc. I finally settled on a good old-fashioned knee-length muu-muu. It's comfy, provides modesty for my ancient bod, and I can make it myself.
USA Tue 12/04/2007
To get back on topic a little. Lightweight packable slippers. Here are two brands I have. The first one is very inexpensive and the second one looks nicer and is lighter -
Neopreme Slippers or 'CROC LINERS'
Travel Slippers - Kero Reindeer Leather
Camillus, USA Fri 11/23/2007
One cannot under-estimate the value of a large, highly padded shoulder strap.
Plus, I think they should make zip off shirts, if they haven't already. They'd go great with those zip-off pants!
soft straps and zippers
If you can find one the Shoreline Cases Soft-Grip Gel Shoulder Strap are really good as soft straps go. But they are no longer made so a little difficult to find.
http://www.cbssportsstore.com/sm-oakland-athletics-competitor-pullover-w-zip-off-sleeves--pi-2529463.html is a pullover with zipoff sleeves.
Camillus, ny USA Fri 11/23/2007
Hiking the Louvre!
Tara is probably talking about me - I love the zip off cargo pants... but I havent been to Paris yet. I do a lot of hiking where they come in handy. Ok - I will try something more Cosmo for my Paris trip so as not to embarrass anyone. I assume the Hiking-Boots in the Louvre are still ok? :)
I agree the RS bag is great - and combine that with 3-4 packing cubes. Everything is neat and organized, and easy to stuff with goodies on the way home. I also try to take layers like light Merino Wool, new-treated cotton shirts that dry 3x fast, and a couple quick-drying travel/adventure shirts. Good shoes and good wool socks are a must for heavy walkers too!
Newport Beach, CA USA Tue 11/20/2007
While I don't wear the zip-off pants, I don't think it's your place to so EMPHATICALLY tell people not to wear them. On the right body they do look good. So what if they look touristy, we are tourists. Just remember when you are in another country sightseeing, the locals are not - they are dressed for work. I have lived in and right outside of Philadelphia, PA for over 65 years and have seen many tourists from overseas. Some are dressed extremely well and the rest look like tourists. I would not dream of telling our guests how to dress and don't think anyone should tell me or anyone else. Case in point, have you ever been to our US beaches and see gentlemen from Europe in their speedo type of bathing suit. I have, some look great in them and others, well… Would you tell them not to wear them? If you in fact live in Las Vegas, take a look at the tourists from overseas. Do they dress like US natives? And yes I spend at least 3 months per year in Vegas, so I know of what I speak.
You must not have visited too many US museums or you would see that in the summer 99% of the visitors are in shorts.
Taking my own shampoo – I do and it actually works better in Europe. Less added chemicals to their water.
You have only seen one actual useful item – good for you! The contributors to this board have put forth items they have found useful and making suggestions to others. Quite frankly, that is the least important suggestion to me. Those cases do not hold very much so I'm not sure what I would use it for.
I wouldn't be caught dead in public without my makeup. This is for my own self-esteem so if you don't like it, well… My perfume is purchased in the cities in Europe so I do use it there as well as home.
Havertown, PA USA Tue 11/20/2007
High Sierra frame pack 3# !! Great for carry on
Speaking of lightweight packs....I just used this bag on our trip to Italy the first week of November. We did carry on only on Lufthansa, so I was really worried about the weight limit.
This bag by High Sierra only weighs in at 3 pounds, so I had plenty of freedom to pack. I used 3 Eagle Creek packing cubes to stay organized and was still under the 18lb limit for carry on.
The side pockets were handy for my umbrella, etc. The lid top was a great place for my ziplock liquid bag, easy to access while going through security here and in Europe. I also had room in the lid for my book and things I needed on the plane.
The rain cover is a bonus if caught in a rain/snow storm! (Or you could remove it to save another .5 lbs.)
Check this bag out for your next vacation in 08!
IL USA Tue 11/20/2007
Packing Light - the right bag
I have to agree with Bill. The most important rule of packing light, particlularly for carryon, is start with a light bag. My preferred airline for comfort and convenience is Lufthansa, and their weight limit is 17.6# (8 kg). Also 8 kg on SwissAir and SAS, 6 kg on Aer Lingus, and 5 kg on Alitalia. Many low cost airlines within Europe also have low carryon limits. If you don't limit your weight, you limit your choice of airlines.
I've made five trips to Europe with a ETBD bag that weighs less than 3#, so a can pack nearly 15# of "things". However, I always reached the weight limit before filling the bag, so it sagged badly. I now have a slightly smaller Campmor bag that weighs only 1-3/4# and cost $30! With it I can pack almost 16# of necessities. I took it with me to Germany in Oct and it worked fine.
As for the Meridian Osprey, in addition to its ridiculous price (almost $300), at almost 9# it is totally unsuited for carryon on most airlines. On Lufthansa you can pack only 9# of stuff, and, when you have to carry the bag, almost half the weight is the bag.
Denver, USA Mon 11/19/2007
Totally agreee with you Suzi from UT!
Also, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop wearing pants that zip off into shorts!! They look incredibly stupid and touristy when you are not hiking/camping. EUROPEANS DON'T WEAR THESE!!!!! Seriously, are you going to walk around Paris (or anywhere else for that matter) in shorts???? You wouldn't wear them to museums in the USA so why would you wear them in a museum any other country or anywhere else in the world for that matter (I've seen you in Paris with the RS guidebooks)!! I have been to 29 countries and have never worn zip off pants in any of them! If I can do it, so can you!
Also, I have been to almost every European country and I have had soap/shampoo available in EVERY hotel room I have ever stayed (actually I have had shampoo in every hotel room I've ever stayed in and I don't stay any where near 5 star) I don't even pack soap or shampoo any longer unless I am staying in a hostel. If you're feeling nervous about weather there will be soap/shampoo--pack just a small 1 oz bottle and a small bar of soap--I promise this will get you through. You can-amazingly enough-wash your clothes in the same shampoo/soap you wash yourself in (so no need to pack detergent)! Wow, "the how to put all that stuff in a 1/2 quart bag" question is answering itself as we go along. HINT: YOUR AMERICAN BRAND SHAMPOO WILL NOT WORK THE SAME IN EUROPE B/C IT IS FORMULATED FOR THE CHEMICALS IN THE WATER HERE NOT THERE.
So far I have only seen one actual useful item on this website: using old contact lense cases for creams. That was very helpful--thank you to whoever posted that.
Otherwise slim it down! To whoever said that she saw the same lady in a black outfit every day--That could have been me-I pack two black polyester pairs of pants and matching black polyester blend shirts (one outfit of cotton to wear on the plane because I read somewhere that you should wear cotton on the plane incase of fire-don't know if this is true or if in a fire on a plane that it will really matter but it does double duty-see below). I wash (and by washing-I mean I put the clothes in the sink with some soap-see above-and let them sit while I am taking a shower)one outfit every night before dinner and it is dry before I go to bed most nights. 2 pairs socks and undies, and a pair of PJs (which is actually the stuff I wear on the flight-cotton pants/shirt) to round out the mix and I am on my way for lots of properly and comfortably dressed fun! Enough with the make-up too—you don't need it…oh and do us all a favor—LEAVE THE PERFUME/COLOGNE HOME!
Las Vegas, NV USA Mon 11/19/2007
The Right Bag
I've posted this before and someone recently talked about a light bag - you MUST start with a lightweight bag or else you'll add pounds to the weight of your stuff!
This is a convertible backpack that weighs 1 lb 12 oz and costs $29.95 at Campmor (Outdoor Products Essential Carryon, Item No 60793). We've had ours for 4 years and it's gone from Rome to Mongolia:
nd if you want an Osprey bag, try Campmor or Sierra Trading Post for the best prices!
FL USA Mon 11/19/2007
Rick's ETBD bag is NOT the lightest bag on the market - the Outdoor Essentials mentioned below is lighter and there are bags that are lighter still from GoLite (but pricier)..
MN USA Mon 11/19/2007
Rick's ETBD bag may not be the lightest on the market, but is very well made and well designed for its purpose. I've taken mine on five trips to Europe and it hardly show any signs of wear. However, I finally got tired of hauling around an extra pound of "well made" and got a Campmor bag. It has similar functional features (back straps, etc) and weighs considerable less.
USA Mon 11/19/2007
Both my daughter and I have long, thick hair, but other than a travel-size shampoo and conditioner for the first night, we buy all our toiletries in Europe. Much more fun and they make great souveniers!
Santiago, Chile, Mon 11/19/2007
The right bag
I just bought a great bag: the Osprey Meridian. It has a sturdy set of wheels and hidden padded backpack straps (with supporting waistbelt). It also has a handle on the side if you want to carry it like a suitcase. A detachable day pack is zipped/clipped onto the front of the bag. The bag comes in two sizes, the smaller of which (without the daypack) exactly matches the maximum carry-on dimensions. I bought mine at REI and there were at least 2 other manufacturers that made similar bags (I think they were Eagle Creek and Victorinox). Of their selection, the Osprey was both the lightest and the roomiest in the carry-on size. The only thing is that this class of bag is not cheap; you'll pay a couple hundred dollars for this bag. REI has a great warranty, though.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 11/18/2007
One simple rule for packing light...start with light weight bags! We go to Europe every year (and manage to pack less and less every time). I have now settled on Rick's Classic Back Door bag. It is the lightest and most convenient bag on the market. That can be very important with some airlines that allow only 22 - 28 lbs total weight for your carry on bag. In addition to the Classic Back Door bag, I wouldn't leave home without the hide away tote....packs small (6x10x2 at less than 8 oz) but opens large...22x8x16 with more volume than the classic back door bag. You can stuff all kinds of gifts in this on your way home and check you carry on bag if there is a one bag carry on restriction (note that my wife puts her purse in this tote so that she doesn't exceed the two bag limit imposed by most airlines).
San Leandro , CA USA Fri 11/16/2007
Solid shampoos and conditioners
LUSH Cosmetics (www.lush.com) makes great solid shampoos and conditioners. They last MUCH longer than liquids and you don't have to worry about 3-oz bottles. They are also hand-made from all natural ingredients, use little or no packaging, and work great.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 11/16/2007
Australia - Hiking shoes
Brenda - Of course, take the lightest hiking boots/shoes possible. I tie the laces together through the straps of my carry-on. That saves space in my carry-on (though not the bulk or weight), but I don't have to worry about losing the shoes...works every time.
FL USA Thu 11/15/2007
Wear your boots on board!
Most experienced Hikers know to wear their important shoes on the flight - even if its a bit bulky! you want to make sure they get to your destination the same time! If they dont fit in hand luggage - just wear them and have a pair of slippers or heavy socks handy during flight (or lite tennis shoes during). Then when you land put the heavier shoes back on!
Newport Beach, USA Thu 11/15/2007
Instead of lugging a Robe, I wear scrubs to bed while camping or travelling by Train at night. They are acceptable to wear down the way to the WC without getting a robe or getting dressed. Just don't be surprised if you're asked if you're in Health Care!
Canada Thu 11/15/2007
Go casual but not sloppy
My husband and I just got back from a 10-day trip to the Netherlands. We have traveled throughout Europe several times before this and each time we are learning to pack lighter and smarter. Less IS more, as in the less you bring over, the more souvenirs you can bring back. We went for a conference and we were advised that although it would be a bunch of bird biologists, he should perhaps bring a shirt, tie and jacket for his short presentation and I should bring a dress for one of the dinners. So we did bring these things and we still managed to fit everything in our Rick Steves convertible bags. Guess what? As previous posts mention, it was way more casual than we expected. We didn't even look at our nicer clothes. However, that doesn't mean we totally dressed down. And if you want to at least try and fit in with the Europeans, I wouldn't bring your bulky white sport shoes and sweats to walk around in. Sure they sell them and wear them there, but not necessarily for touring and eating out. Also, take into consideration your age. Are you 18 to 25? Then maybe the sport shoes are okay? In your 40's? Then dress like the sophisticate that you are! There was a German woman at our hotel in Groningen and for the 3 days that I saw her at breakfast, she wore the same black outfit with a nice gold necklace and her hair pulled back. She looked chic. I highly doubt the shopkeepers or waiters cared that she was wearing the same thing as the day before, IF she happened to visit them again. It's highly unlikely that you will ever see these people again, and if you do, they will be traveling our country, wearing the same thing they wore for the last two days. Take Rick's advice, pack light!!!
Long Beach, CA USA Mon 11/12/2007
My son and I are traveling to Australia for 3 wks. We plan on using only one bag to carry on and one small personal bag for both of us. Every tour we are scheduled for includes the beach, a pool, or a waterhole for a swim. Therefore, I'm not packing panties or bras...just about 5 bikinis. Many bikinis are as comfy as underwear, and I won't have to worry about getting changed behind a bush or in a public restroom. My son will also be wearing his trunks instead of boxers. It'll save on space and time. We'll be leaving PA in Dec and it'll be summer there, so the only heavy clothes we'll be taking will be what we're wearing on the plane. The only problem I seem to be having are the hiking boots. Many of the tours suggest well-broken-in hiking boots, which are very heavy and large. As my son wears a size 13 shoe, his boots could take up our whole bag. Not to mention carrying 20 pounds of shoes around while there. I really don't want to wear them over as we'll be traveling for about 40 hrs. And removing them in a security line won't be fun. I'm still not sure what we're going to do about that. Other than that, I'm minimizing everything or just not taking it. I plan on buying clothes while I'm there to wear and as souvenirs. Their sunscreen and bugspray is much better than ours, so I'm buying that there as well. But I'm taking some of my faves with us, with one baggie for each of us, there should be plenty of room. I'm taking a couple of travel beach towels to use as blankets on the plane and for just about everything else. I've always been a hopeless over-packer, so this will be my first try at packing light. Wish me luck!!
Athens, PA USA Mon 11/12/2007
packing throw away clothing
Wasteful Americans. If you have clothing that you don't want, take it to Goodwill or Salvation Army, please do not discard your clothing in Europe! This planet has enough problems. Please recycle.
If you want room in your suitcase, pack less, re-wear your clothing for a few days, then wash in the sink in your bathroom and drip dry.
PLEASE don't take stuff you don't want/need to travel in and then throw it away!! How many times on this board must this be discussed?
UT USA Sat 11/10/2007
Most people who suggest taking and then discarding clothes are refering to undergarments that are ready to be gotten rid of anyways.
Camillus, NY USA Sat 11/10/2007
My one trick for packing light would be always use a 21 inch roll aboard suitcase or the rick steves back door bag.
Lawrence, KS USA Sat 11/10/2007
My favorite travel item I brought on my last trip was a pair of silk pajamas from Victoria's secret. They're very light and pack down to nothing. I'm never too hot or too cold at night wearing them.
Burlington, VT USA Sat 11/10/2007
Old Clothes - Why?
I wonder why anyone would spend the money to go to Europe and wear their old worn out clothes? Why would you not want to be as stylish (but still comfortable) and feeling great in what you are wearing while in all those beautiful places?
USA Wed 11/07/2007
Packing made easier
I have a couple of tips. My husband and I go to Europe every Fall. Throughout the year, we gather underwear and socks that are on their last leg and put it aside for our trip. This way, we can wear it once and throw it out. My husband does the same for t-shirts. It is amazing how much room they take up and what souvenirs can be put in their place. We also tak 1/2 the clothes we need for the trip and plan on washing them 1/2 way threw the trip. Between this and taking 2 empty suitcases, I can do a lot of shopping in Paris. At the beginning of the trip, our smaller bags fit in the larger ones so we only have 1 bag to move around and it makes it easier to meet the locals.
Atlanta, GA USA Mon 11/05/2007
And just where do you put those quart bags!
I have been working on embracing packing light before our trip to Europe next year. So for a recent cross-country weekend trip, I only took my Veloce' shoulder back. I was trying to figure out where to put my Quart sized, not very full, bag of liquids for the trip to the airport. I wanted somewhere I could get at easily it for the TSA inspectors. I then noticed the empty water bottle holder. My theory was that I could move the bag to the inside after I cleared security.
I was feeling pretty darn smug!
I forgot to pull the baggie out of the pocket when getting x-rayed and the inspectors didn't notice. (I suppose it could have been visible enough in the pocket) It was a little aggravating to find maybe I'm not so smart!
It wouldn't work with a very full bag, but it did free my hands easily through the airport. I then bought a bottle of water and did a little switch-a-roo at the gate.
Kirkland, WA USA Fri 11/02/2007
On our recent trip across Italy, I almost didn't pack OTC medicines in the interest of packing light, but I was glad I did. We both went through diarrhea and bad colds. In the middle of the night is not the time to be out shopping. We also had a terrible time explaining at the Farmacia what we wanted, even with Rick's Italian phrasebook. I bought gloves in Milan and was willing to buy clothes if needed. The medicine we bought was a disaster.
Concord, ca USA Thu 11/01/2007
Convertible Bag & Laundry
First, the Rick Steve's Convertable bag was great! I got caught in the recent French rail strike, and scheduling difficulties associated with that meant that the only way for me to reach Mont St Michel involved a two hour walk. I couldn't have done that without the ability to swing my bag on my back and trek it. Second, I brought a bunch of tide laundry packets with me to do laundry in the sink during the trip, but discovered on my first day in france that the grocery stores all sold smallish quantities of laundry detergent that could have easily lasted me the length of the trip for less cost than the collection of individual packets I brought.
Boston, MA USA Mon 10/29/2007
scarves for women
Every packing light article I read says women should take basic colored clothing and then dress it up with bright scarves. If you are extremely fashion-conscious, this will work only if you're moving from place to place. If you're staying in one place or traveling with a large group, everyone will see right through that -- "Oh, she's wearing that same navy top with a different scarf this time." It doesn't fool anyone, but whether you care or not is up to you. And, you'll just have to wash that navy top more often. I'd rather take more lightweight tops and have more variety, than try to fake it with a bunch of scarves. For me, it isn't a question of being a fashionista, it's trying not to go mad wearing the same couple of tops over and over and over...
USA Sun 10/28/2007
Don't be afraid
I found several websites with "tips" on how to not look like a tourist and enjoy a "native-like" experience. So, I packed monochromatic clothing and skirts, only to get to Europe and stand out like a sore thumb trying to fit in. I actually bought a pair of jeans in Budapest just to be comfortable and "in" style. All over Europe, people wear jeans and sneaks. I felt like I was standing out by trying to fit in. BRING THE JEANS AND ATHLETIC SHOES for walking and sightseeing, you will not stick out uncomfortably. Save the dressy outfits for the nice nights out. You can be comfortable and not be a slob at the same time, even in jeans and comfy shoes.
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 10/28/2007
Most international flights have blankets and sometimes if you ask they will let you have it. They pack pretty flat and work nicely for picnics and extra cover at hotels plus you have something for those state to state flights where you get nothing.
Newport Beach, CA USA Fri 10/26/2007
I found Tide detergent in the little packs at the drug store. I put them inside a ziplock in my toiletries bag.
Pearland, TX USA Wed 10/24/2007
What I do is bring old tshirts or clothes that I dont wear at home and am planning to donate to goodwill anyway. I bring them on my trip with me and then throw them out after I wear them a few times. It certainly makes my bag much lighter when I leave.
los angeles, ca USA Sun 10/21/2007
I bought one of the Rick Steves towels a couple of years ago and, though it is not tiny, it's worth it to me to pack unless I'm having to go ultra-light. I use it on the plane instead of the (sometimes dirty and hairy!) plane blankets, as an additional cozy wrap on long train rides, as a nice towel when hotel towels are rough and nasty, and to squeeze the maximum liquid out of laundry before hanging it so that it dries faster. They make nice beach blankets for sitting on the beach, picnic blankets for casual lunches, and "table cloths" that transform bed stands into mini-tables for snacks in the hotel room.
USA Sat 10/20/2007
Look at Marseille soap, made from Olive Oil - http://www.marseillesoap.com/history.cfm. I used it for bathing, shampoo, shaving, and clothes washing on a 10 day trip and it worked great. Also take one or two medium to large microfiber towels and roll the clothes in the towel before hanging them up.
Camillus, ny USA Thu 10/18/2007
no laundry woes
Becca - try taking quick dry clothes/underwear and wash at night... then you can "take in" your laundry before you leave the next day as it will be dry, and wont need to worry about the maids!
USA Wed 10/17/2007
I know there is a lot of debate about laundry, and this is just what worked for us. We took a clothesline and large ziplocks with every intention of washing clothes every other night or so in the sink, but after the first time, we decided we didn't like the idea of leaving our underwear hanging in the shower while it dried for the maids to see when they made the bed, so we opted to rely on Febreze so our clothes could do double-duty, and we went to a laundromat mid-trip. We were only gone for two weeks, and each had about 4 days' worth of clothes, so it worked out fine. The two hours and 12 euros we spent in the laundromat was well worth it!
Torrance, CA USA Tue 10/16/2007
Convertible carry-on & Avanti Flight Bag
On our first trip to Europe this year (2 + weeks) we opted for one carry-on bag each - no checked baggage. My husband brought the convertible carry-on and had room for all his clothes at the bottom, and a space at the top fit our large-ish camera case all snug and safe. His bag was a little heavier, but he didn't mind the weight and it fit all the carry-on requirements for each airport we used. I brought the small avanti flight bag and a variety of mix and match clothes (vest, scarves, turtlenecks, t-shirt) and a plan to do laundry once. We bought our liquid toiletries on arrival.
My bag was full with all the clothes, but I still had room in the side pockets for a book and bottle of water (items that I wouldn't miss too badly if stolen).
I really appreciated the small bag on our rushed trips through train stations and to/from the airport. I am so glad we packed light and highly recommend it!
Bothell, WA USA Wed 10/10/2007
Take a few - buy a few there
Great Idea to test it all at home... I agree - small tavel toothpaste last about 10-14 days, so 2 smalls ones is enough for 3 weeks! I always seem to end up buying ladies deodorant in europe (maybe they separate mens/ladies stuff!) So a few Ounces of a few essentials can save time. The sun screens are often better over there - but its good to have a small one from home to start!
CA USA Sat 10/06/2007
Traveling is the worst time to shop of toiletries
I know I would end up with a deodorant that smelled too fruity, gave me a rash, and wasn't an antiperspirant. I have no trouble carrying my toiletries. For a month I need 6 ounces of shampoo, 2 travel sized toothpaste tubes, 0.5 ounce travel size antiperspirant, one travel size shaving cream, 2 ounces of face soap, and a bar of soap. Now is the time to experiment with how much you need. Mark today's date on your travel size products and see how long you can make them last. One warning; harder water in Europe may cause you to use more soap and shampoo there.
IA USA Thu 10/04/2007
I too have purchased bathroom essentials while abroad. I had mistakenly purchased lice shampoo in India that did not have an affect on me until week 11. My shoulder length ponytail was stripped of its natural oils AND color! I arrived as a hot fudge brunette and left as a peanut brittle red head (just like in the Brady Bunch episode when the guinea pigs had their fur dyed by accident). Apparently lice shampoo should only be used for 3 consecutive days ONLY! It would have been safer to just use detergent on my locks!!!
Valparaiso, IN USA Thu 10/04/2007
Nikki is on the right track on fabric for pants. I love Prana pants made of lightweight nylon with a soft fabric around the waist. They stretch and are very comfortable to wear all day. I have one pair in brown, and one in black, enough for 1-2 weeks.
I even hiked in a pair in Switzerland. When it got warm, I simply rolled them up to capri length.
There are many styles that Prana makes, so try on a few and see what looks best on your body type- the important thing to look for is lightweight, nylon, stretch, they will wear well, dry quickly and don't need to iron.
I got my pants totally soaked in a rain storm, hung them up to dry and by next morning, they were!
CO USA Sat 09/29/2007
ditto Prana Ts
Ditto on the Prana gear... made for Yoga and rock-climbing, the stuff works great for travel. Ive used their Quic-dry Tshirts 1/2 organic cotton - so its not all synth. The dry super fast, and are oder resistant - A major plus vs all the synthetic stuff! They last, roll up small - well worth adding to a list. 4 fit great inside a 1/2 pack cube when rolled.
