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Packing Light

We just checked in for our first flight and the gate agent comment to us was “That’s all you are taking for a month? I would need that just for my shoes.” LOL! Our bags weighed in at 21 lbs. I could have done better but as long as we can handle the bags it’s ok. I will try to do better next time.

Posted by
1432 posts

I travelled to Spain and Portugal a few years back with my 18lb, 40L backpack. My friend checked a 23" bag had an underseat personal item and a backpack carry-on which seemed to weigh more than my 40L bag. When we arrived at our hotel and she opened the backpack it was filled with shoes.

Posted by
6849 posts

Good for you, Mary!!!

Trotter, that reminds me of my sister's 2 week trip to France many years ago with a good friend. My sister always packs light and when they were unpacking at the hotel in Paris, she was amazed to find that her friend had brought 15 bras! One for each day and one extra as a spare.

Posted by
2866 posts

Mary, I'm impressed. Good for you.
I'm struggling through my test packs: my RS Carry-On is currently just under 20 lbs and personal item is 9 1/2 lbs including my camera.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
642 posts

In 2017 I toured Australia and New Zealand for just over 7 weeks with just a carryon (not extended) and a small personal item for valuables. I had everything I needed.

Posted by
1080 posts

We just got back from two seeks in Scandinavia and we both had just backpacks for carry on and it made transit at Schiphol Airport so easy. Why anyone would check bags with all the chaos going on in baggage departments in every airport is beyond me.

Posted by
14167 posts

Mary! Good job! And funny that the gate agent commented on it.

Posted by
4999 posts

Several years ago in France, we were going through an extra security check before boarding a plane for the U.S. The young man asking questions and doing the checking was very suspicious about us because we had spent three weeks there with only a carry on. Finally convinced him we were able to travel lightly by doing laundry along the way. But he still watched us until we were out of sight.

Posted by
8821 posts

Pays off in more ways than you can imagine.

On a recent return flight from London arrived 3 hours before departure. Heathrow is Heathrow. My Virgin Airlines flight was departing from Terminal 3. Delta shares the Terminal. Arrived by taxi and the one check in line was out the door. VA staff were handing bottles of water. I stood there for 15 minutes grateful for the water. Then line never moved. As I was using WhatsApp on my phone a VA staff member approached and asked “ carry on?” I said “ yes, “ and she said “follow me.” I did. We walked past the line, into the Terminal and she pointed to the stairs to our left. “ Go up those stairs and turn right. “

I did. It was a security check point with a line of 12 people. Went through it and then made my way to my gate. Found a seat and over the next 2 hours saw many of the people who had been in the line outside the terminal making their way to gate. All of them without their luggage. They hadn’t packed light and had to check their luggage. A number of them weren’t happy.

Packing light can be done. The majority of my Europe trips have been in November and December. Still pack light as I’ve discovered a good light weight base layer, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, well worn turtle neck light weight rain coat coupled with Keen Voyager hiking shoes are ideal. Love Lands End fleece.

Pack light. Its doable. Saves time.

Posted by
2215 posts

Mary, congratulations on that carry-on weight ! I can usually get to 23lbs, but need to try harder. Have a great trip!

Posted by
3941 posts

Great job. I’m still working on my bag, last trip it was 26lbs. The first trip where my niece met us she had the largest suitcase I ever saw. And we were in an apt with a washer. This past September she met us in Dubrovnik with her mother for two weeks. They each had the largest suitcase and they purchased a third one. My husband and I shared one carryon sized suitcase and had one tote. For Christmas I got her packing cubes and linked her to Rick’s packing light videos. Last two trips she took she told me she only took carryon. It can be done by everyone. It just takes planning.

Posted by
296 posts

You are motivating me people! My husband and daughter always have a competition to see who has the lightest carry-on, typically about 23 lbs. each. I don't even bother to weigh-in when we travel independently because I always check my bag since its double to theirs. I said to my hubby tonight that I don't think I can do a RS tour to Sicily next year because I'll need to bring too large a bag, and was going to look into other companies' tours. After reading these comments, you are all motivating me to give it a try with just a carry-on and a back-pack.

Posted by
1259 posts

Congratulations, Mary, and thanks for the post. Seems you’re just starting your trip so have fun and let us know how packing light worked out for you. The post-tour debugging is often the most revealing.,

Posted by
1259 posts

It can be done by everyone. It just takes planning.

