England, shoulder season

Old Jun 5, 2023, 6:46 pm
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England, shoulder season

I finally have a new trip booked to plan for! Heading to England in September for 13 days, we're renting a car for part of the trip, and moving hotels/rentals a few times - need to pack light. But unsure of weather, which makes it very difficult to plan for light - I can do it intellectually. Hubs really can't, so I'll have to do his packing list too. Finally going to take an AGA cooking class - I've wanted to do since I was young!
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Old Jun 5, 2023, 6:47 pm
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My luggage plan is check 22" roller, carrying tumi tote and 19" roller. Lesportsac weekender as souvenir/dirty clothing bag ..
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Old Jun 5, 2023, 8:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel
My luggage plan is check 22" roller, carrying tumi tote and 19" roller. Lesportsac weekender as souvenir/dirty clothing bag ..
I'd take a 24" checked bag, and use the extra space for sweaters and scarves you "acquire" along the way.
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 6:36 am
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Hubs wants 24" too, but I'm really worried about boot space (er, trunk - not footwear ) If I buy too much, easier to buy another duffel to bring home, or even ship if I buy too much ... I'm not saying we can do it, in the end, but it's my aim! We did 2 weeks in Vietnam & Cambodia with those smaller bags, but that temp was just hot and humid - our concern there was more laundry/hand wash for sweaty stuff.
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel
Hubs wants 24" too, but I'm really worried about boot space (er, trunk - not footwear ) If I buy too much, easier to buy another duffel to bring home, or even ship if I buy too much ... I'm not saying we can do it, in the end, but it's my aim! We did 2 weeks in Vietnam & Cambodia with those smaller bags, but that temp was just hot and humid - our concern there was more laundry/hand wash for sweaty stuff.
It would have to be an awfully small vehicle not to fit 2 24" suitcases + carry-on's in the boot!
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 9:55 am
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I personally use a Red Oxx Aviator bag as a soft sided full size carry on (or inside my checked bag, double bagging what I leave home with) when I Travel with Intent to Shop. (TwItS?!)

Even though the Aviator line is their most basic--and affordable--offering in the Montana company's range, I always joked that I would use a Red Oxx bag if I ever needed to lower a child from our second story bedroom in a fire. I have 100% trust in their quality of materials and workmanship. In the XS and Small size, Aviator bags can be carried on, but they are sturdy enough to check without fear. I would hesitate to check some of my other carry on bags, though I prioritize weight over durability for those.

If I will have even one rolling bag with me, I know I can balance my (non-wheeled) second item on top and make use of the wheels to carry both.

If I am checking wheels, I prefer to check one large wheeled bag over more than one smaller one. I find it dreadfully annoying to manage two wheelie bags at a time, more so than keeping a tote balanced on top. YMMV

As for packing light, I believe silk long underwear is absolutely essential for shoulder season travel. If I layer it under summer clothes, I'm usually comfortable for spring/fall. And, of course, buying a nice sweater sounds like a great souvenir from the UK. I still have many silk long johns bought from the old Wintersilks catalog, but they went out of business. Now I buy Thermasilk (online) or REI (online or in local store.)

I pack for the WARMEST weather I might encounter, because I despise feeling sweaty in transit. I find it easier to pick up a top layer than a next-to-skin layer, but I'm picky about fabrics.

Last edited by willoL; Jun 6, 2023 at 9:58 am Reason: typo
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 12:20 pm
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Avg temps 63/48 (F) in the Cotswolds in Sept, I will DIE if I wear silk long underwear. Hubs will definitely bring more layers than I will. I ran hot before menopause, now the thought of down, well, if it's not 30, I'm not going near it ;-) (I was happy I used a bigger suitcase when we went to Vancouver Island last year, as we had some very cold and wet weather for half the trip - but I also brought a lighter coat, which I wore the other half of the trip!)

My standard packing is to pack for the average temps and bring something warmer and something colder, just in case. And it's a LOT easier to pick up a tshirt than it is silk long underwear. Still have a couple months to worry about it, but this is more fun to me than finding the right rental car (which I'm also working on today... @CDTraveler - the rental car page for compacts says "2 bags" and we'll technically have 6, smaller sizes yes, but....I'm not gonna risk it - we've had issues before - and also, we have to wrangle the bags on public transport half the trip when we won't have the car!)

We actually aren't planning to shop this trip - maybe an antiques market day, certainly any thrift shops that are open and nearby - I did tag the original OxFam location in Oxford ;-) And bookstores- there are a couple authors whose books I can't easily find in the US I will look for. And bourbon, as my bestie is buying bourbons I CAN'T GET IN THE US. But that's a separate rant! Anyway, we don't tend to plan souvenir shopping on a trip, so one packed nylon duffel should be enough. And again, easy enough to buy something else if necessary.
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel
Still have a couple months to worry about it, but this is more fun to me than finding the right rental car (which I'm also working on today... @CDTraveler - the rental car page for compacts says "2 bags" and we'll technically have 6, smaller sizes yes, but....I'm not gonna risk it - we've had issues before - and also, we have to wrangle the bags on public transport half the trip when we won't have the car!)
The last time I rented a car in Europe, the rental listing said "2 bags" for the boot - after I put in the 2 25" suitcases, there was room for 3 carry-ons and 6 bags of groceries. If they give you a range of models of cars, look at car sites to get the actual dimensions of the boot; that will give you a better idea of what is feasible.

Originally Posted by Hoyaheel
We actually aren't planning to shop this trip
One doesn't plan to shop, but shopping happens!

Originally Posted by Hoyaheel
- maybe an antiques market day, certainly any thrift shops that are open and nearby - I did tag the original OxFam location in Oxford ;-) And bookstores- there are a couple authors whose books I can't easily find in the US I will look for..
Which authors?
(says the person who once came home from the UK with 35 vintage books)
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 4:37 pm
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My secret

Originally Posted by CDTraveler
I'd take a 24" checked bag, and use the extra space for sweaters and scarves you "acquire" along the way.
At the bottom of any checked bag I start with a flattened nylon ripstop foldable bag. Put a luggage tag on it. As I travel, the dirty clothes go in it. If I have purchased more than I should, the dirty clothes go home in my new additional checked bag, the nylon one.
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 4:59 pm
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I was feeling splurgy when I checked rental car prices today and tagged a bmw 3 estate (European estate cars are my dream cars and I can't get them in the US now, mostly) but that's twice the price of the Vauxhall whatever. So we'll see how I feel - might depend on whether I'm feeling splurgy or not when I check hotels and rental cottages - I already splurged on business seats too, but prices had come down to a number I was ok with.

I was half looking for some khaki trail pants, but I don't want nylon or tech pants - Eddie bAuer has a cute pair of khaki joggers on sale, so maybe...Black/ turquoise/ white for sure for packing, maybe khaki as well. I think I need to sort my shoes first and work up....

Lucy Worsley is the main author I want to find - she has lots more in England than I can get here, and we love watching her on tv. Possibly decorating and or antiques, esp jewelry, books - I have a couple ideas written down but also just adore bookstores, esp used. I also have a list of foods to try from the grocery (we've been watching Inside the Factory and want to try a bunch of snacks and sweets we've seen made!) Guess we'll be shopping; I'm also noting market days & offerings in different Cotswolds towns
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel
I also have a list of foods to try from the grocery (we've been watching Inside the Factory and want to try a bunch of snacks and sweets we've seen made!) Guess we'll be shopping; I'm also noting market days & offerings in different Cotswolds towns
Sounds lovely! I'm also a grocery-store tourist. It's such an interesting cultural experience. For example, Russia makes the most minty toothpaste I've ever tried - maybe they need to get a certain taste out of their mouth. Love the different sweets and crisps flavors also. Or should I say "flavours". We're headed to London this month, and have restaurant reservations all made - will need to bring multiple sizes of clothing lol.
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Old Jun 7, 2023, 6:39 am
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For the longest time, I brought back so many tins of canned fish Bulgaria, Portugal, whatever....and spices (I like to find "local" blends if I can - in Bulgaria, couldn't find the salt blend i wanted, but we had a picture of the shaker from a bar table. The store clerk laughed but she found it right away!
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Old Jun 7, 2023, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by gretchendz
At the bottom of any checked bag I start with a flattened nylon ripstop foldable bag. Put a luggage tag on it. As I travel, the dirty clothes go in it. If I have purchased more than I should, the dirty clothes go home in my new additional checked bag, the nylon one.
I do exactly the same, even when I'm flying carry on only outbound. If I need the space coming home my dirty laundry gets checked. As a plus the portable nylon duffle can go through the wash as well.
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Old Jun 7, 2023, 9:53 am
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Yeah, this is what the lesportsac weekender is for - have 2 sizes, medium & large, pick which to use based on length/intentions of the trip Have done so for 15+ years. I think that's at least how long I've had these duffels, maybe longer, because the store where I bought them doesn't exist now....
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Old Sep 8, 2023, 11:17 am
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OK, the packing prep is starting - we leave next week. Temps this past week looked like here last week - 80 during the day, 65 at night. Cooler this upcoming week - 68 day, 50 night, with more rain back in. Similar weather in all the areas we will be. Shoes could be an issue for me - my most comfy walking shoes are a little heavier, goretex Haglofs walkers - I tend to wear in the colder months. For summer walking I tend to use hiking sandals. I don't have a great pair of walkers for medium temps. (other shoes will be an ecco slip on sneaker and a birkenstock)

Can I do a light pack? I have started with The Vivienne Files 4X4 wardrobe template, we'll see how closely I can stick to that. I'm already laughing. Hubs isn't helping - he won't pack light. He might pack lightER.....I just don't want to be hauling bags all over the place - we move a lot more than we normally do for this trip, 5 different hotels/rentals over 2 weeks.

Am also realizing I haven't reserved or planned many of the day to day things, so trying to figure that out now too.....That's normal, I don't like to make too many reservations, but there are probably some things I need to reserve where I'm certain of the timing....
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