Newport Beach, CA USA Sat 09/29/2007
Great travel pants
The trick is to carry clothing that can be hand-washed and drip-dried over night. The best travel pants I've found is the Everyday pants from Lucys (for women). It's made of a stretchy, comfortable fabric; doesn't wrinkle; doesn't collect lint; has two zipper pockets big enough for a passport; and, it drip-dries very quickly.
San Jose, CA USA Fri 09/28/2007
I recently traveled to Germany for 10 days with a full complement of Rick's bags: the 21" Roll Aboard, the Avanti Flight Bag and the Civita day bag tucked away. Worked great, except there was not much room for bringing home gifts and souvenirs. So for the trip home, I unzipped the big bag's expandable capacity and checked it. That is one BIG bag when unzipped. Then carried the other two bags on the plane. There's no way I'd like to risk a trip with checked luggage getting there... but on the way back the pressure is off and I was glad to have the extra capacity.
Lincoln, NE USA Thu 09/27/2007
mix and match
Layers make happy packing!
Pack articles of clothing that can be worn with other articles. You can create additional outfits by pairing some short sleeve shirts with a vest. Pack colors that GO TOGETHER so you can mix and match.
lancaster, pa usa Wed 09/19/2007
My girlfriend and I wanted to be able to travel with just one carry on bag for the both of us. This was probably packing light taken to the extreme but we did several test packings at home and we found out that was not only possible but very workable. My best advice would be to see how everything fits and give yourself some extra room in your baggage so you aren't spending lots of time re-packing perfectly when going from place to place. Bring extra socks and underwear and less pants etc. The Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door has great packing advice. Just try it out before you leave, unpack shake out your clothes, repack and see how long it takes you with your luggage (how much of a hassle will it be).
Honolulu, HI USA Fri 09/14/2007
Packing lighter! High Sierra frame pack
I just purchased the High Sierra Col 35 frame pack for myself and my daughter for our trip this year. The bag itself only weighs in at 3lb, and if we take out the rain cover, we save another few ounces. Our plan is to use this as carry on on Lufthansa. Weight restrictions are 15 lbs, and with this really lightweight backpack, I know we'll make it.
Look to the weight of your bag first! 12 lbs of clothing/shoes/toiletries is a lot if you pack thoughtfully!
WI USA Fri 09/14/2007
1 oz containers
I like to take a few toiletries with me in my daypack. Rather than lugging around my 3 oz bottles for just one day, I've discovered 1 oz mini pots. They are round, transparent with a screw on lid. You can find them at Dollar Stores 3/$1 CAD and come with a mini spray bottle. They are made in China so probably available worldwide. They are quite strong and durable. Lipstick/vaseline/chapstick ect can be compressed and applied with a Qtip. So far, it seems like a pretty good system.
YYZ Toronto, CANADA Wed 09/12/2007
laundry bag tip!
packing is an art form, no question. we wouldn't be talking about it here if it wasn't! my best tip to all of you, LAUNDRY BAG. what we do is pack regular on the way over, one carry on each, but stow away an empty laundry bag. then we have a bag to use in a laundromat in europe AND we use it to put our clothes in on the way home which leaves our carry ons empty for all of the souvenirs and gifts we buy. then we just check the laundry bag but carry on our treasured, usually breakable, souvenirs. i know this is against the rick steve's rules of travel but it works for us well. if the airlines want to lose, drop, or steal our laundry bag full of dirty clothes, BE MY GUEST!
higganum, ct USA Mon 09/10/2007
dresses and toothbrush
Europe in summer- I found knit dresses to be the most versatile pieces because I could wear them to the beach, touring or add a necklace to go out at night. I rolled them up and they packed nicely. I never even wore my jeans or shorts since European women dress nicely. I also got a toothbrush/paste in one from bagsandbaggageusa.com, it saved space and I could brush anywear! The Bagallini I got through them swaped out as a purse, waist pack and over the shoulder bag too.
Arlington, VA USA Mon 09/10/2007
One more thing, we didn't bring a hair dryer but found every hotel had one! If they didn't, I saw them in many stores through out my travels. You could leave it as a gift when you leave!
Arlington, VA USA Mon 09/10/2007
Hand washing clothes without a sink plug
We just came back from 2 weeks in Europe during which we hand washed several times. We avoided the hassles of sinks that didn't plug by taking a couple of the new 3 gallon size heavy duty Ziploc "Big Bags." These bags have a double zipper, are much tougher than standard bags and weigh nearly nothing. At night we would put several t-shirts or pieces of underware in the bag, throw in some soap and warm water, seal the bag and shake it or "massage" it. We'd use the same method to rinse the clothes. At the end, just wipe out the bag with a towel, fold it up and stuff it back in the suitcase. This worked out very well since we could wash more than in a sink, and I think the clothes came out cleaner. We took 2 bags just in case, but one bag lasted the whole trip never leaking.
Portland, OR USA Tue 09/04/2007
Travel size toiletries bottles
This isn't groundbreaking, just a thought on how to do it. As we've been searching for travel sized bottles that are 3 oz or less, we had a hard time finding a spray bottle (for Febreze). So, my genius DH suggested buying a travel size hairspray and either using it or dumping it before our trip and refilling it with Febreze. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it! Those travel sized toiletries are basically the same price as empty travel bottles if not cheaper, but they come in better sizes. We're doing the same thing for laundry detergent with a shampoo bottle.
Torrance, CA USA Tue 09/04/2007
What I don't leave home for a long transatlantic flight without: herbal tea bags. That way, I can always have a non caffein hot drink (that is not decaf coffee)--just ask for hot water. Very refreshing and helps jet lag!Especially on a "red eye!" Some flights have herbal teas, but many do not. TC
Richmond, KY USA Mon 09/03/2007
Crush proof, leak proof and lightweight packing boxes
I always pack two 4x8 and a couple 2X8 SNAPWARE plastic boxes (got mine at COSTCO - came in a box with a large selection of sizes - cheap). I fill them with underwear or whatever going over. They're great to pack breakables you might otherwise pass by on your vacation. Last time it was two very delicate old champagne glasses and a funky tea cup. Also good for packing anything that might leak and they are pretty much baggage handler proof.
San Diego, CA USA Mon 09/03/2007
Really light backpack
I'm a 53 year old woman and I now travel with one backpack that weighs only 15 lbs packed for a 2 week trip. It is a GoLite that weighs practically nothing. I use the equally feather weight stuff sacks from camping stores to organize my pack so that I can pull our an orange sack for toiletries, purple sack for tops, yellow sack for slacks, etc. The outside has mesh pockets where I hide my maps and books wrapped in a light jacket. The only access to the pack is at the very top (drawstring, rolled down, cinched). When traveling to Italy this summer, an Italian B&B owner was complimentary on how sensibly I had packed, yet I had all the clothes and shoes that I needed. For makeup, I just carry moisturizer with SPF, moisturizing lipstick, thin compact of powder foundation and a trial size of mascara from the high-end makeup counters (ask, the ladies will usually give you a sample mascara). I didn't have to worry about trunk space in the rental car, going through train stations/airports. Hope this helps.
Chapel Hill, NC USA Thu 08/30/2007
finding the perfect bag
I have to say that the rick steves bag without wheels is rough. With limited luggage and lots space...its really really heavy. And it is a really small % of people not using any wheels...but as R.Steves says its all preference...depends on your needs...long airports is so not fun!
Auburn, Me USA Wed 08/29/2007
I'm with Jane on this one, partly because I have sensitive skin and find that some products cause me problems. If I decant what I need into small containers, the 1 quart baggie holds everything I need--shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, skin care products, etc.--easily for at least a month of traveling.
The one exception for me is sunscreen. European sunscreens are much better than US sunscreens for UVA protection and they come in smallish tubes. So I buy my sunscreen once I get there.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 08/26/2007
Re: Purchase Supplies Overseas
Long-time readers of the Graffiti Wall have seen others make the same suggestion as Linda of Washington D.C made; buy overseas. While this is certainly a solution, I , personally, resort to it only out of dire necessity.
Shampoos and other such items are, by comparison, very expensive overseas. For that reason alone I would avoid it. But unless tiny sizes can be found, you will find your lightly packed duffel or suitcase stuffed with more weight and size than you planned on. I'm imagining an 8 ounce bottle of shampoo, hand lotion, contact lens solution (extremely pricey!), a big tube of toothpaste, and concentrated laundry soap. That's 2 pounds+ worth of weight and 2-3 shirts worth of space.
At the end of my trip I will often shop for common items like the ones I just mentioned as souvenirs, if I have the cash to spare and I can find items unique to Europe. But for me, no thanks to carrying them around for two weeks.
Los Angeles, CA USA Thu 08/23/2007
Purchase supplies overseas
Although it may seem difficult to travel with the minimum of liquids, it can be done. Ladies, take as much powder or stick makeup as possible..eye shadow, eyeliner, etc. If you wear liquid foundation purchase the smallest size allowable by TSA 1 oz., liquid mascara falls within this category. Transfer as much of as you can of these liquid necessities to the correct size bottle and jam them into the quart size plastic bag. I have seen sample size products at salons and supply stores. These are great. Unless you are going to a third world country, you should be able to purchase the majority of what you need overseas. The majority of our make up and hair products are made in France. Most hotels can provide you with shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Just ask at the front desk if not provided in your room.
Just because you are not in the United States, don't think that these products do not exist overseas, they do.
Check out the department stores, the large discount stores outside the cities (similar to our Wal Marts) and drug stores.
You should be able to find everything you want.
We have even purchased a small tube of laundry detergent that is concentrated called GENIE, made in England. Before you come home, leave any unused portion behind for another traveler.
Travel light, it is liberating.
My husband and I travelled over 3 months witih carry-on luggage all through Europe. K-i-s-s.
Washington, DC USA Fri 08/17/2007
Other Carry on Sites
Before my teenager went to France last month for two weeks we scoured the Internet for helpful sites. Here are two of the best (aside from this one of course):
Kansas USA Tue 08/14/2007
Traveling light has its advantages
I followed Rick's suggestion and took one carry-on bag for 5 weeks in France. Because of a change with my airline ticket, I almost missed my flight back to the US. Had I had checked baggage, I never would have made it. It is truly easier to get around with just carry-on luggage, despite the odd looks from the airline employees who asked me, "you really don't have any luggage?"
Fishers, IN USA Tue 08/14/2007
Yes, those liquids
Yes, those liquids are the issue with the packing light with only a carryon bag. Although I have always also taken a checked piece of luggage, I like to take all my "necessities" with me. Nothing like losing your beloved hairwash or conditioner because your checked luggage got lost. Although I can live without most of the liquids...and buy local products, I still struggle with this issue.
I was amazed when I flew home from Germany, the number of people that had to throw away NEW containers of liquid that they had in their carryons. This really held up the security lines. I know they knew because the employees walked around with the ziplocs to be sure everyone had one...even for lipstick! Well, they just filled them with full size bottles of shampoo, mousse, gel, etc.
My goal for my next trip is carryon only. Only mini skincare liquids and toothbrush...can buy everything else at destination.
ca USA Mon 08/13/2007
Pack a microfiber towel
Use a microfiber towel (from RS travel store or other) to wring out excess water in handwashed clothing, works great to absorb extra moisture so items dry much quicker, it also dries quickly. I got mine at Walmart a few years ago and it's been to Europe four times!
Canada Sun 08/12/2007
I took a microfiber hairwrap that I bought at the Dollar store. Worked great for my hair, as well as with my sink laundry.
I still have not been able to take just a carryon....I take too much to my family in Germany and bring too much of those beloved treats home.
I have managed to reduce my clothes to a carry on sized bag. That is a big accomplishment. Now need to work on all the stuff I take to them and bring back.
USA Sun 08/12/2007
It's the liquids!
This past trip I was really stymied. I am usually an excellent carry-on only packer, and managed with the one baggie through security just fine on the way TO Europe. But this is the first trip I've had to deal with bringing back items for myself or family and friends since the liquids restrictions began. While tiny bottles of olive oil or perfume, etc. could be found (and that I used to scatter through the carry-on), they sure can't be smushed into a single baggie as they accumulate! I ended up mailing myself home some of the things, and was fortunate that they arrived just fine. At the last minute I decided to not take my trusty zip-up tote that packs flat to use for purhcases. This trip was long, and involved a lot of trains and buses and I thought it would force me to not buy things and keep from slowly filling that extra bag. But I think now that putting those kinds of restrictions on myself ultimately added stress equal to waiting for that same extra bag not showing up when I arrived back home (with a really tight connection, it would've been a miracle if it had). Plus the shipping costs. I will definitely take the extra flat bag next trip, and suggest that you do so, too. It's one thing when surrounded by olive oil and other liquid goodies in Europe to resist purchasing them, since you are on vacation- but now that I am home and back to reality, a big sniff or taste of something I didn't buy would be really nice!
USA Sun 08/12/2007
Cheap, effective packing item
Even if you're not on a budget, plastic freezer bags replace the need for those "compressive sealed bags" for clothes, a dirty laundry bag, a toiletry bag, a shower sack, and .. a pillow (twice)!
They close & compress easily, keep smellies/damp things away from dry, even allow for easy organization and they don't weigh much. Heck, I've even used one with a deoderant cap as a drain stopper.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 08/11/2007
Just came back from 15 days in Eastern and Central Europe. All the tips were great. I found Liquid Tide in one-use packages before I left and they worked very well. Made everything smell good. The Rick Steves clothes line worked nicely everywhere. I wish I had a sink plug, I just couldn't find one and ended up plugging sinks with things that didn't work too well. I also used Shout wipes for spots on clothes and Off anti-mosquito wipes and I got quite a few mosquito bites until I started using them.
We used compression bags from Target to reduce the size of our clothes. One for pants and shorts, one for shirts and one for underware and nightshirt. That kept everything neat and wrinkle free too.
I took a carry-on bag with four wheels. That was so much easier on cobble stone paths. My husband was jealous.
We loved packing light!
Foothill Ranch, CA USA Fri 08/10/2007
Thanks for all the great tips! I couldn't agree more with the super small bottles and bringing much MUCH less than you could possibly think you need. Having done a train trip to Salzburg during the heat wave of summer '03 (you remember, when hundreds of people were dying by the day in Paris and other big cities from power outages) through Munich, back to Wurzburg, then Al'Italia losing our luggage for 2 days after flying to Sicily before travelling all the way through Italy and finally to Venice, I had the epiphany of the lightweight all-purpose daypack. Running to catch the bus shuttle into the airport in Venice after hustling all our heavy luggage at the end of the 18 day trip (from the car rental lot where we dropped off the car) over the canalbridges to the taxi etc. etc. and seeing all the more experienced travellers' sympathetic if not incredulous faces was my lesson indeed! We were lucky the bus driver in Venice was nicer than any in Newark NJ I have experienced...he waited (laughed while waiting, but waited nonetheless!) But hey it was the most incredible, fun way to lose 10 lbs. in my life! Happy travels and ditto on everything entailing packing light and smart for your travel season.
NJ USA Mon 08/06/2007
Just returned from six weeks with only a carry-on. I wish that I had put my favorite hair gel into another 3 oz bottle than just the one I took (I ran out after 3 weeks). Products in France were outrageously expensive and only came in large sizes you wouldn't be able to take back home. That was the case for everything from sunscreen to shampoo. If there is something you really, really love, make sure to take enough to last the whole trip! One product that was really useful were the Dove cleansing wipes. I didn't put them in the baggie...I found that for a quick all over clean up late in the afternoon they were so handy- starting with my face and then working downward. The package is almost totally flat and takes hardly any room.
USA Fri 08/03/2007
Liquid Free Shampoo
Basin sells a liquid free shampoo. It works like a bar of soap. Here's the link http://www.basin.com/web-cart/customer/home.php?cat=259
USA Thu 08/02/2007
Pencil case for travel
Kelly, I found the pencil case at Wal-mart and it is perfect. It cost $3.50 and will fit everything and squash down to take no more space than necessary. It weighs 3 oz. - almost 1/2 a pound less than my former case.
CO USA Wed 08/01/2007
best bag for cbales/adapters
I just found the perfect "electrontics/cable" bag at Target for under $10. Its actually a mens toiletry/shave bag that looks more like a large pencil/school case. Its tough material, (choice of colors), and fit all the cables, chargers, and adapters into a nice compact size. I tried 5 other eagle creek style bags that were close - beut either too big or too small and more $$$. check them out - and remeber to be creative when packing light!
Newport Beach, USA Sun 07/29/2007
Pencil Cases for Travel
The night before I left, I found a pencil case at Wal-Mart that was absolutely perfect for my toiletries. It is light blue and looks very similar to a packing cube (soft material). All my toiletries/makeup fit into it and the bright blue container fit easily into my bag.
Arnold, MO USA Thu 07/26/2007
Take it or leave it? Leave it!
I have never come home from Europe saying, "wow, I wish I'd brought more stuff."
These guidelines keep packing simple: 1) Wear layers when it's cold- one sweater and one jacket are the max heavy items you need for any trip. 2)Go casual at all times.
Last trip I kept a clothing journal- what did I REALLY wear? This is it: one pair of hiking boots, one pair of flip flops, two pair of socks, seven changes of underwear, two pairs of shorts, one pair of jeans, one pair of cargo pants, four t-shirts, two long sleeve t-shirts, one sweater, one jacket,one rain poncho, one pair of pjs, and two tank tops. That's it. I did laundry once during the two weeks, and never wished for something I hadn't brought.
RPM in Austin
Austin, Texas USA Wed 07/25/2007
Metal detectors seem to be set at different tolerances in different airports. No matter what I do, I always set it off in Frankfurt and have to be wanded. I am not sure there is any way to avoid setting off some, tho I really try to minimize the metal.
pacific grove, CA USA Mon 07/23/2007
Plastec Zipper Pants
I found convertable zip-off leg pants with plastic zippers at Eddie Bauer. Should work great for light travels. And, shouldn't set the alarm off on the airport detectors.
Kalispell, Mont. USA Mon 07/23/2007
Liquid Free: Buy It, Don't Pack It
About going liquid free, remember that baking soda is a fine substitute for toothpaste. Also remember that toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergent, soap, etc., are sold everywhere. Remember, too, it's better to not pack it than to pack it.
Cary, NC USA Mon 07/23/2007
Zip-off pants that work great
Giacamo - Ive traveled only wearing my Columbia and Northface brand convertable-zip-off pants a few times now and never had a problem at metal detectors (US, Germany & Scandinavia). I found 2 pairs of these were enough for 2-3 weeks since they count as long or short pants, and stand up great to travel - both urban and mountain!
Newport Beach, CA USA Sun 07/22/2007
I am not somebody who can do without make-up... I know it's vain, but I can't help not having powder, a little bit of eyeliner or mascara, and my chap stick... at the LEAST. I've lived in France for a year now and have been traveling all over out of my backpack. I bought a make up "planner" from Trish McEvoy before I left and its great - I can magnetically put powder, eyeshadow, concealer in its pages, and then use the side pouches for stuff I like from other brands - mascara, blush, etc. I highly recommend it. I know it comes in at least two sizes, too, if not three.
Bethlehem, PA USA Sun 07/22/2007
Zip-off Leg Pants
I wore my zipp-off leg pants to the airport, and walked through the scanner only to set it off. I wear regular pants to board now, and pack the travel light goods in my carry-on.
Mt. Vernon, WA USA Sun 07/22/2007
Zip off pants....great idea but the zippers set off the metal detectors. I was getting sick of the extra security scrutiny until I finally figured out what was causing it. Don't wear them for your flights.
Salem, Oregon USA Sat 07/21/2007
if anyone used eurail i am interested in tips. Also does anyone have a patially used eurail pass that they would sell. email@example.com thanks brandon
atlanta, USA Wed 07/18/2007
Go without a toothbrush and toothpaste!
When I go backpacking I just take floss and teeth wipes. Oral B Brush-ups are teeth wipes that you put on your finger to get that just brushed and fresh breath feeling you get from brushing your teeth. I found Oral B Brush-ups at my local CVS but you can find them online at Amazon.com too. I am going to use the same system on my trip to London in a few weeks.
Not only is it lighter but doesn't
Los Angeles, CA USA Wed 07/18/2007
Barely There panties/bras
These recommended undies couldn't be found at Costco, but I did find them at http://www.onehanesplace.com. I got the microfiber and the modal cotton panties. Both are great and so light!
Fort Worth, TX USA Mon 07/16/2007
I like the idea of getting postcards and writing on the backs of them, creating a sort of photo-journal. I got a little journal (lined pages) at the $ store and used it on our first trip to Europe. Worked fine and didn't cost me my first-born male child.
USA Mon 07/16/2007
....and if your just not the journaling type...
My mom just isn't the journalling type. I mean the idea just isn't here thing. Here is what I do for here each time. I buy a little 4"x6" (?) flip through album ( you can find them in the $1 store.) They usually have the space for 12-16 photos. Then when we are on the road I make her buy a postcard each day that depicts something that she saw/did that day. Then each night over drinks we each write a little blurb on our cards and then tuck them into the photo album. At the end of a two-week trip we have a motley collection of blurbs.
Olympia, WA USA Sun 07/15/2007
If you REALLY aren't the journaling type...
I always take a journal and find I do not use it as much as I'd like. I'm a slow writer and at night I'm pretty tired. I also find that the more tired I am, the less legible my writing is! I bought an iTalk for my iPod and absolutely love it. I document WAY more with the iPod because I can talk way faster than I can write. The other great thing is that I'll have my husband or friends also add their comments and I'll have the sounds of where we are included. While in Italy I recorded a number of entries and I had church bells and all sorts of wonderful things in the background. I recorded some locals telling great stories. I still love my paper journal, but I won't travel without my iPod - even when in the car I take notes when I think of things.
NY USA Sun 07/15/2007
Zip Lock Bag Alternative
Rather than using a zip lock bag for your liquids through security you could use a transparent pensil case. I got one at the $ Store which is a heavier transparent plactic with a zipper top. The 3 oz bottles stand up in it and fit perfectly. I find it is more durable than a zip lock and can be used over and over. It's a good value for a buck.
YYZ, Canada Sun 07/15/2007
Journal, Journal, Journal
I've seen others mention this and I'll repeat it - bring a journal. We always take one and it's great to be able to look back and recall details of your trips. We've been able to help friends heading to the same area with specific recommendations because we wrote them down. Just find a good compact one that's made for traveling. I'd recommend one from http://www.destinationunknownjournals.com/ - they're made for travel and have some great designs for European (and other) destinations!
East coast, USA Fri 07/13/2007
laundry soap: Tide in double zip lock bag. Very concentrated. 1/2 cup enough for two weeks laundry for 2 travelers
Ann Arbor, Mi USA Fri 07/13/2007
Speaking of journals...
My journal is like my travel bible. The first page has a copy of my itinery with the confirmation #'s. There's a section for Rick's suggestions. I either cut out or copy Rick's pages and glue stick them into my journal.
Also, I keep a section for me to paste receipts, business cards of places i like (or don't like), and jot down what we did that day.
If I run out of glue stick, I buy a new one! In Spain I discovered the best little restaurant, thanks to the recommendation of the stationary store man!
I've made a bunch of journals and when people ask me about my trip to a certain country, I can take it out, show them my exact schedule, cost, and where I dined or played.
Anaheim, CA USA Fri 07/13/2007
It's not hard to find a laundromat. Take 6 sets of underwear, 3 shirts, and 3 pants (men) and do laundry about once a week. Makes summer packing in a Rick Steves pack a very convenient way to travel.
Vallejo, CA USA Thu 07/12/2007
To Liquid Free Flight Attendant in Canada: Eco-Dent I have used on several occaisions and I think they will ship to you in Toronto. Word of warning though--my mom tried some of mine on a trip we went on and she did not like it at first because it was too strong for her. So go with the milder mint flavor (unless you REALLY like cinnamon) and work your way into it slowly. Try a little at first and then more as you get used to the flavor. I like it and the bottle does not take up much room.
Richardson, Tx USA Wed 07/11/2007
Tooth Powder Sources
Take a looks at this.
USA Wed 07/11/2007
tooth powder answer
To solve the wasted tooth powder issue, sprinkle a small amount of the stuff into the palm of your hand, then dip your damp toothbrush into it. The powder ends up packed on the tip of the bristles instead of between them .. or on the sink, counter or floor, for that matter.
