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Packing even lighter

I just shipped a box of stuff that I needed for business and cooler weather back to the US, along with some gifts.

I mention this because my Ravenna daybag is now packed away, empty, inside my 20" rolling carryon. I feel like a new person! The daybag would have gone in the box, too, but I may splurge a little at the duty-free shop on the way back. Plan is to bring even less stuff next trip.

Posted by
19171 posts

Traveling for business makes it tough. Some of my first trips to Europe were business trips, and I had to have suits with matching shoes, ties, and dress shirts. Even with laundry half way through, I couldn't even start to do carry-on . But now, on my own, all I need is a few shirts and underwear that can be washed in the sink. Packing light is a breeze.

As for cooler weather, one thing I learned from years of skiing was to dress in layers. I've been to Germany in Dec/Jan and in Aug/Sept, and the only difference I remember is wearing a light summer jacket in Aug and a down ski parka in Dec. The contents of my suitcase was the same. In retrospect, if I go again in the winter, I might take one pair of thermal-knit bottoms for outdoors on really cold days.

Posted by
1838 posts

Another way to pack a little lighter (at least for the return trip) is to save your almost worn out jeans and underwear, take them with you on your trip, wear them on your trip, then discard them. My suitcase usually sheds 3 or 4 pounds by doing this.

Posted by
1068 posts

Another way to pack a little lighter (at least for the return trip) is to save your almost worn out jeans and underwear, take them with you on your trip, wear them on your trip, then discard them. My suitcase usually sheds 3 or 4 pounds by doing this.

Wow, that is a lot of stuff to leave behind on the 2 months a year I travel.

Posted by
2349 posts

How heavy was the box and how much did it cost to ship? I'm not questioning your judgement because you are happy with your decision. But we do get that question here sometimes.

Posted by
5262 posts

Zoe,

How did you ship your stuff? Via postal service, FedEx, or what shipping service?

We did the same when I picked up my daughter after her study abroad semester in Edinburgh, then again in France.
It was such a relief to get rid of the extra weight due to her winter coat, layers, hiking boots & souvenirs!

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Posted by
11613 posts

It cost close to €100, but it was h-e-a-v-y. Books, bottles in addition to clothing. I budget that amount just to get rid of the weight. I shipped it from Mail Boxes Etc, which also packed the box (at no cost). They use different shippers, FedEx was a little cheaper than others. Be sure to check their hours by calling the office you want, I went on a wild goose chase in Roma and ended up shipping from Napoli, having carried most of it for an extra train trip (bought gifts in Napoli, so that worked out better, actually).

I have returned from some trips with just the clothes I wear on the plane, discarding everything else! Two tricks: toss some old clothing that you don't want, as suggested; for longer trips, buy a few cheap tops ($8 or less at Meijer) that you don't want to see again after you've worn them 10-20 times.

Lee, no pants?

Posted by
19171 posts

I wear one pair of slacks on the plane and pack two more (also a pair of walking shorts for warm weather), but I don't try to sink wash them. If I stay somewhere with washing facilities, I wash the slacks. I was only talking about what I sink wash.

Posted by
3580 posts

I seem to have the opposite problem. I tend to take too few or the wrong clothes for the season. I have made trips to thrift stores or Monoprix for something I need. Sox, sweater, shirts, etc. I have encountered warm weather and wished I had brought shorts. The extras that I buy in Europe make their way home with me and become nice souvenir reminders of my trips!
Once I injured my knee and had trouble managing my backpack. It was near the end of my trip so I just left behind everything I didn't need for the next couple of days. That lightened my pack by a few pounds. The people at my hotel thought I was nuts to ditch my clothes, but the language barrier made it hard for me to explain to them that I had an injured knee and couldn't carry the full bag.
It's easier to travel light now that I don't need to carry books. I have most of what I need on my mini iPad.