Packing Light for a Long Vacation
Sorry to gloat, but I have a much-needed two-week vacation coming up and I’m starting to think about how to pack for the trip. My suitcase, you see, isn’t very big. In fact, it’s what you might call downright small. For the first part of my trip I’m going to be moving around from one place to the next, and so I want something light and versatile, that’s easy to carry up and down steps.
So how to pack two week’s worth of stuff into my small but well-worn suitcase? I’m going to have to be creative—and just accept that I’ll be doing laundry once or twice while on the go. Since I don’t know when or where exactly I’m going to be able to find access to a laundromat, though, there are two areas where I’m definitely not going to skimp: socks and underwear.
As for the rest, my motto’s got to be, “less is more.” I plan to employ the following strategies:
1. Wear my bulkier items on the plane so they don’t take up extra space in my suitcase. This may make me look ridiculous, but it’ll free up precious room.
2. Employ what I like to call the “bag within a bag” method: instead of rifling through all my clothes to find my pajama bottoms, for example, I’ll be keeping like with like in separate bags within the larger suitcase. It’ll help keep me organized and knowing where everything is.
3. Bring no more than three pairs of shoes: hiking shoes, walking shoes, dress shoes, done.
4. Leave behind the extras, like books (something I’ve been known to bring a lot of).
5. Instead of bringing the whole shampoo and conditioner bottles, just bring enough to last for the two weeks by using those travel-sized containers.
All that done, I still think I’m going to have a hard time fitting everything, particularly since I’m going to a cold climate and am bringing a lot of heavy items. Any other good packing tips that I might be overlooking?
My name: Rachel Berg.
Favorite way to get around: By Venetian gondola during starlit high tide, gliding past decaying and slightly spooky palaces, with perhaps a bottle of prosecco placed between the gondola seat cushions.
View that took my breath away: Unable to sleep in the mystical city of Sfat in Israel, I wandered outdoors predawn and was treated to a purple-on-purple sunrise below the mountaintop that seemed to emerge feet-first through ground-level clouds.
Greatest travel lesson learned: Sunny weather isn't everything. Some of my best travel memories involve go-karting through a deluge turned mud-fest in Mexico, drinking tea in the cold Denali tundra, and watching electric thunderstorms roll through national parks out West.
Most challenging travel moment: Getting leveled by altitude sickness in Cuzco and realizing that my body was forcing me to slow down and rest despite the fact that there was so much to do and see.
Travel ambition: To see the northern lights.