Author Topic: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips  (Read 4412 times)

EconDiva

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« on: September 04, 2017, 07:23:54 AM »
I plan to travel out of the country for 12ish days with only a carryon which will be a challenge for me as I'm known for overpacking.

I am looking for laundry tips since I will be traveling in the month of October (think 70 F during the day and 55-60 F at night) but will need to keep the bag light.  I plan to focus on neutral colored non-printed items that can be mixed and matched and layers.

I am thinking to bring 6-8 individual outfits total which won't cover all of the days.  I am unlikely to be in an Airbnb (I mention this because many Airbnbs will have laundry in the unit, building, home, etc.).  But I haven't booked any accommodations yet so we will see. 

What are your travel related tips for packing light and particularly for keeping clothes fresh and also doing laundry while traveling?  Do you re-wear outfits?  I haven't done this before and lean towards laundering because I'll be out and about, on public transit, doing lots of walking and possibly some days might involve an activity like hiking.  Would you recommend washing clothes in the bathroom sink?  I will probably be in hotels and hostels but paying the hotel to do it is out of the question because it would obviously be way too expensive. 

sokoloff

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 635
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 07:41:37 AM »
You can re-wear jeans 3-6 days in most climates. I tend not to re-wear shirts, but you might be able to get 2 days from a shirt as well. Undergarments and socks wash well in the sink and if you're staying someplace 2 nights, will completely dry if you wash them the first day and then have 24+ hours for them to dry before you need to repack.

Depending on where you're traveling, you might also find a laundry by the pound place that will do it for you while you're out doing other things. That's not prohibitive even in the US, so in other places might be even cheaper. Even if you pay what seems like an unreasonable price for the service (not $8/piece hotel prices, but any remotely sane launder-for-me price), it won't make much of a dent in the overall cost of the trip. Even scheduling a splurge AirBnB in the middle that has laundry would be reasonable I think.

For those temps, I'd be in jeans and T-shirt with a full zip hoodie and the hoodie will last the whole trip. You could pack a thinner second pair of pants/shorts, 5 additional shirts, wear jeans, a shirt, and hoodie on the flight and get away with laundry once in the middle of the trip. That would pack into a backpack if you had to, so one rollerboard would be more than enough.

CheapScholar

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 277
  • Location: The Midwest
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 08:29:59 AM »
I travel a lot for work and personal.  I travel very light and pretty much never check a bag.  I did 3 weeks in Germany and France and had only a backpack and small carry on case (needed some dress clothes for that trip).  I suggest:

Know how to hand wash tshirts very well.  I carry laundry detergent in an old hotel shampoo bottle.  I also carry a plastic hanger (hotels often have hangers that are locked to the rack and/or made of wood).  This is important and obvious, but soft and thin lightweight tshirts hand wash a lot better than those cheaper thick shirts.  Wash in sink with hot water and a very small amount of detergent.  Ring well and put on the hanger over the shower.  Use hotel blow dryer on the shirt for a minute or two and it will be fully dry within a few hours.  If you wash a tshirt every night and you don't need fancy clothes, you can travel indefinitely on 3 quality shirts.  Note:  you can hand wash dress shirts as well, but they need to be very thin and you need to blow dry at least 5 minutes per shirt.

Pants:  This is trickier.  I wouldn't suggest handwashing pants ever.  The only exception might be things like running shorts that are polyester (might be applicable if you are hiking).

Socks and underwear:  I can hand wash and dry boxer shorts quite well.  Bring another hanger.  Socks are very hard to hand wash and dry.  Usually not worth it.  However, very thin slipper socks are doable.  To dry these, get help from the hotel iron.  Ultimately, I suggest packing older socks and underwear that you can throw away as you go. 

If you're doing 12 days you can get away with 2 pants, 1 shorts, 3 tshirts, 1 sweatshirt.  Try to find a laundromat halfway through the trip to wash your pants and give undergarments a good wash.

Nothing beats traveling light.

elaine amj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1883
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 10:26:17 AM »
Forget hangers - I pack a bungee cord with some clothespins. Makes a FABULOUS laundry line and I just attach them to whatever I can find in the room.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

elaine amj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1883
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 10:38:15 AM »
In such nice fall weather I would prob re-wear clothes a few times. Look at laundry maybe twice? 6-8 outfits sound like a lot. I like to pack 4-5 sets of clothes. On our last cruise, I was washing t-shirts, shorts, underwear, and swimwear almost daily in the sink. I actually find socks very easy to wash and dry (even our thick cushioned athletic socks). I agree that I don't wash pants though - those are a pain to handwash IMO.

Make sure u lay your wet clothes in a towel and wring them out. Much much dryer than just wringing by hand. I should add that I am not strong and DH consistently gets 2-3 times more water out than I do. But my methods work sufficiently well to get clothes reasonably dry.

The big thing is to reduce your shoes. If u can cut back to one pair of hiking shoes and one pair of sandals/flip flops then that cuts wayyy back on what u have to pack.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3347
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 11:08:20 AM »
You've already received some good advice; I'm echoing some of it, but I have a few new thoughts:

- You don't say that you'll need to dress up, so that excuses you from a whole category of clothing.  This is a big help. 
- Since "diva" is part of your name, I'm assuming you're female.  Keep in mind that accessories (scarves and jewelry, for example) take up little space but add a good punch to an outfit. 
- I'd wear one pair of super-comfortable basic jeans ... and pack a pair of dark-neutral pants (I'd probably go grey, but you might prefer black or khaki -- any of these would work with many tops) ... and pack a simple skirt.  This will take care of your "bottom needs".
- For tops, I'd pack/wear 6 simple shirts ... half long sleeved, half short sleeved ... plus two cardigan sweaters (preferably in a mottled color or pattern ... one thick, one thin) that will work with all these shirts.  Make sure one of these tops is the same color as your simple skirt so it will pass as a dress.  I know that people often suggest that you stick to a color scheme, but I don't see the point -- as long as your tops match the pants and sweaters, you're good for each day. 
- Pack 6 pair of basic socks and pair of tights to match the skirt.
- I'd wear a pair of very comfortable black or brown penny loafer-type shoes ... and pack a pair of hiking boots ... and pack a pair of those almost-nothing folding bedroom slippers so you can get out of your "day shoes" yet still walk around the hotel without being in your sock-feet. 
- Include one mid-weight wrap, which can serve as a small blanket on the plane or can be used as a layer-over-cardigan.  Make the color very basic. 
- I'd pack two pair of thin yoga pants + two oversized tee-shirts to wear in the hotel rooms at night.  I say two sets because at some point you're going to wash them, and this will allow one pair to be wet ... yet you don't have to be naked.

The above gives you 16 pieces of clothing (3 bottoms, 6 tops, 3 warm items) ... and doesn't include undergarments and socks.  Depending upon your destination, you might want a thin raincoat.  I'd be perfectly comfortable with this quantity of clothing for a couple weeks. 

