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Cady Luck Leedy’s Tuesday Travel Tips: #3

Do Not Travel Like a Hobo

You Do Not Have to Travel Like a Hobo

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!

Sacs from Eagle Creek

Sacs from Eagle Creek

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!

Smart-Compression Sac

Smart-Compression Sac

Evelopes

Envelopes

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.

How to do the Shoes

How to do the Shoes

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!

 

Cady Luck Leedy’s Tuesday Travel Tips: #2

Tip # 2. It is very important to carry the right bag! This is a little story about bags, one of the most important parts of traveling!

The Borse Family

The Borse Family, Papa, Mama and Baby Borsa

There once were several Borse (Italian word for bags) that lived in  “The End” cottage. They were very excited to be going on vacation! Papa Borsa was big, blue, and handsome, with lots of pockets.  His favorite feature was a big pouch for an extra pair of shoes right on his front that was easily accessible. He could carry a newspaper, an umbrella, and all kinds of goodies in his side pouch. He also had a heart sleeve, a place he held dear, that carried the Mrs’s  lipstick and chapstick and anything small that would make the Mrs look good at all times. All the small items are easy to get to without opening the main bag.

How to do the Shoes

How to Do the Shoes

That’s why Mama Borsa fell in love with him at first sight. She knew he was the brains of the family and carried the computer, the Ipad, and IPhone and all their connectors, so he was always ready to compute. His big belly was ready for anything! Be sure to wrap the shoes in the plastic bags the newspaper comes in! You can never have enough plastic bags and newspaper bags are some of my favorites! Those bags are so handy! Papa Borsa was so thoughtful, with a plastic sturdy bottom on the outside, so he wouldn’t bring dirt into the cottage. He came from Lug and had lots of brothers and sisters in bright cheerful colors!

Mama Borsa was an organizer, she wasn’t too big or too small, but just right. She had lots of pockets and zips and came with several straps, so was very adjustable to all kinds of situations.  Since she was in charge of the purse strings she had a small change purse for credit cards, money and identity cards that clipped to her innards and could never be dropped or left on tables to be lost. She came from the family of Baggallini’s.  They were a family of zippy, deep pockets, and closures known for their endurance and strength.  She was called Odessy by her family, but just Mama at home.

Papa and Mama Borsa, had many children, but they decided for every trip,  that Veggie Borsa, should be one of the children to go. He was adopted from the check-out aisle at the market and was the baby and liked to carry lots of things with him all the time, because he was very stretchy.  Mama had to keep an eye on him when shopping, if he left her side.  He would be found with all kinds of gifts and goodies, and since he was so flexible he would stretch and stretch until he filled up. Mama and Papa were always surprised that he could carry so much and still not be too heavy to carry home.  Papa Borsa was so proud of him! Especially when they went to market.   With Baby Veggie Borsa along you didn’t need to pay for Papersacks Borsa to carry the groceries home.  Baby Borsa was glad to help and never dropped or broke one thing! Even wet he never let the family down. He was a real bagger!  After a big day when he was ready for his nap, he would fold up so tiny and could be tucked in almost anywhere! And he slept!

This year, the cousins Pacsafe and Secrid, were going on vacation too. Pacsafe was always so secretive!

One of the Pacsafe Cousins With Sacrid

One of the Pacsafe Cousins With Secrid

He had a very strong, wire-coiled exterior and strap that could not be cut through and tough locking straps so you could lock him to a chair or a post! Nothing was going to phase Pacsafe! No one would get away with him! Secrid was a small little fellow that always traveled with Pacsafe. When you saw one, you saw the other! He carried the credit cards and his strong aluminum shell prevented the theft of credit card numbers when no one was paying attention. But Secrid always paid attention! They were very happy to be joining the trip this year!

The Borse Family looked forward to the big plane ride. There was a big overhead bin where they all could cuddle.  Papa hoped he would meet a briefcase to discuss the world in general.  Mama hoped to delve into all the fashion and food of the world, with her new bag friends.  And Baby Veggie thought he might be the only one along for the ride. Pacsafe hoped someone would try to steal him on vacation, so he could show his muscles, and Secrid was itching to go shopping and zip his cards through the machines! After meeting up with all their friends, they finished their snacks and settled in for a nice long flight! See you on vacation! Enjoy!

PS  The Papa Borsa Bag sits easily on my small luggage and over the pull-out handle. Nothing to carry. My Mama Borsa Bag is a cross-over bag so it frees up my hands. Nothing to worry about leaving somewhere. I take Baby Borsa whenever I am out shopping or just going to the corner for baguettes!

 

Cady Luck Leedy’s Tuesday Travel Tips

Tip # 1 

The Knee Bone is Connected to the Thigh Bone. The Thigh Bone is Connected to a Headache.

