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Overpacking

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am planning on overpacking. With total glee. Normally, I limit myself to a 22 inch spinner and a back pack when I travel. However, I am going to go to Paris for ten days this Christmas and I am gleefully taking a 25 inch spinner. With three, yes count em, three pairs of shoes, two jackets, 5 pairs of pants and many shirts. Have not decided how many yet. And maybe even a sweater or two. I am chortling with anticipation.

I am leaving room for souvenirs though. Planning a trip to The Grand Epicerie de Paris for chocolate, Angelina for hot chocolate and D’leherine (sp) for kitchen stuff. Maybe a raid on a pharmacy as I have been told their beauty products are great.

So my question is if you could “ovepack” what would you bring. Now please don’t criticize, berate or lecture me on how you should never travel with more than a 22 inch suitcase that you can carry on, or that is all you ever need. Streatch that imagination and tell me what you would want to bring or bring back since you would have the room.

Posted by
139 posts

Sounds really fun! I'd space-splurge on a fleece jacket, a robe and maybe slippers, to be cozy in my room in a chilly night. With a couple sturdy Space Bags to compact them for the way home. Then I'd have room for beaucoup scarves, some museum art books, and cookies/treats from Auchan for my kids.

Posted by
1208 posts

Ceramics. Oh my goodness yes, Italian ceramics. I'd go over with a huge suitcase full of rolls of bubble wrap and come back with gorgeous ceramics from Siena, Orvieto, Gubbio, and Deruta. Oh yes, Deruta!! As it is, I bring back two or three pieces each trip (with some of those as gifts), but in my dreams, I'd cram the checked-in (!!) suitcase full of bubble-wrapped gorgeous Italian ceramic pieces for me and everyone I love or even like!

Posted by
305 posts

I like the shoes idea. I love to have extra shoes. As there is a wedding in the middle of my next trip to France it looks like I too will be bringing the 25 inch spinner for the wedding day outfit and shoes that would just not make it into my 22 inch. Plus we are traveling on Air France and I don't think that a 22 inch meets their carry-on limit. Since I would have to check anyway . . .

Posted by
2768 posts

Shoes! And knit sweaters. No more thin-but-warm fabrics or layers. Give me a nice,cozy cable knit that takes up half a backpack!
An impractical “going out” outfit that I wear once or twice to dinner that doesn’t mix-and-match with my travel clothes. Complete with heels. And makeup.
Bring back - wine! And books.

Posted by
15283 posts

You do realize that this post is turning some people on this board apoplectic. :)

Posted by
4574 posts

I would take my own pillow! Also, a 'lounge around the room' outfit. A pair of boots...but that is practical rather than indulgent.

Posted by
3211 posts

I have a little leather suit-type jacket that I would pack! It's always on the bed, but never makes it into the case. I also would bring one of my regular lounge around the house outfits; i.e., sweatpants, Tee shirt and possibly a robe. Good for you. I think it is important to look at the trip when packing, not just the suitcase! I love Paris at Christmas.

Posted by
2609 posts

A 3rd pair of shoes would be heavenly--I always bring something black and my 2nd is more colorful but I sure get tired of those same shoes for 2 weeks. Instead of my flat little ballet-style slippers I'd bring my fabulously comfy Giesswein wool ones, and a robe. Maybe some extra tops, get tired of washing and wearing the same ones several times. I always bring a suitcase with extra room because I do love to hit the flea markets and shops when travelling.

Posted by
3941 posts

Oh - an extra pillow would be lovely. Some of the places we stay (generally airbnb) only have out one pillow - I need more height, and I always love to have an extra pillow to 'hug'.

I'd also love to pack my knee high leather boots but after wearing really comfy Blundstones, I know I'd soon regret it, not matter how snappy they looked.

An extra jacket would also be on there - my lightweight one, but also a little heavier one, just in case. I do take a fleece, but sometimes (cough...this year's April trip...cough) the fleece and the lighter jacket and a t-shirt still aren't enough.

(Also, I'd love to pack my dog, but at 90lbs, he wouldn't enjoy it...teehee).

I will say, when we 'car' travel (either driving from home, or the time we rented a car in California) - we def pack an extra bag - usually toss in some extra footwear, jackets...when we flew to Cali, we knew that the bulk of our trip we'd have a car, so we took an extra carry on size.