- Assuming no accidents or super-sweaty days, I'd say the pants can each be worn three days ... so halfway through the trip I'd plan to send out the pants to be washed at the hotel.  Yes, it'll be expensive, but washing pants in the sink isn't realistic. 
- I've seen this item:  https://smile.amazon.com/Scrubba-Portable-Laundry-System-Light/dp/B00BUI7HFC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504544270&sr=8-1&keywords=scrubba+wash+bag    And I'm thinking of buying it for trips.  I think it would be more effective than washing things in the sink.  Yeah, the cost is why I haven't bought it yet -- but assuming it lasts and could be used for many trips in the future, it would "pay off" in terms of lighter packing and avoidance of hotel washing costs.  I'm a little fussy over my shampoo, so I tend to bring my own ... and use the hotel stuff to wash clothes.  Consider packing a sham-wow (the things you use for drying a car) ... roll up your wet clothes in one of these, and you'll find that they really suck up the water ... yet they dry fast too.

- With hostels a possibility, don't neglect to pack a lock ... often places like this provide you with a locker. 
- Don't neglect your over-the-counter medicines. 
- And pack a couple big ziplock bags in case your clothes aren't quite dry, yet it's time for you to leave your hotel.



Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1268
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 11:17:28 AM »
Great suggestions from Mrs. Pete. i found these Outdoor Products compression bags to be very helpful in packing small
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N8ZG8WH/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I also discovered Patagonia Seabrook skirts (found on sale) that fold up tiny, dry overnight when washed, and are super comfortable for travel.
Have a great trip!

ShortInSeattle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 584
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 11:27:21 AM »
Hey there.

I traveled for three months with a carry on, so 12 days should be a snap.

Bringing mix and match pieces that layer well is smart. Assume that you'll need to do a load of laundry or two. There are a few ways to accomplish this:

1. Rent an AirBnb or hotel that has a laundry machine.
2. Pay the fee to get a load of laundry done at your hotel.
3. Visit a laundromat.
4. Sink Laundry.

For sink laundry, a stretchy clothesline like the one linked below was a lifesaver. No pins needed, just pull up a small bit of the fabric through the braid. And we used a bar of Dr Bronners soap, which is a solid and doesnt need to be taken out of your bag in most cases. Also recommended: Shout Wipes. They saved me a time or two when I spilled something staining on myself but couldnt wash right away.

https://www.amazon.com/Kiva-Designs-AC-CLOTHESLINE-Clothesline-Natural/dp/B0009PCTUU/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1504545523&sr=8-15&keywords=stretch+clothesline

Our general approach was to get a place with a laundry machine when possible, make weekly trips to the laundrymat otherwise, and use sink-washes for underthings and T-shirts to stretch out visits to the laundromat.

Cheers,

SIS

lentil

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 12:02:01 PM »
I travel without checking bags too, including on multi-week trips. A light backpack is awesome! Like others have said, I do tend to plan laundry into my accommodation bookings -- either making sure there are well-spaced nights in airbnbs with a washing machine (keep in mind that many will not have a dryer, so hanging is how things get dry regardless of whether you're washing in a sink or a machine), or by looking for hostels/hotels that are close to a laundromat (or have self-service laundry rooms themselves). Sink laundry works if you're staying at a place for several nights, but, IME, isn't that much fun if you have to pack up all those "I really hope they're dry" clothes early the next morning. You can contact the places you think you'll be staying mid-trip and ask what they charge for laundry...it may not be as expensive as you think, and planning ahead at least makes you feel more prepared if that expense turns out to be necessary. Knowing what day(s) you'll probably be doing laundry on also makes it easier to plan what to wear, and when to consign an item to the 'dirty' pile. 

For packing, maybe start with a list like this and adapt to your clothing preferences & destination: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/solo-female-travel-packing-guide/ I think it's a bit excessive in terms of # of outfits, but not a bad place to start.

I try to bring lightweight, synthetic fabrics, which pack down smaller and tend to dry faster. No cotton, if I can help it. I use old stuff-sacks instead of packing cubes -- they're cheaper (free, in my case), and work just fine for organizing clothes. Ziplock bags work for this purpose too. And I re-wear clothes all the time (I do at home too, mind you!), though I try to make sure I have something clean to put on for any "fancy" occasions (like going out for dinner, or maybe some indoor sightseeing). Shirts I've worn once are still fine for outdoor sightseeing, hiking, or "in-transit" sort of days. Shirts I've worn twice are probably still fine for hiking, unless they're too stinky to bear. Well, even then, sometimes ;-)

When in doubt, pack less. Because once your clothes are dirty, you're just carrying around a heavy load of dirty laundry. If you bring 8-9 outfits and discard to the dirty pile after 1-2 uses, by halfway through your trip, half your pack is going to be dirty laundry...useless, and heavy. Planning ahead for a laundry day -- maybe during a period when you're waiting to check into a hotel, or on a day when many attractions are closed, or whatever -- helps a lot, I find.

Whatever you pack, HAVE FUN!!

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1766
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 12:19:56 PM »
Panti-liners or maxi pads of some kind--even if you don't normally use them-- can keep your bottom pieces fresher for longer. It really helps to be able to wear jeans for longer than usual--as others have said--you can't really wash them in the sink. (Well, you can--but it's a royal pain, and they don't dry well.)

Washing smaller items in the sink is easy enough---make sure you have clothes that are as quick-dry as possible. Squeeze items in a towel if possible--get creative with the hotel's hair dryer--I just use whatever soap or shampoo the hotel or hostel provides--I also travel carry-on only, and don't take any separate laundry soap or laundry gear. 

OP, if you wanted to tell us in general terms where you are going, (western Europe? southeast Asia? major capitals? rural villages?) it would help us make suggestions.  I found near my hostel in Dublin there was a laundry facility where we could drop off our clothing in the morning, and the owner would have it ready later in the afternoon. It was affordable--not expensive like hotel charges. You can also just use the nearest laundromat--I've done that in Ireland, too. Or if you need to buy a product to use for your laundry, just buy it at your destination--much easier than carting it across the miles. And leave it there for the next person.

My travel "wardrobe"--let's say for 11 days mostly urban exploration--maybe some day tours on a bus, or some long walks but not really hiking-- is all dark navy, gray, and black, and I use the Rule of Three--(three tops, three bottoms, three sets underpinnings). One outfit I'm wearing, one is in the carry on bag, and one is drying. I also take a plain dark nightshirt and leggings--use these for sleep, and if I had to evacuate in a fire drill or something, it doesn't look embarrassing. Pair of ragg wool socks in cooler weather to wear as "house slippers" in the hotel room. Swimsuit always, because you never know. For "dress up" I wear a black top over black slacks--have stopped bothering with skirts or dresses. Layers are usually a cardigan sweater (wool or cotton/acylic/nylon blend depending on season) and a three-season, thigh-length dark raincoat with detachable hood. These things don't show the dirt and all except the raincoat fit in my carry on. There is room for a couple more items if I feel like I want to pack a little more or buy something during the trip.  (Maybe you need workout clothes--I don't--just do bodyweight exercises in the room)--I'd suggest not letting your carry on weigh more than around 10 percent of your own weight. Don't forget you're going to be packing some toiletries and your technology, too, and perhaps one extra pair of shoes besides the ones on your feet. You aren't going to have much room or weight tolerance left for laundry accessories--as handy as it might be to have the clothesline, the detergent packs, the inflatable hangers, and all that.

Keep a packing list in your carry on of what goes where and in what quantities.  (Mine is on 3" x 5" cards in each section and organizer.) Revise it as you need to with each trip, and you will find you are packing faster, lighter, and better all the time--never forgetting anything, and having just what you need to make the trip enjoyable.

