I've been following the "When is it too early to pack" thread with bemused interest. I loved Wray's recent comment that she's become Sarah Murdoch and finds herself weighing shoehorns. :-) I've had a mental packing list going ever since booking our May trip to Italy last August. But I'm starting to get serious now that we're under three months to go. I've spent time the past two days weighing everything (thanks, Sarah) and -- what's happening to me? -- putting it all in a spreadsheet.
And ya' know what? It's really extremely informative. On our first trip abroad, we did 12 days total with carry-on only, a new and very satisfying experience. For that trip, I tried packing various combinations of stuff for weeks and standing on the bathroom scale with my RS 20" rolling carry-on. When I weighed the bag at the airport, I was slightly over Aer Lingus' 10 kg (22 lb.) limit. I took a couple of guidebooks out and switched them to my wife's bag and all was good, though no one else ever actually weighed our bags. I also have a luggage scale now, too, so I can have a better idea of what the real total weight is before leaving home.
For our upcoming trip to Italy (14 days total away from home), I'm hoping to pack even lighter. On my first pass through the spreadsheet, I'm around 20 pounds, but that doesn't include paper -- maps, print-outs of confirmations and such, guidebook chapters (with apologies to MrsEB, I'm going to slice up that big, fat Italy guidebook to save half a pound or so).
If I want to pack lighter, weighing and listing everything is going to force me to make choices in a very specific way. Example: I love that navy blue shirt I bought recently, but is it really worth 9 ounces? I have other, lighter shirts, and maybe I only need five shirts rather than six. Or, my 3-1-1 bag is a hefty 18 ounces (how does that happen?). Maybe I can live without that tiny little glass bottle of cologne. Etc., etc.
This time, however, I'm already thinking about checking the suitcase on the way home, so I can use my Don't Tell Rick bag to bring back some nice wine, olive oil, or who knows what.
Cheers and happy packing!