Also takes a bit of effort and maybe some practice. You’ve got to be committed to some chores, in particular laundry, that some vacationers regard as needlessly tedious or intrusive. The rewards for going light are only realized and appreciated after the first time. After that, it’s mostly automatic.

Posted by
323 posts

We're a month in the UK with one carry on each. I don't know the weight, but I can lug both carry ons up and down stairs with no sweat.

You know what takes up ENORMOUS space?? The convertor to plug in my strip that we plug in our phone chargers, watch charger and tablet charging gear, along with our noise canceling head phones! That junk and some reading material fill my backpack!

Posted by
15573 posts

When you say converter. Do you mean a big, bulky comverter or a multi charger?

If everything is USB charged, then the chargers are probably dual voltage and you don't need a converter.

And instead of bringing a charger for each item why not buy yourself a multi charger such as this one...

https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Adapter-TESSAN-International-Adaptor/dp/B083SBDMHM/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?crid=T9P7CGU31RLE&keywords=usb+charger+international&qid=1660136444&sprefix=usb+charger+international%2Caps%2C100&sr=8-8

Posted by
3204 posts

I like that USB only adaptor!
How did you like it, assuming you bought one?

Posted by
48 posts

For our upcoming BOE 3 week tour my bag is at 18lbs and my wife's is at 15 lbs and we are still trying to figure out how to shed more weight...

Lighterpack.com is a neat web site where you can add all your items and their weight and it will visually show you where you weight is here is my pack list : My Packing List

Posted by
531 posts

Jeff, I just went to lighterpack to see what it was about and created an account. I thought it provided suggested weights, but it looks like you still have to weigh everything individually. Meh, could do the same with an Excel spreadsheet.

Posted by
1259 posts

For our upcoming BOE 3 week tour my bag is at 18lbs and my wife's is at 15 lbs and we are still trying to figure out how to shed more weight...

That's nice work. I used a similar website decades ago when I was converting to ultralight backpacking. Watch the ounces, the pounds quickly take care of themselves. Deconstructing one's packing list after returning home is a terrific exercise. Let s know how that goes. Happy travels.

Posted by
1259 posts

I thought it provided suggested weights, but it looks like you still have to weigh everything individually. Meh, could do the same with an Excel spreadsheet.

Wait, how would a random web site know how much any of your stuff weighs?
You can use excel? I bow.

Posted by
154 posts

Wait, how would a random west site know how much any of your stuff
weighs? You can use excel? I bow.

I made a spreadsheet with a bunch of items and the weight of each. I was surprised with some items.....clothing I thought would be heavier wasn't and items I thought would be lightest weren't. It was very eye opening. Especially with tops....I have some be as light as 3-4 ounces and others as heavy as 9 or more ounces.
Then I can add in the weight into one of many columns and play around with how different combinations work. Then it's just a simple addition calculation and you can see total weight as you add in or take off items.

Now, I will admit, I don't create the pretty pie chart that you get with lightperpack.com.

Actually, I have one master spreadsheet that includes this (on a tab), itinerary, activities to explore, restaurant info, etc. Then each time I am planning a trip, I make a copy of the spreadsheet. Yes, I am quite a geek, but this has been SO helpful. As I find information about the trip I'm taking, it goes immediately into the spreadsheet)

Posted by
14167 posts

I said to my hubby tonight that I don't think I can do a RS tour to Sicily next year because I'll need to bring too large a bag, and was going to look into other companies' tours.

While a carry on size bag is suggested, you’ll not be denied boarding the bus if you have a bigger bag. The biggest issue is that you have to get your own bag to the hotels which can sometimes be a walk from where the bus can park. I’ve not done the Sicily tour so no direct advice on that one.

Posted by
160 posts

I also made a spreadsheet, but I didn't record the weights of the items. I did weigh everything. When I was selecting t-shirts, I rejected any t-shirt over 5 ounces. Similarly, I packed the lightest weight pants, cardigan, etc. I leave in September and my latest test pack was 18.4 pounds. I am bringing a 40liter backpack.

Posted by
1259 posts

I also made a spreadsheet, but I didn't record the weights of the items.

That's just a list! I can do that on my iPad. But I also included all the weights. In grams. Easier to total up.