Imma

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
  • Location: Europe
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 12:46:50 PM »
I'm surprised everyone seems to agree you can't wash jeans in a hotel room. I've done so many times. The tric is to not wash it in the sink but in the shower / bath. While I'm showering, I thoroughly wet the jeans, then wash it with the free shampoo, rinse, repeat if it's still smelly, then hang to dry.  I handwash smaller things in the sink, but I always use shampoo. I've only once brought washing powder on a holiday and that was when I knew I was going to stay for 2 weeks in a place that had a washing machine. It probably won't take out stains, but generally my jeans just get sweaty and smelly, not stained. They don't really need to be washed, they just need to refreshed.

If you plan to stay in hostels, most hostels have washing machines that you can use. Usually this is very cheap.

For a trip this long, I'd take 2 pairs of jeans, a dress, a maxi skirt, maybe 5 tshirts, a hoodie and a shawl. On top of that, underwear and socks for every day. I try to find space for a second pair of shoes too. I wear the heaviest pair of shoes, the hoodie and the shawl while travelling. I put my shoes in my backpack (Eastpak, not a huge backpack) first, then the jeans, then I roll up the skirts and tshirts and I put them on top of the heavier items, together with the underwear and socks. This leaves enough space for a small craft bag, a hairbrush, my toothbrush and a book. A lot of the times, I don't even have to wash clothes at all. I re-wear and try to air worn clothes.

Free Spirit

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Be water, my friend.
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 01:05:21 PM »
OP, if you tell us what type of trip this is we might be able to offer some more specific advice. Different trips have different packing needs. Don't worry about wearing the same items over and over, nobody cares I promise. Try to make it a point to pack items that serve more than one purpose. I travel abroad sometimes for months at a time with only a carry on, I've learned that you really don't need a million different looks, dark colors win. One pair of dark pants and two pairs of leggings suit my needs. Jeans are heavy so I only bring one pair, and no I don't bother washing them. If it's chilly I can always double up on the leggings, bonus if they have fleece lining. I like to bring a scarf or two to mix things up since they generally take up less space than a shirt. 3 shirts and one sweater with a light jacket is usually my starting point. I've found that thin wool socks generally don't get as funky as cotton since they wick so I always pack wool socks. Enough underwear for a week and I'm good to go.

Something to think about - if you feel like you didn't pack enough, you can always buy what is missing (maybe not mustachian but it helps me relax to know I don't have to worry about remembering every little thing).

Get some travel laundry sheets for hand washing since they take up almost no room.

But my #1 tip is :
"Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind." - Bruce Lee

EconDiva

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 01:37:01 PM »
Back to mention I'm going to Europe.  Definitely 1 week in Portugal (Lisbon and Porto).  Possibly Algarve region but that's up in the air.  So Portugal is for sure.

I may add in 1-2 cities.  1 would be Dublin as I may start the trip off there (2 days?).  50% chance as the climate in Dublin is cooler and I'm torn on if I can really comfortably pack for the difference between Ireland and Portugal...it's not huge but I'm not sure if I want to go through the temperature changes and pack for them.  Anyway, I digress:  If I add in another city it will be for just 1 one day 'on the way down' to Portugal but it is less likely.  (Considering Lyon or somewhere in Spain like San Sebastian or Valencia.)

Will be back after reading all the comments!  Also, just as an FYI, I think I'll need fresh clothing items by day #5ish, and I plan on being in Portugal by that day regardless of whether the whole trip ends up being Portugal or if I start in Dublin and add another city or not.

ETA:  Planned departure first or second week of October (next month).  Yes, I know it's getting late!  I'm waiting on bonus points to post so I can book everything!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 01:43:46 PM by EconDiva »

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1766
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 01:52:48 PM »
OP, you might want to research the Abigail Hostel in Dublin, down by Aston Quay--just off the corner from O'Connell St. You can walk across the bridge (across the Liffey) to the Spire and the stop for the busses that go back and forth to the airport. (Either the 747 or the Air Coach.) You can walk to the laundry (!), a money exchange, and many tourist attractions--too many to start listing--it's in the middle of everything. It's said to be popular--I'd book as early as possible if you do decide to go to Dublin. When I was there I had "regular" Irish residents staying there because they said it was so convenient.

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3347
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2017, 06:22:00 PM »
Another option:  Pack things you plan to throw away.  For example, bring all your old stretched out bras and the nightgown with a stain ... and throw them away once you've used them.

life_travel

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 104
  • Location: Australia
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2017, 10:29:48 PM »
We travel to all places with only a carry on. Merino t shirts are great for not smelling after one wear .
Generally I rewear an item more than once ( except underwear). I wash undies while shower every day with shampoo , sometimes I wash dresses , shirts , husbands socks etc as well .
Otherwise I wash in a sink . Wring well in a towel and hang in the room . Done! Takes 5 mins each day really :)

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4583
  • Location: BC
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2017, 11:46:14 PM »
I travelled this summer for 30 days in Europe. (and hand washing clothing for 4 people for most of it)  I second the following recommendations:

1)  One only needs 4-5 outfits.  Take a day-wearable dress and/or skirt and scarves / necklaces.   Underwear is easy to wash, so you only need 2 spare bras and 3 pairs of underwear, 3 pair of socks.  Take more tops than bottoms (e.g., 5 tops but only 3 bottoms and 1 dress).
2)  I brought a small amount of Nellies powder soap.  A teaspoon in the sink made an amazing difference compared to my former shampoo washing technique.  Easy to carry 1/3 cup in the suitcase in a ziploc.
3)  Use the kitchen sink (if available) or bathtub for anything larger than a t-shirt, when you can.
4)  Laundromats take up more than half of your day, to locate, get change for, travel to / from, do laundry-- use a drop off service or pay hotel for a load instead.  Time is your money on vacation.  Washing at the place we were staying was always convenient, in comparison, as I could do it while relaxing / having a drink, etc., 9pm at night..
5)  I brought the stretchy bungy cord (latex) that did not need clothespins -- worked great, but only held about 4 items at a time.   I also brought a universal sink stopper but only needed it twice (but I mostly went to AirBNB's).
6)  After washing, Roll your clothes in a towel, tightly, and then step / sit on it for a while.   Unroll 30 minutes later and hang.  (Flight attendent taught me this one)
7) Drycleaning spot fluid got a few stains out without a full wash needed, including a grease stain.
8)  Pants in sink are fine, unless a small sink.  Need 2 days to dry jeans, tho, so plan it.  (use towel trick)
9)  Shoes -- fewer, the better.  Something durable for robust active days, and something like nice walking flats that can be worn to dinner.
10)  Because we need 10 points in a list, no?   I brought a small umbrella and a zip  front sweater (plus a light cardi) instead of a coat.  Saved a lot of weight.   

Clothing -- try not to take a lot of heavy fabrics, but layer (with tights, base layers, if needed).  I brought synthetic casual and dressy tops instead of t-shirts, and they were fast to dry and easy to wash, and hard to stain -- a quick wipe with a cloth and they were pretty clean if I spilled, unlike a tshirt.

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 806
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2017, 08:10:10 AM »
For long trips, I find some hostels have very reasonable laundry - cheaper than I can do at home and that includes folding.  I'd imagine Portugal has inexpensive laundry.  To be safe you would need 2 nights in that location if doing this way.

12 days is sort of the borderline for me - have laundry done or not...that would mean you're looking for laundry around day 6 or 7.  As someone mentioned, socks and underwear in the sink.

