How to Pack For a Long Vacation

As someone who has traveled extensively all over the world, I know how to pack. I am not someone who can throw two outfits in a backpack and hop on a plane for Europe but I’m also not someone who likes carrying luggage around, even if it’s on wheels. I have gone on 12 day cruises, 2 week long European vacations, and a 3 week trip to Australia and New Zealand. I will do laundry on vacation if it’s necessary but it’s not something I like to do when I’m supposed to be having a good time.

Therefore, I learned some tips for how to travel fairly lightly yet take enough clothes for a two week or longer vacation.

1. My first suggestion is to make a travel list on your computer and save it. When you travel, you just need to pull it up and adjust it for the current vacation.

2. The second thing to do is get a good suitcase (assuming you are checking one bag) and a good carry-on. I recommend using a basic pullman style suitcase in a medium price range such as Atlantic. I suggest a color other than black, because there are so many black suitcases. Don’t get one much bigger than a carry-on because if you do you will exceed the weight limit.

For a carry-on I really like an all-in-one rolling suitcase and backpack such as the Sierra Carry-on Rolled Backpack. It can be taken apart into a small suitcase and daypack if necessary or it can be zipped together and thrown on your back when you need to catch a flight.

Make sure you purchase luggage that can all be hooked together and rolled if necessary.

3. When traveling internationally, I read years ago that there are ways people in other countries tell who the American tourists are by the following:

• White tennis shoes, especially if both in a couple wear them

• Matching outfits such as “jogging suits” or color-coordinated department store ensembles

• Fanny packs

• Shorts are rarely worn in many cities around the world. I was in Paris in July. It was a holiday (Bastille Day) and I saw no shorts the entire week.

4. Put together a travel wardrobe based upon two neutrals plus one bright color. I like to pack black and tan/khaki clothes plus a few pieces of another color such as red. I used to try to pack all black clothes but I would get too bored with the lack of variety and end up buying clothes in my destination. However, I do recommend taking clothes in which every top matches every bottom. This allows for endless combinations.

5. I pack so that 90% of what I packed could be washed out in the sink and hung to dry if necessary. That means no-iron light-weight polyester blend clothing for travel. If you want to spend a lot of money and plan to do extensive traveling, you can purchase clothing from a …

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