Happy travels and healthy teeth...
durham, nc USA Sun 07/08/2007
What brand of "tooth powder"? Been looking for this! Even my Dental Pro can't seem to tell me where to get this! I am in Canada. For now all I can think of is baking soda powder!
YYZ Toronto, Canada Fri 07/06/2007
Lehmans has tooth powder. This is were I purchssed mine.
USA Fri 07/06/2007
Travelon Powder Toothpaste Substitute
Travelon Powder Toothpaste Substitute in a 1 oz. plastic bottle is available at www.drugstore.com for $4.99. It's also at www.magellans.com, but there you have to buy two 1 oz bottles for $9.85. The bottle says it's good for 60 brushings, but I keep missing the toothbrush when I try to shake it out. I expect I'll run out before I get 60 brushings.
It's really just baking soda with peppermint flavor. It dissolves, so it feels like you're brushing with a plain, wet toothbrush. Saves room in the quart-size plastic baggie, though!
Palo Alto, CA USA Fri 07/06/2007
RE no more liquids
While you may have no "liquid" products - many toiletry items may still need to be in the 3-1-1 bag, including travel gel-cap asprin/nyquil, mini gel-deoderant sticks. The solid bar-soaps and related dry-non-gel products wont need to go into the 3-1-1 bag.
newport beach, ca USA Thu 07/05/2007
no more liquids!
I am completly liquid free in my carry-on packing! I bought stick cocoa butter for lotion, tooth powder instead of toothpaste, solid deoderant, gold medal medicated powder, and DR. Bronner's bar soap for face/hair/body/laundry. Alas, I am truely free.
Houston, TX USA Wed 07/04/2007
My Tips For Bags and Packing
My List of best bags would be all of gRick's bags or maybe just a moneybelt with documents and a roll aboard suitcase. To end my tips for packing light would be choose a good bag, pack only what you need and don't put in so much that you carry a giant bag.
Lawrence, KS USA Tue 07/03/2007
We recently acquired 2 Stowaway backpacks from LLBean and I can't recommend them highly enough. They are made of a lightweight silicone-coated nylon and fold into themselves in a nice little packet. My daughter and I did a carryon-only weekend to Paris and I tucked one into the corner of my rollaboard suitcase. Perfect day-pack. 2 pockets for water bottles, a waistbelt and chest clip for stability. Carried guide books, little neccessities, etc and had no problems in the Louvre and other attractions. At only $25, and one lb. in weight, it's hard to find a reason not to get one, in my opinion.
Nottingham, UK Wed 06/27/2007
Know the Rules!
On our recent trip to Paris, we flew bmibaby, which allows unlimited weight in carryons as long as they fit in the little box. There was no problem flying out of East Midlands, but in Paris, the ticketing agent tried to tell me there was a 10 kg limit. I knew the rules and he backed off, but I think in a lot of European airports, the agents are shuffled about from one airline's desk to another, and the rules vary a lot. I always have my manila folder of important papers, and from now on it will include a printout of the relevant airline's regulations.
Nottingham, UK Wed 06/27/2007
Regarding Virgin weight restrictions
I recently came back from England, and I flew on Virgin. Knowing, the weight restrictions - which I first dealt with on British Airways several years ago - I packed as light as possible. I use a mountaineer's backpack, with no frames, and it weighs almost nothing, which allows memore latitude. Yes, I agree, the restrictions can be harsh, but if you plan well, they are quite doable!
Roseville, CA USA Tue 06/26/2007
Also, regarding the water bottle issue - I was allowed to bring through an empty water bottle, and then filled it once I was past security. Worth a try!
Roseville, CA USA Tue 06/26/2007
Heat and Travel Wear - Cool AND Wrinkle Free
Some wrinkle free clothing is indeed hot - like travel knits from Chicos or Coldwater Creek. I've also found some types of the total sunblock blouses not very breathable. However, 100% cotton is not the only cool clothing out there. I have a pants and blouses from Exofficio and they are quick dry, VERY cool and wrinkle free. I don't do well with being hot - I tolerate cold much better so I am very fussy about my summer travel clothing. I picked up a couple of coolmax dress shirts from Tilley's for my husband. They were the only shirts he worn in our recent and very hot trip in Italy. They are 100% poly and WONDERFUL! Cool, wrinkle free and quick dry - can't go wrong!
NY USA Fri 06/22/2007
Wintersilks has several styles of underpants for men & women in sev colors; enclosed waistbands (for the elastic) and they wash & dry quickly
Hayden, ID USA Fri 06/22/2007
Can you REALLY carry your suitcase?
We found ourselves in both Cinque Terre and Venice wishing we had packed half of what we did. For a good test...can you easily haul your suitcase up and down your stairs a dozen times in succession? Can you lift it over your head (buses and trains) with ease and hold it there a bit? We could have done with half of what we packed (we used Rick's list) and had a better time. I suggest taking three tops, three bottoms and a light jacket, swimsuit, sleepshirt and undies. Let your hotels do your laundry when needed and have a MUCH better trip. For CT and Venice, consider a small travel backpack and keep it light. NO ONE will help you jump on and off trains with luggage or lift it so be VERY practical. We stayed places (built onto mountainsides) where 90 steps to our room was commonplace. Be lighter and happier.
Augusta, GA USA Wed 06/20/2007
Heat and travel wear
In retrospect, I wish I had packed cotton clothing and cotton undies vs. wrinkle free travel clothing for hot Europe this summer. Although I looked great and wrinkle free, I was swealtering, where my 100% cotton and wrinkly daughter was far more comfortable. Be wary, nylon clothing does not breathe and holds in your sweat. I wish I had worn cotton head to toe.
Augusta, GA USA Wed 06/20/2007
clothes ib the plane
Here is what I learned a long time ago from a well seasoned traveler. When planning what to wear on a flight, pick things you wouldnt mind wearing for several days or longer if you luggage is lost. On my last trip I wore black pants, a white tank, a short sleeve beige shirt, a black cashmere cartigan. With the exception of the cartigan all the clothes I had on were wrinkle-free and fast drying. I also have a windbreaker/rainjacket that stores in it's own pocket that was in my carryon. Luckily my luggage wasnt lost.
boston, USA Wed 06/20/2007
carry your suitcase?
It's not the clothes that make your suitcase heavy, it's all the other stuff. My suitcase is under the 17.6# Lufthansa carry-on limit. My clothes weigh less than 6#, but I have an electric razor (1#), and chargers and extra batteries for my camera and handheld (2#). If you use a roll-aboard, that adds at least 5# more to the weight.
Denver, USA Wed 06/20/2007
I just returned from Poland and found the best way to keep cool in Baltic humidity is by keeping a couple of zip lock bags of ice cubes in each pocket (about 13 cubes in each should do). Not only does it keep you cool on hikes and midnight polka competitions, but it also can freshen up that drink of yours when it gets too warm.
P.S. Beware of sitting until they have melted a bit.
Chicago, USA Wed 06/20/2007
Agree with Lee. As I have stated many times - my daughter and I traveled through western Europe and Czech Republic for 8 weeks.
We each had a small day back pack and Rick Steves' 21" Roll Aboard.
Each had 4 sets of clothes, 2 pairs of shoes which included the set we wore on the plane.
Our Digital Camera, movie cam, batteries and chargers weighed 9 pounds.
Packing light pays off when getting on and off trains every 4-6 days.
My advice would be to pack what you think you need then lift it above your head and carry it up and down stairs. There are stairs and no elevators in many train stations in Europe.
USA Wed 06/20/2007
I agree with Laurie except that you can't travel on a budget and expect to have your hotel do your laundry. Figure on doing hand laundry in Italy or paying a big bunch of euros to have it done. It's easy; just wash out a couple of things every evening.
USA Wed 06/20/2007
I packed light for a tour trip to Scotland one early spring. There was a snow storm and I didn't have a heavy jacket. I wore everything in my suitcase to stay warm! I learned about layer packing and dressing from that trip. Two of my favorites: 1. A wool blend scarf that doubles for a muffler. 2. Long sleeve cotton t-shirts to wear under button shirts and sweaters. Happy traveling!
Cali USA Sun 06/17/2007
silk long undies
www.wintersilks.com is another great place company to buy silk long undies from. I also don't travel anywhere without mine, I use the bottoms to double as PJ bottoms as well.
MN USA Sun 06/17/2007
For changes in temp and those air conditioned rooms...
I agree with others about packing layers to accommodate different temps/air conditioning, and with silk longjohns/silk underwear top.
Two other things I almost always travel with to account for differences in temperature: 1) a cashmere shawl/pashmina. Packs really small and is wonderful on the plane, when rooms get too chilly and for going out in the evenings. 2) a cashmere (or other lightweight material) cardigan.
USA Sat 06/16/2007
Silk Long Johns
Karen - for the silk long johns try mec.ca http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_listing.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302703981&bmUID=1181935168289
Canada Fri 06/15/2007
Air conditioning and comfort
Karen, I know what you mean about air conditioning! I've taken to packing a silk long-undies top to wear under my "summer weight" stuff. The one I use is pale beige, with a deep scoop neck and three quarter length sleeves so it doesn't show under longer sleeves. It's a great insurance policy against too-cool air conditioning and the unexpected cold snap. I started carrying silk long johns when traveling in the spring and fall for layering purposes, but now I never travel without them. They pack down to practically nothing and wash out in the hotel sink just fine.
USA Thu 06/14/2007
JER - I've never heard of those. Where do you get them? (The silk long-johns, that is.)
Denver, CO USA Thu 06/14/2007
JB -- don't know why my comments are showing ahead of yours since it was your comment about cobble stones that I was responding to.
At any rate, thanks for the response. I remain totally sold on the RS roll-aboard. (Although I haven't actually *been* anywhere yet! ;) )
Denver, CO USA Wed 06/13/2007
Audrey, I completely understand your situation. I travel for work-related conferences 3 to 5 times a year and always make the mistake of packing for the expected weather in the city I'm traveling to. For some reason, I never take into account that, even though the weather in that city may be warm, the meeting rooms are kept at a ridiculously *freezing* temperature.
You'd think one of these days I'd get it right!
Denver, CO USA Wed 06/13/2007
Rick Steves' 21-inch Roll Aboard
My daughter and I each had the 21-inch Roll Aboard and each had a small day back pack for our 8 weeks in Europe. It is amazing the amount of stuff one can stuff into it.
The large rollers worked great on all those cobble stoned streets and sidewalks.
We love ours!!
Antioch, CA USA Tue 06/12/2007
Just returned from Germany, Austria, Switzerland tour with a Rick Steves group. I thought I packed lightly but of course I still had all the wrong items. We had the unexpected 16" of snow in Murren, Switzerland and I had one pair of long pants & one pair of leather shoes. My ls shirt was dirty so the shops in Murren had my business! Suggestions: 1) always take an umbrella; 2) do your laundry immediately upon arrival at hotel or it won't dry unless you have a hairdryer. The humidity is great. Pack the lightest weight clothes (jeans are too heavy). It's the Don't Tell Rick bag full of souvenirs that got me into trouble on the last stop and hotel hike! A rolling bag is better than the original Rick bag.
Keizer, OR USA Tue 06/12/2007
Rick's 21-inch roll aboard
So glad to hear the wheels held up on cobble stones! That was the last thing I had a minor concern about and now, I won't worry.
I truly love my new bag. So glad I bought it and I'm already recommending it to everyone!
Denver, CO USA Tue 06/12/2007
Rick Steves 21 in. Roll-Aboard
Well, color me 13 different varieties of surprised! After reading about Rick's 21-inch roll aboard and the advertisment comment that someone's wife could pack for three weeks in this bag I thought, "Yeah, right!" But decided to order it for myself just to see if the claims were true.
What an amazing bag! It is somehow so much deeper than my current carry-on sized wheeled-bag. I am able to get everything in it for my upcoming two week trip to Italy (followed by a week at a business conference in Florida) with room to spare. I think I'll even be able to take a couple of extras along ( like shorts!) that I don't really need either in Italy or at a business conference.
I *seriously* recommend this bag. I was a scoffer and now ... I'm a believer!
Denver, CO USA Mon 06/11/2007
Heathrow's one bag limit
If you connect through Heathrow, they enforce a strict one piece per person limit (including purses or laptop cases). Here's what happens:
The limit is enforced at security screening. When you transfer international flights, you have to go through another x-ray screening even though you haven't left the secured part of the airport. That's where they insist that you have only one piece of carry-on luggage. Have a big bag and tuck your smaller laptop bag, backpack, etc. into it. In fact, we saw the Heathrow employees coaching.
After security screening no one cares. We got onto British Air Flights with everyone else now carrying multiple bags and duty-free items they bought in the terminal.
Just plan to squash everything you have together before getting to the x-rays.
Portland, OR USA Sun 06/10/2007
tiny makeup cases
For women--traveling light with makeup: My husband has several of those plastic contact cases that he doesn't use; I unscrew the tops from each side and scrape in blush & eyeshadow from my larger compacts (use a blade to scrape them into the container). This saves me from carrying those much larger containers (I only have to bring along small applicators). I have also used the extra cases for Neosporin & cold cream. I also go to Walmart.com & go to the free samples area before my trip!
Texas USA Sun 06/10/2007
I finally did it...I was able to pack 6 days of clothes into an overnight bag. The case is only about 12in x 15in x 4-5in deep with an interior plastic pocket and exterior pocket. Inside were 4 dress shirts, 2 t-shirts, 4 pair socks, 8 pair undies, 2 swimsuits, 1 pair jeans, and 1 pair cotton shorts. The socks and undies fit in the inner pocket and there would have been enough room in the outer pocket for sample size toiletries. I probably could have fit some nylon/rubber beach shoes as well. I haven't been able to travel like this in years. Few or no wrinkles.
Tip: Buy regular size toiletries at your destination so you don't have to worry about airport security, and leave them behind when you go home.
Texas USA Sun 06/10/2007
REI now has 3oz plastic bottles
Just fyi for those who live close to Seattle's REI: I went in the other day and saw they are now carrying 3oz. empty plastic travel bottles. (Other REI stories and online may be carrying them as well now too - don't know).
USA Thu 06/07/2007
With the new travel restrictions you may have to check your luggage, but you should still just take a carry-on SIZE suitcase. You just don't realize until you get over there how different things are. You can't imagine how much you'll be walking and dragging bags upstairs everywhere, in hotels, train stations and even in buses.
Denver, CO USA Thu 06/07/2007
Now for packing light I usually have one rolling suitcase and i pack light and if you I do want to leave my luggage at my hotel I always bring another bag that could go over my shoulder with important travel stuff accsessories guidebooks magizines and other stuff. to conclude both bags are carry on's. so thats it. P.S. I love Europe through the back door.
Lawrence, KS USA Wed 06/06/2007
Packing for long trip
I was in Europe for 90 days with 4 pairs underwear, socks, 2 bras, 3 shirts, 2 zip off pants/shorts, 1 knit dress, sandals and hiking boots. That's all you need, plus sink stopper, detergent, and a few basic toiletries. You'll hate your clothes when you get home, but who cares! It's not about the clothes; it's about the sights and experiences.
Knoxville, TN USA Wed 06/06/2007
It's not the heat, it's the humidity!
One tip for packing light that I just discovered on a late May trip to Paris and Provence. Take light weight clothing! The temps were only the mid 70's but the humidity was even higher and you'll wish you had sleeveless tops. I ended up shopping which makes the bag heavier for the trip home but I sure did enjoy those tops! Also everyone wears cropped pants or capris, even the men. Even that slice of skin is cooling. Only a few tourists wore shorts on the street. I never wore that sweater or those long sleeved tops. Of course, if you traveling to other climes or for longer, pack accordingly.
Lafayette, CA USA Tue 06/05/2007
HEATHROW - 3HRS and ONE carry-on through security
LONDON HEATHROW 3 hrs ahead and be advised Only ONE carry-on allowed through security at London Heathrow. I've been at Heathrow three times recently and have been in the check-in line 3 hrs ahead of time and all three times barely made the plane. This was with three different airlines (one for a flight within the EU). HEATHROW CARRY ON!!!Doesn't matter what your particular airline allows - to get through security it's one and only one carry-on. That means, lap top, purse or whatever. Fortunately I was able to put my purse and laptop in my roll-on (carry-on) and this was with American Airlines. Once though airport security I could take my purse out before boarding plane.
San Diego, CA USA Tue 06/05/2007
I thought you could take a water bottle on any flight as long as you bought it AFTER going thru security? Hard to keep up with all the rules and regs these days...
USA Mon 06/04/2007
One more thing about Virgin
I forgot to mention that with Virgin (and other airlines), regular coach passengers are restricted to one carry-on item in total. There is no "personal item" allowance for things like a laptop, backpack, or even a purse.
Tampa, FL USA Mon 06/04/2007
one bag only, please.
Responding to Kathy from Canada: I too have gotten the line, "That's ALL your luggage?!" when returning from vacation. I carry one backpack and one purse. I'm then questioned about where I traveled, why I traveled, where I'm employed (?), etc. When the inspector realizes I'm a very light packer and not a security risk, I'm allowed to leave. I have to admit the first time it happened I was very nervous, but now that it has happened several times (on both sides of the Atlantic) I just shrug it off. I have to admit I still get a kick from the look of surprise at my miminal luggage!
USA Mon 06/04/2007
I agree with the idea of taking a sink stopper. We had a large, flat one in France and Italy and used it a lot. Especially when washing out clothes in our hotel room sink. Great idea and is flat and fits in without taking up much room, but was indispensable when needed.
USA Mon 06/04/2007
1. Take a paper folded fan. Everyone--I even saw men & children--in Spain has one. Last June they were selling then on the street in Warsaw fro $5!
2. Take a sink stopper. Some of the B & Bs and older hotels don't have the stopper built in.
Ocala, FL USA Sun 06/03/2007
water on airplanes
Since the TSA regulations have now made it impossible to bring a personal bottle of water on flights I found myself very thirsty on an 18 hour flight to bangkok In Feb. The attendants were only able to hand out small plastic cups of water. In March I flew to Turkey and took an empty nalgene bottle, I left the lid hanging out of my carry on so they could know it was empty at security. Once onboard I had the attendant fill it up and I had all the fresh drinking water I needed for the flight.
mckinleyville, ca USA Sun 06/03/2007
Shopping at Thrift Stores while travelling
I have never shopped at Thrift Shops while travelling. I would hesitate to do so for a number of reasons. I wouldn't want to risk picking up Scabies or similar while on holiday.
Donated clothes are often donated straight out of the closet and sent off to charity unwashed. Charity shops do not launder items before they go out on the floor for sale. You are essentially trying on someone else's dirty laundry.
I also would find having to wash and sterilize these items an extra step I don't need. To sterilize you will need hot soapy water and a hot dryer. I personally would never give away a donation of clothing without washing it but some people do not.
For those of you who enjoy this method, consider educating yourself on the transmition of Scabies. No one wants to spend a vacation having to use the smelly creams to treat an infestation.
YYZ, Canada Sun 06/03/2007
Carry-on only with Virgin? Forget about it!
I am headed to England in a month or so and REALLY wanted to head over there with just a 20"x14x9" bag like Rick suggests.
However, I am flying on Virgin Atlantic, and guess what? You are restricted to SIX kilograms (12-13 lbs.) weight for your carry-on!
That is insane. A 20" bag alone will weigh several pounds, there is no way one can pack for 3 days, let alone 3 weeks as I have to do, while keeping it under that weight.
Do other airlines impose this ridiculous carry-on limit? 50 lb. checked bag limit is one thing, but come on.
Tampa, FL USA Sun 06/03/2007
Tiny Zip-Loks Are Super Handy
I found the little 3" x 3.5" zip-lok baggies for medications at Wal-Mart near the pharmacy, and they are wonderful. The plastic is thicker than the kitchen kind, so they last and last. They are great for meds (our prescriptions come with small info stickers which will fit onto the baggies), vitamins and single doses of Metamucil. My latest use was discovered when I scraped out leftover bits of powder blush from my makeup cache, and combined them in one of the little baggies. On my last trip I threw it into my makeup kit, and I loved it. I like using my blush brush with it but a cotton ball kept in another baggie would mean even less weight to carry around.
TX USA Sat 06/02/2007
Traveling with Thrift (shops)
On last week's trip to Ireland I tried GA's advice- bought travel clothes at our local thrift store, and then left some behind, donated to a thrift store in the town I was visiting. It worked beautifully! While there, I took some dance workshops and found I needed a pair of leather soled shoes for dancing each evening. A quick trip to the thrift store yielded a beautiful pair of leather boots for 8 euro. They were heavy and had to be left behind with the other donated items, but I think of the 8 euro as a "rental fee"- and a good deal.
Denver, CO USA Fri 06/01/2007
Sheer blouses instead of scarves
I've dutifully packed scarves for trips, "to stretch my wardrobe". But I seem to avoid wearing them- I just can't seem to do it gracefully, and feel like I'm fooling myself that they really make yesterday's shirt look different today. While (thrift-)shopping for my trip I found several sheer blouse-jackets. I added a black silk cami and a black silk turtleneck and ended up with a versatile, quick-drying, lightweight, tiny-packable wardrobe of tops.
Denver, CO USA Fri 06/01/2007
Hate lugging along a can of shaving gel? Even the so-called "travel/trial sizes" are bulky and expensive. I found this shaving oil by "Summersets". It's packaged in a bottle the size of nail polish about 2 oz maximum. (Sorry don't have it with me for exact details). It costs about $5.00 CAD a bottle and claims to last approx 40 shaves for the average male shaver and 30 shaves for the average female shaver. Not sure how scientific that really is but that is their estimate. I will try it and later tell everyone how many shaves I got out of one bottle. Anyway, I thought it was worth a try. Alternatively I have used Baby Oil, Hair Conditioner and Shaving Bar Soap. I'm sure there are others as well.
YYZ, Canada Wed 05/30/2007
In my opinion disposable camera is a bed idea, unless you take just 24 pictures. You will need to carry back all your disposable cameras. Too much volume.Besides that the quality is very low. I have another idea. Digital camera with memory cards. now you can buy a 2Gb ones, even higher than that.They hold hundreds of pictures, depending on the size.
OH USA Wed 05/30/2007
Great wash/dry (quickly) items for Europe: BOdy by Victoria (Victoria's Secret) womens' undies, several styles in LYOCELL, Target men's nylon boxers, Travelsmith men's nylon pleated cargo pants, Horny Toad T-tops for women in rayon blends, and Ibex wool t's for men/women (expensive but worth it for all temperatures especially plane travel) and finally, the low rise pants from LUCY that look great, don't wrinkle, stretch and support; also Lucy's relaxed fit pants/capris. Oh, and order Rick's carryon bag. My husband packed for two weeks in this bag, my son for 5 weeks, and I could carry it even full in the larger size. My poor hubby carried my "carryon" 21" rolling bag that didn't roll so easily on cobblestones and stairs!
Carbondale, CO USA Wed 05/30/2007
Thanks so much for the tip on refilling traveler-size toothpaste tubes! I lucked into finding my favorite (Crest cinnamon) in Austin a few months ago and have been wondering what I will do when it's all used up... I *despise* mint flavored toothpaste. Now I know what to do!
Denver, USA Wed 05/30/2007
The downside of packing light
I love to travel light, but there is one downside. Since I'm Canadian, the downer is called Canada Customs. Perhaps some of you Americans have experienced something similar.
When I come home, customs agents always give me a hard time for carrying too little ("That's ALL you have?!!?"). For some reason or other, this is suspicious (how? I don't understand). In response, I turn into a walking ad for Rick Steves. Talking about this awesome travel guy on PBS and how his show taught me how to pack seems to placate them.
Then they give me trouble for not buying enough tacky souvenirs. This I understand - they're after the tax revenue, after all, and they want to make sure I'm not hiding anything from them. Once again I turn into a walking-talking billboard for Rick Steves ("Not buying too many tacky souvenirs is part of his philosophy!") Lately I've resorted to lying ("the scarf? Of course I bought it [10 years ago in Chinatown]").
So for anybody who gets hassled for travelling light: just start yapping about Rick Steves!
Vancouver, BC Canada Mon 05/28/2007
packing list on drugstore.com
I have gotten in the habit of buying all my bath stuff from drustore.com. I registered on there and whenever I think of something I need (babywipes, travel shampoo/conditioner, etc.), I add it to my wishlist on the website. Then about a week and a half before I leave I can order it all. its a lot easier than going from store to store looking for exactly what I need. they have virtually anything you would need for your travels.
Boston, ma USA Sat 05/26/2007
3 oz bottles
Goody makes 3 ounce bottles with different coloured tops for knowing what's in what. I've seen them once or twice at London Drugs in Canada and I guess they sell out pretty quickly as I rarely see them, I should have bought them when I first saw them!! Two are labelled shampoo and conditioner I think and the other two are unlabelled...the brightly coloured tops are a great idea. Also attached tops so you don't lose the little tops down the drain!
USA Thu 05/24/2007
I found a fold up tootbrush at Shopko. It comes in a small case with room for a small toothpaste. I have never found a travel tooth set before. I consider it a great find for packing light!
Rhode Island, USA Mon 05/21/2007
Refilling Travel Size Toothpaste tube video
Francine, Loved the video on YouTube of refilling a small tube of toothpaste! I made my husband watch it and he thought it was good also. I can't believe he didn't think that one up since he is such a great handyman! Thanks for sharing. We are going to try it.
USA Mon 05/21/2007
Don't forget your journal
In Rick's book ETBD, one of his recommendations is that keeping a journal on your trip is a wise thing to do. He suggests that it will be one of your treasures in later years.
My husband, Rob (who used to post frequently on this site as k-b Seattle), took this advice when he began traveling to Europe in 1988 and continued doing so on trips through the summer of 2006.
Declining health appears to preclude any further travel, but in recent weeks I have begun reading the journals aloud to him. Reading them provokes happy memories for him and gives us an opening to talk about places he went alone and then, later, returned to with me. Reliving these memories has come to mean a lot to us both. It's almost as good as planning a new trip.
So, as with so many other things, Rick appears to have gotten it right. Pack light - but don't leave out a journal.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 05/21/2007
Refill toothpaste tube
I found a cheap way to refill those traveler's sized toothpaste tube. Take it along and fill up at your friends house. (Ask first) See it here and please leave a comment! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tvDCl4EFdw
Davis, CA USA Sun 05/20/2007
Recycled, Reused 3oz Bottles
I've found some bottles which are exactly 3 oz in size and you may already have them at home! The dishwasher rinse agent bottles are not bad to travel with. They are sturdy, transparent and have a flip top. I love flip tops so I don't lose the lid in the shower! Also, some 3 oz hand sanitizer bottles are good for the same reasons. I like to colour code my toiletries so I don't have to label them and risk the label getting wet and peeling off. IE: Shampoo is always 2 in 1 Green, Lotion is White, Liquid soap is Oatmeal (or soap leaves if available to me) etc. I always place these items in a zipper-top plastic bag just incase a spill happens. And keep in mind to fill the bottles only 3/4 full to allow for expansion/contraction.
YYZ, Canada Fri 05/18/2007
Check this out, from the www.tsa.gov website:
TSA's checkpoint security screening procedures for persons with disabilities and medical conditions have not changed as a result of the current threat situation. All disability-related equipment, aids, and devices continue to be allowed through security checkpoints once cleared through screening.
Additionally, we are continuing to permit prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions. This includes:
All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including KY jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes;
Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;
Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and,
Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool disability or medically related items used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions.
However, if the liquid medications are in volumes larger than 3 ozs each, they may not be placed in the quart-size bag and must be declared to the Transportation Security Officer. A declaration can be made verbally, in writing, or by a person's companion, caregiver, interpreter, or family member.
Declared liquid medications and other liquids for disabilities and medical conditions must be kept separate from all other property submitted for x-ray screening.
For more information on these measures, please read our letter outlining this policy -- Changes in Allowances for Persons with Disabilities at Airport Security Checkpoints (pdf, 101Kb)
USA Thu 05/17/2007
EYE SOLOTIONS OK
Eye solutions are excepted...you are allowed to bring your 4oz bottle with you....still not convinced? Check the airline website for all allowences, it's on there.
USA Tue 05/15/2007
Contact lens solution
Help! The TSA 3-oz. guidelines have raised an issue for this almost-blind traveller. The smallest size that can find in saline is 4-oz. Other than buying solution once I get to my destination, does anybody have suggestions?
Atlanta, GA USA Mon 05/14/2007
Two ounce contact solution
Target (in Portland, Oregon) had two ounce bottles of no-rinse solution in their sample section two weeks ago -- you might want to check there.
Portland, USA Mon 05/14/2007
2-oz contact lens solution
Thanks, Evelyn. I found the 2-oz. contact saline solution in the sample section at Target. ;-)
Atlanta, GA USA Mon 05/14/2007
Contact lens solution
Renu makes 2 oz. size bottles of their Multipurpose solution and sell it at Target, Walmart, etc. in the regular contact solution section. I have used this many times and it works well. Also, I did find the 3-oz. flip top bottles that are empty in the travel section at Walmart. They will also work well for many items.
USA Mon 05/14/2007
Hefty Big Bags
Hefty now makes large size bags for storage--with handles! Toss one in your suitcase to tote all the exras back in. I take kid stuff in them. Works great!
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA Sun 05/13/2007
Plastic 3 oz bottles
My husband and I are spending 12 days in the south of France in late June. We're only planning on carry-on luggage. I was concerned about the restrictions about liquids. I looked at the bottles at Bed Bath & Beyond, but they weren't really what I needed. Just wanted to let folks know I found a great selection of 3 oz empty plastic bottles at Wal-mart for 99 cents each. I'll just put them my own quart baggie.
Chandler, AZ USA Sun 05/13/2007
Take An Extra Bag
Take an extra bag that you can fold up and put in your suitcase to bring back the extra goodies in. Past business travel experience has taught that it is hard to cut down on the business travel attire. You have to be prepard for just about anything!
Sheridan, Wy. USA Sat 05/12/2007
Packing Light A co-worker recently traveled to Paris and did not heed my advice to her dismay. My advise is to take a carryon only and then pretend you are on the amazing race. When your running through the airport to catch a flight you will feel much better with a light carryon bag. To test your bag, pack it and carry it around with you all day. If your sore the next day or had any difficulty your bag is to heavy. Also remember everything you need you can buy once in Europe. Cloths are great to buy in Europe. Cheep fasions make you look great, and feel more in tune with the locals. Happy Travels
Bend, OR USA Fri 05/11/2007
germany in june
I go to Germany every June, and for the past few years it has been really, really hot. I would take loose skirts, capris, lightweight tops, sandals, and a couple of coverup type sweaters or jackets, just in case. And remember to buy or bring sunblock. I got a really bad sunburn last year, complete with blisters. You can buy sunblock in any drugstore or discount store, even in the airports themselves.
pacific grove, ca USA Fri 05/11/2007
This notion of discarding clothing seems wasteful and wholly AMERICAN. Our image abroad is bad enough, why add to the problem? Is it so difficult to swish some undies around in a sinkful of sudsy water, then let them dry while you sleep?
Twin Cities, MN USA Fri 05/11/2007
Business travel means extra clothes
I am very fortunate in that I get to spend 2 weeks in May and 2 in Sept. in Europe on business each year. However, I have the hardest time 'packing light'! I need 1 if not 2 business suits, 2-3 dress pants and at least 4 dress shirts. Then there are the jeans, a few t-shirts, running shoes, toiletries,etc...., etc... As a father of 2 young kids, I always end up picking up things for the boys and my wife on my travels. It all adds up to a very heavy bag very quickly.. HELP! Any suggestions would be welcomed, I leave next weekend for Switzerland, Italy, Austria & Germany.
Montreal, QC Canada Fri 05/11/2007
packing for Germany
I am traveling to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria this June and July. Can anyone provide some insight into what the weather might be like and how I should pack? I have read 70's is the average, but thought maybe someone could provide some packing tips. Thanks!!
USA Thu 05/10/2007
We were in Germany, Switzerland and Austria June and July. Be prepared for rain. I would also take a light sweater or jacket....We were in Salzburg and it rained (some down pours) 3 of the 4 days we were there....
Nevertheless, we enjoyed rain whenever it came.
Enjoy your trip.
CA USA Thu 05/10/2007
packing for Germany and Austria
Packing layers is probably your best bet. It can be excruciatingly hot and humid there in the middle of Europe (if you're from the West Coast, that'll knock you for a loop; otherwise you may be used to that sort of weather.) So, be prepared to layer on the light sweater and the rain jacket, AND then peel down to a tank top! also, shoe yourself accordingly.
San Francisco, CA USA Thu 05/10/2007
Great Find - wheeled backpack
Looks great but heavy at 7 pounds empty. Try something lighter and less expensive, like this one from eBags: http://www.ebags.com/products/index.cfm?modelid=57696&sourceID=DEALTIME
Or try LL Bean: http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&categoryId=42888&productId=713873&afsrc=1&qs=5090278-PrfmcsNexTag_23330845
And Sierratradingpost.com has great deals on travel luggage (and lots of other stuff); check there first to see if they have what you need at a deep discount.
I bought a lightweight red rolling backpack at Walgreens for $15 that has actually survived several overseas trips. I bought it cheap to see if I liked the concept (which I really do!). My next one will probably be one of the two above after I check Sierra Trading Post first.
Have a great trip!
USA Tue 05/08/2007
Solid Shampoo and Lotion
I travel with bar shampoo and lotion. They both look like bars of soap, and they last nearly forever. I used them before the TSA guidelines because I didn't like the way liquid spills. I think the shampoo is from Bert's Bees, and I bought the "lotion" at a gardening store.
Bloomington, IL USA Sat 05/05/2007
If you're worried about packing too much...
Two years ago I spent two months in Spain and brought a HUGE suitcase which I regreted not only for the weight of it but also because of the weight restrictions that airlines have. A lot of people that I traveled with brought a small duffle-like bag that they laid in the bottom of their suitcases until the end of the trip. That way, if you bought a lot of souvenirs/clothing or if their bag was too heavy coming over, they just lightened the load by packing some things in their other bag. Granted, now that meant traveling with two bags but as long as you just use it returning home, you should be okay.
San Rafael, CA USA Tue 05/01/2007
The RS Civita day pack rolls up and is almost nothing. I'ts durable and roomy!
USA Tue 05/01/2007
My best for Europe
I don't wear my old clothes to the great cities of Europe and dump them there when they are dirty. I also don't bring a disposable camera, in case someone takes it when you ask them to take a picture. There may be good pictures on it that are valuable to me, even on this type of camera. What is of value to me is that I look and feel great when I am in Paris or London or Rome, and I have great pictures to take home that I can share on the internet with my family and friends.
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 04/30/2007
Packing Light and Convenient
For summer travel I highly recomend silk wrap skirts... they have two layers and can be worn in tons of different ways (skirts, shirts, dresses). I found mine while on vacation in Vegas but you can find them online as well... or if handy with a sewing machine you can make your own. Also a simple necklace can be used different ways as a bracelet or ankle braclet. I make my own using seed beads on elastic beading string.
Also on a seperate random note, I ALWAYS travel with a few safety pins, a little duct tape, bandaids, thread or dental floss and a needle, and pocket pack of tissues or the new travel toilet paper roll. All of the items fit into a little zip lock. By the end of a trip all of my friends are calling me "mom" but we've all been saved by these few items more than once.
East Meadow, NY USA Sun 04/29/2007
I travel to Europe extensively. I never buy new underwear, socks, even sometimes jeans or shirts. I wear the old and when they are dirty I dump them over there. I don't know what the hotel room cleaners think? That way I have room for things in my suitcase to bring home. Plus, I get new clothes when I return.
Muskegon, Michig USA Sun 04/29/2007
Silks for Travel :)
I like to travel with style! I found washable, quick drying under necessities at Victoria's Secrets. I don't like toss as you go. Can't leave the silky drawers behind. :)
Altanta, GA USA Sun 04/29/2007
Packing Light Camera Idea
I found a nifty idea for a travel camera. I buy a disposalbe one for my trip. It's a breeze to pack and if it gets stolen, I just buy another one. No need to lug my big Nikon around.
Beverly Hills, Ca. USA Sun 04/29/2007
Packing Light Camera Idea
Great idea to travel with a disposable camera! Especially good if you want to ask a stranger to take a picture for you. If they walk off with your disposable, no big deal!
Toronto YYZ, Canada Sun 04/29/2007
I learned something new from a TSA agent today. The tube style bottle that the product Airborne comes in appears solid on the TSA x-ray machine. He said that they can't see if it is a liquid or a metal or what so they are forced to go through your bag to check out the questionable item. (This has evidently become a common problem.) He recommended simply taking it out of the bag and laying it in the tub with your cell phone, shoes, jacket etc. so they see it. It does not need to go into your zip-loc with your liquids. The folks at Airborne do NOT recommend taking the tablets out of the tube and putting them in a different container. The tube is manufactured to prevent any light from reaching the tablets as light can alter the efficacy of the herbal based formula. I swear by airborne and wouldn't travel without it even if it does add a little weight. Now I know why I keep getting waylaid in security no matter how carefully I pack. Travel healthy!
San Diego, Ca USA Sun 04/29/2007
Packing for Ireland
I am leaving for Ireland on May 7. It is supposed to be cold at that time, so I was planning on taking 2 pair of cords along with a pair of light-weight cotton cargo pants for the plane. Should I not take the cords and take jeans instead?
Vista, CA USA Fri 04/27/2007
Packing for Ireland Early May
I think this one was meant to be posted in travelers helpline...Anyway, Cords or Jeans? It's really a matter of personal preference but... I almost never travel with cords period. Jeans, maybe...I'd limit it to one dark pair which are a blend of cotton/spandex lightweight type material. Here's why...Think washabiltiy and portability. Fabrics that are light weight pack easily and can be washed in a hotel sink and left overnight to air dry if need be. Think wrinkle restitant wash n wear. And don't forget to try to plan your outfits around two or three neutral colours to help expand your wardrobe. Scarfs work, as well. And for Ireland in early May, why not sneak in one pair of little stretchy gloves. It can get a little chilly on the fingers by the seaside! Hope that helps! Enjoy Ireland! I always do! Fly Safe!
Toronto, Canada Fri 04/27/2007
I will have to check Target for ladies nylon no wire funderwear to travel with. No need to spend a bunch of $$$ on designer travel goodies. :)
Pamona, Cali USA Sun 04/22/2007
Men's travel underwear
I have seen a number of messages re: quick drying underwear. Target sells men's nylon briefs (5 for $10.00) that are perfect for travel. Lightm compact and quick drying. No reason to spend a lot at a travel specialty shop.
Boise, ID USA Sat 04/21/2007
Roll Out The Barrel
My current dilemma is that I'm at an airport in Poland and I can't seem to think of a way to pass 19 lbs of prune filled ponchkies past security. I've tried to eat as many as I could, but I'm only down by 2.5 lbs. The rest are rolled up in a sleeping bag perched on my shoulders. I don't want to share or eat too many more since I will need them for the flight. Any thoughts??? [Editor's Comment: Ok, I'm leaving this entry only because I'm still laughing. Ponchkies are jam donuts covered in icing sugar.]
Chicago, IL USA Fri 04/20/2007
I have returned from a two week trip to Egypt and travelled with the standard wheeled 45" (height + width + depth) luggage. I did not check at SD or JFK or Cairo. It probably weighed 20 lbs. Pack Light! I had my toileties in the TSA regulation baggie at security check. This makes for a pleasant holiday.
San Diego, CA USA Thu 04/19/2007
3 oz. bottles
You can buy a whole slew of TSA approved travel size bottles, little jars etc. at Bed, Bath and Beyond for o/a $9. Comes in the approved size zip-lock baggy. Tried some of the containers in addition to my already filled and approved ones from REI and had no leaks.
San Diego, CA USA Thu 04/19/2007
Rick's Pocket Pack
I bought the RS Pocket Pack, best $9.95 mini-pocket pack in the world. I used it all over Italy. It May be small but it is durable! And it rolls up inside itself into almost nothing! I highly recomend this product.
Atlanta, USA Wed 04/18/2007
Finding the right size bag
The biggest complaint I read on this board is that a suitcase, etc is too big, heavy.
When we pack for our trip, I take the smallest size bag I own. I don't want to be worried about the clothing/accessories I need. I don't care to impress anyone, I want to enjoy my time on holiday.
I travel with a High Sierra convertable travel daypack. (Transport) I bought it on eBags.com last summer and have used it 4x so far. It's 23", so carry-on legal. (I'm not flying British Airways or into London- only the continent)
I could have purchased a bigger bag, but that would have been silly for me. I'm not that tall and I don't want to carry more than I can manage up a flight of steps or walking for a mile or so to my hotel, etc. A suitcase, no matter who makes it has some weight to it if it's well made. If you go too lightweight, the materials will not hold up for more than a few years travel!
So...my point is - when looking to purchase a bag, don't plan on taking the biggest one, or even the medium size. Take the smallest one and pack simply. Plan on wearing the same outfit 2-3 times. Practice packing a few times, and take stuff out! You really don't need 3 pairs of shoes, or 2 sweaters and 3 shorts and a dress.
Simply - simplify!
Appleton, WI USA Wed 04/18/2007
eBags 3-1-1 Nalgene Travel Bottle Kit
A very similar 3-1-1 kit in a reusable 1-quart bag is available for $9.99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond (plus save 20% with their ubiquitous coupons that do not really expire).
Tallahassee, FL USA Wed 04/18/2007
3 Ounce Bottles
3 ounce plastic bottles have been a challenge to find. There are plenty of 4 oz. and 2 oz. but the 3 oz. did not seem to be made until the TSA started the 3-1-1 rule. I found the 3 ounce size at Wal-Mart with the travel size toiletries at $0.50 each. They had a soft and hard plastic model. They are not the Nalgene I was hoping for. They have held up to my home tests, but have not yet been airborne. I figure that two 3 ounce bottles of shampoo are handier than 3 two ounce bottles, with one less bottle to try to drain.
IA USA Tue 04/17/2007
Eddie Bauer has a good selection of gadgets for the outdoors that can also be used for travels. I found my compass and a box for my soap there.
Riverside, Califo USA Tue 04/17/2007
Packing Light-Leave it Behind
I leave the weight and aggravation of toiletries behind. I have yet to be anywhere in the last 25 years where I couldn't easily purchase shampoo, toothpaste, or soap. These days, I find even very modest hotels provide some items with the room. They weigh a lot and the whole spilling/transporting issue is solved. With the exception of medically necessary items I'd just leave them behind. I always get in early (before I can check into my hotel) so while scouting the neighborhood or getting a cup of coffee, I pop in one of the many, many places that sell that stuff, and just grab it and have it when I need it. If I don't use it all in my travels, I leave it in the hotel with a note, "please use." In London I left my headache meds in the hotel, I went to Boots, described to a very kind pharmacist what I typically use and she recommeneded 2 OTC products that worked fine in a pinch. If my headaches get out of hand, I can be in real trouble. Most items (beyond the truly medically necessary) are easily found most places--why bother.
Chicago, USA Tue 04/17/2007
My Travel Comforts For Home Away From Home
I have small size versions of my favorite lotions and potions. I need my creature comforts of home with me to fill more at home in a strange place. The small sizes are mostly samples I've saved just for travels to fit in my duffle purse.
Las Vegas, Nevada USA Tue 04/17/2007
try REI for nalgene travel bottles. I you don't have a store nearby you can try the online store. It's less than 10.00 for a set of approx 8-10 different size bottles.
Ca USA Tue 04/17/2007
try solid laundry detergent
I have been taking a sliver of Zote or Fels Naptha soap (shaped like a bar of soap in the laundry detergent section of grocery stores) since the liquid bans in carry on started. No need to add it to your quart baggie, or have powder leak all over everything. This is how your grandparents did laundry. Works in cold water.
Denver, CO USA Fri 04/13/2007
I use a small squeeze bottle (2 oz.) filled with Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. Gets out grease stains. A drop or two is all you need in the basin. This is enough for you and your travel partner. (Be sure to put into a small zip lock to prevent any spilling.)
CA USA Fri 04/13/2007
Packing soap for washing clothes
If you use the clear shampoo (like the Suave brand), it is reasonably cheap, and also works just like some of the camp soaps that are sold and is less expensive. We did that on a 16 day trip to France, Italy, and Germany and it worked great.
USA Thu 04/12/2007
Shampoo for Laundry Soap
Shampoo and laundry soap all-in-one is a good packing idea. It will cut down on the number of bottles I have to take. Happy vacationing!
San Diego, Ca. USA Thu 04/12/2007
Soap for Camping
There are special small-bottle concentrated camping soaps available (liquid 2-3oz) - all purpose and environmentally friendly. Wash clothes, dishes, hair, gear, dogs - anything! A dab'l'do ya as they say. I found in Germany almost every BB/Hotel had either soap/shampoo dispenser or small samples. So a 2 oz bottle of concentrated all purpose should last plenty. Forgot the name - but any hiking/camping outdoor sports store will have it - it was green.
CA USA Thu 04/12/2007
All the quick dry fabrics for packing light sound great. Now to find a way to pack laundry soap to wash them with. A 3 oz. bottle may work. I hope that would get through the inspection of my quart bag!
Maine, USA Wed 04/11/2007
Washing in the sink
If you can't find a bottle small enough to pack your laundry soap (liquid) you might consider paying a bit more and buying Woolite in the foil packets. These are sold in luggage store, and on line.
One packet per wash. no worry about leaks from a bottle. Cost wise it is more, but might be worth the peace of mind.
We always wash while on a trip...we pack light!
USA Wed 04/11/2007
For just washing undies and bras each night, I just use my shampoo (or better yet, that in the little bottles supplied by most hotels). Sorry for the "TMI", but I use soap where it's needed first, scrub and rinse; then let the sink fill with hot water and add the shampoo bubbles and let the garments soak while I shower.
USA Wed 04/11/2007
zip off pants
we saw lots of men, both locals and tourists, wearing zip off pants or their close cousin, man capris, last summer in italy and germany. my husband was so excited about them that he bought a couple of pairs. just be sure they are lightweight for summer, as it is really hot! and you can buy them on the street or in the german discount stores if you can't buy them at home. he found his at walmart, and i also bought them for him at a street stall.
pacific grove, USA Mon 04/09/2007
When I am traveling in Europe I have found that looking nicer, tends to mean nicer treatment. One of my newest discoveries was a travel skirt that can convert into pants and shorts! It is different look when converted, and it isnt for everyone. The skirt is the Macabi Skirt, it is light weight dries fast, and can be dressed up and down. I have really been so happy with it, i dont pack any type of pants or other skirts unless i have a specific reason and occassion i know will happen. It is a great way to pack light!
Chicago, IL USA Mon 04/09/2007
I have an idea... leave all that fancy equipment at home!!! What on earth do you need all that for? Definitely take a camera, but a laptop and ipod? Seems like overkill to me...
Wollongong, NSW Australia Mon 04/09/2007
3-1-1 rule/FOUND GREAT ITEM
Just surfing www.ebags.com site and found this great item for packing for our trip this summer. It's cheap, and shipping is free, and no tax. I'm buying 2 sets, one for me and one for the hubby!
WI USA Sun 04/08/2007
Hi-Tech for Travelers
There are all kinds of gadgets for travel. I love the idea of hi-tech underwear made of quick dry fabric. They should be like wearing a cloud. :)
Ohio USA Sun 04/08/2007
Haven't seen this recommended for awhile--Sierra Trading Post and Campmor are great resources for travel clothes,at reduced prices. Some of their stuff is too outdoor oriented for city travels,(I don't care how convenient they are, zip-off pants and shirts with 32 pockets don't look good on anyone, unless you're actually hiking), but more styles are available all the time in high tech fabrics that look good, feel good, wear well, are light weight, and dry quickly. There are several brands of high tech underwear for men and women. I particularly like the ones with anti-microbial properties--extra nice for those long/hot days. Both places have good web sites and excellent customer service. And both have regular camping gear, as that was their first market.