As for bringing home - well, if money were no object, art - I'd love to have a mask from Venice. I was going to say shoes, but I did buy a pair one year and hubby has picked up a few pair. We always find room - whether it's expanding the bag and checking it, or the fact that we usually see my sister before coming home, so we get an extra weekender size bag from her (which my mom takes back when she goes over). This year we had it all thought out - my mom flew over when we did, but was going to visit my sister the whole time. Mom is still (after 10 yrs) taking over my sister's possessions. She had some room in her large checked bag, so we got her to take our weekender bag. A few days before coming home, we met up with the fam in Brighton, mom brought the bag and we were able to get all our purchases home (including ANOTHER pair of shoes my husband bought)

Posted by
109 posts

Taking: I second a fluffy "comfort fleece"/ ultrasoft zip jacket. Feels luxurious, and is practical too. Sadly it is often not justifiable when packing ultra-light.

Bringing back: wine (I use neoprene 2-bottle holders to protect them; they take up next to no space when unused, and minimal when used [https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/built-ny-reg-byobag-reg-two-bottle-tote/1013688745?skuId=13688745&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_dining_online&product_id=13688745&adtype=pla&product_channel=online&adpos=1o2&creative=223885666231&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&mrkgadid=558409745&mrkgcl=609&rkg_id=h-77aa97ee6397f8cdd2adc7f79297ad0e_t-1512573653&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrcX79tf11wIVVlgNCh38-gkzEAYYAiABEgLCBPD_BwE)], flea market finds (shawl, scarf), and lovely food treats.

I too will be there this month. Enjoy!

Posted by
32935 posts

I've twice been beaten to the pillow concept so now you are three.

By the way, up in my attic I have a used once and never again "walk-in closet" bag that is something like 45 inches long 30 inches wide at the base and less at the very high top. And it comes with 6 or 7 big wheels. Would that help? (it cost a lot of money too...... boo hiss)

Posted by
3969 posts

If you see this as a real Paris Christmas shopping trip may I suggest one of my strategies? I'd open my 25" spinner and line it with that extra jacket and the smallest shoes then I'd work a 21" suitcase inside the 25" spinner. That way you can do plenty of shopping! I did just that technique in reverse this fall when taking Christmas gifts to the east coast.

Posted by
1204 posts

I do not see anything wrong with taking a larger suitcase as you are staying in the same hotel and same city the whole 10 days. It is only when you are going from hotel to hotel and city to city that you would run into problems having to carry your suitcase on trains and buses, etc. But in this case, I am with you. I take my larger suitcase when I go on week long city tours or staying in the same hotel the whole time!

Make sure you bring a hat or two, gloves, scarves that match the two jackets and boots that are warm, maybe furlined for the days you are walking around. Layering is important and of course bring that sweater or two. Pants that are heavier in material and a blazer that goes with most pants and blouses. Socks that are warm.

I find that I check my coat and hat in musuems, but keep my sweater or blazer with me as some of the galleries can be chiller. I also like to bring a crossbody bag with me into museums and not a knapsack as museums don't like that.

Sounds like a great trip, have a fun, safe time!

Posted by
368 posts

@frank he he he.
@nigel .hmm the largest I have attempted is a 32. Inch. Maybe if I get a really big on on wheels I can “ride” it through the airport. That presents a picture 😳😳

However since I am flying business two may be necessary. I like the idea of one inside the other. Though i must admit, that trying to corral two rolling suitcases on the public transport train I am taking to and from the airport might be a challenge. My spinner has taken off without me one or two times.

I like the idea of taking relaxing clothes. On my last trip to Switzerland I managed to stuff in a pair of yoga pants and slipper socks. Wonderful for relaxing. Will probably never be left behind again.

Posted by
980 posts

So my question is if you could “ovepack” [sic] what would you bring.

Extra cold weather running gear!

Posted by
16894 posts

When I went to New York for a week one January, I wore a long wool coat and my grandmother's fur hat. The coat didn't (and couldn't) go in the suitcase. I'd probably also bring a couple of novels printed on real paper, but still not any heavier than they need to be. Five pairs of pants would not be particularly necessary for me over just 10 days.

Posted by
2124 posts

Regard the extra luggage to serve a couple of other purposes.

When I went on a mission trip to Nicaragua, I brought clothes I planned to leave behind. I came home with only the clothes on my back and used the freed space for gifts.

Take clothes that are getting a little worn out, are out of style or that you're growing tired of. I'm sure there are thrift stores in Paris that would love to have them. Treat yourself to a clothing shopping spree, along with bringing home souvenirs. Avoid bringing stuff you will have to tote around and bring home.

I have a small confession. When we went to Tuscany two December's ago, we knew we'd have a car and would be staying at the same agriturismo the entire time. We relaxed our "traveling light" policy and each took a larger checked bag. Shhh! Please don't tell the luggage police!

Posted by
14580 posts

hi,

If I could over pack, I do it on the way back. I have brought back German and French coffee (if "food" counts in over packing) and historical magazines, in the past dress shirts.

Posted by
650 posts

We have a week in Barcelona in late January. We are considering packing more because: (1) it will be cool and warm clothes are bulky; and (2) it's our only stop so we will only carry our luggage twice.

We plan on taking public transport to our apartment near La Boquerio Market. Will a larger backpack be a problem? I promise not to pack more than I can happily tote a couple miles.

A bulky tunic length sweater is on my wish list as is a spare pair of shoes. More specific to me, a few more art supplies.

Posted by
27237 posts

Jen, if you use the Aerobus from the airport, it will drop you off near El Corte Ingles in Placa Catalunya. Google says that's just a smidge over half a mile from La Boqueria. Depending on the weight of your backpacks and which side of the market your lodgings are on, it might be walkable. If you walk down Las Ramblas, which would be simplest, do be attentive. That is a very popular area for pickpockets, and the area can be very crowded.

I took the Metro in Barcelona several times but never used the buses, so I don't know how crowded they might be. I've certainly been whomped a few times on buses in other cities by people wearing backpacks who turned without thinking about the loads on their backs. I imagine it's mostly inexperienced backpack-wearers who do that, though.

Posted by
7347 posts

I have the thinnest down pillow, travel-size, that went into my suitcase one year & back out again since I like to have empty space in my suitcase - that would be first on the list. I would pack a special dress to attend the opera or similar, instead of wearing my black pants & a jacket. Otherwise, I think it would be more what I might want to bring home. Last time in Paris, I had to hand-carry a beautiful brush (a huge brush for removing excess flour - larger than a hairbrush) that I purchased during a croissant baking class because I didn't want the bristles than fan out in a half-circle to be damaged. Enjoy shopping at that kitchen shop, Barbara!

In Italy & Spain, I would definitely be splurging on extra ceramics!

Posted by
650 posts

Acraven: We will walk from Placa Catalunya. Our apartment is on the east side of Las Ramblas itself. A half mile or so is cake. I'll carry just a backpack in any case. Any reason a larger pack would be a greater pickpocket problem, assuming we aren't obviously overburdened?

Posted by
27237 posts

No, I don't think so, beyond the fact that anything larger than a day-pack says (depending on the direction you're walking) "arrival day" or "departure day", so the criminal element will know you have with you--somewhere--all your money and all your bank/credit cards. As long as anything you can't afford to lose is under your clothing, you should be OK. We have had reports of folks walking down the street and not realizing all the zippers on their backpacks had been opened. Do not assume that because there are two of you, a pickpocketing attempt will be noticed.

Unless you're among the fortunate who manage to sleep pretty well on the overnight flight, you may be pretty much zombies by the time you get to Barcelona. That degree of befuddlement makes one less observant. Don't sign any petitions, don't stop if someone says something has been spilled on your clothing, etc.

I think it was a couple of years ago that someone posted here about loss of his entire backpack in Barcelona. I don't remember whether he had flown in that morning or had just come in by train, but he sat down at a little table (perhaps at a food court at the Sants rail station), put his pack on another chair. and when he looked up from his electronic device some minutes later, the pack had disappeared. Those types of thefts are not limited to Barcelona, of course. There are some very professional thieves in Europe's most popular cities. And I was victimized by plenty-good-enough pickpockets in Veliko Trnovo, Bulgaria.

Posted by
503 posts

Oh my gosh, I can't tell you how many times I've wished I could take a hooded sweatshirt! I live in them during the winters and would love to be able to wear them during cold weather trips and they are so comfortable to wear in a chilly room. If I could, I would take a couple of them, but there is never room for even one. For hot and humid weather conditions, I'd love to be able to take enough clothes so I didn't have to constantly have to wash tops at night.

Posted by
4009 posts

So my question is if you could “ovepack” what would you bring.

I would never overpack to begin with going on a trip; we were never allowed to as children when going away so why start now. That said, however, the 'overpacking' is reserved for bringing back books/artwork/souvenirs on the way home!!

Posted by
11613 posts

I would pack my 20" rolly, buy some things for winter wear in Paris (scarves, hats, boots, gloves, sweaters), buy whatever I want to bring back and ship it or have it shipped.

