Loads of Good Packing Advice

I’m taking a break from personal rants to offer some good advice from other blogs on packing well and packing light for your travels. But if you haven’t seen my earlier post on how it’s now easier to justify paying more for lightweight travel gear, check that out too.

Sheila Scarborough, who helps man the fort at the Perceptive Travel blog, shows how a normal guy husband can pack for a week in one carry on and become a suitcase swami.

Amanda Kendle, a virtual colleague of mine at HotelChatter has an interesting Vagabondish piece about gravitating from backpacker to flashpacker as you get older and (slightly) wealthier.

Lisa Firke thinks too many packing light articles are written by men. (Why don’t you hear men complaining that too many “how to travel on your own” articles are written by women?) So, she wrote on packing light from a woman’s perspective. Ironically, It contains the kind of advice most husbands would have written if they were asked to advise women packers: ditch the makeup and pack fewer shoes.

Hey, if the fashionistas can travel with one carry-on bag, those of us less concerned about how stylish we look should be able to manage.

Nearly everyone points to this travel light website because it’s the best: onebag.com.

This article from the San Francisco Chronicle has some good nuggets: Minimalist travel a matter of mind-set and tactics. Here’s a good tip I haven’t seen before:

Drop-off laundries in some cities – Cuzco, Peru, comes immediately to mind – are notorious for losing items. When dropping off your clothes, spread them out on the counter and snap a photo with your digital camera. This should clear up any discrepancies at pickup time.

Want to see something funny? There was a Delta Airlines blog story that encouraged us to pack light so they can save money on fuel. If we all fall in line, surely that will make them eliminate those baggage fees, right? What’s always hilarious about these requests is that they ignore the main source of ever-increasing weight on planes: the passengers. If a petite woman of 100 pounds packs 60 pounds of baggage, why should she pay a fee while a 350-pound woman with 49 pounds of baggage pays nothing extra? It’s not politically correct to ask this question as it offends the “big boned” passengers, but total weight is total weight if we’re going to start talking about fuel costs.

  1. jamie

    For me the greatest challenge is making peace with one (comfortable and usually not all that cute) pair of shoes.

    In summer I bring a single pair of black Teva Ventura sandals.

    For winter, it’s black Privo Floats and lots of socks.

    In the weeks leading up to a trip, I am always unhappy about the one-pair-of-shoes plan. Once I’m traveling though, I couldn’t care less.

  2. Sheila Scarborough

    Hi Tim,

    Shoes. It’s all about the shoes, particularly for women.

    I found black suede Aerosoles and brown leather Aerosoles, both slip-on with Vibram-type soles, and never looked back.

    In summer, it’s Rockport sandals in a stone/putty neutral shade, and black strappy flats or low walkable heels.

    The running shoes have gotta go, unless you’re REALLY going to run while you travel. Otherwise, do a ton of extra walking and find some hills.

  3. Kyle

    I actually used to have the bag that you have pictured on this blog. I actually ditched it because it was too large for a small backpack and a duffle bag. I feel way more free now and I can now fit all of my stuff on the inside of buses instead of having it thrown on top or beneath the bus.

    As always, pack half of what you think you will need but bring twice the money.

  4. Lisa Firke

    Thanks for noticing my little piece. Having just returned from a trip, again no make-up and only the sneakers on my feet, I have to say it makes travel more fun to have less with you. I read all of the book I brought with me because I brought only one, etc.

    Sheila, we sound very like-minded…

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