I’m jealous. I’ve learned years ago to pack for a 2-week vacation in one carry-on suitcase plus my purse. Okay, so I actually cram my purse into a larger over the shoulder bag but it still qualifies as a “personal item” as far as the airline is concerned. I reduce the number of liquid personal care items that have to go into the quart-sized ziploc bag by buying must haves when I get there – like toothpaste and suntan lotion. Tim Ferriss has it down to a science and I’m intrigued. I would like to lighten my luggage even further because, quite frankly, I still need my husband to hoist my carry-on into the overhead bin.
I have a tendency to pack at least a week’s worth of undies and socks. And then there’s different outfits plus a couple of bathing suits and you never know when you’ll need a sweater or a jacket. So, even though I fit my essentials into one suitcase, I can do a LOT better.
Back to the reason I’m jealous. Tim Ferriss’ article “How to Travel the World With 10 Pounds or Less“. Granted, he can get away with less clothing because 1) he’s a guy and guys can get away with fewer outfits anyway and 2) he’s young so wearing reef sandals the whole time works for him. However, if I’m really honest with myself, I could pare my packing down to half the amount. I still tend to pack stuff “just in case” so Tim’s article really gets to the heart of what is really necessary.
If you pack for every contingency — better bring the hiking books in case we go hiking, better bring an umbrella in case it rains, better bring dress shoes and slacks in case we go to a nice restaurant, etc. — carrying a mule-worthy load is inevitable. I’ve learned to instead allocate $50-200 per trip to a “settling fund,” which I use to buy needed items once they’re 100% needed. This includes cumbersome and hassle items like umbrellas and bottles of sunscreen that love to explode. Also, never buy if you can borrow. If you’re going on a bird watching trip in Costa Rica, you don’t need to bring binoculars — someone else will have them.
I think we can apply this not only to traveling but the stuff we buy and lug around with us. Anyway, my goal for our next trip is to pack half of what I normally would take. Shhhh…don’t tell my husband.