It fits!

1 Sep
1 September 2017. How do you prepare for eight weeks on the road with temperatures ranging from 43F to 73F (06C-23C) with the added caveat that your heaviest bag cannot exceed 22 pounds/10 kilos? We will be in cities, hiking in mountains, and visiting the seaside as well, so we need to be able to adapt to hot-and-sweaty as well as possible cold-and-rainy.
Over the past 9 years I have been developing my packing-light-and-right skills. I had two bags go astray in 2008 and although I did eventually receive my luggage, the inconvenience was horrible. That taught me that carry on is the way to go.
As far as luggage, the winning combo is a 21-inch roll-a-board coupled with a day pack. We chose Eagle Creek Osprey bags to replace our aging luggage as their 21-inch case weighs only 4.5 pounds.  My last roll-a-board, which I used for seven years, weighed 7.5 lbs. Shaving 3 pounds off the bag is huge.

Almost everything on the bed goes in the 21-inch suitcase, upper left.

What exactly am I taking for two months?

Toiletries. I love the red bag because I can just hang it from a towel bar and not have to unpack everything. My 3-1-1 bag is at the upper right. We will buy body wash, toothpaste, lotion along the way to replenish.

“Medical” supplies: bandages, Moleskin, Neosporin, Tylenol, Calagel, Immodium, etc. And a couple of dozen Wet Ones, an essential in so many ways.

My wardrobe is about layering: 2 blouses, 2 long sleeved tees, 2 short sleeved tees, 2 jeans, one pullover sweater, khaki jacket, jammies & undies. Wear on the plane: black stretchy pants, tee, & lightweight jacket.

Bottom of the bag: Extra shoes and collapsible trekking sticks.

All of the clothes except my anorak are in cubes. The anorak goes in my day pack.

Clothes packs in! Ready to zip up. I do tuck dry laundry-soap sheets, Ziplocs, and a few tea bags inside as well.

I also squeezed in a foldable travel duffle bag in case we make any acquisitions along the way.  
My day pack will contain my anorak, a tiny umbrella, iPad, laptop (Surface Pro 4), cords and an adaptor, tickets and printed confirmations along with maps organized by country. Because of the carrier and class we are flying, we can also carry on a personal item each, i.e., a purse with the usual assortment of personal gear.  
All of our travel guide books are Kindle, sparing us at least 6 pounds of paper.
Ironically, now that we are so efficiently packed with everything ready to carry on, we have to check our roll-a-boards because the trekking sticks are not allowed by TSA. So now the day pack also contains a change of underwear in case the bag is delayed. 
Counting the hours to departure.


9 Responses to “It fits!”

  1. Susan Bravenec September 1, 2017 at 21:46 #

    Have a great trip!!!

    Love, Susan


  2. Marcia September 1, 2017 at 10:12 #

    I so agree about wanting to do just carry on. I’ve had luggage delayed for a week before. So I always carry a few pairs of underwear in my carry on plus one change of clothes IF I have to check. I’m sorry you have to check, though, with the hiking sticks. Dang it. You are a master at all of this now! Thanks so much for sharing.

    I use old dry cleaner bags to wrap my clothes in. You can squeeze all of the air out (like space bags but you don’t need a vacuum to do it) and it makes clothes smaller and tighter to fit more in. Plus…they don’t wrinkle as much. That’s my trick.

    And no hair dryer. That’s my other thing. I don’t want to waste the space!

    Keep us posted.


    • Laurel Barton September 1, 2017 at 12:34 #

      I never succumb to “just in case I need it” items anymore. I can always buy something there!

      I have used 2-gallon Ziplocs much like you use dry cleaner bags, but then I put in too much stuff and the weight skyrockets. At least I can theoretically lift my bag over my head if needed.


      • Kathy September 2, 2017 at 22:53 #

        I love that you inserted the word “theoretically” before “lift my bag over my head…”! After two torn rotator cuffs, I can’t lift even my carry-on over my head. What would I do without my husband to help me with this little task?? Nice to know I am not the only one with this challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. gayleseely September 1, 2017 at 08:24 #

    Thanks for this, Laurel. I have always found this to be a challenge, and I, too, lay it all out on the bed weeks in advance and move things in and out of the selection. When we were kids traveling, each of the 4 of us was allowed to take only what we could personally carry. (Remember ‘suitcases”?) So I should be better at this! I do love the scarf you have chosen. A good scarf can make all the difference, I have to say. Although I have been known to show up wearing the same one in photos from 10 different cities – at least I really liked wearing that scarf! I should probably find 2 I really like. Have a great trip and I hope your journey is filled with happy surprises and interesting people. I look forward to hearing the stories over a wine and delicious food in the rainy fall when you are back in PTown.



    • Laurel Barton September 1, 2017 at 12:37 #

      I have another scarf too, to wear on the plane. You are right: seeing yourself in the same thing for weeks in a bore! And one has to be careful not to overuse a bright color. I packed for a winter hiking trip once with electric blue and hot pink fleeces, and a hot pink jacket. After a couple of days Ric asked if I could wear something other than pink because all of the pictures were, well, so PINK. You could see me in the snow, though. 😉

      See you in November!


  4. mvaden1948 September 1, 2017 at 08:22 #

    You have honed your Ninja skills with those trekking sticks….right?
    I look forward to your posts from the road…especially from my beloved Venezia.


    • Laurel Barton September 1, 2017 at 12:28 #

      Yes, they would be dangerous weapons in my hands! You will see me in Venezia!



  1. Lessons Learned | gooddayrome - November 21, 2017

    […] pant, a lightweight cotton pullover sweater, khaki jacket, cardigan, jammies & undies. [See: It Fits.] One of the tees died in the first two weeks and I had to buy a fleece in Munich because I was sick […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: