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Old Apr 12, 08, 7:29 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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How do you pack lightly? Is it possible?

Thankfully last flight I flew was Delta which allowed 2 bags to be checked at 50# each. Without this I would have been in trouble or paying a fortune.

How/what do you pack to stay within limits of the airlines?
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Old Apr 12, 08, 9:30 pm   #2
 
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Whether I travel for two days or for a month, I use carry-on luggage. I rinse things at night with shampoo and I'm ready to go the next morning. I also pack old clothes that I discard as I go. This leaves room for new purchases.
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Old Apr 13, 08, 6:06 am   #3
 
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Like bamboola, I fly with carry-on only no matter what length of trip. (1) Plan out very carefully exactly what you are doing on which days, bring clothes that can be mixed and matched to suit various occasions, and plan to re-wear every single item of clothing at least twice. (2) Do laundry during the trip, whether in the sink, using the hotel laundry, or at a laundromat if you will be able to go to one. (3) Get less obsessive about your toiletries. Hotels give you shampoo, soap, moisturizer, and (often) conditioner. Use travel sizes. Buy things at your destination, if necessary.
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Old Apr 13, 08, 6:12 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo View Post
Thankfully last flight I flew was Delta which allowed 2 bags to be checked at 50# each. Without this I would have been in trouble or paying a fortune.

How/what do you pack to stay within limits of the airlines?
How long of a trip were you taking? I'm actually always curious about the reverse ...what is in all those huge suitcases. I take a lot of month-long trips and travel with only a rollaboard and a topper. I'll pack things that work together so that I can get a lot of outfits from a fewer pieces. What do you pack in those two 50-lb bags?
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Old Apr 13, 08, 6:17 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
What do you pack in those two 50-lb bags?
I'm gonna guess "shoes".

Seriously, though, I can go a week with just a carry-on also. One fifty pound bag could get me through two weeks easily. I don't wear shirts twice but I'll wear slacks or pants twice during the trip. One or two pairs of shoes max (and I'm wearing one pair).

The main reason I think many people have so much luggage is that they try to bring "something for every occasion." Well, if you know where you are going and what you are doing in advance then you should be able to choose appropriately in advance for your needs.
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Old Apr 13, 08, 6:54 am   #6
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I usually travel carry-on only. However, I actually prefer packing for a longer trip. My problem is shorter trips. I feel like I'm only going for one night, but have as much stuff as I would need for a week. With mix and match, I can go a few days or a month with the same clothes. I like to have at least two pair of shoes (nice + sneakers). Toiletries, laptop, etc. take up the same amount of space whether I'm packing for one night or a longer trip. Ok, I try to leave the laptop at home for one night. I can take along a couple of fully charged camera batteries, so the charger won't be needed (a much riskier proposition for the cell phone, so that charger always goes). So what do you leave out when packing for a short trip?
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Old Apr 13, 08, 8:02 am   #7
 
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I packed for a week. Was in CA from NH and unsure what to pack d/t climate changes. I fit it all into one 50# bag plus I had my laptop, phone, chargers, purse and misc in a carryon. The stowed bag weighed EXACTLY 50#.

Because I went to trade show, I neebies, needed the second bag on return flight for product samples, freebies and souvenirs.

I just felt it was a hassle to have so much stuff.

I did pack 2 pairs of black slacks and shirts I could mix and match. A few jeans, blazers, etc.

I think I learned I could possibly do with just one pair of shoes (I brought three- two black biz pair and a white pair for beach I never wore), 1 pair of jeans instead of three and less blazers as I only wore 2 for much of the time. One belt would have been sufficient and keeping main color all black instead of mixing it with browns would have saved me space for sure.

I will be looking for some of those travel suits (hard as I have 34" inseam) as well as stuff that hang dries nicely for future flights. Any suggestions would be appreciated- I have seen so many advertised.

My hairdryer is huge and I will look for an alternate travel one with a diffuser for my kinky curly hair.

