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Time it takes to pack & unpack, and any strategy for not having to repeat each time?

Time it takes to pack & unpack, and any strategy for not having to repeat each time?

Old Dec 4, 17, 9:28 am
  #91  
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What's with this issue of socks drying overnight? Why do they have to? The only reason to need them to do that is if you are travelling with only 1 pair of socks!

The Rule of 3's for packing says, 'one to wear, one to wash, one to spare.' If you use that rule, there is never a need for socks to dry overnight. You have overnight plus another 2 full days and nights before you need to wear the first pair of socks again.

Regarding where to dry them, probably everyone is familiar with the mesh pockets found on daypacks and backpacks that are almost universally used these days to carry bottled water in. Have a look at the example on this laptop 'backpack'. http://www.quadrabags.com/product.php?sku=QD968

The first outside mesh pockets were designed into wilderness backpacks decades ago. They weren't added by backpack designers for carrying water bottles, they were added for carrying drying clothing items! A great many of the innovations found on luggage and travel clothing can trace their roots to wilderness backpackng. If you want to know how to pack less and pack lighter, then look to the experts in doing that, wilderness backpackers.

Clothing designed specifically for travel that also comes from wilderness backpacking includes socks and underwear. These will in fact dry in a few hours if that' what you want and are willing to invest the money to buy them.
https://thesavvybackpacker.com/best-...r-womens-mens/
Merino wool has long been the natural fabric of choice for socks and underwear.
https://snarkynomad.com/why-merino-w...-travel-socks/

If some people spent as much time researching what the best choices were in clothing for travel as they do in figuring out mileage runs, they would probably end up packing smarter.

https://thesavvybackpacker.com/travel-clothes/

So, you can use the Rule of 3s with no need for anything to dry overnight or you can invest in clothing designed specifically for travel.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 11:49 am
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
What's with this issue of socks drying overnight? Why do they have to? The only reason to need them to do that is if you are travelling with only 1 pair of socks!
Or if you are staying only a single night at each place.

Check in. In the evening wash that day's socks. In the morning stick the still wet socks in your bag where they won't dry 'cause most rollaboardts don't have exterior mesh pockets. That evening unpack in a new hotel and discover the damp socks from the night before now smell funky. Rewash them. Repeat packing of still damp socks in the morning, including a second damp pair from the second day's wearing. Repeat for the rest of your trip.

Just pack an adequate number of socks in the first place and don't worry about bogus "Rule of 3s" if you prefer natural fiber clothing and socks.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 12:28 pm
  #93  
 
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I like the “Queen of England” rule.

First thing I ask my self on any trip is, will we meet the Queen? If answer is “No”, I will pack lightly for my backpack. If I happen to see her on the trip, I can use a credit card to rent the outfit at the destination. If “Yes”, I will rent the outfit at the destination since whatever is my closet right now will not be good enough for the Queen.

I look at travel like preparing for a backcountry backpacking trip. I have quick dry outfits for 3-4 days at the most. These are separate from my daily clothes, and It feels great pulling them out to pack. They are light weight, and will dry on a line, or quickly in a dryer if I have access to one. I limit my electronics to my phone and watch.

I have bought enough quick dry clothes for my kids, it’s easy to pack for them into their backpacks. They carry their own small shoulder bag for their electronic needs.

My wife does enough business travel that her packing is down to a science.

I think preparing for travel is half the fun! If I forget something, there’s always a Uniqlo close by.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 6:57 pm
  #94  
 
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I'll add to my techniques above (see post 86) one more: Pack light. Packing light goes faster. It also speeds unpacking. And, more importantly, it makes travel faster with fewer bags to lug around.

Now, I'm not an extremist about packing light. I don't pack just 2-3 changes of clothes on a multiple week trip with plans to do laundry in the hotel room sink every night. I'm content to do laundry about once a week but not more. Perhaps a better way to describe my approach than packing light is packing right. I aim to pack everything I need and use everything I pack. If I come home with more than 1-2 articles of clothing unused I consider it a mistake (a small mistake) and consider what lesson I can learn from it. It's pretty rare that happens anymore.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 10:19 pm
  #95  
 
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
I aim to pack everything I need and use everything I pack. If I come home with more than 1-2 articles of clothing unused I consider it a mistake (a small mistake) and consider what lesson I can learn from it. It's pretty rare that happens anymore.
This. I hate bringing home something unworn. It's a packing system malfunction!

