How is it possible to pack two weeks worth of stuff into a carry-on? I'm not sure I can do it. :)
Lori, my daughter and I packed for 8 weeks...each had the Rick Steves' 21" Roll Aboard that expands. We each had 4 outfits and did laundry at least every 3 days. We had 2 of the Rick Steves' stretch clothes lines.
We also had a day back pack.
It can be done.
We mailed purchases home about once a week.
Click on the "Travel Tips" tab at the top of the page you're reading now. Read the appropriate articles under the "Packing Tips" heading.
You'll also want a day pack to put your essentials in if you have to check your carry-on bag and also to use while exploring on foot. I like the Civita day pack sold in the RS travel store.
You may also want to consider that if you are flying Lufthansa, Swiss Air or other European airlines, there are weight restrictions on carry on. Most are 17.5lbs for 2nd class and double that for business class and 1st class. There are also length-width-height limits on the baggage. Yes you can pack two weeks of stuff in a carry-on. You may need to visit a launderia about mid-trip. It does become a bit more problematic when the weather is colder and you have to carry more items for the temperature and weather but still very do-able with nice light-weight wrinkle-free shirts and pants that wash easily and dry quickly. You can wash them in your rooms. They're dry the next morning.
Not sure what you mean by "two weeks worth of stuff." If you adhere to a packing light philosophy, you take the same amount of stuff for three days, three weeks, or three months. The length of time has almost nothing to do with the amount of stuff.
Thanks for your replies! "Packing light" is a new term for me. :) I'm not exactly sure that it is even remotely possible for ME to "pack light". You should see my bags on weekend trips!!!
I will give it a try though. I printed off Rick's packing list and pulled out my carry-on bag. We don't leave for another two weeks but I'm going to start packing today to see if this is doable.
I'll keep you posted! :)
lori, it all comes down to philosophy.
At home when you're traveling by car you can bring everything "just in case". But on a trip overseas you face a tradeoff. Travel light and its easier to get around, your luggage won't get lost because its always with you, cobblestone streets or hotels w/o elevators are little trouble. But you don't have everything with you, and you'll have to wash your underwear every few days.
Thousands of people take Rick's tours each year and have to follow this approach, like it or not. In the end they like it; peruse the feedback from the tours and you don't see people saying "the worst thing about this trip was I wasn't able to bring all the stuff I needed". Tens of thousands more travel this way, influenced by Rick or their own conclusions after traveling.
See, also, the excerpt from Rick's book at http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/packlight.htm
Then again I am going to Israel for 2 weeks this fall and taking two 21" inch Roll Aboards which I will check through to Tel Aviv.
Winter clothes and all take up room; therefore, I am not going to worry about lost luggage this time.
However, if/when I go to Eastern Europe during the winter I would keep it to one 21" inch Roll Aboard and go to the cleaners often.
I will also have my day back back which I could not travel without.
I guarantee that you will not be happy with large or multiple travel bags in Italy - especially if you will be doing a lot of train travel. It's not so much the train as it is the STAIRS. Some small, most medium and all large cities have multiple track platforms. The only way you get between them is to go down 25-30 stairs, go through a short tunnel, and then back up 25-30 stairs. Some stations have elevators and a few have ramps. You'll just love it when your train pulls in a bit late and your connecting train is 1-2 platforms over and ready to leave in 5 minutes. We packed light but we saw many, many people who didn't and struggled with the stairs, AND, getting on and off a crowded train.
JB, you are amazing! 8 weeks with just a carry-on. WOW! I'm not sure I can do it. I tried yesterday and the 21" was bursting at the seams. I'm going to move to the next bigger size suitcase (which is still much, much smaller than my big one!). I think I will have more luck with that size. One thing I was concerned with was having enough room for souvenirs.
Larry, thanks for the info on the Italian train stations. I had no idea. I will definitely keep that in mind when packing.
All of you have been so helpful. I really appreciate it!!!
another travel site to read about packing light is http://www.onebag.com/mail.html
Here's a site with good suggestions on what to pack and how to coordinate clothing separates:
Click on "Clothing" on the right side of the home page and continue reading by clicking on the link at the bottom of each page in the Clothing section. The "Women's Wardrobe" Page 1 and Page 2 illustrate how to mix and match 5 top pieces and three bottom pieces, plus a scarf.
Thanky you all for these great tips. I don't need to go any further than this question and answer website. Everything I ever wanted to know about travel in Europe (Italy) is answered by everyone's Q&A's. I especially sympathize with "Lori" I cannot pack for a weekend without taking a huge suitcase. We are going on a Med cruise in 2008 but also spending time in Venice and then riding back to Rome via train... and I am already stressing about the luggage problem - If anyone has ever been on a cruise they will agree. You need lotsa stuff.
I'll try the lite packing ideas given here. Thx!.
What about taking a small bag you can carry with you after the cruise and a larger suitcase for the cruise itself? That way, you can pack your fancier clothes needed for the cruise and then when you get off the boat, ship that whole suitcase home and you'll have the carry-on for when you're roughing it.
Have a great trip!