Next trip my goal is to just use carryons! Oh wait- how do you get by with makeup and the restrictions? I cant live without makeup!
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Old Apr 13, 08, 8:24 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo View Post
I packed for a week...I fit it all into one 50# bag plus I had my laptop, phone, chargers, purse and misc in a carryon. The stowed bag weighed EXACTLY 50#.
I cannot imagine hauling around 50 pounds of luggage and, like l'etoile, have trouble thinking of what on earth people with those monstrous bags are putting in them. The laptop and chargers are the heaviest things you need to carry--and that wasn't even part of the 50 pounds??!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
Was in CA from NH and unsure what to pack d/t climate changes.
Pretty easy to see what the weather is going to be at your destination: Weather Underground

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
Because I went to trade show, I neebies, needed the second bag on return flight for product samples, freebies and souvenirs.
If you want to travel light, stop buying stuff and collecting freebies. Or squish a simple empty light duffel bag into your other bag for use on the return trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
I did pack 2 pairs of black slacks and shirts I could mix and match. A few jeans, blazers, etc.
"A few"? How does this add up to 50 pounds of clothing? Just plan your outfits in advance and you can re-use pretty much everything. For a work trip that involves 5 days of meetings, plan to recycle your work outfits at least once each, and your evening outfits at least twice. No one you're going to see will care (or notice!) if you show up in the same clothes twice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
My hairdryer is huge
Hotels have hair dryers!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
Oh wait- how do you get by with makeup and the restrictions? I cant live without makeup!
Make-up is not liquid, and even if it is, it shouldn't come in a bottle that is more than 3 ounces. The only thing that would is shampoo, moisturizer, etc., and as I mentioned before, hotels stock this stuff for you, and you can also pack travel sizes that are acceptable for carry-ons.
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Old Apr 13, 08, 12:44 pm   #9
 
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I am seeking advice not admonishment. I learned much on this recent trip to improve my packing skills. I am sure with the help of flyertalkers and more travel for myself I will get proficient at this.

My winter coat alone weighs about 10-12#, sweater I wore was about 5#, luggage weighs about 10# by itself.

A few jeans were 3 pairs, which I figure I could do with one or two. I packed only three shirts which I alternated. Blazers were the heaviest which I mentioned I could have done with just one, two tops. I think keeping the basic color to one as I stated would be a big help as well.

The freebies and samples were needed for a presentation and also to try out the new new products in a clinical setting as well as updates on new guidelines for nursing that were just mandated. I was prepared for this by packing an extra bag to transport which was indeed very lightweight. The paperwork alone was more than 10#. My total added for the return trip was 19# which wasn't so bad considering what I brought back. Souvenirs were three tshirts and three shot glasses as well as one coffee mug. I knew in advance I would have this extra baggage on way home and planned accordingly. This is not what I was refering to when asking for tips about packing lighter. Since I had a 2 bag limit I opted to save the money it would have cost to ship items back.

I have kinky curly hair naturally. If I use the hairdryers that hotels supply I end up looking like Gilda Radner doing her Rosanna skit, no lie. I have to use a diffuser as well as several products to keep it tame. Luck of the gene pool I guess but now that I know how to keep it in control, I love it. I will be looking for a travel dryer or a universl diffuser I could use with hotel dryers.

I was there for a week and did indeed re-wear outfits. I wore slacks three times each during the conferences I attended as well as the shoes. Meetings were over all the days I was there. The jeans were worn after conferences for some of the dinners, and some of the social things which included amusement park visits.

Some of my makeup is liquid. I have three products of hair tmer stuff plus shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, makeup (liquid), coverup, mascara, facepowder, eyeliner, eyeshadow (one shade) and a tiny blush. My makeup was checked on the return flight and someone actually stuck a fingernail in my brand new coverup when it was searched (ewwww). All this did not weigh much and was just the basics for professional meetings. I buy hair products in large sizes to save $ and transfer them for travel into the little containershre for travel but can't seem to get to the just three limits for carryons. I find the hotel products too harsh for my already dry and brittle hair.

Of course I checked the weather and climate out there, but the climate in Anaheim in Late March to early April is a very wide range of temps from day to day and very cool nights. There were days I needed that sweater and definately needed it in the evenings. One day I got away with just wearing a dressy tank top but most days were unseasonably cold while I was there and a jacket was needed. Conferences began at 0630 each day so I had to be prepared with cool temps (low 40s) before sunup, wind, etc.

I guess I still have a lot to learn and experience should help. I hated having to lug that suitcase and that is why I am looking to downsize.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
I cannot imagine hauling around 50 pounds of luggage and, like l'etoile, have trouble thinking of what on earth people with those monstrous bags are putting in them. The laptop and chargers are the heaviest things you need to carry--and that wasn't even part of the 50 pounds??!


Pretty easy to see what the weather is going to be at your destination: Weather Underground


If you want to travel light, stop buying stuff and collecting freebies. Or squish a simple empty light duffel bag into your other bag for use on the return trip.


