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Packing HEAVY

If you are reading this on Thursday, September 2, we are either on our way to LAX, or already on our flight. SO I thought I would write about PACKING.

Every once in a while there will be a thread on Slow Talk about how to "pack light". I have to say that these discussions both amuse me, and sometimes annoy the hell out of me. I have decided to blog today about the advantages and joys of packing HEAVY, as opposed to LIGHT!

Packing light enthusiasts give some of the following reasons for their choice:

1. "It is limiting."

2. "I don't like to burden my husband."

3. "I am thin and can't carry heavy luggage."

4. "I have a hard time getting bags up and down stairs."

5. "I like to be able to handle my own luggage without having to get anyone to help me. Freedom."

1. I think having no choice about what to wear to dinner is limiting! I read about one woman who wore the same pair of black jeans for three weeks straight. I can't even imagine! Aside from putting on dirty clothes fresh from the shower, I would be bored out of my mind. Even 2-3 pair of capris/slacks for 3 weeks makes me shudder!

2. I have no problem with burdening my husband! LOL He considers being "a pack animal" one of his duties (along with taking out the garbage, opening jars, or any other task that requires "brute strength").

I also have great Briggs and Riley luggage, that I can manage quite well on my own. The wheels are fabulous, and I can wheel them anywhere.

3. LOL Being thin has NEVER been an issue! I am a big strong girl, who can grab big strong luggage off baggage conveyers.

4. That is why there are elevators in airports!

5. On my recent trip to Bologna, my friend, Jerry was a houseguest at my apartment. Upon arrival, the landlord schlepped my two bags up the flight of stairs. When we left, Jerry brought them down. I felt no guilt whatsoever! I was grateful, but did not feel badly! It was good practice, because Jerry had heavier luggage than I did!

Then we have the issue of laundry. The "packing light" crew spends time either each evening washing out clothes, or a weekly trip to a laundromat or washer/dryer in their vacation rental. In 13 trips to Italy, I ONCE hand washed a small stain out of a pair of white capris. Brad has used a dry cleaner on several trips half way through our three weeks. I don't DO laundry on vacation. After dinner, we are drinking wine or grappa in a piazza. I would consider laundry time as cutting into my relaxing time.
"Dolce Far Niente!"

Then we have the question of "No one you know is there except your spouse/partner/friend", or "Who will see you anyway?"

I will see me each day, and the photos would all look the same! I love accessorizing, even if I stick with black/white/khaki bottoms. I bring scarves, shawls, a brightly colored purse, and some fun costume jewelry to jazz up the basics.
I actually remember details (like what I ate) by looking back at what I was WEARING in a photo! On the last three out of four trips, I wore every single item I brought!

Confession: Ok, I know you're curious, so I will be brave and share my packing list for this trip to the Veneto. This does NOT count what I am wearing on the plane. We will be gone 18 days:

6 pair of capris (daytime pants)
2 pair dressy pants
3 pair of shoes (plus walking shoes on the plane) (black/white/bronze)
3 purses: Bronze, white, aqua (plus black on the plane)
2 small evening purses (black and gold)
7 sweaters (I get cold at night)
3 shawls
18 tops (yes, that is one for each day)
7 dressy tops for evenings
underwear (18 pair to be thrown away after wearing, making space for shopping)
3 bras
2 nightgowns
electronics (Brad packs these) camera charger, i-pod, adapters, GPS
2 Italian cells phones/chargers in my purse
wine skins/bubble wrap for jars of condiments/ TJ's wine bag
Cosmetics (I don't bring much...)
200 Sweet & Low

Yes, It fits on one large bag, and comes to 42 lbs.

a change of clothes/toothbrush in case luggage is lost
Italian tote bag
my watercolor paints/brushes/paper
my pillow
snacks for the plane
travel notes/printouts/confirmations/maps/directions

Since I download books to my i-phone, I no longer pack 3 books to read on vacation. That is the extent of my ambition to "travel light".

The only downside to packing heavy is the airlines' new costs for checking a second bag for coach customers (that is US). We do not ride trains, we will have a car, and have no plans to change the packing stratagies. I agree that we each must do what makes us feel good!

FYI: Travel and Leisure this month has a whole section on packing light, the best carry-on luggage, and how to avoid losing your bags! I think I am in the minority.

Comments (13)

Actually, most of your packing list looks pretty reasonable. I thought you would bring lots more shoes!

We all have to do what we feel comfortable with.

Shelagh (SJ):

Palma;you made my day with your list!
I'm in the packing frenzy now, as I leave for 21 days in Italy next week.
I think I'll ADD a few more items having seen your list!
Have a wondeful time!!!

Palma, thank you, that was one helluva enjoyable read this morning. LOL!

Have a great trip and happy anniversary!

Touchee! I am taking your advice. I, too, chuckled with the replies to my post. I've succumbed to the idea that I just can't bring myself to packing light. I chuckled with your response, "Why, would you want to?" Hope you have a wonderfully delicious trip - I know you will look fantastic!


Was going to make a comment about just two nighties.....but thought better of it! :winkgrin:

Have a wonderful time - happy anniversary. Hi to Brad.

I forgot to mention that my 2 favorite things on your list are cigarettes and Sweet & Low!

You are a woman who knows what she wants, good for you and I am sure you will look fabulous!

Nancy Laneri:

I don't know how you do it. I take less but still weigh in at about 49 pounds going. John takes a large suitcase but packs very lightly, leaving room for my treasures on the way back.

Buon viaggio, have a wonderful time!


chiaro di luna:

If you can handle it, take it.
Hope you and Brad have a wonderful trip to beautiful Italy. Miss it already.


Hehehehe! I laugh because I throw my underwear away too!


I wish #3 was MY problem. I always see people I know in Italy. I don't want to look at myself in photos wearing the same thing. You've got the right idea!!!

cigale utley:

I just love your Blog. You make me smile because i too pack heavy on trips. You mentioned the wine covers, can you ship wine back in your checked luggage?


I know you are having a wonderful time. You sure have had a fun summer. I love reading your blog, I never miss a day. I will be back in Rome for my birthday in May 23...
coming from a couple of wks in Priano, and a wk in Paris. The last trip I took my large Briggs and Riley case over. But I was wondering if that size is still allowed? I can keep it about 50 lbs, I think. But I wonder if the size will be a problem? I need 4 wks of clothes in it also.lol I love the way you pack.I also remember when they lost your luggage, thats when I had dinner with all of you in Rome..Enjoy your trip, tell Brad hello..

Cigale, You can bring home wine to the U.S.!

Sher, So nice to hear from you! Our BIG B&R duffle bags are allowed if you keep them to 50 pounds! We each bring one.

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