Tip #3: You Have to Know How to Hold ‘Em and Know How to Fold ‘Em!
Traveling in the summer months is easier to pack for. Clothes weigh less and are not bulky. I make outfits that mix and match. For any trip over two weeks; seven tops and five slacks. Interchangeable. Period. This combo makes thirty five different outfits! For trips under two weeks; five tops and four slacks. Add a lightweight sweater that goes with anything, or a light-weight wrap. Remember you can’t enter most religious sites wearing shorts, or having bare shoulders. You’ll need a cover-up and appropriate clothing. I always have just two main color schemes, light and dark. My choice is black and tan. I choose tops than can go with all the slacks. My slacks are capri length or long. This makes a very big wardrobe and believe me it so much easier to deal with. To dress something up add a scarf! If I have a washer and dryer available on an extended trip I go with the 7/4 rule. Don’t be bogged down taking tons of clothes! You will tire of lugging them around, and will not wear most of them!
The next best thing to soap is Compression Sacs from Eagle Creek, the kind that don’t need a vacuum to suck out the air. Put your clothes in it, and then roll the sack like you are rolling out a pie. The air escapes and it is flat as a pancake. A miracle! You will be amazed how much you can get into these sacs! The sacs come in three sizes. Small, medium and large. I take one large Compression Sac empty, to use for dirty laundry. I can separate the dirty from the clean stuff so I always know what is what. They are extremely durable and I have been known to mail home my dirty laundry in these sacs, when I bought too many goodies on vacation. (You’ ll still need to find a box to mail them in, but it will be a small one!) Also, if you go to a laundromat in Europe it is easier and less noticeable to carry your laundry to and fro in these sacs. Mark one for clean and one for dirty, so you can bring back clean clothes in a clean sac. Put dirty clothes in marked dirty sac, roll it up, squeeze out the air and place sacs in Veggie Borsa and off you go to wash! Scented laundry sheets are a real winner. Place them in the dirty clothes sac and in your suitcase and everything will smell heavenly!
The other must have is the Eagle Creek Envelopes and it’s matching bags. These come in different shapes and sizes, the items shown here are the ones I use. One for pants, one for tops, one for underwear and one for toiletries. I love it because it keeps my clothes sorted and I don’t have to pull everything out of my suitcase to find something. Also, if I am staying in one spot for a long time I take the envelopes out and put them in the dresser drawers. Easy! It is amazing how your clothes stay freshly pressed in these envelopes too.
For shoes, your new best friend, will be the plastic sleeves that the newspaper comes in. Perfect for shoes, slide the shoe in and pack them. Keeps everything clean. I wear my heaviest shoes on the airplane and pack another pair in Papa Borsa’s front pouch, which is easy to get to. I take three pair of shoes total. One pair of black sandals, for dressier occasions without extensive walking. Also, two pair of walking shoes. We tend to walk a lot, so comfortable shoes is a must. One tan pair, one black. Again they will go with all my outfits. Do not take white tennis shoes! You will stand out in the crowd as the loud, touristy American! They make all sorts of colored, fancy or not, walking shoes and they are stylish anywhere, so you will blend in. I also bring a small roll of duct tape in a bright color to make a fashion statement. Ha Ha! Place a strip on the back of your ankles before you leave home and you will never get a blister, no matter how far you walk!
Small plastic bags in assorted sizes come in most handy for makeup, lotions or hairspray that may leak. Place all toiletries in a plastic bag before it is put in the toiletry bag. Bring only what is necessary and in small plastic travel containers. A small bar of soap and detergent is handy to wash out underclothes in my room. I also bring a small nylon stretchy clothes line.
I never take a hair dryer, too bulky, no matter the size. Most hotels, and B&B’s offer one to use. If not, I go with my “whatever” hairdo! I am on vacation!
Stuff to carry in your purse at all times:
A Tide to Go pen. You want to get at a possible stain before it has time to set. Ever been to a bathroom to discover no toilet paper? Carry Handywipes and a No Rinse Hand Sanitizer. Carry a very small umbrella. If you have it with you, you will never need it. Enjoy your next vacation!