GreenSheep

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 536
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2017, 09:13:35 AM »
I wash pants in the sink, but I only wash light-weight quick-dry ones. I have several pairs of these, which happen to be on sale at the moment, but I'm sure there are lots of similar pants from other outdoor companies. I like them because although they're made for outdoor activities, they wouldn't be totally out of place in a museum, restaurant, etc. (I also like the pockets for stashing things when I'm on a plane -- ID, napkin/tissue, cell phone, etc.)

http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=153101012

Crusader

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2017, 10:37:20 AM »
Here is a great article I found that helped my friends and I travel Japan for two weeks with just this. Season time was March of this year, 2017.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/01/21/how-to-travel-around-the-world-with-just-a-20lb-backpack/

I think I carried four pairs of socks and underwear, two pants, four shirts, long underwear for bottom and top, jacket, my own toiletries (razor, deodorant, corrective lenses, Tootbrush and paste provided by hostels, bar of soap, acne facial soap), charging cables, and tablet all packed into a standard sized school backpack. Though I had the huge advantage of every placed I stayed having washing machines. I even had room for some souvenirs on the way back. Made life super easy being able to travel around with just that backpack, no checked luggage, no need to put it in a locker, and can go anywhere without worrying about coming back for stuff. I highly recommend it.

bogart

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 958
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2017, 10:49:02 AM »
For the trip you describe, here's what I'd pack

1 sensible pair of walking/hiking shoes, brown or black (you may prefer navy)
1 pair of slip-on flats for dressy occasions
2 pairs of slacks made from synthetic material (or blend) *or* 1 pr. slacks/1 skirt ditto
2 or 3 synthetic t-shirts or tank tops
2 long-sleeved silk or nylon shirts
1 nylon sweater
1 light polarfleece jacket
3 pairs underwear
1 set silk longjohns
1 raincoat (goretex or similar)
1 lightweight turtleneck (maybe)
3 pairs socks
... if I want to be able to dress up, 1 or 2 silk scarves

Of that, I'd wear the sensible shoes/1 pr. slacks/t-shirt + sweater (or maybe polarfleece) onto the plane.  The rest would fit readily into a school-bookbag sized backpack.  I'd do basic laundry (undies, socks) nightly in my hotel, and wash the rest probably every 3rd wearing or as required.  I'd also pack a couple of collapsible water bottles if I had them handy (but not if not, water bottles are easy to come by) and 2 or 3 tupperware containers (into which for space reasons I'd stash clothes if I wasn't using them for food for the plane trip), and about 5 each of quart and gallon-sized ziplock bags.  And yes, I'd possibly pack stuff I didn't want that much anymore or that was wearing out, and discard it before returning.

gaja

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 762
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2017, 11:06:45 AM »
I always travel in dresses: wear one, bring one extra if the trip is less than 3 days, 2 extra if the trip is longer. I also have one cardigan on, bring one, and bring enough underwear and thights to last up to 14 days (longer travel than that, I'll find a washing machine).  One rainproof jacket, one scarf, and one extra pair of shoes.

With a simple and modest dress you never look out of place, it takes a lot to get smelly, and it is easy to clean in the hotel sink. Yes, I also go trekking in dresses. In fact, I pack basicly the same stuff when the kids and I go camping in the north for 3 weeks, and when I fly down for a week of business meetings in Brussels.
Travelling southern Norway, Iceland and the Faroes in an electric car: http://travelelectric.blogspot.no/

jpeizie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2017, 12:16:34 PM »
The advice is broadly similar to what other posters have said, but I found this website to be a huge help when planning overseas travel and wanting to go light: https://www.onebag.com/

sparkytheop

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 410
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2017, 04:39:02 PM »
I took my son and did five weeks with just a carry-on each, in the middle of summer.

We did sink laundry for quick dry items (light weight shirts and underwear).  It would be dry by morning if there was a fan or heated towel rack (although I did use a blow dryer to help speed the process once).

We stayed in one apartment in Poland that had a washing machine (but no dryer).  A few times, we stopped at laundromats (they have them!)  When I went to a laundromat in Munich, we ran into one family from my home state and another family from New Orleans.  The washers were big enough that I could do all the laundry in one or two loads, and then, because it was all light weight fabric, I could have it dry in 30 minutes or less.

Since I'm a people watcher, I didn't feel time was "wasted" in the laundromats, and there were always other people to talk to (even though I'm a complete introvert), or I could just sit down and plan out part of the trip (we booked all our rooms the night before, with only a rough outline of our "itinerary").

I live in jeans at home, but for this trip I found a nice, light weight pair of capris.  I found another pair in Munich that I liked, so I bought those as well.  Jeans are heavy, and hard to wash.  My son wore Columbia pants, and they were really easy to wash as well.

We made the mistake of not taking an extra pair of shoes once (and it poured and poured in Rome when we were there), so I always bring a second pair, always. 

I can't remember the name of the brand of socks we took, but those were easy to wash and dry too.  Usually I bring old socks and toss them at the end of the day, but five weeks would have meant way too many socks.

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1558
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2017, 05:42:59 PM »
I went to India last summer with a carry-on size bag (I checked it so as not to have to deal with it en route) and a daypack that stayed with me (with an extra just-in-case outfit). I didn't have to do laundry, and I didn't re-wear bottoms as much as one might think. Pretty sure I brought undies/t-shirts for every day +1-2; 3 skirts, 1 pair jeans, 1 pair stretchy pants (Kuhl Mova line) I wore on the plane there and back. Also 1 cardigan, 2 thin scarves, yoga capris for sleeping in, 2 pairs leggings (at suggestion of the bride), 1 dress (to wear to wedding if I didn't find Indian clothes). 1 flats, 1 sandals, 1 sneakers. Plus a little jewelry, cosmetics, small purse, blah blah blah.

When trying to pack light, I usually...
-Avoid clothes I know have bad re-wear potential. I have sweaters and jeans that stretch out after 1-2 wears. Things that get wrinkly or stinky easily might also qualify.
-If possible avoid (otherwise, minimize) bulky clothes and go for thin layers. Thin wool sweaters, thermal LS tops, and fleeces can be quite warm, especially combined! Perk: they will dry fast(er).
-Wear/bring bulkiest items on the plane...hiking shoes may be a pain to remove in security, but you only have to do that a few times; is avoiding it really worth the bag space? A jacket makes a nice pillow/cushion or lap blanket. My concession to this is pants; I won't wear jeans on a long flight, I'll opt for stretchy pants.
-Enough undies and t-shirts (or whatever your next-to-skin layer is) for the duration (or a week, if laundry is planned). They're just so small (relatively) and make such a freshness difference! If you stick with any kind of sleeve on your next-to-skin layer, your outer, bulkier layers won't get funky in the pits and can get reworn with no trouble.
-Wear deodorant! :) Also if you have any extra long travel days, bring some wet wipes, deodorant, dental care (or at least mouthwash), change of shirt. Doing something about my stinkier flight halfway through my 24 hr flight (following a day on the town!) was ahhh-mazing.
-Thin synthetics and jersey tend to be less bulky than more structured fabrics, like denim; my 3 skirts and a dress on my India trip were a very space efficient way to get dressed (with variety even!) However, I don't like skirts with athletic shoes, and I prefer athletic shoes for most traveling activities (sightseeing, hiking, rushing around airports); even if I bring flats as an alternative shoe, I'll probably prefer not to wear them. Or it's cold, and tights are not as warm as pants. But anyway; if you're more comfortable in skirt outfits than I, or if you have pants you like that are appropriate to the occasion and are thinner than jeans; those can be compact options.