San Diego, Ca USA Sat 04/07/2007
1) Look for ideas and gear here: http://www.backpackinglight.com or google "ultralight backpacking"
2) Find out if your local post office has a self-service very accurate scale (to .1 ounce), and weigh everything, no matter how small. Then think how you could make it lighter.
3) You don't have to look like a crusty backpacker. You can bring some stylish clothes, but you have to be ruthless about what you think is light enough for clothes (and often be willing to look harder or spend more to get them).
4) If a manufacturer doesn't say how heavy something is, it's probably too heavy (but check out your local post office's scale... there can be some surprises).
On my 2-4 week trips to Crete, I limit myself to 20 lbs and that includes what I'm wearing. As well as a sleeping bag, tent, hiking shoes, backpack, 4 shirts, and all of the Mountaineer's Ten Essentials. And there are super ultralight backpackers who get down to 10 lbs including their food and water. So it can be done.
Europe Thu 04/05/2007
Yes, it's a carry on. It contains items, it's not a belt for your pants. It will be counted.
USA Wed 04/04/2007
Families traveling light - use a list!
We just got back from a successful vacation without checking anything on the airlines. This meant that we were able to make our tight connection due to a late flight. Each family member had a 22" roller and a small backpack or tote. I gave them each a copy of the packing list from this website and the onebag.com website and they took it from there. I also gave them several 2oz. nalgene bottles for their liquids in the quart bag.
I brought the laundry stuff for everyone, no need for 4 laundry lines!
Even though we could have had more packing space with 22" backpacks, it simplified things for everyone to have wheels and be able to carry their own weight quickly and without complaint.
Give it a try!
Denver, USA Wed 04/04/2007
Airline regulation quart bag
Agree w/USA,Bed Bath Beyond quart size clear zip lock bag w/14 containers, 3 oz or less costing $9.99 is a fair value for the types of bottles and jars.
GCS, Fl USA Wed 04/04/2007
Pre-packed 1-quart bag w/containers
Bed Bath & Beyond sells quart-sized clear plastic bags that come with a variey of containers that fit in it. All containers are 3 ounces or less. Cost is $9.99.
USA Tue 04/03/2007
You need a day pack to put extra stuff in. There are all kinkds of them, and one is sure to be right for your extras. Happy trails!
Rhode Island, USA Tue 04/03/2007
Carry on in UK
There is no allowance for "personal" items in UK airports. You can only carry-on ONE item. Purses, laptop/camera bags, etc. are not allowed along with other bags. You need ONE bag that will hold it ALL.
Charlotte, NC USA Tue 04/03/2007
Hey, I haven't actually used this product yet as our trip to Italy is not scheduled until May, but I'm sure it will be perfectly adequate. I just found a laundry soap called ALL SMALL AND MIGHTY. It is 3X concentrated. When washing a few items out in the sink it should only require maybe a tsp. or two to launder your clothes. It comes in a quart bottle, but of course a smaller amount can be transfered to another container. I'm sure it's widely available, but I found it at Walmart.
Puyallup, WA USA Tue 04/03/2007
eeeekkkk possible packing nightnmare
I am leaving for Europe tomorrow and will be flying AerLingus from Heathrow to Dublin, then a week later from Dublin to Dubrovnik. I bought a new backpack for the trip made for my photo equipment. Packed in it is a D-SLR camera, 2 lenses, and laptop. Also, some plane necessities like my iPod and a book. I am pretty much all packed and then I forgot about that 13lb rule.
I have room (maybe) in my checked bag for at least my laptop, its power adapter and the AC/DC converter and 1 lens if I wrap them in clothes once I get to London and carrying my camera w/ lens on it naked as a 'personal item'. I am weary of doing this though since it is about $4,000 worth of equipment.
Anyone have any last minute suggestions?
USA Mon 04/02/2007
Wash and Wear Travels
I have a pair of Ex Officio underwear, as well. Took them to England last year. They wear like iron, and are a breeze to care for. I still have them!
California, USA Sun 04/01/2007
Travel Friendly Clothes
I found nylon spandex underwear and bras with no wires at Nordstrom. They're so light and stretchy. Just perfect for travels. They dry fast, too.
Bozeman, Mont USA Sat 03/31/2007
Update on carry-on limits
I just read on the Fodor's site that the EU is not changing to the UK one-bag limit in April, but delaying the change to November. Best to check airline by airline.
OR USA Sat 03/31/2007
re: Ex Officio Underwear
Another vote for Ex Officio. I have some I have used on three trips to Germany and neighboring countries. I wear a pair over and pack two more. Quick wash in the sink and by morning they are ready to go. Expensive but durable and lightweight.
Ala USA Sat 03/31/2007
I recommend Exofficio Brand Underwear
Ive used ExOfficio brand underwear and they work very well for travel - and dry fast! Its not cheap but you only need a couple pairs. (Boxers for me!) - they have just as much for the ladies... worked well for me in germany last year and will use them in Scandinavia and Swiss Alps this year!
USA Thu 03/29/2007
Ex officio is great!
Purchase men's or women's underwear at REI.Bought some for the hubby for our last trip. Only took 3 pair for 2 weeks. Washed easily in the hotel sink and dried quickly too. Wears like iron. I wanted him to save these for our trips, but he wears everyday at home because of the comfort. The briefs were $18 each, not cheap, but better than cotton!
USA Thu 03/29/2007
Quick-Dry For Travel
I've been looking for quick-dry socks and travel slippers.
editor's note: All questions must be posted to the Travelers Helpline
Bakersfield, Cal. USA Wed 03/28/2007
Try the various light-to-med hiking socks from the outdoor stores: those with Coolmax technology in them. I prefer the ones with Merino wool and some of the special synthetics. Those with a higher % of synthetics will usually dry faster than those with more wool in them... but Wool works warm or cold, wet or dry - and will dry quick when you wear them too. They do fine washed at nite and hung up to dry by AM!
CA USA Wed 03/28/2007
Deta: Magellan's has down travel slippers on-line for $19.97. Very comfy. Also found good ones at Travel Smith on-line.
Morro Bay, Ca USA Wed 03/28/2007
When I was in Edmonds WA for Rick Steves travel festival, I ran across another Travel store!! Two travel stores in one tiny town. In the other travel store that is not Rick's, I saw quick drying socks and under pants. Ther were $17, and that was a bit steep for me to spend, but it does look like a good product. I can't remember the name of that travel store, but if one of the very kind staff members of Rick's can let you know, that would be great. They are in Edmonds, so they would know. Maybe that store can take on line orders also. By the way, Rick Steves gives great classes! I learned so much, and he is very funny! I came up from Texas to be there! Salute! Lisa
Austin, TX USA Wed 03/28/2007
Edmonds Savvy Traveler Store to Lisa
I went to Rick's European Travel Skills seminar too! I agree with you: he's quite funny. I want to do a tour that he is personally leading.
The "other" travel store is called Savvy Traveler and their Web site is savvy traveler edmonds dot com. They also have seminars, but, can we just all agree, they can't be as good as Rick's. LOL Actually that last seminar was my 3rd from Rick's people (did a Packing Light and a Greece one) and they really are fun!
Best wishes and happy trails.
Seattle, USA Wed 03/28/2007
Boxers or Briefs
Thank you so much Robin! Yes, Rick is the very best! He rocks my world! I'm thinking of getting that quick dry sox and underwear even that it is pricy. It would really be easier to pack only one or two sox and underwear. Speaking of underwear, I asked Rick if he packs boxers or briefs. He said briefs. They do take up less room in a suit case. When he told me briefs, I said somehow I knew that, and he laughed and said now you really know! What a fun guy to be around. I hope you will email me Robin. I'll give my email address below. The Seattle area is very beautiful and hope to be back, maybe at the travel festival next year! By the way, I booked a trip to Berlin for November!!! I'm very excited! I'm going to a Berlin Philharmonic concert! I'm sorry I'm now getting off the topic of packing light! But we do now know it's best to pack briefs, for men of course! Salute!
TX USA Wed 03/28/2007
Found the best women's underwear for travel (and everyday wear)! Called "Barely There," made of microfiber (with cotton where it counts), available in briefs and hi-cut. Seamless and REALLY comfortable, will pack small, wash/dry fast. Costco carries 4 pair for $14.95 (certain travel sites sell similar for only 1 pair at that price). A great deal!
Olympic Peninsula, WA USA Tue 03/27/2007
I mean that the containers can't be larger than 3 ounces ("3-oz containers") - not that you can only carry 3 containers. You can carry as much as you can safely cram into the one-quart bag, which means you can carry several 3-ounce (or smaller) containers in the ziploc.
Sorry for the confusion!
USA Mon 03/26/2007
I work at a gift shop in an airport. I constantly see people constantly who don't understand the 3-1-1 guidelines. I've seen people have to leave 3-4 24 oz bottles of water, 18 oz bottles of shampoo, lge perfume/cologne bottles, etc... It's really quite simple.... each person may take 1-qt. "ziploc" bag filled with liquid/gel/paste items that are in containers marked 3 oz or less. This includes mascara, lip gloss, carmex, shampoo/conditioner/bodywash, toothpaste, etc.... You can not take 3 oz. of something in a bottle that will contain more than 3 oz. (ie: 3 oz of water in an 8 oz water bottle). You will need to have your bag out as you get ready to go through security. Medication (including liquid/gel/paste over-the-counter meds) can be taken through in a different bag, however, you must declare it. www.tsa.org is your best resource of do's & don'ts.... but, if you have the time, a trip to the airport or a phone call, would also be helpful. Don't forget that no matter the size, lighters are absolutely prohibited.
IN USA Mon 03/26/2007
I bought the The Travelon Convertible Travel Purse and Organizer. It's smaller than I thought it was going to be, but at the same time it is very functional. I have been using since the day I bought it to get used to using a smaller bag/purse than normal. (BTW, my normal "purse" is a mid-sized fanny pack)
It is made of a soft, microfiber material designed to be lightweight, good-looking and safe. Wear the purse over the shoulder, across your body or around your waist depending upon your surroundings.
SLC, UT USA Sun 03/25/2007
P.S. on carry-on limits
Some airlines may limit carry-on to one piece on the plane as well. Best to check with the airline for flights mid-April and beyond.
OR USA Sun 03/25/2007
New carry-on limits
For those who don't already know, as of April 17 if you are flying through ANY EU airport, the carry-on limit is one bag only. You will need to put your second bag inside the first to go through security. See the Fodor's travel forums for lots of details.
OR USA Sun 03/25/2007
Ais - backpacking in UK-Try High Sierra Transport
Ais, here's a bag that I swear by. It's too not big, and a plus is, it has a zip off daypack for day trips/side trips, and carry on.
when zipped apart, both pieces can be carried on. One in the overhead and the other at your feet (unless you are using British Airlines and their huge restrictions for carry on)
Check out this link to ebags.com http://www.ebags.com/high_sierra/transport/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=62988 The bag is made by High Sierra. I find it to be very sturdy, not too heavy, easy to pack and unpack (unlike a regular rucksack that loads from the top!)
Any negative comments come from people that purchase bags that really are too big for their body/purpose. don't get a large bag...plan smaller and you will be happier on your journey
And, yes, layers is the way to go. Take a lightweight rain jacket with hood. Bring a few t-shirts, add one long sleeve lightweight sweater (cotton is ok for layering) synthetic fabrics are better, but can smell. One pair of long pants, and then one pair of shorter pants. either capri or shorts.
Remember, it's so easy to wash and go instead of hauling too much clothing around.
And , please, don't subscribe to that issue of taking your worst clothing and discarding in Europe. How rude! Wear nice clothing that you feel good wearing at home and it will make your travels more enjoyable.
WI USA Sun 03/25/2007
Backpacker tour plus city sightseeing - what to bring/wear?
Hi everyone! I'm travelling to the UK in a few weeks, and going on a backpacker tour and doing some city sightseeing. I can't decide between a huge rucksack or a small piece of luggage to bring, and then exactly what to wear? I've never been to hostels before... should I do layers?
editors note: All questions must be posted to Travelers Helpline
Hfx, Canada Sun 03/25/2007
My thanks to those who understand that this new 3-1-1 can be confusing to those of us who do not fly often. I know now that I should put my meds in a different zip-bag from the one holding my bathroom stuff. And the idea of taking more than one bag is a good one...with my luck, a security dog would grab it and eat a corner out of it and things would go flying.
USA Sat 03/24/2007
To clarify the 3-1-1 rule, there is some confusion with the wording from the poster below.
Anyone may squeeze as many 3oz or smaller bottles/containers into a ONE quart ziplock bag as possible. Mine is crammed full each trip.
One good suggestion is to take an extra one or two zip locks with you as they do rip and can fail in the middle of your journey....be prepared for that!
CO USA Fri 03/23/2007
I agree with the poster just below mine. the 3-1-1 rule DOES NOT say only 3 containers...where did you get that information?
Anyone may squeeze as many 3oz or smaller bottles/containers into a ONE quart ziplock bag as possible. Mine is crammed full each trip.
One good suggestion is to take an extra one or two zip locks with you as they do rip and can fail in the middle of your journey....be prepared for that!
CO USA Fri 03/23/2007
About the 3-1-1 rule: It is true that you can go to the tsa.gov website for info. However, no where do I see that you are limited to 3 items in your 1 quart bag. The "3" seems to stand for 3 oz. containers (or less). There is a sample picture on the website that shows many tiny items in a bag, not just 3.
Seattle, WA USA Thu 03/22/2007
FWIW, mine have never been wanded or even checked. I've brought some in their original containers; others transferred to pills cases.
USA Tue 03/20/2007
The one-quart clear zipper-type bag (Gladlock, Ziploc or Hefty - all work fine) has to contain your liquids, gels, creams and also aerosol sprays. And you should always put it in a bin separately to go through security - don't leave it in your carryon bag because it will hold up the line.
It's the 3-1-1, meaning no more than 3-oz containers in a 1-quart bag for 1 person.
Check the airline websites as well as the US government site for any other restrictions on medicines - usually not so bad as the "regular" shampoos, shave creams, land lotions, etc.
USA Tue 03/20/2007
Packing for England-or any country
You can buy new and nearly new clothes at Thrift stores for next to nothing if you shop carefully to wear on your vacation. Afterwards, leave the duds with the hotel clerk to donate to their "Charity Shops" which are a big thing in England and it's sort of a badge of honor to donate!
USA Mon 03/19/2007
Travel Packing Tricks
It is confusing still. I haven't flown much since all has changed. I take the train and zip on and off with no hassel, bag in tow. That is my travel and packing trick. :) I have to get new luggage and ziplock meat bags to fly now! I'm working on it. Happy travels to all!
California, USA Mon 03/19/2007
I found a small pack of 1 qt plastic "Hefty oneZip travel bags" at Target specifically designed for this purpose. Less than a dollar for 7. Look in the section of the store that has small sizes of toothpaste, shampoo, etc. The zipper should make the bag easy to open and close. I'll take two with me next trip and have a spare for when I return. Of course, you can use the quart-size Ziplok freezer bag, if you like. It is a good idea to have this bag with its contents handy for the security check. Anything "questionable" that I am carrying I like to show to the security people when I go through. Saves time. And they are less likely to require further investigation of my baggage and person. After the security check I always have plenty of time to reorganize my stuff to have things handy on the plane.
USA Mon 03/19/2007
Confused on zip locks
It's for the liquids and gels only. Not all your bathroom stuff. So....in the ziplock you place: shampoo, toothpaste, shave gel. That sort of item.
Everything else, brushes, combs, etc can stay in your toilet kit in your carry on.
for the best idea...check the internet at www.tsa.gov ....or find a neighbor who travels and ask them personally.
It's not hard, and it's really not that big a hassle. I've been traveling since the day after the restrictions. I just keep my liquids/restricted items in a ziplock all the time and have it ready to pull out at the security belt. I carry on each time I travel.
Honestly, I'm amazed that there are still people confused about this since it's been almost a year since it started, and there has been so much on the news about how to pack and what to put in the zip lock bags.
USA Mon 03/19/2007
Each traveler gets their own baggie. You only have to put liquids and gels in it, not all your toiletries. One ounce of anything is plenty for a week and enough to get started if you are staying longer- unless you have allergies and are staying in hostels, keep in mind that you can use the free stuff they give you! Most of the airlines now have photos showing you samples. They get cranky if the ziplock doesn't close completely, so don't cram it full.
USA Sun 03/18/2007
Confused about zipbags
I am confused. The airlines regs say one, one-quart ziptop bag. Does this mean each person gets to use just one, to hold all meds, bathroom stuff, etc.? What if it doesn't all fit? I am determined to not check a bag.
USA Sun 03/18/2007
Too large meds bottles
Consider scanning the lables and printing them on a color printer. Then paste them on smaller bottles. Or ask a local pharmacist if they have any recommendations.
Charlotte, NC USA Sun 03/18/2007
Hi, My husband and his wife along with our adult son will be traveling for 3 weeks in France and Spain in June. My husband and I both have serious medical problems whick require taking numerous medications along. We currently mail order most of our prescriptions through BCBS. The Problem: The airlines wand the original bottles with labels. Our mail order service uses 1 size bottle, "Large". The labels are huge and these ine-size-fits-all bottle size is often redidulously large, 'eg: a 90 day supply of Zertec barely covers the bottom of the large container becaause the pills are so small. I have to bring 16 medications along - all in these huge bottles. I've asked BCBS is they could print smaller labels that I could tape onto available small containers and they say they cannot do this. Does anyone have any solutions?
Kitty Hawk, NC USA Sun 03/18/2007
Maggie: I went to Ireland for about 1 1/2 this summer Dublin and then along the southwest coast and pretty much wore the same outfit!Its a very casual country compared to france , italy, ect. A pair of jeans, 1 or 2 skirts, 1 pair of shorts and a nice capri or pants. And then just bring t-shirts (3)and sports tshirts (3) and some tanks tops and just mix up the outfits. Just make sure you have enough underwear and sandals and tennis shoes and your really good to go. As I said the country is casual but when in Dublin you can go either way- you could get dressed up to go to dinner or stay in jeans and find a great place to eat. As others have said just have a fleece and a rain jacket too and your good to go! Have a great time- try to get to new grange its about an 1hr outside of Dublin- really easy to get to- its a once and a life time experience i think.
USA Fri 03/16/2007
What the Irish Wear :)
It rains a lot! Bring rain coat, umbrella, rain shoes if desired, waterproof gear and what the locals love to wear: beautiful Irish wool sweaters. Enjoy!
B.C., Canada, USA Fri 03/16/2007
Attire in Ireland
I am traveling to Dublin and southern Ireland during the middle of May and I have no idea what to pack for two weeks! I know it is usually colder there during that time, but what is the general mode of attire in Dublin? Could someone give me some tips please :o)
AZ USA Thu 03/15/2007
Dear Wally: I have a Redoxx Gator bag (as well as an Air Boss and Flying Boxcar) and I have been VERY pleased with the quality. They are perfect for packing light and well worth the price!!
USA Wed 03/14/2007
another purse/tote choice
I've been very happy with a travel purse/tote by DayMakers of Santa Barbara. Looks nice, has good organization pockets, and has good security features (long adjustable wired strap, secure closure). I felt really secure with it even in areas reputed to have high pickpocket incidence, although I still use a neck or waist pocket for passport, tickets, etc. The large size is big enough for water bottles and a lightweight sweater in addition to the other daily need stuff. My husband now uses the large black one instead of a daypack. Several sizes, styles and colors are available.
San Diego, ca USA Tue 03/13/2007
Purse vs. Day Pack
One thought for some of the ladies: on my first trip to Europe I hated not having a purse, and having to use my day pack as a purse. On recent trips I've used what's billed as a "sling/backpack" type purse (check ebags.com), which has worked really well. On my 2 RS tours, I usually brought both the purse and day bag, and used whichever one felt appropriate for the day (i.e. all day w/picnic, or rainy/icky - used the day pack; for short stops used the purse).
Mountain View, CA USA Tue 03/13/2007
I like the rain poncho invention idea. When the trash bag is worn out from wind and rain, toss and have extra room in my pack.
Wyoming, USA Tue 03/13/2007
My husband traveled all around Europe in LLBean's Stowaway Rainwear gore-tex jacket. It was absolutely perfect-always kept him dry and stuffed into his daypack when he didn't need it. It's pretty much weightless, too.
Dayton, Oh USA Mon 03/12/2007
A Better Shoulder Bag
I am trip-testing a shoulder bag from "Red Oxx" for role of personal day bag. So far, it is passing with flying colors. There are plenty of compartments, with a HUGE center compartment that really carries everything I have put into it. There is padding on the bag, and the outer pockets keep notebook, iPod, and cell phone at hand. It's not cheap--the "Gator" bag I purchased retails for $95, plus postage--but the item is a quality product. If you are interested, the website is http://www.redoxx.com/catalog/p_91002-gator.html . I prefer this shoulder bag to my two daypacks, one from Victorinox and the other from Eagle Creek, because of its no-nonsense design and construction.
Reno, NV USA Sun 03/11/2007
Has anyone found a men's lightweight, waterproof hooded jacket? I'm searching for one for my husband and can't find any without the stand up collar. Thanks!
Bloomington, IN USA Sat 03/10/2007
Rain Poncho Invention
I was in England and had no rain coat. I got creative and took the big trash bag in my pack used for laundry to make a rain poncho. I cut a hole in the bottom and slit the sides. It worked just fine to keep dry.
Dover, Del. USA Sat 03/10/2007
There are lots of hooded light weight rain jackets - usually the hook rools up into the collar until needed. Gortex is light and great - try "mountain Hardwear" brand or a similar from REI.com. Also - for a sometimes more affordable version = try LLBean, Landsend, or Eddie Bauer.
USA Sat 03/10/2007
My vacation last month to Germany and then Portugal, I did the following to save space and weight.
First, I did not take so many shirts as I did underwear and socks. Second, I layered my clothing, more for the connection in Chicago O'Hare than Europe. Third, anything I thought I could not take on a plane because they would not fit in my bag, was to take whatever I did not need for the next two weeks to the post office. The post offices in Europe take cash only (or a debit-card issued in Europe). The worst that can happen is that the box gets slightly damaged but the contents therein are intact.
Frisco, TX USA Sat 03/10/2007
Rosanne in Austin: Italy in April
I've been to Italy in April and it's more rainy than really cold. I'd never take a heavy leather jacket if layering was my goal. I wear a t-shirt, long sleved shirt, dark easy care sweater (not wool)and a rain proof parka (with a hood). Everything is lightweight and easy to stuff in your day pack. Remember you'll be inside alot and that leather jacket will get heavier and heavier as the day goes on. Also, remember you'll be doing LOTS of walking to keep you warmed up. Have a great trip - the weather should be wonderful.
San Diego, CA USA Thu 03/08/2007
My Layer Packing List
My layer packing list: t-shirts, button shirts, sweather, pants, skirt, light weight lined rain jacket with hood, light mittens, walking shoes, dress sandals and underclothes. Layer according to the weather. If it gets hot, take off a few layers. Happy travels!
Rhode Island, USA Thu 03/08/2007
In addition to cotton t-shirts you might want to bring a couple that 'wick' moisture away from the body... (capilene is one type) this will help from getting cold. These would be good to layer under other shirts etc.
Alaska USA Thu 03/08/2007
Id agree with the post below - layering helps. I love the capeline #3(patagonia) long-sleve wicking shirts -seems to be the right weight for cool-to-chilly if youre out and about. Dries super fast too if you wash it in the sink. My other favorite is the Icebreaker brand (merino wool)... same idea but silky-superfine-wool. Look for sales now at your sports/hiking/mountain outfitters! They are super lite and compact but can make a big difference to your comfort!
newportbeach, ca USA Thu 03/08/2007
Double duty wash cloths
I take along a supply of Dove facial cleansing cloths. They compress into a small, light weight item, so you can take along enough to use one a day plus a few extra. They are made of a fairly sturdy mesh material, and can serve two functions: washing your face; and as a disposable wash cloth for your bath or shower.
Flat Rock, NC USA Thu 03/08/2007
if you don't know the weather conditions of the time of year you plan on traveling, go to weather.com. type in the city, and the site gives all the averages for the month, and even gives historic averages day by day. The best way to travel light is to travel prepared.
USA Tue 03/06/2007
BA One Bag Rule
It is not just BA. Security in UK (all airports) insists on only one bag (laptop or purse not counted). They have a metal frame and check. They did tell me if I had clothes I could wear to take them out the bag and put the day pack inside.
But they do not make everyone take shoes off.
At security they provide small plastic bags for the approved liquids.
Denver, CO USA Tue 03/06/2007
All I want is to Carry On! BA rules for hand baggage
British Airways is very strict about their rules, especially for carry-ons. I don't think there is any way you'll be able to take your bag onto the plane with the zip-off bag attached if the total size is more than what's shown on their site(about 28" x 18" x 10"). There are also strict rules regarding the weight of the bags.
See the link to BA and hand baggage rules: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/bagcabin/public/en_de
Basically, it appears that you can take 2 pieces of carry-on luggage when flying INTO the UK, but can only take 1 piece when flying OUT OF or transferring through the UK.
Check out the site and look through the Hand Baggage Frequently Asked Q&A for more rules, rules, rules, especially about the "liquids, gels, sprays" in the 1-quart bag.
Have a great time!
USA Tue 03/06/2007
All I want is to Carry On!
In 11 short days, my husband and I will be embarking on our month long trip to Northern Europe. Woot! In any case, We have 'carry on' sized bags, 22x13.5x9, with a day pack attached. I'm cofindent we can carry on our luggage for our United Airlines flight, since we can carry on two bags, but not so confident about our short trip from London to Amsterdam on British Airways... as they restrict passangers to carry on only one bag. As I said, our daypack is attached to the main bag, but I'm a little worried that it is too big to carry-on the British Airways flight. Here is the link to our bags: http://www.highsierrasport.com/ItemDetail?itemNum=AT305
(We recieved them as wedding presents this fall... I probably would have choose something WITHOUT wheels)
I hate to check our luggage... Has anyone flown British Airways? How strict are they these days on carry-on sizes?
editors note: All questions must be posted to Traveler's Helpline
Fargo, ND USA Tue 03/06/2007
In Germany the train stations have lockers you can leave your luggage in and take the key with you. I have a small fanny purse that comes out of my big purse that is left in the locker.
Boise, ID USA Tue 03/06/2007
Luggage at the hotel
We did the same last summer in Italy- trains, rolling bags, and sometimes arriving before the room was ready. We never had a problem with the front desk keeping the bags for us in some corner of the lobby- another good reason for packing light! (Presumably you will have a money belt, and nothing of any real value in the bags anyway- but if so, ask if you can use the hotel safe.)
USA Mon 03/05/2007
toting luggage around
We are trying to plan our first ever trip to Italy for next month. We will of course be taking the trains from city to city. One of my concerns was what to do with luggage after getting off the trains in each city. Do hotels in Europe (Italy)have earlier check-in times than the usual 3pm in the U.S.? If not, what do you all do with your luggage so that you can continue with your siteseeing?
editors note: All questions must be posted to Traveler's Helpline
Austin, TX USA Mon 03/05/2007
To roll or fold
Try packing a small bag using both methods, wait a day, and see which one works best for you.
I use a combo - fold regular clothes like pants and shirts, but roll underwear and t-shirts to stuff in corners to use up all available space.
USA Mon 03/05/2007
First Packing Light Trip Results
We made it...even though my wife complained the whole time about not having her purse. Flying past those long lines of people waiting for their luggage while we zipped out to our waiting car was great. One thing to remember...how many bags you've packed to take. We got to the airport and my wife realized she had forgotten our fourth bag (the hide away bag)of gifts. Luckily it wasn't her clothes...so much for saving postage to mail the stuff. We bought the small Civita bag for everyday use and it was too small for me. Even though it was heavy enough with the food and electronic gear. I wanted something with more pockets to seperate items. I also have the convertable backpack with mesh compartment bags. The mesh bags were nice. I didn't like the way the sides of the suitcase collapsed when I opened the bag. Everything wanted to fall out. We did survive though. We packed just enough clothes for the five days and it was great not having to carry 50 pound bags around. Thanks Rick and crew for teaching us to Pack Light!!!! You too can do it.
Spokane Valley, WA USA Mon 03/05/2007
For the love of pete, can we PLEASE get something at the top of this forum telling people that we have heard about throwing away your old clothes before?!
And a lot of us think it's gross?
USA Mon 03/05/2007
light workout shoes
arzy: I pack Nike Free shoes. Extremely lightweight and packable. Stable enough for light runs. www.nikefree.com
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 03/04/2007
Convertible travel bag
Try this one - sturdy and a good value, plus it looks great and comes in various colors other than black!
USA Sun 03/04/2007
Everyone should use whatever bag is best for them. A waist-pouch (i.e., fanny pack) is OK, but a smallish shoulder bag or messenger bag that can be worn across the chest is often easier to deal with and in a pinch can be kept on while in the restroom; waist pouches usualy have to be removed, though I guess some people are more adept at this than others!
USA Sun 03/04/2007
Packing Light: Toss-As-You-Go Clothes
Wal Mart has many inexpensive clothes that would work great for the toss-as- you-go packing light mehtod. The clothes would only be worn a few times, and in almost pefect condition to give away to others in need. Nicer than old worn out stuff! The luggage inspectors won't want to toss your worn out drawers either.
Los Angeles, USA Sun 03/04/2007
Packing light whenever
My favorite packing light tip (for a trip of 1-2 weeks) is to bring well used clothing & undies you can dispose of as the trip progresses. Since I've done the 'wear and toss' bit so often, I now need to purchase used clothing at Goodwill or other used clothing store. By doing so, I help out Goodwill, I get to pack light, and the housekeeping staff in Europe, who are often poorer immigrants just like here in the USA, get my discarded clothes to keep or share. Another tip, to save your "daytime good touring clothes" bring something comfy and well-used to wear in the hotel room at night then toss it at the end of the trip.
Grand Rapids, MI USA Sat 03/03/2007
Packing for England
On a trip to London in 2005 the first week in April, at the beginning of our week the weather was quite warm - around 70 degrees. By the end of the week, there was snow. Bring layers, an umbrella, and a hand fan. Oh, there was a lot of wind, too! Must do - enjoy tea at the Orangery near Kensington Palace, see the War Rooms re WWII, and the Crown Jewels. Best little known sight - the Wallace Collection in Marylebone. Many masterpieces of 2-dimensional art in a beautiful mansion.
Grand Rapids, MI USA Sat 03/03/2007
I have a question. I like to run/workout, but athletic shoes are heavy & bulky. Does anyone have a suggestion?
baltimore, md USA Sat 03/03/2007
packing light for England in the spring
for the folks going to England for two weeks at the end of March, pack in layers and expect rain. take things you are tired of from home and leave them behind in your B and B for the housekeeper to keep or give away to charity. I think fleece rules! the winter sales are on and fleece is cheap, lightweight, warm and washes well. I wore a fleece vest practically every day last spring when I traveled in England. a lady can dress it up with a nice scarf, I wore mine to the theatre in London. good walking shoes a must!!
Kelso, WA USA Fri 03/02/2007
two of my favorites are from Northface and Columbia - they each have a few choices as some are heavier weight than others - but they each have lots of pockers and some hidden/secure pockets.
newportbeach, ca USA Fri 03/02/2007
We are going to England for 2 weeks at the end of this month. Any suggestions on what to pack? Is the weather similar to here in Washington?
USA Fri 03/02/2007
Love Convertible Clothes For Travel
Love the idea of zip off leg pants. I also found a jacket from J.C. Penney that stuffs into a little pouch for easy travels. Always looking for convertible clothes.
Palm Springs, Cal USA Fri 03/02/2007
re: Germany Packing - for jill
Jill- I was just in Germany last Sept and had nice warm weather most of the time (1-2 days of drizzel in 2 weeks!) I had a pair of those great convertible pants (zip off legs-to-shorts) but never used the shorts. You may like to. Also I recommend some sort of light rain - Goretex is best but although $$ - there are lots of sales on right now! One of my Favorite is from Mountain Hardwear - some with warmer lining, others just a shell - just get a goretex-breathable fabric! Its so light but effective! Also - A layer system works incase it is cool then warm then cool again. That worked for me. Feel free to email for more details on what I brought if you like - I put a lot of effort into putting some great gear together that washed easy and worked well! Most important - have fun (but be a bit prepared!)
newportbeach, ca USA Thu 03/01/2007
it s the weight stupid not size
FYI most carry ons are such only IF not stuffed Full . I find a half filled larger suitcase meets my needs room to carry some expensived (on Train) water for long train trip or a gift for home
USA Thu 03/01/2007
washing clother in Ireland
Going to Ireland for 14 days. Are there laudromats (self service)? Or should I plan to wash as we go?
Ponte Vedra, FL USA Thu 03/01/2007
Fanny Pack/Purse idea
Try Eagle Creek's extra large fanny pack. It comes with a removable sholder strap (the waist straps tuck into the back like convertable luggage straps). It is HUGE and looks nice enough to be a casual purse. The sholder strap is long enough to wear across your body. This way you can use is either way- fanny pack during the day and purse at night. I joke with my family that I could live out of it alone for 3 days. I can pack all my makeup and toiletries in it and still have room for our document holder, a note pad with pen and a small sketch pad with colored pencils. I also carry emergency candy (low blood sugar is my problem) and gum, a small first aid kit, a small sewing kit and my asthma inhailer and other meds. I also keep several ziplock bags, Shout wipes and hand wipes as well as tissues and other such necessay items.
Charlotte, NC USA Thu 03/01/2007
Packing for Germany
We will be on the Germany/Switzerland/Austria tour in 9/07. Having never been to Europe and "never" have packed light...can anyone advise on clothing at that time of year. Is a lightweight rain jacket enough, or is a warmer coat needed. Is there anything that requires dressier clothes? Will we need shorts?
Fresno, Ca USA Thu 03/01/2007
Need Big Fanny Pack or Day Purse
Dorrie, I would highly recommend looking at the LeSportsac line. They have many, many options in size and color and all of the bags are lightweight, virtually indestructible, washable (my favorite part), and the straps are adjustable so you can determine how low you want your bag to hang. I've had the Classic Hobo for years and it looks as good now as the day I got it. Darcy - thanks for the response, I checked out the Bagallini and it looks great too. Both look nice and small and easy to wear inside your coat as well.
Bloomington, IN USA Thu 03/01/2007
Need Big Fanny Pack or Day Purse
I would like to find a bigger day purse or fanny pack. Have to carry playdough, teddybears and such for kids, too.
San Diego, CA USA Wed 02/28/2007
LeSportsac Day Purse
Carrie--looks good to me, a lot like my Baggalini. It also looks like you could put a small packlock on it if you were going to a high theft area (subway in Rome). (Or not and just have small cash, no credit cards in the sac--you might not want to draw attention to it by having a lock on it.)
Lewiston, ID USA Wed 02/28/2007
LeSportsac Day Purse
I, too, am looking for a small day purse to carry items such as lip balm, a small bottle of hand lotion, wet wipes, tissue and maybe a small amount of cash. I've purchased a money belt to carry my ID, passport, tickets, etc. My problem is that I want the day purse to be attractive and functional so I would like a very simple cross body black bag. I like LeSportsac and have found this one.
Does anyone have any experience with this bag or could you suggest something very similar in looks? Also, please point out any features that make it a thief's dream!
Bloomington, IN USA Wed 02/28/2007
My husband, teenager (exchange student) and I just returned from a 4 week tour of Spain, Portugal and Sweden in February. Here is how we packed. We each packed everything into 2 items. 1. We each wore our kid's L.L. Bean Super Shockwave school backpack (it has lots of compartments, drink holders on the side - even a laptop sleeve). This is a quality backpack as our college freshman has used his every year for the past 6 years of school. 2. A rolling suitcase that meets the "carry on" size standard at airports. Making sure that it has the "zippered expandable" feature is a good idea. Also, a strap buckle on the top exterior of the suitcase is handy for attaching the backpack or an additional bag, when needed.
I also wore the Rick Steves money belt plus used a fanny pack for carrying my daily essentials. Our teenage daughter insists that fanny packs are not flattering. However, I have made numerous trips to Europe using a fanny pack and have never been the victim of a pickpocket, plus it is easier to keep up with a fanny pack than a purse. I adhere to the motto: "I am going to see Europe, not for Europe to see me."
Between the frame and the lining of the suitcase I stash a large, thin nylon zippered bag. It weighs next to nothing and doesn't take up space. This is to be used in the event that we accumulate more stuff than our suitcase can handle.
Columbia, , MO USA Tue 02/27/2007
Contact Lens Wearers
I read others' comments about small sized bottles of contact lens solution.
I used to take small travel sized bottles only.
However... one year while in Germany I ran out of solution. "No problem", I naively said, "I'll go to a drugstore and get some more."
It was Sunday. Nothing was open. I was with a German family, in their car, and we went all over town to various "emergency" pharmacies looking for contact lens solution. Nothing. It was sold only in optical shops, and none were open on Sunday. We spent (ie wasted) at least 3 hours looking for that darn stuff.
Lesson to me. I now pack a new, full bottle in my checked luggage and carry a small bottle on board in the 3-1-1 pack.
Los Angeles, CA USA Tue 02/27/2007
I packed TOO light!
Usually I go to Europe in late fall, early winter. I take sweaters, long-sleeved t-shirt and heavy skirts.
One year I got to go in August. I live in SoCal, and August is always broiling hot here. They were having a heat wave in Europe, too. I got phone calls telling me of how miserably hot they were. Great! I can ditch the heavy sweaters, and just throw in a few t-shirts, light skirts and sandals! Pack light, REALLY light!!!
I got to Europe, and boy was it hot. The first day. After that, it got overcast, drizzly and cold. I was freezing in my light t-shirts and sandals. I was able to borrow a jacket, and had to wear socks with my sandals (ugh!).
Lesson to me: Be prepared for a change of weather. A jacket and some real shoes would have made a big difference.
Los Angeles, CA USA Tue 02/27/2007
No Tip...But First Time
My wife and I attended the Travel Seminars Rick had on my birthday (2/3/07) and truely enjoyed them all. We attended the "Packing Light" class for obvious reasons. We have toted the BIGGEST luggage through the Netherlands for a three day visit. NO MORE!!!! We bought Ricks luggage and made a vow to "do it". So off we go this weekend to NC and OK to visit family. We are using this short trip for an on-the-trip training session. We packed Saturday and actually have some room to spare...(what am I forgetting?). I will post again next week and let you know how it went. Her biggest hand-up is not taking a purse or her HUGE make-up case. Time will tell.
Spokane Valley, WA USA Mon 02/26/2007
FREE (or cheap) 3 oz bottles
I always take the complimentary toiletries from hotels where I stay. These bottles are usually in the 1.5 - 2 oz. size. I use (or discard) the original contents, then fill (or refill) with whatever I need from my home supply. For a long trip that requires more that 2 oz of a product, I just take 2 bottles of what I need and throw away the first one when depleted.
You can also do the same by purchasing items from the travel size aisle at WalMart/Target/CVS, etc. These bottles are the perfect size and can be refilled over and over. (My friend Cheryl has a shampoo bottle in her kit that's been there since her first trip to England in 1997 ; it's been refilled probably 30 times!)
Opelika, AL USA Sat 02/24/2007
Bag or Purse to BackPack
Kitty--I have a Norm Thompson "healthy back bag" with a strap that can be unzipped to make it into a backpack. Other benefit is that the zipper can be padlocked. Worked great for me for situations when I want to look a little dressier. This year though I'll just be using my favorite, my Civita.
Lewiston, ID USA Fri 02/23/2007
Bag or Purse to Backpack
All the bag ieads are helpful. I'm looking for one with straps that can convert to a backpack.
Albany, NY USA Wed 02/21/2007
Re: 3 oz. bottles
The bottles do not have to be commercially labeled -- as long as they are 3 oz. or less, the bottles you bought at London Drug will work just fine. :-)
Denver, CO USA Wed 02/21/2007
Dear Fern: The best bag you can find like the one you envisioned is the Gator Bag found at Redoxx.com. I have one and it is perfect!!!
USA Wed 02/21/2007
3 oz. bottles
I noticed that at our Canadian drug store called London Drugs, they are carrying 3 oz. bottles in a 4 pack made by Goody. They each have different, brightly coloured tops to distinguish between liquids. I wonder if these are permissable as I read a few posts that say you need to carry commercially labelled 3 oz (or less oz) bottles. I can either buy these Goody bottles and try it out at security only to have them possibly confiscated or buy those little sample size of shampoos etc and fill them with my own stuff. I'm leaning on the latter! Any other experiences out there with generic 3 oz bottles I'd be interested to know. I noticed that some bottles they sell at the drug store are not correctly labelled. The 4 oz bottles I have always used, also by Goody, with a flip top, are sold right next to a bottle which claims it is 3 oz yet is substantially bigger when held up to the 4 oz bottle. I'd be wary of packaging labels.
Canada Mon 02/19/2007
Credit Card in inside pocket; other stuff in light backpack
For cold weather sightseeing, I put my credit card and DL in an interior pocket covered by a jacket. Then - for 5 of us - one inexpensive, lightweight black backpack with the few needed items. This is also my purse on travel days, allowing both hands free for luggage, etc.
Huntsville, AL USA Mon 02/19/2007
Travel Bag or Purse Needed for Extra Duty
I've been looking for a day bag to carry extra duty for valuables, my purse and diaper bag. A oversized purse is the only solution I've come up with so far.
Charleston, SC USA Mon 02/19/2007
Best type of purse
I am a little nuts about the hunt for the perfect 'container'. This is where I am presently, after many foreign travels. For a day pack when needed, my husband and I use the medium Ameribag, canvas/leather, as he is not embarrassed to carry it, but I find it less graceful than a purse. It holds everything imaginable and more. However, in transit and on many days when all we need is one guide book I bring a 'purse' as I also, unfortunately age appropriately, need reading, distance, and sun glasss. I use the Eagle creek guide bag as it is very light, not too large, and holds glasses, boarding pass, medicines, guidebook, etc. For security one can wear it across the chest and not have to think about it all day. It is so convenient it is my home 'purse' as well. However, these bags are not in lieu of a money belt. Nonetheless, I will always be looking for the perfect container as needs change.
Boston, MA USA Mon 02/19/2007
Purse for travel
As far as purses are concerned: I always use a medioum sized "postman" type of purse, either with a zipper or a long flap that falls over the opening. That way I don't look too touristy, and I have my belongings right under my arm (and not on the back as with backpacks). I have been using one for years, in Europe and in the carribean, and never had a problem.
My mother has made a soft fabric purse that fastens with those little round clips on the inside of her travel skirts, so she can clip it on and off on all the skirts she uses for traveling.
athens, greece, USA Mon 02/19/2007
I am going on the RS 14 day tour of Ireland this year. For those of you who have been on this tour in the past, what suggestions can you give me regarding clothes. I have seen the suggested list that RS has on his website. I am not sure how necessary it will be for me to have a skirt. I plan on using RS 21" carry on and want to elimnate anything that I will not actually need. I will be on one of his fall tours. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Maureen
Anchorage, AK USA Mon 02/19/2007
Packing light & Smart
Primeline.com Has Pac0king light items that can be bought in bulk. For pennies on the dollar.
Columbus, OH USA Sun 02/18/2007
I use the better back bag, by ameribag. i love this, and use it a lot at home too--but for travelling, it's my favourite. One thing I do is slide my camera inside (its a larger camera, and it is in a form fitting case of it's own). But I don't stuff it before I leave home. It's just my everything bag whereever i go. It's comfortable, lots of pockets, and lots of inside zippers. I don't usually recommend things---but I have no problem recommending this.
Ottawa, ON Canada Fri 02/16/2007
Travel Size Contact Lens Solutions
I get all travel-size contact solutions from my optometrist. I use Lobob solutions for gas-permeable lenses and they have always made available a sample, travel-sized box with the solutions in small sizes (less than 3 oz), all ready to toss into the famous 1-quart ziploc.
You can also check with the manufacturer - call to see what's available. And also check at your destination to see if what's available in your brand is in a different size than what's available here.
USA Fri 02/16/2007
3 oz bottles are here!!
Eureka!! Just found the new 3 ounce travel bottles at Walmart today!!
USA Thu 02/15/2007
travel size contact solution
I've found Bausch and Lomb ReNu brand in 2oz. size in several different drug stores, sometimes in the travel section and sometimes with the lens supplies. It's one of the things I scout for, and stock up on, since finding it at any given time right before a trip can be uncertain.
San Diego, Ca USA Wed 02/14/2007
Good Dress for Travel
Thanks for the suggestion for a good travel dress, Fiona. I went online this morning and ordered the same dress in black for myself! I have a similar dress in dark gray and have worn it until it is almost worn out. It is very comfortable, but very dressy or casual, depending upon how you dress it up/down. I am anxious to receive my new dress as the old one has been VERY well worn and I am ready for something new! This one looks very versatile and also comfortable. And also like a good dress for travel as far as packing and wearing goes. Thanks again for this suggestion!
USA Wed 02/14/2007
Paul.Sara, I agree but it is learning curve. First trip M had a shaped shoulder bag stuffed. Second and third trip a Sac-Pac fanny pack. Which was a pain because she was always sliding it around -- front to back, on side, etc. And constant nagging from me to get rid of the d... thing. It always seem to be in the way. Fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh trip -- nothing. Both of us could not be happier. The few, necessary female things are carried in the day bag. In addition we both wear shirts and pants with secured pockets so a few things are scrattered among the pockets. But this way we have our hands free and just an old, well worn day bag to look after.
Centennial, CO USA Wed 02/14/2007
contact lens solutions when carrying on
Thanks, Michelle, that is really interesting advice. I will look into it!
Huntington Beach, CA USA Tue 02/13/2007
good dress for travel
I just received this http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=DX410201/601-7200551-4171321?ie=UTF8&asin=B000K5ORD6 sweater-knit dress in the mail today, and it'll be perfect for cool-weather travel-- easy to pack and can be dressed up or down many different ways.
(The sizing runs big, so order at least 1 size smaller than usual).
NYC Tue 02/13/2007
Travel and Purses
During our trips to Europe these past 3 yrs, Sara has not used a purse due to the inconvenience of carrying it plus baggage and the target it presents to pickpockets. Instead, she has used a neck safe under her top, in which she has carried passport,€s,pen,comb and sundries.
Paul n Sara
USA Tue 02/13/2007
dual voltage travel flat iron?
Does anyone know of a travel-size lightweight dual-voltage flat iron (for hair) that isn't too expensive? I know this is a frill item, but I'd love to find one...
Westbrook, ME USA Mon 02/12/2007
We went to Europe last year with a money belt and common sense. We did not encounter any problems. And could clearly see how pick pocketing could be so rampant in crowded metro trains.
This year I purchased a PacSafe purse for a day pack. It is lined with wire so a thief cannot slice open the purse. And it has an extra clip that attaches to the zipper, so fast fingers cannot easily unzip the purse.
I am satisfied with this purchase because this year I went to big cities again and traveled on crowded metros. It allowed me an extra sense of security, along with my money belt.
I bought my purse at REI.
Cali, USA Mon 02/12/2007
My wife swears by her Tilly purse (tilly.com). It is available in several colors and a tapesry design. It has no closure device, but is kept snug by gravity and vrtually impossibly toopen uless you lean it on something. She keeps her camera, batteries, as well as all those things ladies normally carry, in it.
Edmonton, AB Canada Sun 02/11/2007
Re: Novice Traveler/Purse
I was wondering the same thing and found the Metro Safe 200 in the Magellan's catalog (along with other sizes if you want larger/smaller). http://www.magellans.com/store/Wallets__Purses___Totes___DaypacksLB322?Args= There are also more on the company website www.pacsafe.com. It's a bit costly but may help you feel a little better about security.
WI USA Sun 02/11/2007
The Big Purse Life Saver
A big purse is the only way to travel. What I can't fit in my carry-on goes in the purse. It's my home away from home with all the comforts in it. Happy travels!
Deleware, USA Sun 02/11/2007
Purse/shoulder bag for travel
I don't carry a "purse" with me on my travels.
However, I do carry the Eagle Creek Guide bag. This is a nice shoulder bag, not too big.
