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)
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)
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
snacks for the plane
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.