Bellagio,Italy

Bellagio, Italy

I really want to talk about luggage here. See all the steps?  What if you had to go from a) the bottom of that tiny stoned stairway to  b) the top where your lodging is? Would you want  to drag a large overgrown bear with you? Or better yet, could you carry that bear over your shoulders?  Now let’s also throw in, it’s hot outside, you are tired and you are not even sure if this is the right stairway to heaven.  Get the picture?  Less is more. You can’t take it all with you. Italy, France, Turkey, Germany, (you fill in the blank) like any other place has stores.  AND carrying too much will give you a headache to  boot.

So you say you will rent a car?  Well you still have to get from the airline terminal to the rental car agency.  Sometimes in order to get there this will include stairs, tiny narrow escalators, long tunnels with more stairs at the end, or a combination of all of them.  How much does that suitcase weigh?  What about the Borse, how heavy are they?  (See the next post about the Borse family)  Some of the most beautiful villages in Italy are all uphill.  Even downhill feels uphill to me.  Be prepared to pull or carry. Light.

Varenna, Italy

Varenna, Italy

Once after landing at the Florence, Italy airport I made my way to the car rental area and found myself in line behind a group of two men and three women, who were traveling together.  Now I could sense this was going to be trouble from the get-go because the women were telling the men, in detail, what to do.   One gentleman filled out all the paperwork, as instructed by the ladies and when the agent thought they were through and handing over the papers, the women decided the other gent should be added as a driver as well. Back to the beginning. I stood in line for over an hour and the line behind me got longer and longer.
“Hellooooo, my knee was saying. Why are we standing still for such a long time?”   When it was my turn it took ten minutes and out the door I went.  Note:  Make all your car reservations at home and it will save you time and trouble.  When I got outside I found my car parked right behind The Group and watched in awe as they tried to get fifteen pieces of luggage into a mid-sized sedan.  Big luggage. They tried every which way under the sun, again at the direction of the ladies, and finally decided that the two large cases would have to go in the back seat of the car and the three women would sit on top of them.  Bent over.  Noses touching the seat in front of them.  Those poor men!  I hoped they didn’t have to go very far!  How would they be when they arrived at their destination?  I did not want to know.

I like to take the train most of the time.  The trains that are “Mind the Gap” are easily accessible, just step from a platform over a small open space and you are easily on. Prince Charming is never around when you need him.  Some trains in Italy are small.  The trains in Italy may look like this:  1. Narrow entrance to get on and off .  2.  Three or more giant steps that you must be prepared to hoist your luggage to and then yourself.  For me it is luggage first than me.  3. Trains are on time (well Italian time) so you have to get a move on when the train comes to a halt. 4.  Be prepared for the entrance to be crammed with people who do not want to move to a seat.  Picture this. I was taking a train from the Zurich Airport by way of the local train. I had to take a train to get to another train. The train stopped, the door opened and all I saw were faces and piled high luggage.  I quickly assessed the situation. The train was ready to depart  so up went my case and I scrambled on behind it. Nobody moved. We were eyeball to eyeball with my suitcase squeezed between us. I couldn’t even turn around to face the door and just hoped my fanny would not get caught in it when it closed.  I looked up and read the sign. Do not lean on the door.  Luckily, I only had one stop to go before we all poured out.

Menaggio, Italy

Menaggio, Italy

Sometimes after you reach your destination in paradise there are stairs just waiting to greet you.  So you have a room booked on the first floor?  Well that will be the second floor in Europe. Most hotels do not have an elevator or if they do it is tiny,  not room enough for you AND a large suitcase.   You must be able to carry your luggage up the stairs. By the time you get there heavy luggage will make your knees weak, your legs screaming, your back aching, and give you a killer headache.  You will need a drink!  Or two, but won’t want to walk back down those stairs!

So what kind of luggage do I travel with? One on wheels, durable, but light weight.  It measures 16X23 inches and has an easy to recognize name tag

My new best friend

My new best friend

and strong pull out handle to slip on Papa Borsa because he doesn’t like to be carried.  Remember that your luggage does not like cobblestones, so it must have a durable handle that can lift it to carry and will not break easily.  My favorite accessory is the luggage scale.  Don’t leave home without it. You don’t want to get to the airport upon departure to have the smiling attendant say your ticket is now @$$%%^^^%#$$$$ because it is overweight.  You will be directed to another line to take stuff out or re-arrange it. Re-arrange it to what?  Use that scale beforehand and know how much the suitcase weighs.  Practice walking with your suitcase full. Go up and down your stairs at home carrying it.  Can you do it?  Remember the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone and the thigh bone is connected to the back bone.  All the way to your head.  Save yourself a headache.  Travel light. Now let’s get down the stairs!  How about these?

Stairs in B&B, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Stairs in B&B, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Next….. what do I pack and how do I pack it?

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