In it I carry: guide book, chapstick, tissues, camera, batteries, ipod, small change wallet (sometimes eye drops)
I have an older version of what is out there right now. I love it because the flap on the bag covers the main zipper compartment, so I feel safer on subways and in crowds - where I fear I might be pickpocketed.
All that being said. I always carry this bag over my shoulder/across my body and hold the bag in front of me with one hand on the bag when in crowds.
Suggestions for a travel purse: Sherpani, Ellington, Eagle Creek, Timbuk2, High Sierra all make great small "tote/guide bag" styles that have a long strap you can wear across your body.
Look for zippers that are covered by a flap to keep hands out. Don't go larger than a "man bag" size for travel.
You only need the really important stuff with you...leave all the makeup,and other junk, etc that you carry in the US at home!
USA Sun 02/11/2007
I travel regularly,both business and personal. For business, as a lawyer, I have to "suit up" and the extra luggage, laptop, files, etc make me appreciate my "super light" travel when I go to europe for fun even more! My packing list for three weeks, London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Salzburg and Munich this March is the following, and given that this is my 5th trip of this length and duration I know it works. Believe it or not, it is so easy to do without,remember, change cities, not clothes.
Ex Officio pants (zip off if going somewhere warm)
long sleeve tee, wicking fabric (north face)
cotton tee (rolling stones concert!)
ex officio air strip shirt (ticket pocket, and sleeves roll up)
fleece jacket with zip off arms, also ex officio
3 panties and 3 socks (wright socks with liners built in)
new balance country walkers. I also take some running shorts and leggings. I wear most of it during the day, layering if cold, and wash every night. It all fits in a small day pack. I also carry a poncho for rain, but have sprayed my jacket and pants with water repellant and rarely need the poncho. Given the new travel rules on liquids, I take Johnson and Johnson baby soap. It will work as shampoo in a fix, is gentle and you can also wash your cloths with it.
My first trip I was so overloaded I only remember the misery of being stuck with all of my stuff. Every trip since has resulted in less stuff being packed. Now, I take just what is noted above, and my souvenirs are things I need, so if it is cold and blustery, I can buy a sweatshirt. I then have it and it brings back memories.
You can find what ever you need there if you trully miss it,so leave it out and find out how much you can do without. It is incredibly liberating to know that all you have is with you, you don't have to find a locker, or go out of your way to your hotel, just jump off the train and go!
Los Angeles, CA USA Sun 02/11/2007
Re: Travel Size Contact Lens Solutions
Hi KC -- right after I submitted my last post, I went to TSA's web site, and found this info specifically regarding saline solution for medical purposes (edited for space):
"...there are no limits on the amounts of the following liquids, gels and aerosols you may carry through a security checkpoint:
All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including...saline solution for medical purposes.
You are not limited in the amount or volume of these above items you may bring in your carry-on baggage.
However, if these items are in containers larger than three ounces, please perform the following:
1. Separate these items from the liquids, gels, and aerosols in your quart-size and zip-top bag. 2. Declare you have the items to one of our Security Officers at the security checkpoint. 3. Present these items for additional inspection once reaching the X-ray. These items are subject to additional screening. "
So in a nutshell, you CAN bring saline solution in a container larger than 3 ounces in your carry on, you just have to let TSA know when you're going through security. Here's the URL I found this info at:
Good luck! :-)
Denver, CO USA Sat 02/10/2007
Re: Travel Size Contact Lens Solutions
Hi KC -- my suggested solution (ha!) and what we're planning on for our upcoming Europe trip is to pick up a few things at one of those magazine/sundry shops at the airport we're departing from. We don't want to check our luggage, but can't quite find all the liquid items we need in 3 oz. bottles, so we're going to buy shaving cream (for example) at that airport shop. At that point, you're already through TSA security, so there's no problem with bringing a few additional items (like contact lens solution) in your carry on. I know it will cost a bit more, but I think it's worth a few bucks to not have to check luggage. Plus then we don't have to worry about not having our necessities/preferred brands when we arrive in Europe. :-)
Denver, CO USA Sat 02/10/2007
It took three trips but I now go purse free. Work on it. A pursue is just an extra bag that you have to worry about..
Centennial, CO USA Sat 02/10/2007
Best type of purse
I need advice on what sort of purse to carry daily on a trip to Europe. I don't need a large one, prefer shoulder bag, want to find something that is 'safe'. I'll have the security belt of course, but the choices of purses are mind-boggling. Have any of you gals ever used one of those Healthy Back Bags on a trip? Thanks for your help.
USA Sat 02/10/2007
Walter mentioned that the older Rick Steves bags have little padding. I solved that problem by going to Walmart's Automotive section and buying a $5 seatbelt pad. Works great and gives me all the extra cushion I need!!
USA Sat 02/10/2007
Travel Size Contact Lens Solutions
Because of the new travel restrictions, I did check though on my last trip. My luggage did not leave the continent when I did, and I was stuck with no contact lens solutions, in a country where I was unable to purchase any.
I have been trying to find solutions in 3 oz. sizes (Optifree-preferably), but so far, the smallest that I have found would be 4 oz. I asked an eye doctor if I could fill a 3 oz. (or less) nalgene bottle with contact lens solution, and she said that it would compromise its sterility too much. So what is a contact lens wearer to do for carry-on travel? Anyone have any solutions (pun intended)? Thanks!
Huntington Beach, CA USA Sat 02/10/2007
My Packing Light Tricks
In my travels, I have found that layer dressing works best to packing light, for me, anway. T-shirts, button-up shirts, sweater, pants and skirt that all mix and match. Underclothes for 5 days. Oh yes, an umbrella and light weight jacket that rolls into its own pocket. Ready to travel!
Virginia, USA Sat 02/10/2007
Inspired by something I read in a great book a few years ago ("A Foxy Old Woman's Guide to Traveling Alone: Around Town and Around the World," by Jay Ben-Lesser), I've come up with my own version of her security camisole. I buy a comfortable camisole in a neutral color (silk or cotton/lycra) and a cotton or silk moneybelt. I cut the waistbands off the moneybelt and sew it to the camisole so that it sits below the chest and above the waist. Then I wear camp shirts or colorful tops. I can place all my valuables in the moneybelt, and I walk around worry-free throughout my trip. I bring two per trip so that one is always clean and dry.
Milwaukee, WI USA Sat 02/10/2007
21 years ago we bought Rick's bags. They have been to Europe several times. We have never stuffed them full. They are more than adequate for trips of almost any duration. Even six weeks. The only problem was the backpack straps. No padding on those older bags.
I have become an Exofficio underwear adherent. Comfotable, light and dry in hours. Polyester has come a long ways.
Oak Harbor, WA USA Fri 02/09/2007
Paris in Early April
I was there early April 3 years ago. It was chilly, late winterish, with bare trees and some rain. I didn't need longjohns, but gloves and hat were welcome. Later in the month the trees start putting out their leaves and blossoms.
USA Mon 02/05/2007
Algarve in May
Try Accuweather or Weather Underground websites for historical weather info (looks like the highs may be in the mid-70's in May), or websites such as: http://www.algarvenet.com/default.asp
Good luck - it sounds like a great trip!
USA Mon 02/05/2007
Wasn't there in April but October. I felt okay wearing jeans on most of the site seeing days, but I hope they aren't the only pants you'll be taking. I actually prefered the khaki pants I got with a bit of lycra in them. they were thin, but with the silk long johns under them I was great - even was able to handle being up on top of the hop-on, hop-off bus. they are also a HECK of a lot lighter than jeans!!! I will be eliminating the jeans on my next trip - if I am going to add weight, I'll do a second pair of shoes to pamper my feet.
The skirt question really depends on what you are planning on doing. If you are planning on eating at an upscale restaurant, then perhaps... but a pair of blank pants that you can also wear during the day would also probably work. If you don't normally wear skirts, then I wouldn't bother. If you do... why not? My step-cousin has backpacked through Katmandu in a skirt...
DuPont, WA USA Sun 02/04/2007
Food Saver Vacuum Packaging
For those of you who have one/know someone who has one...
Place all your bottles of liquids inside & double seal it for your checked luggage.
USA Sun 02/04/2007
Island Travels and Packing Light
Some days will be rainy, some sunny. A lined rain jacket with zip-on and off sleeves would be good. :)
New Mexico, USA Sun 02/04/2007
Check the following posts; I just did a quick search on Fodor's Forum, and there's lots more information as well. If you have any questions about your trip, post them there and you will get tons of responses. Hope this helps! Have a wonderful time!
USA Sun 02/04/2007
Packing light and clean underwear
I have travel extensively over the years and washing out my underwear in the sink has never been my favorite activity, nor made me feel that they are as "clean or germ free as when I am at home and running them through the dryer". My solution, I use pantyliners in my underwear everyday. That way when I am washing them out in the sink, I don't worry quite so much about that lack of the dryer. Added benefit, they are easier to get clean too.
CA USA Sat 02/03/2007
Electronics in England
All electrical goods sold in the U.K. now come with the plug attached, and have done so for many years. The plugs are large because they contain a fuse - every item is individually fused, so that different power items can have fuses of different amperages. Having said that, it is a long time since I have had to replace the fuse in a plug, and it is more common for the circuit breaker to trip than the fuse to blow.
UK Wed 01/31/2007
Exit Used Clothing
When I have clothes that I want to throw away permanently I deposit them in the trash containers on the street. In Britain there are many thrift stores where travelers could donate used (clean) clothing. If I need another shirt while traveling, I stop by a thrift store to shop.
USA Tue 01/30/2007
Pack light for return trip. Here is how, I have a "trip closet". When clothes are near worn out but still presentable, I put them in that closet. For trips I pack mostly from that closet and then leave them along the trip as they get soiled. This frees up room to bring home souveniers and some of them even get recycled in other countries. One give away jacket was made into 3 jackets for small boys, by the recipient.
If you leave them in a hotel room, wait until last day, or you may get them back departure day, all washed and pressed. Leave notes that are given to the housekeepper or they are not allowed to keep them. They may even chase you down carrying your shoes while you are having breakfast in a restaurant, so be cler what your purpose is.
Don't put them in waste basket while there, because they will just think it is your clothes hamper.
I gave away an old suitcase and the bellman was very happy but I was sad to hear him say "good, now my family will have a table to eat dinner from."
One more trip, buy all the garage sale language books (cheap) and give them to
your favorite people at the end of trips.
Seattle, USA Mon 01/29/2007
electronics in England
A few years ago I bought a curling iron in England, for the same reasons listed here...it made more sense than trying to use the transformer. Back in our room, unpacked curling iron, discovered it had NO plug! returned to store, where we were told the plugs were sold separately! (who could know? and why? no explanation) so then my husband had to attach the enormous British-style plug to the curling iron!! British restraints on using electronics anywhere near water, include no outlets or switches in the bathroom. I found a plug on the baseboard in the entry hall to our bedroom, sat on the floor to use the curling iron! Ho!
Tucson, AZ USA Mon 01/29/2007
3 ounce bottles!
At the Dollar Tree stores here in the midwest. I found a package that included several small bottles, a jar, and a bath pouf. I figured, for a dollar, that I could try it out. Loaded up a bottle, poured into my graduated measuring cup, and guess what? Exactly 3 ounces! You get at least two bottles and the little (I guess 2-oz) jar for a buck, and then I suppose you have yourself a free bath pouf.
St. Louis, MO USA Mon 01/29/2007
Tips To Travel Light In Europe
Don't carry a lot of laundry and toiletries for short trips.
You can make a pair of socks and T shirts last 3 or 4 days (or longer) by washing them in your hotel sink.
Pack a peice of string a couple of feet long and a few paperclips for a cloathesline. You can also use the hotels in room radiator to dry items too. Just make sure housecleaning doesn't catch you.
As for toiletries, most hotels provide shampoo & soap. You can buy a can of shaving cream and disposable razors, toothpast and other stuff anywhere in Europe.
Be creative with what you have ans don't stress over anything. Enjoy your travels and be like the locals.
Hampton, NH USA Mon 01/29/2007
My new finda - an affordable vest
We've found the perfect travel vest. Available in his/her sizes for $19.50. Looks nice and weighs almost nothing. We found them at the Duluth Trading Co. Disclaimer: This company sell clothing to the trades people. Don't laugh! They have lots of interesting items. Take a look aournd their web site. They have a printed catalog. Enjoy:
CA USA Sun 01/28/2007
Re: Bare Minerals
Actually you CAN buy Bare Minerals in department stores. The products are sold at Ulta, Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy's, QVC & in some select spas.
They DO have sample sizes & gift sets. The "Get Started Kit" is a great sampler if you are new to the brand, but they do have many other sets if you're looking for something different (highlighters, blushes, eyeshadows, etc.). See here: http://www.sephora.com/browse/brand_hierarchy.jhtml?brandId=5737&categoryId=C115
They also DO have travel-size containers w/small brushes. All you have to do is transfer some of your foundation (or whatever) into your portable case & away you go! Here's a link to it also: http://www.sephora.com/browse/brand_hierarchy.jhtml?brandId=5737&categoryId=C550
Philly, PA USA Sun 01/28/2007
I've had the same experience as Karen with even being available B&Bs. It may be a "shared" one, but that works pretty well. Also note that if you have a dual voltage hairdryer it won't work on the "high" setting in England due to 220V instead of110V. I did this once when my hair was long and my dryer on low took FOREVER to dry with the dryer on low - dragged it with me for no reason. I then tried the hair dryer on the 110V setting using my voltage converter - the tranformer got really hot and kept triping. BTW hair dryers aren't that much more expensive than here - if you need one, buy it! You'll be happier. Have a great trip!
NY USA Sun 01/28/2007
I no longer pack a Hairdryer
I haven't had to bring a hairdryer on European (and other) trips for the past few years. If you already have reservations, simply email your b&b, hotel, etc. and ask if they have a hairdryer for use. I have been pleasantly surprised by the availability of hairdryers in even small places. The only place I wouldn't think would have hairdryers is a youth hostel - but you can even email them now and ask.
Atlanta, GA USA Sun 01/28/2007
I am going to England for 2 weeks in April. I will be taking a carry on only. I have long hair that really needs to be blown dry or else will stay wet most of the day. Should I pack a hair dryer or do hotels and B&Bs have hair dryers available? as an alternative, considering the prices of EVERYTHING in England, could I buy a hair dryer in England without having to sell my first born child??
USA Sun 01/28/2007
To Erica---about make-up
I use Aromaleigh make-up. You can order samples, and a sample pkt of the foundation would probably last you 4-5 days. It's as good as Bare Minerals, but less pricey.
USA Sat 01/27/2007
To Erica: Bare Minerals cosmetics are not sold in departments stores and there are no "sample sizes" or gift bags. They are sold at Bare Escentuals boutiques in malls around the country and at all Sephora stores(it's their best-selling line). You can also buy from QVC. I've used this line for several years and it's great for travel since it doesn't have to be part of your ziploc items.
Troy, MI USA Sat 01/27/2007
I pack enough for 2 days. The rest I buy while I'm on vacation. I don't have to worry about enough room for what I buy. Works great!
Boulder, CO USA Sat 01/27/2007
Re: Carry on issues
To Erica's question about makeup -- I've recently started using Bare Minerals foundation (it's a powder), and I absolutely love it! It gives nice coverage without being too heavy. Plus since it's a powder, you can carry it on without having to put it in your 1 quart bag (just did that this week to Seattle). They have small sizes of foundation, concealer, eye makeup, etc that are great to carry on. I know there are some other powder/mineral foundations out there as well if you don't like the Bare Minerals brand -- I'd suggest trying them out.
Denver, CO USA Fri 01/26/2007
Purchase Rick's (Yes right on this site!) pocket tote. I found it indespensible. You can fold it up and clip it on your bag when you set out for the day and open it up whenever you need it. If you pick up souvenirs throughout the day, or decide to buy some groceries for an impromptu picnic; you are covered with the pocket tote. On my return flight home I checked my backpack and used the tote for my carry-on. By the end of a five week trip in the hottest european summer on record, I really didn't care if the stuff in the backpack got lost, so I just loaded up the tote with all the souvenirs, precious film, my travel journal, and headed home worry free. I cannot say enough for the conveniences of this bag.
toledo, oh USA Fri 01/26/2007
Packing light, yet large
When shopping for travel items look for anything that is individually wrapped, and you will find that you don't have to do without many of the items you are used to having at home. Tons of products are available in the form of individually wrapped, pre-moistened wipes now. It makes it possible to bring along a host of items, without taking up space. Nail polish remover, sunscreen, insect repellent, stain remover, and good old multi purpose handi wipes are just some of the many products available. If you will be visiting a laundromat bring along the detergent that comes in tablet form, so you don't have to buy it there or worry about spills. And the number one don't leave home without it product is . . . blister band-aids. They are a cushiony band-aid that takes up no space and is a lifesaver!
toledo, oh USA Fri 01/26/2007
Carry on issues to Erica
For shopping purposes, I pack a very thin nylon gym bag (it folds down to virtually nothing). If I buy too much, I use the gym bag as my carry-on and then I check my small suitcase on the way home.
USA Fri 01/26/2007
Carry on issues
I'm a firm believer that your bag and how you pack light should be determined by where you are going... I pack a larger, square suitcase on wheels when going to ONE destination where I might do a lot of shopping (Disneyland, for example). I did learn something this past weekend... jeans ARE really heavy in a carry on. I packed an extra pair to Reno, in case of spillage - but I'll be finding something thinner and lighter next time. I may have to check my bags the next trip to Europe though - yes, you can buy shampoo, etc. there, but I am afraid to try strange brands. Not only can tehy do crazy things to my hair, but I am prone skin irritations and hives. My liquid bag gets filled with some prescriptions or creams that I have to take with me, not to mention stuff for my contacts and eyes. Anyone have any tips on makeup, etc. that is the "add water when you get there" kind? If you pack the smallest, lightest bag possible, what do you do with your shopping finds?
DuPont, WA USA Fri 01/26/2007
But not ankle length ones
for the broomstick skirts being discussed- my daughter took two in a gauzey material and while they had all of the advantages listed, on the other hand, the almost ankle length was a problem. They essentially acted like a broom as we traveled on stairs through train and bus stations, to say nothing of bathrooms (yuck). By the end of the day the bottom hem was looking really nasty. We solved the problem by borrowing hotel desk scissors and cutting off about a foot! The wrinkles make it very forgiving fabric and you couldn't tell. But it was funny that as the trip went on we just kept chopping more of it off!!!!! I think I remember that they are called broomstick skirts because in the 60's you wrapped them around a broom to get the wrinkles, right?
USA Thu 01/25/2007
Tricks for Packing Light
I've been looking at broomstick skirts myself. Lots of online sellers through eBay, and also a free pattern is available from ericas.com. I just Googled broomstick skirts.
Oceanside, OR USA Thu 01/25/2007
Stylish Travel in Cotton
I prefer cotton or a blend for a younger more stylish look and feel to travel. Polyester gives me a rash! Can I find broom outfits in cotton someplace?
Montana, USA Thu 01/25/2007
I've never seen anything in Chico's that I like. Most of their clothing for travel is black anyway, and I don't wear black. Last summer I was in Target and found feather-weight polyester & spandex crops for some ridiculously low price. They have a drawstring elastic waist and zip pockets. I snapped up 2 pairs. They can be washed out and drip-dried in a heartbeat. They're going with me on my next trip for sure.
USA Thu 01/25/2007
i got my broom dress on sale at j jill. i have seen them in many stores. and less expensive stores like kmart and walmart copy the chico's stuff. if you buy the basic black gored skirt or the cropped pants, you could take a whole vacation by just changing the tops. the "youngest" way to wear them is to vary the fabric so that only one part of your outfit is the stretchy, no wrinkle stuff. when i was in europe last summer, almost everyone was wearing black and white--easy to pack and available at any price.
pacific grove, CA USA Thu 01/25/2007
travel clothes for the
Try Chicos stores in the mall - if that is your style (I think it's too old) They have "travel" easy clothing that doesn't wrinkle...because it already is wrinkled.
I've read this board and several other women have suggested and recommended Chicos for travel goods....I'm betting it's less expensive than buying from a catalog and paying shipping, plus, you can try the stuff on and make sure it's your style, fits well, and will travel well!
USA Thu 01/25/2007
broom skirt sources
I have picked up cotton broom skirts for under 10 dollars at Walmart in the last year. I also have a silk one that is dressier. That one I found through Wintersilks catalog. I know catalogs like Chadwicks or newport news sometimes carry them as well. For Plus size women, Catherines used to carry them. I agree that they are great item to have for travel. Cooler than shorts!
MN USA Wed 01/24/2007
Looking for a Broom Dress
A broom dress would be great for my travels. Any ideas where I can find them?
Augusta, ME USA Wed 01/24/2007
a broom skirt is one of those pleated skirts that was in style about 10 years ago; they are back and very practical for travel. you can wear it with a t shirt or a dressy top. when you wash it, you tie it in knots until it's dry. they dry very quickly and do not show wrinkles, come in prints and solids. some are reversible, which really saves space. i have a broom dress, also.
pacific grove, ca USA Wed 01/24/2007
Broom Skirt? Please describe.
USA Wed 01/24/2007
Broom Skirt for Travels
My best packing travel light trick is a broom skirt. It is great for dress up or down, and can be packed twisted to fit in odd places.
Wyoming, USA Wed 01/24/2007
I used to have a pair of those Ex Officio zip-off slacks, and I thought they looked too "industrial" for my taste. For guys I guess it's OK, but for a 50-ish woman, they just looked odd and felt lumpy and awkward. And I normally wear very casual, comfortable clothes, so it wasn't that aspect that bothered me.
USA Tue 01/23/2007
Some people in the Washington, DC, area have found that their TSA-approved locks were cut off their checked suitcases. No specific airports that I recall. So even a TSA-approved lock isn't a guarantee!
USA Tue 01/23/2007
Checked Baggage--Not for me
Thank you for your comment, but, checking in my baggage is not for me--not when the airlines admit that they lose 10,000 bags each and every day!!!
USA Tue 01/23/2007
Pack light/Check luggage/Supplies
Packing light does not mean you can't check your luggage. Checking can be a good thing, so long as you have some stuf with you in a tote bag or small backpack, in case something happens to the checked luggage. Of course you must carry any prescriptions, contact lens solutions, etc, with you on-board in your purse or tote - regardless of whether you check your luggage or not. So those go in the trusty 1-quart ziploc through security.
But how much shampoo/conditioner/body wash/lotion do you really need for a 3-week trip - that you can't replace if needed once you run out??
USA Mon 01/22/2007
Don't use a lock, just use a zip-tie and bring a small (under 3" blade) pair of sissors in your carry on to cut it open when you arrive. I found colorful zip-ties at my local drug store, made for easy spotting when the bags are going around and around.
USA Mon 01/22/2007
If you CHECK your bag - make sure that you have a TSA approved lock. They're able to use their master key to open you bag. Otherwise, who know what can happen.
USA Mon 01/22/2007
Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration. The correct website is: www.tsa.gov The other website listed is for a HP company. This is the official site for what you can bring on in carry-on . Hope this helps.
IN USA Sun 01/21/2007
Like me! I thought many who post here, subscribing to the Rick Steves philosophy of very active travel (hence the packing light!), might be interested in my recent find for this summer's trip that will include some beaches. On Italy's last summer trip, not that anyone else on the beach cared, but being post-50 and post-masectomy my solution was to take a pareo and wear tissue-weight tank tops (that I wore all the time, anyway, on the trip)for my beach strolling. (My ARMS are still pretty good, anyway!)I just ordered something new and nifty from Athleta.com, which is for workout clothing. It's a just-above knee length skirt, elastic waist, made of a floral swimsuit material. The surfing model was using it as a cover up, post surfing, but I plan to use it as a change from the pareo- this way I can sit on wet rocks and splash around better. I like the little hidden pocket, too, and in a pinch, on laundry day, could be worn as a skirt. I'm seeing these more and more- so if you are interested, you might check your outdoor/sports store, too.
USA Sun 01/21/2007
I'm 84. My grandkids use the phone all the time. It's nice to come here to read the latest in travel trends and conveniences. Thank you, Rick and Company!
Washington State, USA Sun 01/21/2007
Dot - check the internet
Dot, per the poster below...go online to www.tsa.com
Read, read, read.
Then, if you are still confused, call your airline and ask them what is allowed.
it's simple. Most airlines allow 2 pieces. One can be a suitcase (carry on size) and the other a personal item - like a purse, backpack...
But really, instead of asking here....call your airline...they are the best response for you if you can't find your answer at www.tsa.com
USA Sat 01/20/2007
Confused about carry on
3oz containers in a 1 quart zip lock bag, 1 bag per person.
You can squeeze as much stuff in that 1 quart zip lock bag as possible, but it must zip shut and all containers must be 3oz or smaller.
For easiest/fastest way through security in the US..make sure each bottle/tube is marked with the contents...i.e. 3oz or less.
it's not hard...just remember the 3-1-1 rule. Make sure you have that bag out of your luggage and ready for hand inspection as you approach security.
USA Sat 01/20/2007
The Transportation Security Administration has a website: www.tsa.com. You can find there the info concerning what can be carried onto the airplane and what can be checked.
USA Sat 01/20/2007
I'm confused. What can be taken on as carry-on personal care itmes these days? It chages all the time. I want to pack light, and not check anything for my week trip to Whales.
Denver, CO USA Sat 01/20/2007
to Amy re: tips for shampoo/conditioner/liquids
You are right that people can pack as many liquids as they want into their checked bags; however, I think most people here are trying to pack so they don't have checked bags. Your idea of collecting samples is good, but if any are bottles, I would pack them in a couple zip bags just in case a bottle leaks due to the rough handling of checked bags. As far as mini spray bottles--I found some at Wal Mart that were about 2 ounces--I've seen small spray bottles at Walgreens too. I would put a spray bottle in the zip bags too, just in case.
USA Sat 01/20/2007
Tips for shampoo/conditioners/liquids
I don't understand why everyone is carrying on their liquids (shampoos, conditioners, etc.). If you check your luggage, can't you carry on as much liquid as you want??? Then you don't have to worry about the whole 3 oz rule. I don't know about others, but when I leave for my 3 week European vacation, my luggage will be too big to carry on. Anyway, I can't believe I'm the first one to suggest this: I'm finding every shampoo/conditioner sample pack that I can and saving them up. (Periodically companies will give them away online or you could try startsampling.com). We're not leaving until August, so I've got plenty of time to collect and I've asked family/friends to look out for them for me. I'll have enough for every day while I'm there. Most samples that companies send now not only include shampoo and conditioner, but a smoothing cream (which I use before I blowdry). I'm going to pack them all in a ziplock and of course they'll be thrown away as I use them up. I'm doing the same thing with detergent samples. We'll have a washer at 2 out of 5 of our hotels so we can do a load. I wanted to bring Febreze, too. Did you put it in a mini spray bottle? Do they sell those?
Clarksville, TN USA Sat 01/20/2007
Packing list--Thanks, Karen
Thanks, Karen! I really appreciate your list. I think I'm going to do the throw-away-old-undies-each-day technique this time rather than washing. My husband packs WAY too little, so the Febreze idea is one I think I'll do!
Grand Rapids, MI USA Sat 01/20/2007
Jan, here is the list
Jan...let's see how well my memory is!
-3 short sleeve shirts (pink,blue,white)
-3 light-weight sweaters (black, grey, pink)
-2 pairs of pants (khaki, black)
-4 undies (washed every night)
-evening shoes (wore once ugh!)
-toiletries from my gym bag
-hair straighener & travel hair dryer
Everything I brought could mix 'n match, plus we brought frebreeze and made sure to let the sweaters air out in the evenings.
I did buy a pashima and a thick sweater in London because 50 degree weather was much colder than my Texas blood could handle. :) I gave the sweater to a homeless person before leaving Europe. Let me know if you'd like my husband's list.
Austin, TX USA Fri 01/19/2007
Karen in Austin, FL--I'd love your packing list! My husband and I are somewhat "mature" travelers going to France & Spain for 2 weeks in April with a backpack each. 3 years ago, I took way too much stuff, and no jeans, which I will certainly bring this time--I missed them, and furthermore I NEVER wear synthetics at home and felt awful the whole time wearing them, however light and easy to dry they were.
Grand Rapids, MI USA Fri 01/19/2007
Take what you read seriously!!
I just wantd to write a quick testmonial on the great tips on this site. I went to Europe for 2.5 weeks in June '06 and took all the advice from this site to help pack. My husband and I each took a backpack (mine was a hand-me-down Eddie Bauer from a neighbor in college) with 1 Pack-it foler and 1 packing cube each. When we left Europe from Shrinopal (sp) airport in Amsterdam the gate attendant could not believe 2 backpacks were our only luggage!(amsterdam interviews people before boarding). Anyways 2 things I would have done different....1)used just 1 ziploc bag for my toiletries and taken half of what I brought. 2) brought a pair of jeans. I had read on here how people disliked jeans. I brought 2 pairs of cotton pants, one khaki an one black. They stayed clean and stain free, but I wear jeans and would of felt comfortable wearing them. Though I have to say looking back at our pictures (450+!) my husband and I always looked well groomed and neat. Also I am a woman who is considered "high maintenance" and never felt without. Definitely start planning and doing practice packing weeks beforehand. Not only did it help me feel confident about what we chose to pack, but it gets you excited about your upcoming trip.
Austin, FL USA Thu 01/18/2007
THANKS A HEAP
BEBE, You are the greatest!!!!! I have not slept for the last four nights straight! Well except for those two "Catnaps" in the kitchen if you know what I mean. Anyway we all owe you big time. Happy Trails! Your pal Zeke
Osh Kosh, USA Thu 01/18/2007
30 oz bottles!
I finally solved everyone's dilema! I found 30 oz bottles everywhere from Walgreens to Captain Banana. I don't know why all of you had such a hard time finding them. But I don't think that 30 oz bottles will be excepted on carry-ons with the restrictions and all. No need to thank me, you are ALL VERY WELCOME!!!!
Vegas BABY!, USA Thu 01/18/2007
Rick Steves' 21
Could not agree more with the Roll Aboard. My daughter and I each had one for our 8 week trip to Western Europe and Czech Republic last year along with a medium to small day pack. Held all we needed for our trip. Well worth the money. It expands which came in handy!
CA USA Thu 01/18/2007
2 oz containers work very well. Enough for a 14 day trip (Shampoo, Conditioner, Gel, Smell good, hand cream).
USA Thu 01/18/2007
North Face capris
Mine are black and three years old and have been to Europe twice. If you get black (or navy), in spite of all the pockets they work for dressing up a little at the end of the day. I wore mine a lot with a white tank top and black Birkenstocks. If we stopped for dinner I tied on my going-into-cathedrals floral sheer shawl. I washed them in the sink back at the hotel and usually they were ready to go again by morning! I know some people say that you shouldn't use zippered pockets for your valuables, but I found I could put a credit card in one, some reserve cash in another, etc- it worked for me..
USA Wed 01/17/2007
Searching for the Elusive 3 oz Bottles
I just came back from The Container Store and they still sell containers for 1, 2, and 4 oz sizes. The selection was large with everything from pumps, squeezes and rigid. Yet the suppliers still haven't taken advantage of the 3 oz size yet.
I've also looked at Walgreens, Bartell's, and Fred Meyer. No luck there either.
Bellevue, WA USA Wed 01/17/2007
re: pants - id recommend the Columbia and North-Face pants as well. Lots of pockets and they come in "convertible" (zip off legs turned into shorts) which is handy. Light, strong material, wash easy! Exofficio makes great shirts and underwear as well - easy to clean and light!
CA USA Wed 01/17/2007
Rick's Travel Bag
I recieved the 21" Roll Aboard for Christmas. I just got back from a brief trip to London and this bag was awesome!! I loved the top outside pocket. Perfect size for storing my passport for going though the airport and customs---easy access! Also, the lower outside pocket was great for storing my quart-sized plastic zip bag for easy retrieval when going through security. The inside of the bag is very roomy. The in-line skate wheels performed beautifully--even on uneven pavement, like cobblestones! Buy this bag!!
Columbus, IN USA Wed 01/17/2007
Lisa's Nylon ExOfficio Pants
I found many styles of nylon-containing ExOfficio pants. Do you recommend a certain style? If you wore the Bug Off airstrip pair, how did the mesh airstip/gusset feel on a day-to-day basis? Thanks so much. Happy traveling.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 01/16/2007
Jean/Pants for Hot Weather
I wore Ex Officio nylon pants throughout Italy last July. It was hot--high 80's and the pants were very light weight and cool. They could also be easily washed in a sink and air dried in a few hours.
USA Tue 01/16/2007
Not too light!!
1 laundry mats are not as common ,cheap, or convient as you may think,( think hand wash in sink ) 2 if you are not regular sized it will be expensive and diffcult to replace clothes so dont under pack to extreme
USA Mon 01/15/2007
Disposable Clothing and packing.
I bought the throw-away underwear from Magellans Travel Store. (Less than $8.00 us, for 5 pairs). Each pair comes rolled up in a very small plastic wrapped package. They sell men and women's. If you can't do laundry on a 2 week trip - and we couldn't until 4 days before coming home - this was great - just throw out the dirty underwear - and put on a fresh pair the next day. We brought t-shirts for under our wind shirts and sweat shirts. We matched pants to tops and using 4 shirts and 4 pants and under t-shirts, had plenty to get us through a 14 day trip.
Rich Steve's Suitcase was great for the trip. It provided plenty of room (surprising by it's physical size) and met our needs for 14 days in Europe.
Lindenhurst, IL USA Sat 01/13/2007
Packing lite but comfy
Exoffico underwear is terrific. My husband was unsure but is now a convert. I take two exoffico bras and three panties. Everything really does wash and dry in two/three hours so you always feel fresh. They take up almost no room so you've got more space in your carry-on for a couple creative extras. I also take two t-shirts and buy more along the way.
San Diego, CA USA Sat 01/13/2007
Tricks for Packing Light
I love Travel Smith dresses. They can be dressed up or down and wash and wear beautifully.
Netherlands Sat 01/13/2007
This is how I pack light: I pack enough mix and match clothes for 7 days. If the suitcase is to heavy or full, I take out days 6 and 7 clothes with 5 days of clothes left. I take more laundry soap to wash clothes more often. Works for me! Happy travels!
California, USA Fri 01/12/2007
The way I pack light
I bought a small bag. I lay out what I think I want to take, then remove 1/2 of it.
I bring things that either don't need to be washed in a 2 week period, or are light weight and can be washed in the sink. I don't do "laundry" on vacation.
Prana makes some great synthetic pants and shorts that fit me very well, look great and wear like iron. A spill is simply washed in the sink, I don't have to wash the entire garment.
We travel in the summer/fall, so I don't need socks, I wear Chaco sandals.
One indulgence is: one pair of clean underwear for each day. I take nylon, lightweight/mesh ones I bought at VS and the Gap. They take up very little room in my Eagle Creek packing cube. That's my thing..clean undies.
My suitcase is less than 2400 cubic inches, but I feel like I can fit a ton of stuff in there if I want.
A 2 week trip call for one pair of capri pants, one pair of shorts. One skirt. 3-5 t-shirts and a light sweater. A waterproof jacket. One pair of Chaco sandals. Make up kit (mascara, blush, eyeliner - that's it) toiletries (shampoo, face wash, tooth brush, paste, body lotion, asprin, bandaides)
USA Thu 01/11/2007
Jean - packing light
You might also want to consider a "split slip" to wear under skirts. I saw this hint on this website about a year ago and bought one for under $10 at Kohl's. I use it ALL the time (not just for travel) and it has been a lifesaver for helping the problem of irritationin the inner thigh area. And I am not a large person.
USA Thu 01/11/2007
If you get too hot wearing a skirt, you may want to take either "bike shorts" or talc to protect inner thigh skin from irritation if you have to be out walking a lot.
USA Thu 01/11/2007
Thank you everyone for your excellent suggestions. I for sure am going to take at least one skirt and will look for the lightest weight cotton slacks and mostly cotton blends for shirts. I have noticed some seersucker and "crinkle" cloth clothes that were mostly cotton in some of the new spring catalogs.
Ft. Collins, CO USA Wed 01/10/2007
Trip to the
Try buying the most lightweight cotton pants (or even cotton/rayon) you can get that are not jeans or khakis. There are so many other alternatives, especially if you shop around at sporting stores or places like Ross or Marshalls.
USA Wed 01/10/2007
Cleaning up in restrooms
Karen: try packing a couple of the larger body cloths for refreshing oyurself - in the stall, not at the sink. It works great and smells good, too!
USA Wed 01/10/2007
Another Karen agrees to wear skirts!
My work schedule means that summer, and even August, is the only time I have traveled to Europe. I took three "bottoms" last summer, besides the slightly heavier cotton blend capris I wore on the plane- two very lightweight, just below knee-length skirts in two different solid colors and another pair of capris purchased at an outdoor store. These were quick to dry, but in spite of the lightweight fabric I was always hotter when I wore them. I suppose they trapped the heat. In any event, I ended up seldom using them and loved the skirts. This was a six week trip, too. Waiting in lines or walking through train stations, wherever I was the skirts caught every little breeze. As the other Karen suggested, I, too, wore tank tops of the very thin "tissue" knit. All of this washed and dried overnight. I will add that it was the bra line area where I always felt most uncomfortable. If you don't/can't go back to your hotel room to shower or change before your evening actvities, I started keeping my spare bra in my day bag and changed in the late afternoon. The skirts also made me feel more dressy, especially on this last trip to Italy with lots of cathedrals and museums. (Hint: do NOT commit a horrible faux pas, like I did, in the bathroom of the Uffizi gallery, and quickly rub your arms and neck with water from the sink! I slunk out, slightly dripping, after the restroom attendant screamed at me in Italian...I caught the word "fountain"!!!)
USA Wed 01/10/2007
Keeping Cool and Washing Clothes
Jean - my best tips for keeping cool - Women: Consider wearing skirts - below knee, elastic waist, fuller style, cotton or cotton blend (think the recent bohemian style). They allow for a more "breezy" feeling than pants. I also like the little cotton camisoles with shelf bra built in. I wear a lightweight cotton shirt on top that I can open up - again to catch any breeze possible. These kind of clothes also tend to wash and dry fairly quickly. I have not had success with the long sleeve (expensive) outdoor sun reflective clothing I've bought. In humid weather I seem to really sweat in that fabric -wore one to India - quickly discarded in favor of a light buttoned cotton shirt.
For Men: It has taken some doing for me to convince my husband to NOT take his polo-type collared tee-shirts. They are heavy and stick to you so when you are sweating you get wet marks all over. Again - a cotton short sleeve shirt that buttons is ususally more lightweight and if you get a pattern it won't show the wet spots. I know it sounds like and "ugly American" look (loud Hawaiian shirt) but there are lots of nice shirts with a subtle pattern that look good and you can stay cool.
Also, yes we pay the outlandish price to get our clothese washed - sometimes at a local laundry (where we drop it off and they do wash & fold), often at the hotel. On a 3 week trip I would do it twice - once at the end of week 1 and then week 2, taking all dirty clothes home. It doesn't add much compared to the overall price of a long trip.
Atlanta, GA USA Wed 01/10/2007
I wear cotton-tencel blend pants in Europe. I take capri-length cotton-linen blend pants, also. I have bought pants at TravelSmith.com. They have many styles and fabric choices. Laundry isn't much of a problem if you hand wash, rinse, then wring as dry as possible in a towel (or camp towel). Dark colors don't show dirt so can go longer between washings.
USA Tue 01/09/2007
I have a problem for which I would appreciate any suggestions. I went to the Baltics and Russia this past fall (2006). It was extremely warm and I just sweltered in my poly t-shirts and nylon and poly pants. The temperatures were in the 70's and 80's. I finally bought a pair of cotton jeans in Latvia the end of September. I think perhaps my problem was the humidity rather than just the temperature. I have taken poly clothes for years, especially in the winter, to Europe. I was so just so uncomfortable this time. (I am now a for sure believer in global warming:) I am planning a trip to the "stans"(Uzbekistan, etc) next fall.I would like to know what people do who find the poly clothes uncomfortable and where laundromats are unavailable. Do you just pay the "outlandish" charges for hotel laundry? Do you wash your jeans or khakis in your lavatory? I am also interested in any brands you find are that are super comfortable. Thanks for any suggestions or help. Oh, my trip is for 28 days.
editors notes: all questions must be posted to Travelers Helpline
Ft. Collins, CO USA Tue 01/09/2007
Suggestion - Do a layering test before you begin your travels. I layer in this order long sleeve mock turtleneck (LLBean), T-shirt, lite sweater or travel vest (RS), black hooded woodbreaker (LLBean - CASCO Bay). This usually keeps me very comfortable.
USA Tue 01/09/2007
re: 14 day - Swiss Sept
I can offer some feedback for Swiss Sept's - usually September is great weather and most tourists gone. Last time I was there it was sunny - but cooled off in the eve. If youre in the mountains count on cooler AM/PMs... Oct can also get cool so Id suggest layers (and one light rain/water proof shell). I have my preference of clothes for hiking/travel... email if you like. But as with many places in europe - Layers of long sleeve t-shirt, light sweaters, and jacket should be good. Light weight themals for higher altitudes would be great too. they dont take much room/weight if you travel light!
Newport Beach, CA USA Tue 01/09/2007
14 Day Europe Trip
This year I'll be going on the 14 day RS Europe trip that goes the last week of September and the first week of October. Can does anyone know what I can expect weather-wise for the time I'm there? The tour starts in Paris, goes through Switzerland and Austria and ends in Rome. I just don't know how to plan for clothes -- will the weather be cold by that point or will the days still be fairly warm? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :)
Middlebury, IN USA Tue 01/09/2007
coming from a manufacturers point of view...it's very difficult to change sizes of bottles, or any other item for that fact quickly. It's also very expensive. So for nalgene to jump to 3oz bottles in a few months is almost impossible.
Given time, they will catch up and make what is needed.
Realize that to produce a new size bottle could take a few months...espescially since things are made in China...production, shipping over seas etc can take 90 to 120 days...just to arrive in the US, let alone the fact that then the product has to go to the stores...!!
USA Mon 01/08/2007
Noticed that at the drug store and at Nalgenes that 3 0z bottles are not available in the flip top that I like. They seem to make 2 adn 4 ounce at Nalgene and a 2 or 4 oz at the drug stores. When will the bottle companies latch on to the fact that 3 oz is THE size to manufacture???
USA Sun 01/07/2007
Another Way to get around liquid problems
If people are like me, with "problem" hair - you can't live without your favorite shampoo and conditioner. It's not a matter of being vain, it's a matter of being able to brush your hair!! So, to get around the 3oz rule, why not just get some bottle sets (like this one http://www.ebags.com/ebags/3_1_1_nalgene_travel_bottle_kit/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=83956 ) that are less than 3oz and just take more than one little bottle for each thing?! :) Container Store also has an endless selection so you can pick and choose what you want http://www.containerstore.com/browse/index.jhtml?CATID=253
Unfortunately they only seem to make 2 and 4 ounces and not 3, which would be nice, but so many 2 ounce bottles would fit in one quart bag, you can take everything you need using 2 oz bottles - and if you get them from the Container store, when you use one up, just toss it, it only cost a buck or so anyway.
LA, USA Sat 01/06/2007
the packs I use (and love)
It's me yet again. I've gotten several e-mails asking what specific backpack I use on my travels. I absolutely love my LL Bean "Turbo Transit" Pack (especially the bottom compartment, where I can segregate my spare pair of shoes plus my plastic grocery bag of dirty undies & socks). Then, inside my "big" backpack I include my lightweight & small-packing LL Bean "Stowaway Pack" to use as a daypack--unlike a lot of cheap, lightweight daypacks, this one is rainproof and has super-comfy padded straps with a sternum-clip and waist-belt. I've used both of these packs a TON, and absolutely recommend them to anyone. (Side note: both my packs are dark green & black, so are fairly low-key. With my black leather coat and black wool beret, I am often mistaken for a "local".)
Northfield, MN USA Fri 01/05/2007
Opah: The containers themselves - not the liquids inside - have to be no more than 3 oz, so if the "trial-size" shampoo bottle is labeled as 3.5 or 4 oz (some are that size), then even though they are only half-full, they are not allowed. Weird, but that's how it works.
So make sure all liquids, gels, creams, and sprays are 3 oz or less and all fit into a quart-size ziplock and you should be OK.
And don't take a plastic water bottle with you with water in it - take it empty and re-fill on the other side of security - the "sterile" area. Ditto for coffee mugs and tumblers. We put them empty in the tray next to the ziplock.
USA Fri 01/05/2007
Money Belts & Passports
Hotels in Europe (western part especially) don't all automatically take and keep your passport anymore! The last time we had to leave our passports was in Prague at a pension a few years ago and that was just so the manager could get a copy made - it took 1/2 hour because his copier was jammed. Had we had extra copies with us (I always do now), he said we could have just given him one.
USA Fri 01/05/2007
Tour of a Money Belt
In Tour of a Money belt it states; Passport: You're legally supposed to have it with you at all times. If the hotels in Europe take it on the first day aren't you going to be in trouble? I have searched the State Dept website and can't find where they say you legally have to carry it with you at all times.
Sykesville, MD USA Fri 01/05/2007
My daughter and I packed light with the idea of doing laundry while in Ireland for 2 weeks during the summer. There is no laundrymat we could find and B&B owners don't like you using their washer/dryer. You can drop things at a cleaners and pick up in the evening.
Mooresville, NC USA Thu 01/04/2007
Opah, I have spoken directly with the border patrol and have found that six ounces of jello (non-generic) are permittable along with push-up popsicles as long as they are in the melted stage. shampoo is allowed only when it is green in color,vodka in a 5th size bottle only but absolutely no peroxide. Happy Trails!
wellington , va USA Thu 01/04/2007
I am leaving for Greece at the end of the month and am still confused as to what liquids are allowed in carry-ons. I just read the TSA website and it does state that shampoos, lotions, jells, etc. are acceptable as long as they are three ounces or less and contained in one quart size, plastic, see through, zip top bag. A freind of mine just came back from Seattle and told me that she had to pour out her trail size shampoo bottle. Could someone please tell me what I will be able to bring?
USA Thu 01/04/2007
I take silk underclothes for travel. They wash and dry well. If the inspectors check my luggage, I won't be worried they find worn out drawers to toss! I like to travel with style!
Rockport, ME USA Thu 01/04/2007
Toss your underwear
Bonnie -- your "toss your undies and sox" MIGHT work for a week's trip -especially if you wish to wear 'holey' undies:) BUT never for a 6 week round the world trip - which I have done several times with just a 22" roll on and a backpack because 42 pairs of sox and undies would take a SERIOUS amount of room in my suitcase!! I prefer to travel with 4 pairs of undies which I can wash and dry overnight and 4 pairs of silk (or silk blend sox) which also dry quickly :) The other useful things I take are "crinkle" shirts-(NO ironing) and a camping microfibre towel to take the maximum amount of water from your hand washing - and some "blow up" hangars --makes drying things SO much quicker! Happy travelling :)
Perth, Australia Thu 01/04/2007
Toss your underwear
Yes that's right, pack your not so pretty underwear and socks with small holes. As you use them, toss them in the garbage. You don't have them in your suitcase for your trip and you don't have to wash them when you get home. And you gain space for the new things you bought.
Chicago, IL USA Wed 01/03/2007
Recipe for a squeeky clean ride...
Cotton balls and red wine vinegar is my recipe for hygiene. The cotton balls let you know how much dirt you're picking up and the vinegar hides the pit and bottom "stinkys" if you know what I mean. Very effective especially on Russian tugboats.
Los Vegas, NV USA Wed 01/03/2007
I like to travel and camp with green soap/surgical soap concentrate. It's highly concentrated so the smallest spray bottle or cosmetics bottle will last longer than any other bodywash. Your local Tattoo artist or Dr. office may be willing to fill a cup for a couple bucks if you don't want to buy a whole jug. Good stuff!
Mpls, mn USA Mon 01/01/2007