For a sense of security while doing this, it helps to write out each day and list what you plan to wear; but have at least a few outfits that are interchangeable (i.e. shirt works with multiple bottoms and vice versa). Also for a sense of security: there are "fabric refreshers" like Febreze but specifically for clothes; if you have some on hand you can treat something that's a little funkier than expected.

StetsTerhune

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 02:02:15 AM »
I've been traveling full-time with just a carry-on (one small enough to be free on every airline in the world) for a couple years now. Lots of good advice here, just adding a couple things:
1. No one notices or cares if you wear the same thing all the time. I pack so I can handle as many different situations/climates as possible, but I generally only have one option for each thing. If it's shorts and t-shirt weather I pretty much just wear the same shorts and T-shirt every day that's true. 
2.  I generally wash things quickly in the sink quite often, and then do a proper wash of all my things less frequently when it's convenient.  In hot weather, I'll usually do a quick wash of whatever I was wearing before I hop into the shower.
3. No cotton and especially no Jeans. It takes forever to dry and is really bulky. I have one cotton T-shirt, and that's it for cotton.
Edit: For quick washes of clothes, a normal bar of soap performs remarkably well.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 02:06:47 AM by StetsTerhune »

jeninco

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2017, 11:16:15 AM »
We've done multi-week trips with carry-on sized bags, sometimes through wildly different climactic zones (most recently Hamburg + Sicily). Agree with many tips above, especially:
- I recommend skipping the jeans. They're bulky, they take a long time to dry. Otherwise, take one pair that doesn't stretch out and plan to wear them at least every other day. I like Kuhl cargo pants (not sure what the model name is) -- loads of extra pockets but they're not too bulky, and they dry quickly. Slightly stretch, plus they look good on me :^) Can be worn with flat or low-heeled sandals.
- nth-ing the layers. I generally take a *-line (polypropylene, capeline, ...) zip-neck top and a v-neck cashmere or merino sweater (from a thrift store: I wear them all winter long, so I generally have 5-6 and when one starts to wear out I go looking for a replacement.) And a jacket. If it's cold enough for the sweater, I'm wearing the sweater, whether I'm hiking or going out for dinner. Yeah, it's the same sweater for weeks: it's OK.
- Be careful with shorts, they're really not appropriate in lots of places (especially in European cities, they're totally an "American tourist" marker, and not in a good way). I often take a slightly-above-knee-length skirt (with pockets, or with actual shorts built in) for wandering around in warm cities. Same temperature range, completely different look.
- I run in teeny tiny Merrill trainers (I think they're "Trail gloves") which provide absolutely no support (which is why I like 'em) but look OK to wander around towns and trails in if it's going to be dry.
- more layers: I take capri-length running tights, which I can wear under everything else if it's cold. And don't forget a hat (stylish fleece hats are a thing!) and gloves if it's going to be cold at night!
- scarves make everything look more dressed up. Even if you're wearing a synthetic T-shirt under your sweater, an OK sweater and a scarf make you look dressed up. And silk scarves take up basically no room, and add warmth.

Have a great trip!

Kwill

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2017, 11:41:42 AM »
Some great suggestions here. I don't like to plan around doing laundry, so I'd bring enough underwear, socks, and tights for the trip. Jeans, skirts, and dresses I'm happy to rewear, but I typically hang them up whenever possible. Shirts I'll rewear a few times but with a few days in between. So for 12 days I might bring 7 shirts, 1 pair jeans, 2 skirts, and 1 dress. Flats plus sneakers. Swimsuit. Pajamas. 2 or 3 sweaters.

Maybe a coat for October. I have a hooded coat that smooshes up into a bag for travel, which I bought on a visit to London one September several years ago. It hadn't occurred to me that London might be much colder than Boston, where I was coming from at the time. There's only so much you can layer sweaters and shirts before it gets silly.

Bee21

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2017, 05:35:46 PM »
You people are great. Even I picked up some ideas and I thought I knew it all 😁 this summer we travelled in Europe with a small 30l backpack each and it was enough. (We arrived with a checked in luggage but we left it w the rellies when travelling around, so literally we saw it only at the beginning and the end of the trip. Next year I don't think I will take them as I managed to convert my husband to this lightweight packing business).

My 2c

Leave the jeans at home. They are bulky and heavy,  if you have limited space you are better off with 2 pairs of light pants instead.
I prefer skirts and dresses, as they take up less space and you can wear them with leggings if you are cold.
Think capsule wardrobe- 4 bottoms, 4 tops, 2 dresses, 2 cardis. 4 sets of undies.You  will prob need a light coat in October.
If you havent booked your accomodation yet, book an airbnb midway to do laundry.European homes rarely have dryers though, so pack clothes which dry easily.
Don't carry around too many toiletries, esp makeup. Shampoo, toothbrush, moisturiser, lipbalm, travel sized deodorant should be enough.
I am in the camp of 'do some laundry every day in the sink (socks, undies, tops) 'as it is difficult to repack dirty laundry efficiently. Plus it stinks. Travelling clothesline plus a ziplock bag of washing powder.
Comfy shoes are a must. At least 2 pairs.
I use packing cells and fold the clothes to death a la konmarie- i find it is easy to be organized with these.
From this year on I am adding a lightweight travel umbrella and a pocket sized rain poncho to my list. Getting wet when you have a limited wardrobe is not fun.
Take a very small handbag which doesn't take up much space. Just enough for keys, passport and credit card- these are great for going out to dinner etc. I feel sorry for those tourists who always have a backpack glued to their backs. Or worse, to their front.
Small camera or just your phone- yes, the large slrs take better photos, but they are a pain to carry around. Leave them at home.

Less is more. If you forget something, you can easily buy it.

If you are planning on shopping, do it in the last few days, they will be a pain to carry around.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2017, 06:37:53 PM »
Just returned from three weeks in Ireland, and succeeded in packing lighter than ever--which is really not saying much, as we both have a tendency to bring a lot of stuff!

Anyway, high quality wool socks (I highly recommend Darn Tough) are wearable two or three times before washing, and do not retain odors. I hate and detest doing laundry on trips, so I indulged in this loathsome and contemptible behavior. Really, after one or two wearings in a cool-moderate climate, they had no discernable odor.

I also recommend the very costly Patagonia undershirts--excuse me!--baselayer. (Don't call baselayer "underwear", unless you want to look like a  worthless know-nothing boob to the REI crowd!). Dries after a couple hours after a quick wash in the sink. These are 50$ a pop, but I believe (hope!) it will be a "buy-it-for-life" purchase.

