Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Leavin' on a Jet Plane...
Little Princess is a packer extraordinaire. My dad teases that when they go to the beach, he needs a trailer just to haul her stuff. That girl is prepared, though! She packs clothes for swimming, shopping, dining, beach combing, and just in case, something a little more formal, should the occasion arise. When I go to the beach, I figure I've got everything covered if I have my swimsuit, a toothbrush, sunscreen, and a little something to use as a cover-up. Yes, we have very different packing styles.
I've never had to pack for an extended stay vacation, but for a week long trip, I can put everything I need in a carry-on sized suitcase. If it can't fit under the seat in front of me on the plane, it really doesn't need to go. Now it's true, I don't have near as many options each morning as I get ready for the day. I can't play the spoiled card by saying, "But I don't FEEL like wearing THAT today." Or, "That's too wrinkly. What else is there?" I have to use tough love on myself, and "buck up," and wear what's there.
Backpacking and Harleying have taught me how to be a minimalist when it comes to traveling. One of the strangest tips I ever heard from one of my husband's motorcycle friends was to pack only the OLD underwear and just throw it out after wearing it, to lighten the load as you go. Now I don't know about you, but my underwear just doesn't take up that much room. And when I'm going on vacation, I like to take the NICER pieces, you know, to spice things up, so to speak. I don't want to have panty lines or fight with undergarments that are ill-fitting while I'm on my VACAY!!! Those old granny panties will just have to stay home.
Last year, I took his advice to heart, though, and packed with the intent to dispose along the way. I had lost some weight in the spring and some of my jeans were loose. I honestly took some of my larger jeans, counting on their feeling extra comfy on the motorcycle, and being able to dispose of them on our trip without guilt to make room for souvenirs and new t-shirts from our west coast trip. When the zipper kept coming off the track of one of the pair of jeans, I didn't even bat an eye about leaving that problem behind in our Crescent City motel room.
Have you ever watched Mr. Bean? Our family loves Rowan Atkinson of BBC fame. One of my favorite scenes of his involves packing things into a much too small suitcase. He solves dilemmas by cutting items in half, or only taking half of what he needs.
I was guilty of some of those extreme measures when backpacking. Who needs a WHOLE wash cloth? And you don't need a towel, if you only wet half of the half of washcloth, the other side can be used for drying! When shopping for outdoor wear, I always bought the LIGHTEST weight shirts and pants; no jeans ever! They were too bulky and took too long to dry. Lightweight was the way to go.
So packing for our Virginia trip was a breeze. I hung up five hangers in my suitcases's handy dandy
compartment, utilizing that little organizational feature. Most hangers have two items hanging on them. I rolled up all of my capris, tank tops, PJs, and collarless shirts. I've packed two pairs of shoes, a few gifts, toiletries, and hair appliances. There's even jewelry and my telephoto camera lens in there! I plan on wearing some of the capris more than once, but that will just be our little secret.
It has been a couple of years since I've been home, so I am more than a little excited to travel today. There's still a couple of nooks and crannies vacant in my suitcase. I'll go see what else I can tuck into the spaces; a girl likes to have her options!