It’s the time of the year when suitcases are coming out of the closet and we agonize of what to pack for our upcoming trip.
To make that decision the first thing we have to decide is that under no circumstances do we want to become a slave of our luggage, especially now when we are a little older. Our luggage should never be more than what we can easily move, without needing help. This translates into one medium size suitcase with wheels, and a medium size carry-on.
It’s really important that the carry-on bag is not too big because if it is and it is packed, often with things that didn’t fit into the suitcase anymore, it becomes very heavy. And walking along the corridors from security to the gate a heavy bag, even if slung over the shoulder can be a drag, adding unnecessary stress. A carry-on bag should only hold things you can’t do without if your suitcase arrives after you – medicine, cosmetics, jewelry, personal papers or anything of sentimental value which would break your heart if you suitcase never arrived.
Now let’s look how you can reduce the weight and make your trip more enjoyable:
- wear the same garments a few times – after all you don’t see the same people during your travels, and even if you did, they don’t care
- use the laundry services available in most hotels
- choose easy-care fabrics for your travel wardrobe so you can wash them in your bathroom sink at night
- make sure an item is multi-purpose – if you can only wear it once, don’t take it
- if you doubt you’ll wear it – don’t take it
- stick to basics which will go from morning to-night
- build your wardrobe around one basic color
- use scarves and custom jewelry to change your look
- and NEVER take new shoes on a trip — only the tried-and-true
When it comes to traveling I am quite envious of the back-pack generation. You know the young people with just a canvas bag on their back? who upon arrival don’t have to wait until half an hour later the conveyor belt finally starts churning, but instead are on their way the minute they leave the airplane.
Of course at my age I need more than a few t-shirts, underwear, and toiletries (I think that’s all that’s in those back-packs) but making travel gear as light and functional as possible will make for better traveling at any age.
And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!
P.S. Before I learned to travel light I was lucky to have a friend help me with my bags – but that’s the past!