Posted by
1764 posts

I would bring enough underwear, socks, and shirts so I would never have to do laundry for the entire trip. Clean clothes every single day!

Hiking boots, urban walking shoes, casual slip-ons, flip-flops, and slippers.

A great big toiletry bag that would hold plenty of everything, including bars of soap -- nothing travel-size.

A plush 40 x 80 bath sheet.

Hot pretzels, mustard, woolen socks, corduroy coveralls, Birkenstock sandals and Chapstick. Can you tell I live in Germany? Schnitzel and stout wear a MUST! Paris can use a little practicality.

Posted by
5697 posts

@Barbara, if you don't already have a knit cap you might find yourself buying one in Paris -- they seemed to be the headwear of choice last week. Plus woolen scarf. And a raincoat. Puffer jackets (think Uniqlo) on days when it doesn't rain. Leggings or tights for wearing under your pants.

Posted by
305 posts

Barbara,
I just got a new 25 inch spinner that arrived today. Oh my, the room they have. Enjoy all that space.

After spending a week with my family at Los Angeles, we came back with a number of articles as my two little young girls shop at Melrose and Robertson during the whole trip with their mother. I was gazing at the shopping bags that how we would be going back with extra luggage. However, we managed to bring the things alongwith my family. Hence, I thought to bring the Duffle Bag Canvas to help the girls.

Posted by
5697 posts

On our antepenultimate day in Munich (last stop on a 5-week trip) a 24" rolling hard-sided bright yellow bag suddenly followed us home to the hotel. ( €40 at after-Christmas sale.)
I had been using a 22" roller (always checked) plus stuffed Euro-tote. Hoping to be able to use just one checked bag for both DH and myself on the next trip, which will be in warmer weather so not as much need for thermal layers and gloves and wool scarves. But if that doesn't work out ... I will have ample opportunity to overpack!

Posted by
1236 posts

I indulged this December by packing a second coat for Munich. Luckily, both were down so v. squishable. A shout-out to the Civita day bag for being able to accommodate squished coats on the plane coming back. I also brought back two pairs of wool slippers. I felt nice and at home in the hotels with these. If I could really stretch my imagination (and maybe I should start now for the next trip) it would be to create the perfect plane outfit: 1) does not have to be worn as part of the regular cycle of pants/tops; 2) looks and smells reasonably fresh on arrival; 3) does not have to be immediately laundered so as to wear in the next day or two.

Posted by
19 posts

Oh my! Lots of input here! For me it would be shoes...... I always feel I'm to limited in my shoes when I travel. Alas though, we always pack light going but expect to over pack coming back and either bring an extra checked bag or just buy one wherever we are at to bring back all of our finds!

Posted by
250 posts

Shoes,shoes,and more shoes. I always feel frumpy when I’m limited to only 3-4 pair of shoes for multiple climates for 5 weeks, I would love to look a bit more stylish!

Posted by
1878 posts

Now that you are back, can you confirm that this overpacking thing did not lead to a rupture in the space-time continuum?

Posted by
11256 posts

Now that you are back, can you confirm that this overpacking thing did not lead to a rupture in the space-time continuum?

Or a spinal disc ? :-)

Posted by
368 posts

My overpacking was totally successful. I wore two of the three pairs of shoes. Mainly because one pair was very, very comfortable. I did wear the boots and my feet were very happy and warm. I did only wear one coat though. Wore all the pants and tops.

However the best thing I brought, and now will always bring, was a pair of loose yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt. I managed to get a nasty sinus infection three days before I came home and I was stuck in the hotel one day. Having comfortable clothes, that were not PJs, was heavenly.

I did fill the suitcase with Angelina hot chocolate mix and pharmacy finds.

I did notice a slight shift in the Time/space continuum when I checked in on the way home and the suitcase weighted 24 kilos. I vowed not to buy so much heavy stuff again. A spinner that is heavy takes on a mind of its own and goes where it wants :-)

But I am proud to say I was successful and would do it again in a heart beat when the planets and stars align (lol).

Posted by
375 posts

@mona! Great idea!

And for the person who suggested wine travel sleeves! We just ordered some for our next trip! Got this 3-pack: wine travel sleeves

@Barbara - happy travels! glad you enjoyed those shoes and jackets and sweaters! love it! love Paris!

Posted by
2201 posts

Hangers and bubble-wrap. Even if I get a closet , there are never enough hangers. Bubble wrap can protect wine bottles ( I already own and take wine sleeves) and breakable souvenirs.