Author Topic: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips  (Read 4413 times)

SailorGirl

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2017, 08:36:00 AM »
I go to a thrift store and get a couple pairs of light-weight pants and a couple T-shirts.  I pack these along with older undies and a couple pairs of socks.  Things get hand-washed as necessary and towards the end of the trip I start tossing clothes out without washing them.

Extra space in my backpack is available for whatever I may have purchased while traveling (very little) and the load I'm hauling gets lighter.

If you are traveling around, no one knows what you wore the day before and unless you dump your dinner down your shirt, most things can be worn several times before washing.

And European laundromats are kind of fun.
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SailorGirl

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2017, 08:46:58 AM »

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.


Many Europeans have told me that they can spot an American regardless of how they dress.  Something about the attitude and casual approach to many things.  Don't sweat the blending in thing - go for comfort and practicality and keep your valuables in a safe place.
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dodojojo

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #52 on: October 05, 2017, 08:58:49 AM »
Last winter, I got deep into merino wool tops.  I replaced nearly all of my sweaters and cardigans with wool versions.  I did it by buying all of it at my 2 local thrift stores for $3-6 each. I always keep an eye for merino tops.  I have enough now and don't need to buy anymore but if I run across one that is in excellent shape and a good fit, I'll buy it.  I have to keep the standards high or else I'll end up a merino hoarder.  Sweaters are easier to come by--the outdoors, sports and baselayer stuff is very rare at the thrift stores.  I actually did find one Icebreaker t-shirt--it wasn't in great shape but I couldn't pass on it.  But a basic wardrobe of a  couple of merino tops is sufficient since you can wear them over and over again and they don't smell.  As a test, I wore one sweater last winter for 5 bike rides and it still didn't retain any odor.  I only washed it as I figured it was likely dirty even if it wasn't smelly.

I got into wool clothing because I'm now a townie biker--wearing civilian clothes and no longer the lycra.  I also sweat a lot.  So I needed civilian clothes that didn't leave me wet/clammy and smelly.  I stick up synthetics in no time. Merino wool was touted as the miracle material in my online research.  It is but it has its limitations. I can wear the lightweight tees and blouses  on warm days but for seriously hot and humid weather, I switch to linen and ramie.  The latter two work much better in terms of odor control and wicking than cotton.  They are pretty terrible when it comes to wrinkles though.  I've read the super featherlight merino tops by companies such as Icebreaker and Ibex do work for very hot weather but I'm not willing to shell out a $100+ for a shirt.  I'll stick to the thrift store linen.  But for travel--maybe it's worth it.

EconDiva

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2017, 09:58:08 AM »
I go to a thrift store and get a couple pairs of light-weight pants and a couple T-shirts.  I pack these along with older undies and a couple pairs of socks.  Things get hand-washed as necessary and towards the end of the trip I start tossing clothes out without washing them.

Extra space in my backpack is available for whatever I may have purchased while traveling (very little) and the load I'm hauling gets lighter.

If you are traveling around, no one knows what you wore the day before and unless you dump your dinner down your shirt, most things can be worn several times before washing.

And European laundromats are kind of fun.

European laundromats 'are' kinda fun :)

Zikoris

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2017, 09:59:24 AM »
I think the people here seem to plan a lot better than we do. Our system - three tops, three bottoms for each of us, including what we're wearing the day we leave. Nothing that wrinkles, materials that dry quickly, and preferably stuff that folds up tiny. Five or six sets of socks and undies. We only bring the shoes we're wearing, and sometimes I bring sandals as well. Zero accessories. We can usually get away with laundry every five days or so, which we plan for by making sure we stay somewhere with a laundry machine or nearby laundromat on those days.

We also have been known to bring some older stuff that's on its last legs - especially socks and underwear - and chuck it at the end of the trip.
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rubybeth

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2017, 05:17:40 PM »
Have done a similar trip. My top tips:

1) Wear your bulkiest items on the plane, if you can--sweater, jacket, scarf, jeans, heavier shoes. Pack the light stuff.
2) Roll up everything very tightly. I love packing cubes from eBags. Or just cramming stuff into every nook and cranny (socks tucked into shoes, etc.).
3) Pack as few shoes as possible. Maybe wear your walking shoes and pack your dressier shoes or sandals.
4) Think in terms of a color palette of things that you can wear with anything else you pack. I like to stick with navy and brown, and a few things with colors. A scarf that matches everything can work great for rainy or colder days, to keep warm, to jazz up a one-color outfit, etc.
5) Cross-body bag for your daily purse/tote. I use a LeSportSac or similar bag that can hold most of my entertainment items (phone charger, a book or tablet, medications, makeup and other liquids for airport, etc.) and then use it for my purse when at the destination. I like cross-body because you can keep your hands free, and keep the purse in front of you in areas that may attract thieves, etc. You can also rest your arm on it. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002A7WG3A/ref=twister_B001GNBJ8M?_encoding=UTF8&th=1
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halftimer

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2017, 11:01:32 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/

I found the onebag.com site really helpful too! Did 2 weeks overseas last fall with just carry on and still had room to buy and bring home 7 new items of clothing (only threw out one pair of shoes that exploded). I like to wash the 'base layers' often in the sink or tub with the towel roll then hang trick already mentioned, and the other layers only once per 2 weeks if possible. With 18 items packed I had everything for formal situations to casual and almost no outfit repeats due to mixing and matching.

Also posting to follow and catch more of the great tips shared here ;-)

Plina

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2017, 03:11:06 AM »

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.


Many Europeans have told me that they can spot an American regardless of how they dress.  Something about the attitude and casual approach to many things.  Don't sweat the blending in thing - go for comfort and practicality and keep your valuables in a safe place.

The clothes is a sure give away but also the attitude. I would go for flats or sneakers not the running shoe version if you are not planning to go hiking. They also take up much less space in your bag.  It allows you to blend in better and you can use it for restaurants without feeling out of  Place. I have started to like skirts. You can use them in the summer in cities instead of shorts without sticking out of the crowd.

SC93

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #58 on: October 08, 2017, 10:39:29 PM »
The little woman travels out of the country all the time and I tell her time and again what I'd do if it was me. I love Clark Howard's idea of buying things in that country to wear and then leave them in the hotel room for the workers. She won't do it but I am a big giver so I'd have no problem doing it.

Kwill

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Re: Travel: Packing light and laundry tips
« Reply #59 on: October 11, 2017, 04:05:10 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.

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.


Good to know! My poor coat got so much abuse over the past six years that I am starting to think about replacing it.

Also ignore any advice I gave about light packing. I'm travelling now in East Asia, and 1) brought too much 2) have had more chances to do laundry than I expected, and 3) guessed the range of seasons wrong so had to buy a spare t-shirt on my second day. I may still want my coat and gloves on the last leg of the trip, but so far it's been summery.