I do the same as many others, basing my packing on a master list that I've refined over the years. My 3-1-1 bag is always replenished after each trip. I have a lightweight pouch for "dry" toiletries, basic meds etc that also stays packed. Both sit on the shelf ready to go when it's time to pack for the next trip. I have duplicated things like hairbrushes - the things that it's easy to forget on the morning of departure.

I don't have travel-specific clothes, but I do consider fabric weight and bulk in selecting clothes. So, silk is better than cotton and so forth. The clothes I pack obviously differ from one trip to the next but I use a "formula" in determining what items I need. And everything goes with everything else. I'm aiming to be that person who can pull endless outfits out of a small bag with only a few mix'n'match items. I'm pretty quick at packing but I don't mind taking a few minutes extra to ensure I've got it right - I know it will pay off when I'm away. Everything goes into an IATA sized cabin spinner, with a roomy handbag to carry valuables, tech (iPad, iPhone, chargers and earbuds) and any other things I'll need in-flight.

I'm not sure there's too much magic to unpacking (other than being disciplined about replenishing toiletries). Everything just comes out of the bag and either goes into the laundry hamper or the dry cleaning pile!
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Old Dec 5, 17, 8:43 am
  #96  
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
Or if you are staying only a single night at each place.

Just pack an adequate number of socks in the first place and don't worry about bogus "Rule of 3s" if you prefer natural fiber clothing and socks.
What is an adequate number of pairs of socks to pack for a 30 day trip CDTraveler? Why would you pack 14 pairs of socks and underwear for a 2 week trip, rather than buy something that will allow you to only pack 3 pair? Why would you want to lug a heavier suitcase around rather than a lighter one?

There is no logic to your suggestion about ignoring becoming smarter in what you pack. All there is is an attempt to justify continuing to do what you have always done even when it isn't the smartest thing to do.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 8:50 am
  #97  
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Originally Posted by frankmu View Post
I like the “Queen of England” rule.

First thing I ask my self on any trip is, will we meet the Queen? If answer is “No”, I will pack lightly for my backpack. If I happen to see her on the trip, I can use a credit card to rent the outfit at the destination. If “Yes”, I will rent the outfit at the destination since whatever is my closet right now will not be good enough for the Queen.

I think preparing for travel is half the fun! If I forget something, there’s always a Uniqlo close by.
Good name for it frankmu. There is a regular poster in one of the travel forums who prides himself in saying repeatedly that he, 'packs a tuxedo on all his trips in case he wants to crash an embassy party.' He seems to be serious when he writes it. Of course, he doesn't say how many times he has actually succeeded in crashing an embassy party. LOL

The 'just in case' mistake is a common one many travellers make.

Regarding buying something if needed, one common tip is in regard to winter clothing. Particularly for people going on extended trips of months, not days. Packing for 3 seasons is not difficult to do adequately without ending up needing a big suitcase and carrying a lot of weight around. But packing for 4 seasons in 1 trip is difficult. The solution is to not pack for that 4th (winter) season but instead to buy when you need it. A common tip is to consider charity/thrift stores where you can buy a decent winter coat for example quite cheaply. Then when you are moving on again to a warmer climate, donate the jacket back to the charity shop.

Last edited by dulciusexasperis; Dec 5, 17 at 8:56 am
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Old Dec 5, 17, 12:31 pm
  #98  
 
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
Why would you want to lug a heavier suitcase around rather than a lighter one?
Airlines, baggage handers, taxis etc do 99% of the lugging.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 1:39 pm
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
What is an adequate number of pairs of socks to pack for a 30 day trip CDTraveler? Why would you pack 14 pairs of socks and underwear for a 2 week trip, rather than buy something that will allow you to only pack 3 pair? Why would you want to lug a heavier suitcase around rather than a lighter one?
When taking a trip of two weeks or longer I usually pack 8 pairs of socks. I figure that lets me reduce laundry-doing to once a week. (The extra pair is in case Day 7 is not convenient for laundry but Day 6 or 8 is.) The weight and bulk of carrying 8 pairs versus 3 is minimal. And it's a great tradeoff vs. the time and hassle of washing laundry every 1-2 days.
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Old Dec 6, 17, 8:12 am
  #100  
 
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[QUOTE=dulciusexasperis;29136782]Good name for it frankmu. There is a regular poster in one of the travel forums who prides himself in saying repeatedly that he, 'packs a tuxedo on all his trips in case he wants to crash an embassy party.' He seems to be serious when he writes it. Of course, he doesn't say how many times he has actually succeeded in crashing an embassy party. LOL

I have been to many an Embassy party, and have never worn a tuxedo, nor do I own one.
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Old Dec 6, 17, 10:53 am
  #101  
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I once attended an American embassy party held to greet a newly arrived American Ambassador in Benin (Dahomey at the time). Two friends and I were travelling across Africa from north to south in a VW campervan. We had crossed the Sahara and made our way south into Dahomey. We met some local expats who took us under their wing so to speak and gave us the run of the local expat country club and it also resulted in an invite to the embassy party. We went to the party dressed in our cleanest jeans and t-shirts (I had 2 of each). We were introduced to the new American Ambassador as 'three young men who have crossed the Sahara and plan to carry on to Cape Town, South Africa.' No one blinked an eye at what we were wearing. No one expected us to have packed tuxedos.

But there is no doubt that many people pack things based on 'what if' or 'just in case' and often end up with not wearing half of what they packed. That's the point people need to think about powerlifter.
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Old Dec 6, 17, 11:42 am
  #102  
 
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Travel Habits: 10-15 trips/year airborne, 5-10 trips/year vehicular, 3 days to 2 weeks duration with longer trips typically Transpacific/Transatlantic. Commonly I stay in the same hotel for most of the trip, then at the airport the night before the return flight.

To me, minimizing packing/unpacking time is about finding a routine that works for you (not excessively heavy, not forgetting things you need, and most importantly minimizing overall stress). So this is what works for me:

a) Basic Setup
(1) Backpack for laptop,electronic accessories, paperwork, 3-1-1 bag, and one set of underclothes (if checking the other bag). The electronic accessories and 3-1-1 bag are duplicates that are only used for travel (chargers, mouse, universal adaptor, etc..).
(2) Rolling bag for everything else. Rolling bag may be the smaller carry-on or the larger checked luggage depending on the trip. Other than the 20 minute wait at baggage claim, I don't notice much difference in utility between checking/carry-on. Notably, my wife and her whole family love Havana Club so my trips usually always involve bringing a bottle or two back.

b) Routine
(1) 2 days before departure: Weather check, laundry situation check (wash clothes or dig out winter gear if needed), finalize packing list. At this point I'll know what I'm going to bring, and I'll keep the packing list ready for quick adjustments.

(2) 1 day before departure: Complete packing, lay out "flight clothes" (for me: Short sleeve shirt with front pocket, loose fitting jeans or shorts, white breathable socks, gym shoes, and the heaviest coat I'm going to need for the trip if not checked).

For carry-on: Socks rolled and into shoes at bottom of bag, underwear folded into tight core and shirts/pants bundled around that core. Biggest space saving is by packing a maximum of 1 pair of jeans.

For checked luggage: Upon departure, just stack the pre-selected clothes in, no need for technique.

(3) Day of departure: Wake up and go.

Last edited by mdkowals; Dec 6, 17 at 12:15 pm
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Old Dec 11, 17, 10:14 am
  #103  
 
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OP -
I find the packing of my 3-1-1 and toiletries bags tedious, so I pack up 4 at a time and keep them with my travel supplies. Then I just need to add my few Rx and go.

I get small travel bottles and other things from the Dollar Store. I like using my own shampoo, soap, and conditioner. I use the hotel's shampoo for washing socks and undies if needed.

Silk socks & undies dry quickly. I always take a few silk long sleeve T shirts and leggings in cool weather for PJs. Plus they can be layered under clothes if temps are unexpectedly low. I like WinterSilks.com
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Old Dec 12, 17, 10:25 am
  #104  
 
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
When taking a trip of two weeks or longer I usually pack 8 pairs of socks. I figure that lets me reduce laundry-doing to once a week. (The extra pair is in case Day 7 is not convenient for laundry but Day 6 or 8 is.) The weight and bulk of carrying 8 pairs versus 3 is minimal. And it's a great tradeoff vs. the time and hassle of washing laundry every 1-2 days.
I pack eight pairs of wool stockings in winter (usually some merino, some cashmere, depending on the weather). For the exact same reason. I can launder (either hand wash or send them to be laundered, depending on where I am staying and how much I trust them with delicates) once a week without much trouble. For a one-week trip, that eighth pair (along with an extra pair of unmentionables) is important, in case of IRROPS, weather delays, and other unforeseen circumstances.
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