Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Packing Light

Hi Everyone,

This summer is going by so fast! Where is the time going?! The Fourth of July is almost here already! That means lots of people will be traveling about now. Planes, cars, trains, ships, camels…you name it, and people will be using it for going somewhere! My husband and I are getting ready for a trip to Barcelona and the preparations sometimes seem endless! I’ve done a little bit of shopping in preparation for the trip. The next item on my “To Do” list for this trip will be packing. Packing is one of the worst jobs—at least for me! Trying to decide what to take—how much to take—is not an easy job. You want to stay clean, comfortable and looking nice when you travel—this makes packing a challenge for some of us!

Packing is also becoming a little more challenging with all the new baggage fees the airlines are charging to help cover the rising cost of doing business. There is a lot of confusion for everyone getting ready to travel. I did a little bit checking to see if baggage fees have changed for travel in Europe. I checked on the bigger airlines, such as British Airways, Delta, and KLM. These airlines have luggage information on their websites…I had no trouble at all finding their policies. So far, for travel in Europe and international travel outside of the US, the major airlines I checked were not yet charging for baggage. They list what is acceptable as hand luggage to take on board the plane, and then list their policies for checked luggage. I found no references at all to requiring payment for any checked luggage, except overweight luggage, and a fee in case you have bags over the allotted number allowed. Each of these airlines, for now, allows a passenger to check 2 bags, no more than 50 pounds in weight each. That is for now…but I’m sure that will change soon!

So, my husband and I can still take two big bags (each) on our trip to Spain; that is, according to the airlines! But, according to my husband, we will pack two small carry-ons…that are easy for us to handle and manage. We will probably each take a backpack, too. I have so many meds, a portable nebulizer, etc. to take with me that I will definitely need a backpack. And then we will have a computer along, too…that is necessary for both of our jobs! My packing will have to be more in the same way as people are packing for travel within the US…try to just have one personal bag and one carry-on that fits in overhead bin! It’s important to take into account that we will have to use public transit in Barcelona. Lugging around heavy bags…or multiple bags…can not only be hard on you physically, but can also prove to be dangerous. We went to Madrid a couple of years ago, and we had multiple bags. As we were getting on to the Metro (subway) with all of our bags, it was obvious to a group of pickpockets that we were tourists and they tried to rob us as we got onto the Metro car! This is a very common occurrence, even in the US in big cities. We were very lucky that nothing was stolen. But it just proves that traveling as light as possible is good for you in every way!

So, now I’m trying to decide what to take for our stay…how many of what and what colors, etc! Planning for this kind of a trip can be tricky, but it can certainly be managed! I’ve had to travel in this way before and it was actually pretty easy and nice—just like the professional travel advice columnists advise us all to do! I packed clothes that had a similar color theme—it was beige and white, on that trip. I had two pairs of shoes—one for skirts/dresses and another comfortable pair for walking. Most of my clothing was plain, but I packed some colorful scarves to help give some color to my outfits, and also used some simple jewelry as accents. That trip was about a week long (with a fancy banquet included), and I managed to pack one skirt, one dress, two pairs of capris pants, and four shirts. That was it! I must share one of my secrets, though…I did laundry in the bathroom sink! It wasn’t too hard to hand wash our clothes…being summer time and the fabrics were thinner. Also, I tried to take things that didn’t need too much ironing and I had packed a couple of plastic hangers and some clothes pins…along with a small zip-top bag of laundry soap! Here’s another tip: if you wring the clothes out in your bath towels, it will keep the clothes from dripping all over everything…be sure to hang your towels to dry…they are still clean and can be used for drying yourself after a shower later!

My packing will be much simplified if I use these same ideas for our upcoming trip. It will make my suitcase much lighter, and be much easier and safer than having to lug around multiple bags! And my husband will also be happier and easier to travel with!

Do any of you have a helpful packing hint? Please be sure to share it with us!

Well, that’s all for today…you all have a great day!

God bless,

Sherry :0)

© 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath

Clipart from Microsoft

No comments: