Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I love to travel.  I love airports.  I love trains and, even, subways , sometimes.  

Packing, however, packing, I hate.  As much as my husband and I travel, we just don't understand the packing process.  We've packed early.  We've packed at the last minute.  We've made lists - to follow when packing.  We've over-packed and prayed the suitcase would close.  And after it closed, we prayed it wouldn't burst and spew its contents all over the tarmac.  We've under-packed and prayed that somehow we could make our clothes last another day.  Eiuu.... We just haven't figured out the process of what to do.
Then our next door neighbor comes to the rescue. He and his wife traveled to Turkey for two and a half weeks with only a "carry-on" sized suitcase and a small canvas bag each.  They check the small suitcase and carry on the canvas bag.

Their trick is to:  count the number of days that you travel and divide by two.  So then you take only half the clothes you need.  Halfway through the trip, you either go to the laundromat or have the hotel do your laundry.  

This does take some planning and a bit of time if you opt for the do-it-yourself route or a bit of cash if you opt for the hotel-do-the-laundry-for-me. 

BUT, now that airlines are charging more for bags/overweight bags, etc.,  it makes sense to pack less.  Saving an extra bag fee or extra weight fee - that will certainly pay for laundry. 

Our neighbor takes some brochures and maps and some beverages and snacks to the laundromat and uses the time to read up on local attractions while he relaxes.

Another thoughtful neighbor fedexes his travel wardrobe ahead of time to his hotel so it is waiting for him when he arrives.  He only takes a carry on bag on the plane.  Upon debarking, he heads right for local transportation.  No waiting in luggage lines.  No lost luggage.  No struggling with moving bags through the airport.  He figures it saves him at least one hour to an hour and a half on one leg of the trip.  What a genius!!

We'll try these two tips when we're "on the road again" and let you know how it works.