Pack it up!

IMG_1717I just finished reading an online article about packing for travel. To be honest, it has been on my mind a lot lately. All because of one spot on our upcoming trip where I am seeing a possible problem. We leave for Edinburgh a week from Monday (May 20) and on Friday of that week we will be heading to York by train to visit some of our favorite people. That’s the day I am just not sure about. You see that morning I need to get us from a train platform into our seats on the train with our luggage. And I am still not sure how I am going to do that.

We travel with the following (see the photo): two checked bags (I know, don’t check bags—see below as to why I have to), two regular-size carry-ons and my camera/computer bag and whatever Kathleen is carrying as a purse or bag (this time a backpack, I think). When we get to Waverly Station in Edinburgh, I need to get those on to the train. Each of the checked bags weighs around 50  pounds. The carry-ons each weigh around 25 pounds. All are fairly big as you can see from the pic. My camera/computer bag weights in excess of 25 pounds.

I would love to do the minimalist packing thing. I hate schlepping bags (one of the reasons we cruise, so we can pack and unpack once) but we are about to leave on a month-long European trip that will hit four countries, 3 weeks on land and a cruise in there someplace. I am a fairly big guy (6’2″, 215 pounds) and wear size 13 shoes. I have big clothes and big shoes (nowhere near as big as my little brother’s) How do I pack for that long without a checked bag? I need shoes for evening wear and shoes for working out at a minimum. One pair of my shoes almost fills a standard carry-on. Even if I stuff them with socks and underwear, three weeks worth of my clothing just will not fit in a carry-on. All that and we think that this trip we may hit snow in June (Iceland) so I need boots as well along with sweaters and other cold weather clothing.

So someone can tell me how to get all this in a carry-on I would truly appreciate it but I have tried for years to do that and the closest I have come was way back when on our first couple of land trips to Italy and the UK when we did it with one checked bag and one carry-on. But that was before I was exercised crazed and could travel the entire of a country with one pair of shoes. It was also before part of every major trip was a cruise where I knew I would need more than jeans to have dinner. And it was before we went all over the place on trips that included stops in four different countries, including Iceland.

Lastly, YES, I have read the quote below and tried that method. On the last trip I brought back exactly three things I did not wear and all three were sweaters. Not my fault that it was almost 90 degrees in Portland, Maine in mid-October.

When you get back from a trip, make a note of what you didn’t wear. This will avoid packing it unnecessarily next time. —Robert Powell

4 thoughts on “Pack it up!

  1. Arlene

    I’m feel for you, Jim. I can get 2 weeks worth of clothes into my carryon but then I am 5’, 125# and size 7 shoes. I just did a 10 day with a carryon. Only the jeans were worn several times and I had a few tops that were not worn. I love being a minimalist when traveling.
    When Barry and I travel for three weeks, we each take a carryon and one checked suitcase. It works as long as I don’t buy stuff. I also have been buying travel pants for Barry. They are very lightweight and hand wash well and dry overnight.
    For cold weather, I have a down coat (from Costco) that rolls up to the size of a neck pillow. Do they make that in men’s sizes?
    Do you have access to laundry services while you are traveling? When you are visiting some of your favorite people, can you do laundry?

    1. We can do some laundry, either with our friends or at the AirBnB we are staying in Edinburgh but one of the biggest things for me is workout clothes and shoes. And this time having to take boots. I was considering leaving them until the photos of the snow all over the decks of Reflection yesterday.

  2. Susan MacGregor

    Jim, with regards to ‘boots’ for part of your trip. I usually wear waterproof trail/hiking shoes most of the time, the boots come out when I have to deal with drifts and or snowbanks. Perhaps that could be a solution to the sudden snow? I know they won’t work for running shoes. With regards to luggage, two checked bags, two carry on bags (one being a knapsack with camera/iPads/ small case with charging cords . . . )
    We did schlepp to many trains and ferries when we traveled to meet some fabulous Shiloetter’s in 2016.

    1. Susan, that’s what I have boots-wise. They aren’t big, snow boots. Just hiking/trail boots from New Balance but they are still a third pair of shoes—something I have never taken before.

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