"A few"? How does this add up to 50 pounds of clothing? Just plan your outfits in advance and you can re-use pretty much everything. For a work trip that involves 5 days of meetings, plan to recycle your work outfits at least once each, and your evening outfits at least twice. No one you're going to see will care (or notice!) if you show up in the same clothes twice.


Hotels have hair dryers!!!


Make-up is not liquid, and even if it is, it shouldn't come in a bottle that is more than 3 ounces. The only thing that would is shampoo, moisturizer, etc., and as I mentioned before, hotels stock this stuff for you, and you can also pack travel sizes that are acceptable for carry-ons.
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Old Apr 13, 08, 2:58 pm   #10
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There are a number of websites that have packing light strategies - some of them may seem ridiculous, but you can pick up useful tips to help lighten your load:

http://www.onebag.com/
http://www.travelite.org/index.html
http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/graffiti82.html
http://www.verber.com/mark/travel/packing.html (this website has a long list of links to other traveling light websites)

A search in this forum or in TravelBuzz for threads about packing lightly, traveling lightly, or traveling with carryons only will also turn up lots of good ideas.

Congratulations on taking the first steps towards traveling light - it really is so much easier!
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Old Apr 13, 08, 5:32 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
My winter coat alone weighs about 10-12#
Don't bring a winter coat. Yes, I know you live in NH, but you were traveling to southern California. The only time you need the winter coat on the whole trip is to walk from the car to the airport in NH and back. Leave the coat in the car, and put your sweater on for the walk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
sweater I wore was about 5#, luggage weighs about 10# by itself.
Buy lighter sweaters and lighter luggage. This isn't a joke and I'm not trying to be snarky. But there are a lot better options out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
The paperwork alone was more than 10#.
Bring it on disk or USB thumb drive and print what you need at the hotel business center. No need to haul paper around. You said also that you had your laptop with you, so there should be a way for you to digitize all of this reading material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
If I use the hairdryers that hotels supply I end up looking like Gilda Radner doing her Rosanna skit, no lie. I have to use a diffuser as well as several products to keep it tame.
The travel diffuser will be good. My concession to vanity is two hairbrushes (but they do fit in that one bag).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
Some of my makeup is liquid. I have three products of hair tmer stuff plus shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, makeup (liquid), coverup, mascara, facepowder, eyeliner, eyeshadow (one shade) and a tiny blush.
For a week's trip it should be possible to get your various liquids into 3 ounce containers. Ditch the hairspray, if you must use it, and buy some at your destination. And is it *really* necessary to wear all that liquid makeup? What about skipping some products (again, who's going to know or care?) or switching to powder stuff, if only for the trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo
the climate in Anaheim in Late March to early April is a very wide range of temps from day to day and very cool nights.
As someone who once lived in coastal CA, I can tell you that the key to being comfortable there all day long is dressing in layers that you can add/subtract throughout the day. This pretty much goes for the entire travel wardrobe idea--no matter where you're going, your clothing needs to be flexible. Pashminas are one ideal item to carry for this purpose (and they also eliminate the need for blankets if your airline is too cheap to give you one!) In January of this year, I went on a trip that took me from my home in Delaware to London and then to New Delhi. Twenty days of travel, three vastly different climates, one carry-on bag. Layers.

The other piece of advice I can give is to learn how to pack a suitcase better. It's possible to get an astonishing amount of stuff into a 20-inch rollaboard if you are really creative about it. Stuff socks/stockings/ underwear into the openings of shoes and use them to fill the little gaps that are left in between non-squishy items. Roll, do not fold, every item of clothing. Squash things hard--there will always be an ironing board in the hotel that you can use if things get wrinkled (requesting an ironing board is the first thing I do when I get in the room, if there isn't one there already). My rollaboard usually weighs a ton and is as dense as a brown dwarf star, but I can still lift it over my head to get it in the overhead--or smilingly accept anyone's offer to do that for me!
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Old Apr 13, 08, 5:32 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamboola View Post
I also pack old clothes that I discard as I go. This leaves room for new purchases.
A woman after my own heart! But I have to admit to packing them in 3/4 empty check-in port - that way I have nearly a full port plus my carry-on coming home
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Old Apr 13, 08, 6:05 pm   #13
 
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Count me in as another person reeling at the idea of 50 lbs of luggage.

But you can also count me in as somebody who would only use hotel toiletries with a gun to my head. Weird hair and itchy skin is not how I want to go through the day. Those of you who can use hotel toiletries should count yourselves lucky.

Here's what I packed for a week in Amsterdam last week. This particular trip was vacation, but since it was a city trip the wardrobe was very similar to what I'd have packed for business. Amsterdam weather is notoriously unpredictable, so I had to consider everything from snow to driving rain to sunny warm. All of it fit into a 19" roll-aboard and a day pack (and neither bag was stuffed full, even with my purse tucked into the day pack).

Wore on plane:

black and white print dress
bra/panties/slip
black tights
black knee-high flat boots
black hooded microfiber rain coat (including liner)
red paisley scarf/shawl (doubles as extra blanket on flight, works as muffler for chilly days)

Packed in roll-aboard:

black jeans
blue jeans
3 cotton rib-knit turtlenecks (black, red, and apple green)
5 no-iron cotton blouses (black, white, apple green solid, apple green print, multicolor floral)
black knit dress, sleeveless
black knit dress, empire waist
aubergine knit dress, empire waist
pajamas (microfiber short gown with matching trousers)
fleece pullover
waterproof shell with hood
panties/bra/full slip/trousers socks/tights (plenty for the week)
black flat ankle boots
pillow (yes, really, my pillow)

Packed in day pack:

purse
gloves
umbrella
noise cancelling head phones and case
inflatable neck pillow
guide books (2)
novel
camera & camera charger
flat iron
toiletries (liquid, all in 1 qt zip lock bag): toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, salicylate scrub, micro scrub, toner, moisturizer/sun screen, under eye moisturizer, hair smoothing balm, hair volumizing balm, hair curling balm, under eye concealer, ointments (3), mascara, eye drops, perfume
toiletries (non-liquid): dry shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, razor, shower cap, face powder, rouge, eye shadow (2), eye liner, meds (3 prescription, various OTC, most in the same container), hair brush

I carried it all on, and returned with some unworn clothes. The weather was predictably unpredictable, though neither quite as cold or quite as warm as I'd taken into consideration when packing.

I've got a trip next January that last three weeks, and involves stays in Paris, Tokyo, and Mexico City. And I plan to do it all carry-on.
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Old Apr 13, 08, 7:30 pm   #14
 
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packing light

I have also gotten very good at packing light. I can do a 10-day business trip across several countries (and several vastly different climates) with a rollaboard and a knapsack. I always go with basic black as my staple and simply vary the types of shirts I bring. So I bring 2 pairs of black pants, several different white shirts (t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, turtleneck), and 2 bright-colored jackets from Chico (suede-like material that is super lightweight and doesn't wrinkle). I may also throw in a lightweight black cardigan. This way I can vary my outfits across weather with just changing from a t-shirt to a long-sleeve shirt. I wear on the plane a pair of black pants from Lucy (which ends up looking fine for dinners or for sightseeing), a white shirt appropriate for the weather and a fleece half-zip. I bring just one pair of shoes (Merrell's) that can dress up or down. I pack underwear (travel light ones from Soma that I love and just discovered), socks, and bras into ziplock bags and squish all the air out so that they are supercondensed. I bring a second bag to shift dirty ones into. Throw in a pair of pajamas, my bag of toiletries, and I'm good to go. I am fine with re-using a shirt. Finally, I have a pair of super lightweight thermal long underwear that I put in if I'm heading someplace cold. I can layer it under black pants, it doesn't show, keeps me toasty, and takes up almost no room.

Into the knapsack goes a book for the plane, my iPod, a small purse to bring to meetings, and all my chargers/paraphenalia. Laptop goes into outside pocket on my rollaboard so I can wheel it around and not carry it on my back. I transfer it into my backpack at the last minute when I board a plane so it goes under the seat and is accessible. Also it makes it so my rollaboard isn't too heavy for me to lift and put overhead.
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Old Apr 13, 08, 8:01 pm   #15
 
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Make up

I too try each trip to pack lighter than the trip before, sometimes that is hard as our trips are usually 6 weeks and a couple of continents. Our son lives in NYC so we are there at least twice a year.

Over the last couple of years I have finally reduced what I pack in makeup/ toiletries. After years of watching those infomercials for Bare Minerals I went and had demo at their Philly store, and I was hooked ! Now you can get mineral make up in various brands but I like the Neutrogena mineral make up as it is so compact and great for travelling as the brush and make up is in an all in one small applicator. You can pop in in you purse and no worries going through the screening checks. I now only use hotel shampoo and soap, I use the bathgel/shower gel to do the hand washing of undies, I use make up remover sheets that are made with coconut oil to remove ALL make up and then I dont need a night cream !

After each trip when we get home if I havent used it - I take it out of my bag and try not to pack it for the next trip. By the time I am 80 I should be down to using just a roll on bag !!!
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