I also tried ExOfficio, but these take around 6-12 hours to completely dry in the Ireland climate, and the one piece I bought recently already shows signs of running, and deterioration.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 06:42:08 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

Kwill

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2017, 02:32:33 PM »
Coming back to add a link to the coat that smooshes into a bag:
https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women/ultra-light-down-collection

I got the one with the hood, but they have more kinds now. With layers underneath it can be very warm. I ended up using it a lot in Boston.

crazycatlady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2017, 09:34:16 PM »
I travel to Europe usually twice a year for 2 weeks at a time.  For my March trip to Germany I brought:
1 jacket
1 pair extremely comfortable short boots
2 pair jeans
1 crew neck cardigan
2 thin synthetic crew neck shirts
1 turtleneck
4 pairs underwear
2 bras
4 pairs socks
for sleepwear synthetic thermal underwear top and bottom and thicker wool socks
1 knit hat
1 pair gloves
1 travel umbrella

This was the total amount of clothing I brought including what I was wearing.  I will
wear the same clothes for many days.  I like wearing jeans as long as they have some stretch to them, I have
worn them 7 days in a row.  I wash socks and underwear each night in the sink.  I carry a grocery store plastic bag to carry dirty clothes to keep them separate.  I use 1 Rick Steves packing cube for all my clothes.  I will sometimes bring an item or two that is old and throw it away during the trip, but too much of that and I feel too scruffy.

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1558
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2017, 12:53:20 AM »


I travel to Europe usually twice a year for 2 weeks at a time.  For my March trip to Germany I brought:
1 jacket
1 pair extremely comfortable short boots
2 pair jeans
1 crew neck cardigan
2 thin synthetic crew neck shirts
1 turtleneck
4 pairs underwear
2 bras
4 pairs socks
for sleepwear synthetic thermal underwear top and bottom and thicker wool socks
1 knit hat
1 pair gloves
1 travel umbrella

This was the total amount of clothing I brought including what I was wearing.  I will
wear the same clothes for many days.  I like wearing jeans as long as they have some stretch to them, I have
worn them 7 days in a row.  I wash socks and underwear each night in the sink.  I carry a grocery store plastic bag to carry dirty clothes to keep them separate.  I use 1 Rick Steves packing cube for all my clothes.  I will sometimes bring an item or two that is old and throw it away during the trip, but too much of that and I feel too scruffy.

Just very curious...why such warm sleepwear?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


Imma

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
  • Location: Europe
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2017, 02:47:55 AM »


I travel to Europe usually twice a year for 2 weeks at a time.  For my March trip to Germany I brought:
1 jacket
1 pair extremely comfortable short boots
2 pair jeans
1 crew neck cardigan
2 thin synthetic crew neck shirts
1 turtleneck
4 pairs underwear
2 bras
4 pairs socks
for sleepwear synthetic thermal underwear top and bottom and thicker wool socks
1 knit hat
1 pair gloves
1 travel umbrella

This was the total amount of clothing I brought including what I was wearing.  I will
wear the same clothes for many days.  I like wearing jeans as long as they have some stretch to them, I have
worn them 7 days in a row.  I wash socks and underwear each night in the sink.  I carry a grocery store plastic bag to carry dirty clothes to keep them separate.  I use 1 Rick Steves packing cube for all my clothes.  I will sometimes bring an item or two that is old and throw it away during the trip, but too much of that and I feel too scruffy.

Just very curious...why such warm sleepwear?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

I can imagine why if you're camping in Germany in March!

crazycatlady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2017, 10:05:59 AM »


I travel to Europe usually twice a year for 2 weeks at a time.  For my March trip to Germany I brought:
1 jacket
1 pair extremely comfortable short boots
2 pair jeans
1 crew neck cardigan
2 thin synthetic crew neck shirts
1 turtleneck
4 pairs underwear
2 bras
4 pairs socks
for sleepwear synthetic thermal underwear top and bottom and thicker wool socks
1 knit hat
1 pair gloves
1 travel umbrella

This was the total amount of clothing I brought including what I was wearing.  I will
wear the same clothes for many days.  I like wearing jeans as long as they have some stretch to them, I have
worn them 7 days in a row.  I wash socks and underwear each night in the sink.  I carry a grocery store plastic bag to carry dirty clothes to keep them separate.  I use 1 Rick Steves packing cube for all my clothes.  I will sometimes bring an item or two that is old and throw it away during the trip, but too much of that and I feel too scruffy.

Just very curious...why such warm sleepwear?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

I can imagine why if you're camping in Germany in March!

Not camping, but staying in hotels! :)  Personal preference, I'm always cold and night. Some hotel bedding is warmer than others. The synthetic thermals also dry quickly so I can wash them in the morning and have them dry by evening if I am staying in the hotel for a couple of nights.  Also worst case scenario, if it is far colder than I expected I could layer them under my clothes for sightseeing, but I haven't had to resort to that yet.

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1558
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2017, 01:12:28 PM »


I travel to Europe usually twice a year for 2 weeks at a time.  For my March trip to Germany I brought:
1 jacket
1 pair extremely comfortable short boots
2 pair jeans
1 crew neck cardigan
2 thin synthetic crew neck shirts
1 turtleneck
4 pairs underwear
2 bras
4 pairs socks
for sleepwear synthetic thermal underwear top and bottom and thicker wool socks
1 knit hat
1 pair gloves
1 travel umbrella

This was the total amount of clothing I brought including what I was wearing.  I will
wear the same clothes for many days.  I like wearing jeans as long as they have some stretch to them, I have
worn them 7 days in a row.  I wash socks and underwear each night in the sink.  I carry a grocery store plastic bag to carry dirty clothes to keep them separate.  I use 1 Rick Steves packing cube for all my clothes.  I will sometimes bring an item or two that is old and throw it away during the trip, but too much of that and I feel too scruffy.

Just very curious...why such warm sleepwear?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

I can imagine why if you're camping in Germany in March!

Not camping, but staying in hotels! :)  Personal preference, I'm always cold and night. Some hotel bedding is warmer than others. The synthetic thermals also dry quickly so I can wash them in the morning and have them dry by evening if I am staying in the hotel for a couple of nights.  Also worst case scenario, if it is far colder than I expected I could layer them under my clothes for sightseeing, but I haven't had to resort to that yet.
I see :) I don't think I sleep *particularly* warm, but my last couple attempts to bring leggings as sleepwear have resulted in uncomfortable nights. I've switched to bringing sleep shorts to save room (and yet be somewhat decent in case of emergency!) Most places I go, I can get an extra blanket. Only place I still bring warm sleepwear is bf's parents house in winter--it gets cold even with 2-3 blankets if it gets into the teens (F) outside! To each their own; I was curious if European hotels were particularly frigid and short on blankets, for my future packing choices :)

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


Imma

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
  • Location: Europe
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2017, 02:11:23 PM »
European hotels aren't particularly cold, luckily, we have heating too. On the other hand, a/c isn't as common in Europe as it seems to be in the US, so that's something to keep in mind if you're travelling in summer and you don't like heat.

Something else: I see a lot of people recommending synthetic clothing, casual clothes, etc and there's nothing wrong with that, but if you're going to somewhere outside of the US, be aware you will stand out. I can spot an American tourist from a mile away. They often wear shorts and casual clothing, even the ones over a certain age (the maximum age for shorts and sports wear in public is about 30) . If you're visiting a museum or a non-fastfood restaurant you will stand out very much if you're dressed casually. The sport shoes are a big give away too: wearing sneakers is common over here too, but white running shoes are for running.

Of course this is a cliche, and I'm sure there are plenty of Americans that don't dress like that. But I live in an area with a lot of tourists and expats and Americans are the only ones I can spot from a distance. Southern Americans and people from other European countries generally blend in pretty well. Just a warning that to some people American = rich = target. In general I really love American tourists though: in my experience they are the most friendly and the most generous ones. I know Europeans complain about Americans with fake smiles and fake friendliness but give me that anytime over the rudeness of southern European waiters.

Kwill

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2017, 03:18:52 PM »
Something else: I see a lot of people recommending synthetic clothing, casual clothes, etc and there's nothing wrong with that, but if you're going to somewhere outside of the US, be aware you will stand out. I can spot an American tourist from a mile away. They often wear shorts and casual clothing, even the ones over a certain age (the maximum age for shorts and sports wear in public is about 30) . If you're visiting a museum or a non-fastfood restaurant you will stand out very much if you're dressed casually. The sport shoes are a big give away too: wearing sneakers is common over here too, but white running shoes are for running.

This is a good point.  British people have mentioned Americans wearing 'trainers' (sneakers) all the time as opposed to proper shoes. Specialised travel backpacks and trousers or cargo shorts with lots of pockets stand out. You can't completely avoid looking like a traveller when you're travelling, but maybe if you bring a canvas tote bag or a small, non-travel backpack for daily use, you can go around in the daytime looking a little more like an expat than a tourist with a pack.

I live in an English tourist town, and here it's not so much casual clothing per se that stands out but a sort of disconnect from ordinary life. The tourists stand out most when they wander into streets with cameras or smartphones, not looking around and completely oblivious to bike traffic. This may be more of a problem in the UK and Ireland where cars are on the left, but just be careful and aware of your surroundings.

swashbucklinstache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
  • Location: Midwest U.S.
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2017, 03:53:38 PM »
Well, I'm (kind of) an economist going to Ireland and Portugal this October too!

Big fan of just a backpack, have done most of a month like that several times. I like to keep a plastic bag for my "dirty until rewashed" just so it won't stink up everything else, and ideally something small to help things smell nice generally. Have a fun trip!
hey hey

Savin' like i got a cape on

My journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/me

SmokeySnow

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2017, 05:51:35 PM »
I travel quite a bit, and usually on some low cost airline where I can't check a bag, so I too have grown accustomed to using just the carry-on for all my outfits. Plus, it makes your travel experience so much faster & easier! I second Free Spirits downy wrinkle releaser, I never travel without it now. Many have given ideas on the number of outfits/items to pack so I won't go into that, but I do recommend much less than you think-you can always find a local market to pick up something new/new to you. I personally love bargain hunting in Europe, especially Spain/Poprtugal, so if it is something that interests you I would highly recommend finding the local flea markets. You can get such great unique stuff at bargain prices and spruce up your travel wardrobe in the middle of your trip. Also, if prone to overpacking, or overshopping bring with you (but do not use on the way there!) a few compression sacks to minimize the volume of your items on the way back

elaine amj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1883
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2017, 10:44:48 AM »
I travel quite a bit, and usually on some low cost airline where I can't check a bag, so I too have grown accustomed to using just the carry-on for all my outfits. Plus, it makes your travel experience so much faster & easier! I second Free Spirits downy wrinkle releaser, I never travel without it now. Many have given ideas on the number of outfits/items to pack so I won't go into that, but I do recommend much less than you think-you can always find a local market to pick up something new/new to you. I personally love bargain hunting in Europe, especially Spain/Poprtugal, so if it is something that interests you I would highly recommend finding the local flea markets. You can get such great unique stuff at bargain prices and spruce up your travel wardrobe in the middle of your trip. Also, if prone to overpacking, or overshopping bring with you (but do not use on the way there!) a few compression sacks to minimize the volume of your items on the way back

I was so impressed with downy wrinkle releaser when I bought my first bottle some years back. Then I tried a spray bottle of plain water and had the same magical effects.

Candace

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2017, 11:14:17 AM »
I'm surprised I haven't seen mention of laundries that one finds in many cities in Europe. We're in Spain right now, and in Madrid we dropped off a load of laundry in the morning, and picked it up in the afternoon, all washed, dried and folded for less than $10. I've traveled for three months in Europe in the past with a 20-lb backpack as well. There is usually a place to get your laundry done at a reasonable price. Usually a load will cost under $10. A self-serve laundry is also usually available, but I wouldn't spend my travel time doing that unless I had to.

I wouldn't send it out at a hotel, because those are usually expensive and "by the piece" type of arrangements. But if you rent a tourist apartment, sometimes there's a laundry machine right in it. We're on a three week trip in Spain now, and we're in our second apartment with a laundry machine. Drying outside is normal. Depending on your clothes and whether you get direct sunlight, it can take a few hours to several hours to dry some clothes.

I use Rick Steves guides in Europe, and finding out where to do your laundry is only one of the very handy money-saving tips those guides provide. Check them out, or ask your hotel person where there's a lavendria (automatica or self-serve) in your city. It's pretty economical.

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2017, 03:04:06 PM »
Merino anything is great, including the crewneck tops, etc., vs. synthetic.  Lightweight merino sweaters are easy to find, and often cheap:  V-neck, polo, turtleneck and crewneck.  Nothing offers more warmth for less bulk, or as wide a temperature-comfort range.  As far as care goes, you really can just hang it to air out between wears, for many days in a row.

Find merino sweaters in dept. store sale racks, super-discount stores like Ross, thrift stores and eBay.  I'm convinced there's one giant factory in Italy that produces most of it.  Look for the Italian stuff, it's better than the Chinese.

I've found Eucalan to be most excellent for cleaning and reviving wool garments.

accolay

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 527
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2017, 02:03:36 AM »
I'd say, find a carry on size bag first to define your space/weight limitation. I prefer mine with shoulder straps for carrying a-la-backpack designed for short trips A to B, not hiking. I highly recommend Eagle Creek bags. The bag I have now is 12 years old- no problems except they don't make it anymore however, they do have options. Something like this in 45 or 60L looks like it could be promising:
http://shop.eaglecreek.com/cargo-hauler-duffel-60l-m/d/1527C1663?CategoryId=337

Rick Steves offers good packing advice:
https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light

I've carried this laundry bag for years. Pop it in with the rest of your dirty clothes and all clean:
https://www.coghlans.com/products/laundry-bag-9856

I like the REI camp towel in X-Large:
https://www.rei.com/product/832935/rei-co-op-multi-towel-lite-x-large-54-x-25

Bring one pair of good walking shoes with you, something that dresses up to business casual. Make sure they fit and are broken in first. Otherwise it's all socks, underware and t-shirts, probably 5-6 days worth of those. Have a good sweater, a few pairs of pants, a couple other shirts, a rain jacket doubling as a windbreaker (for layering if it's cold) a hat maybe if it's sunny or cold, make sure everything matches and Bob's your uncle. I don't bring jeans, more like business casual pants. They're lighter and dry faster.

Drop off laundry services if you don't have access to a machine as someone already mentioned, save your time vs. washing by hand for seeing the sites.

Also, learn how to fold military-style (there are youtube videos on the subject if you didn't learn first hand.)

Edit to add that this travel pillow is pretty comfy:
https://www.amazon.com/Trtl-Pillow-Scientifically-Support-Washable/dp/B00LB7REFK/ref=as_at?creativeASIN=B00LB7REFK&linkCode=w50&tag=travandleis07-20&imprToken=IMb7Z44K0mOPX8MuQ45mUA&slotNum=3
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 02:15:52 AM by accolay »

EconDiva

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #44 on: October 05, 2017, 07:50:12 AM »
There are so many good pointers and tips in this thread.

I had originally planned on responding to every post but I can't at this point.

I just wanted to say thank you for the tips so far and please do keep them coming!


EconDiva

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2017, 07:51:20 AM »
I travel quite a bit, and usually on some low cost airline where I can't check a bag, so I too have grown accustomed to using just the carry-on for all my outfits. Plus, it makes your travel experience so much faster & easier! I second Free Spirits downy wrinkle releaser, I never travel without it now. Many have given ideas on the number of outfits/items to pack so I won't go into that, but I do recommend much less than you think-you can always find a local market to pick up something new/new to you. I personally love bargain hunting in Europe, especially Spain/Poprtugal, so if it is something that interests you I would highly recommend finding the local flea markets. You can get such great unique stuff at bargain prices and spruce up your travel wardrobe in the middle of your trip. Also, if prone to overpacking, or overshopping bring with you (but do not use on the way there!) a few compression sacks to minimize the volume of your items on the way back

I was so impressed with downy wrinkle releaser when I bought my first bottle some years back. Then I tried a spray bottle of plain water and had the same magical effects.

Really...?? I was going to go out and buy a travel version of the Downy.  Maybe I'll just an empty spray bottle instead...

EconDiva

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #46 on: October 05, 2017, 07:53:43 AM »
Coming back to add a link to the coat that smooshes into a bag:
https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women/ultra-light-down-collection

I got the one with the hood, but they have more kinds now. With layers underneath it can be very warm. I ended up using it a lot in Boston.

I have this one ;)

I bought it last year before a 3 week December trip to Europe.  I was also looking at their package backpacks online but there's only a few and the reviews aren't that great.  Next time I travel I may bring a packable backpack in place of a purse.  I will probably look on Amazon for one of these.

rockstache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2877
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2017, 08:10:06 AM »
I travel quite a bit, and usually on some low cost airline where I can't check a bag, so I too have grown accustomed to using just the carry-on for all my outfits. Plus, it makes your travel experience so much faster & easier! I second Free Spirits downy wrinkle releaser, I never travel without it now. Many have given ideas on the number of outfits/items to pack so I won't go into that, but I do recommend much less than you think-you can always find a local market to pick up something new/new to you. I personally love bargain hunting in Europe, especially Spain/Poprtugal, so if it is something that interests you I would highly recommend finding the local flea markets. You can get such great unique stuff at bargain prices and spruce up your travel wardrobe in the middle of your trip. Also, if prone to overpacking, or overshopping bring with you (but do not use on the way there!) a few compression sacks to minimize the volume of your items on the way back

I was so impressed with downy wrinkle releaser when I bought my first bottle some years back. Then I tried a spray bottle of plain water and had the same magical effects.

Really...?? I was going to go out and buy a travel version of the Downy.  Maybe I'll just an empty spray bottle instead...

The bonus to me about the downy is the smell. I like the cottony fresh scent for freshening the underarms or (TMI?) crotch area of things that I am going to wear again.

elaine amj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1883
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2017, 08:17:58 AM »
Coming back to add a link to the coat that smooshes into a bag:
https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women/ultra-light-down-collection

I got the one with the hood, but they have more kinds now. With layers underneath it can be very warm. I ended up using it a lot in Boston.

I have this one ;)

Costco sells the same thing. I find the Uniqlo one a tiny bit warmer, but not worth the extra cost IMO. My mother has the uniqlo one (she bought hers first!) and I have the Costco one and I tested them both out to compare. Costco actually has a packable down jacket for $15 right now! I want to say I bought my hooded packable down parka for $50 a couple of years ago. 

It's good until about 0 Celcius with a sweater underneath. Any colder and I need to start adding warm vests and/or a 2nd baselayer.

I travel quite a bit, and usually on some low cost airline where I can't check a bag, so I too have grown accustomed to using just the carry-on for all my outfits. Plus, it makes your travel experience so much faster & easier! I second Free Spirits downy wrinkle releaser, I never travel without it now.

I was so impressed with downy wrinkle releaser when I bought my first bottle some years back. Then I tried a spray bottle of plain water and had the same magical effects.

Really...?? I was going to go out and buy a travel version of the Downy.  Maybe I'll just an empty spray bottle instead...

Seriously....try it. I have never looked back. Plus, I can pack a small empty spray bottle (takes up much less room) and just fill it wherever I am. I did a quick google search and most homemade recipes call for adding a small amount of fabric softener in it. Some people say it works better, but most say it's because they like the fragrance. I try to reduce my chemical use whenever possible so am happy with the results from plain water. So if you like the smell, add a tiny amount of your preferred fabric softener into the bottle of water. That's all the Downy wrinkle releaser is anyway.

EconDiva

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #49 on: October 05, 2017, 08:19:54 AM »
European hotels aren't particularly cold, luckily, we have heating too. On the other hand, a/c isn't as common in Europe as it seems to be in the US, so that's something to keep in mind if you're travelling in summer and you don't like heat.

Something else: I see a lot of people recommending synthetic clothing, casual clothes, etc and there's nothing wrong with that, but if you're going to somewhere outside of the US, be aware you will stand out. I can spot an American tourist from a mile away. They often wear shorts and casual clothing, even the ones over a certain age (the maximum age for shorts and sports wear in public is about 30) . If you're visiting a museum or a non-fastfood restaurant you will stand out very much if you're dressed casually. The sport shoes are a big give away too: wearing sneakers is common over here too, but white running shoes are for running.

Of course this is a cliche, and I'm sure there are plenty of Americans that don't dress like that. But I live in an area with a lot of tourists and expats and Americans are the only ones I can spot from a distance. Southern Americans and people from other European countries generally blend in pretty well. Just a warning that to some people American = rich = target. In general I really love American tourists though: in my experience they are the most friendly and the most generous ones. I know Europeans complain about Americans with fake smiles and fake friendliness but give me that anytime over the rudeness of southern European waiters.

I go back and forth about whether to be concerned about this or not.  Honestly I like to blend in after I had a bad experience having my wallet and passport stolen on my first trip out of the country to Paris.

However, I also tend to, at some point on a trip, be in a city or cities where I stand out anyway as a black woman. I don't want to be a target so I take many extra precautions now when I travel (leaving money in hotel safe/sock/bra, wearing a neck wallet underneath clothing, saving password protected copy of my passport on dropbox and 2 credit cards for my family to access, keeping a small copy of the closest US embassy on me, registering on the State department's SMART travel program etc etc etc).

Last trip to Europe I actually don't recall wearing sneakers out.  I mostly wore black flat boots or a black suede knee high slightly wedge boot.  But then again, whatever I wore I was many times the only black woman on the bus in Madrid for instance so...yeah.

With that said I love my casual wear and on vacations I do a lot of walking.  I already work from home and have slightly increased my casual wear so I feel like if I were to travel right now it'd be mostly in sneakers and athleisure.  But I'm phasing prints out of my closet so I will be packing solid neutral items and avoiding bright colors, prints and graphic shirts/sweatshirts. Leggings are a huge staple in my wardrobe so those would probably get worn every day on a trip especially since jeans take up so much space.  I could try to look a little dressier by wearing a nice pair of flats but in Lisbon last year the flats I had couldn't stand up to the streets and hills which my feet seem to be very sensitive to.  There's simply nothing like a good pair of sneakers I guess :)

Long story short I think for safety purposes I put more focus on making any money I have on me hard to get and having easy/fast ways to get out of a financial bind when out of the country compared to trying to look less like a tourist (although I do think there is value in blending in as much as you can).
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 08:22:57 AM by EconDiva »