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Mixed trip packing

I have watched several of your travel and packing videos. I am 71 and taking a sailing trip on the Western Med. to end up spending several days in Italy. I saw your 20" suitcase. How do you pack for kayaking, bicycling, sailing and then touring in 20"? LOL Is it possible or should I just check a bag?

Posted by
5784 posts

A 20" carry-on looks possible assuming that you also get a "personal" bag and wear any bulky jackets etc.

Active wear for water sports and bike hike can be multiple use items. Carry on your bike helmet just as you would any hat. Plan on renting specialty items such as mask, snorkel and fins.

Wear bulky shoes/boots and pack Keen type sandals. I'm assuming that you are traveling during fair weather months (May - Sept). But as said, even travelling during hard weather months, just wear your bulky out wear.

I'm assuming that you are renting kayak gear live flotation devices, and renting bikes. We have used small bike bags as our "personal" bag.

Posted by
16883 posts

I hope you'll have multi-purpose active wear that works for various sports. I have traveled for periods of up to 10 months with that size of bag (and the option of an expand-zipper, when needed). The purpose of the carry-on sized bag is not primarily for carrying onto the plane, but for all the other days when you'll carry it up hotel stairs, onto trains, etc. If it were bigger, you would be tempted to pack too much and make it too heavy. If you think you want to dress "nicer" in Italian cities, then one pair of slacks or skirt below the knee will do it. See also Rick's packing tips at http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light.

Posted by
2081 posts

dunraven,

from the theme of your trip, it appears you will be on the water alot and not in town.

So, i would pack for that and have 1 or 2 sets of "city" clothes.

Im not sure on the type of sailing vessel you plan on doing, but on our local sailboats, they frown upon black soled shoes. if this is the case, then i would look for something you can use sailing and bicycling and maybe kayaking. Maybe something that can be worn in the water with and without sox.

you may want to skip the bicycle helmet unless you have an large/odd head shape. If youre going to ride everywhere and a majority of your days, then yes bring it. I ride horses and bring my own helmet since my head is larger, its not common to find a helmet to fit.

happy trails.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you so much for your great replies. Funny, I wouldn't get on my bike or horse without a helmet and now I forgot about it for the trip. You have given me a lot to think about and I appreciate it. Anne

Posted by
5784 posts

Don't forget about the bike helmet. Bring yours or rent. If not, buy travel insurance with medevac coverage. My former boss suffered a horrific head injury in France and had to be transported back to the States on a medical charter flight.

Posted by
1179 posts

Technical clothing is your answer, with regular clothing added in for touring.

For technical clothing I would suggest 1 pair of darker technical pants with roll-up cuffs, a technical shirt like the Royal Robbins "Lt. Expedition 3/4 Sleeve", a skort like the Athleta "Whatever" skort, and a couple of quick-dry tees. How about a merino sweater like the ones from Woolovers? The merino is tough enough for outdoors but looks nice for touring. Add in a light packable waterproof trench (I like the Marmot or Northface brands). The key for technical clothing is to choose neutral colors and conservative cuts (such as set-in sleeves Vs raglan) Since you are using "dressy" technical clothing it will integrate in to the rest of the wardrobe.

Then add in a pair of dressy pants, a dressy shirt, a beautiful scarf and some jewelry. How about a cute breton-stripe tee for water and town?

When I've done carry-on with my helmet I use my Wanderlite Barefoot packable pack as my personal item. I put my helmet in there and stuff clothes around it.

Posted by
3 posts

I am learning so much from all of you. Thank you for every bit of information. Of course, when I went down the Colorado River for eight days all we wore was a bathing suit, cut off jeans, a T shirt and tennis shoes and socks. Same clothes for eight days. That was it. Swimming washed the clothes. LOL The 20" suitcase arrived yesterday and I looked at it and thought "I can do it"....as long as I don't listen to friends who travel with a touring trunk. Ha!

Posted by
11820 posts

For me it's three pants, five tops, one pair of swim trunks that double as shorts, three pairs underwear, three pairs socks, one belt that matches, two pairs shoes, one or two warm layers (usually thin wool sweaters), and a waterproof rain shell. Everything is picked to be light-weight, non-bulky, and easy to hand wash and dry. If you stick to this, you only fill up about 2/3 of a 20" case. Then you can fill it up with your shave kit, electronics, guidebooks, and anything else you don't think you can live without.

It sounds like you are doing mostly athletic/casual stuff, so I'd probably have only one set of nicer clothes (one pair of khakis, one button up shirt, and one pair of decent leather shoes). Business casual dress is perfectly fine 95 percent of the time, the rest of the time people will understand you are traveling and don't have a complete wardrobe to draw from.