Hi from Rick: Pack Light...Pack Enlightened
|We want you to travel happy...so we won't let you pack like this!|
I've just arrived back in Edmonds after a whirlwind couple of months in Europe, taking me from Italy to Spain to Morocco to France to Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. With all the guidebook research I wanted to accomplish, plus two weeks of TV filming, packing light was essential. As you learned in last week's Travel News email, redesigned versions of the carry-on bags we sell have also just arrived here, so my mantra of pack light...pack light...pack light is still circling through my head. So today I'll take you back to what went through my head as I packed for this last trip (featured in my April 3rd blog). If you've already been on one of our tours, you know the drill. If not, pay attention!
"Two days before departure, and I'm packed and ready to fly. My bag is light. It is as compartmentalized as a TV dinner: a folding board with four shirts and an extra pair of pants; and packing cubes for little clothes, like a t-shirt to sleep in, underwear, and five pairs of socks (two days each...wash every ten days). I used to recommend no electronics. Not any more. I'm packing chargers, adapters, batteries, gadgets to get online, iPod, cell phone, camera, and a laptop. Books (sections on everything I research are ripped down to minimum). And there's that miscellaneous bag filled with smart little security-blanket extras I won't actually need (spot remover, sewing kit, extra glasses, and so on). My toiletries kit is extremely small (so small my staff, claiming no one could manage with this size, refuses to sell it). Valuables these days are pretty minimal: passport, credit cards and a driver's license (my plane ticket is electronic). I'll carry this all onto the plane in a 9" x 14" x 21" bag, along with my sweater, a light jacket, and my Civita day pack. That's it. All my shoes are on my feet. I broke a rule, buying them just before departure. Trying to break them in on the treadmill, they broke me in instead (after less than a mile I had a blister). My black jeans are too tight...I'm committed to getting into shape."
If you can get in shape and pack just a little less Spartan than this, you'll do great on one of our free-spirited tours. In this months' Tour News, we're focusing on Sicily and South Italy, with a bunch of articles (including packing for our tours), TV scripts, a side-by-side "comparison test" of our 2007 vs. 2008 tours, and a lively radio show I recently recorded with two of our Sicilian tour guides. Check out this spiciest corner of Italy.
And always pack light...pack light...pack light...pack enlightened. The mantra works.