Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Art of Packing Light - or not!

Six pairs of shoes. Is that too many? Probably - maybe I should cut it down to five. I will leave out my sandals. Will I need them in Alaska? Perhaps not, but in mid-summer in Seattle at the end of our trip I 'll  have severe sandal withdrawal.  Still, six is too many. The sandals have to go.


I'm very tempted to leave my ankle boots behind too, bringing my total down to four - a very respectable number. The problem is that  David likes my ankle boots. He has threatened to put them in his bag if I don't pack them. It's impossible to win an argument with D so I'll compromise and wear them on the plane. D is even worse at packing light than I am.

Too many?

I don't know whether to envy people who have mastered the art of packing light or resent them.  I have never been able to crack it. We leave tomorrow and my bag weighs 22.8 kilos. The allowance is 23. Taking two pairs of identical black pants might be a bit extravagant and I'm not really sure I'm going to need eight polo shirts, a white blouse and half a dozen long sleeve Tees. Also, I couldn't decide which shorts to take so I pretty much put them all in. Then there are the hiking boots and joggers to say nothing of my little blue ballet flats which never seem to get worn outside a hotel room, but I just can't live without them.

Packed with these essentials my bag didn't seem that heavy. Then I put the bike rack in. Did you know it is possible to buy a rack which fits on the back of a car, carries two mountain bikes and still folds up small enough to squeeze inside a suitcase - of course it has to be a large suitcase and it does tend to blow one's weight allowance out of the water - but there it is. What's the point in agonising over a few pairs of shoes when I am carrying five kilos of reinforced steel, and associated cycling paraphernalia -  bicycle pump, comfort seats, spare tyres and helmet. Actually I'm fibbing about the helmet - I decided to leave it out. Most of the places we're going they aren't compulsory. For everywhere else I intend to live dangerously and flout the rules for once.

At least we didn't pack the bikes this time. Flying with bikes is awful. If you want to dip your toes into a story or two about just how awful it is click - here.  Last time we flew to the U.S, David's brand new bike was badly damaged en-route so this time we are reverting to our original plan and buying cheap bikes in WalMart - hence the bike rack. Are you reading this Qantas? You have lifted your game a lot in recent years but you definitely need to improve in the flying bicycle department. Haven't you heard that cycling is the new golf?

For all my posts on our Alaska Marine Highway and Alaska Highway road trip click - here

10 comments:

  1. I'm a champion of packing light (but I do weekends away or OS trips with just hand luggage, so I've got it down to a fine art!) I usually do 2 pairs of shoes - one heels and one sneakers/birkenstocks, depending on destination...6 pairs, for our family would translate into 30 pairs of shoes!!

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    1. Ha ha. We used to travel with our boys and I was a much better packer then. We took them around the world for 9 months when they were toddlers and I only packed things I would used again and again. I got so sick of one particular pair of black pants I threw them out halfway even though there was nothing wrong with them.
      We used to laugh at people who carried around a whole lot of baby stuff. We figured as long as we had the boys with us we had everything we needed.

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  2. I am very bad at packing lightly - and we always travel with friends who can fit everything in a small backpack. In fact, when we went to Alaska for 10 days they brought just the minimum. I am always the one lugging the large suitcase behind her. I'm getting a bit better but still a work in progress.

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    1. Let me know if you ever crack it. Maybe I can get some tips from you - lol.

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  3. OK, I'll help cut down your luggage (a bit) ;)
    Get rid of either the black ballet pumps or the other flat black shoes - 2 shoes that look the same
    You only need 1 pair of black trousers, 7 shirts (max) to wear during the week, 2 pairs of shorts 1 to wear 1 to wash. And max 3 good tops to go with the black pants or skirt to wear in the evening.

    Hope that helps.

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    1. Haha - Thankyou but you are way too late. We are already in Alaska. Maybe I'll keep your list for next time but I know I'll never stick to it.

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  4. Packing for Alaska, I don't think you can pack light. The warm clothes add to the weight instantly!
    I can NEVER pack light. I have no idea why! I always need stuff. On my most recent trip, I tried to pack light, but I was so inefficient. I had to start recycling clothes in 5 days. Wrote a little post about my the things I HAVE to pack. http://www.abitofthisandalotofthat.com/?p=821. Check it out if you can.
    Have a great trip..

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    1. I definitely struggle more packing for cold destinations than warm ones but I suppose that is hardly surprising. I am glad to hear I am not the only one who just can't do it.

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  5. Too many shoes. I took one pair of stylish yet comfortable flat boots to Europe in the winter time and it all went well until I left them near the shower and the water sprayed out and wet them. 2 pairs max...in case one pair gets wet

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    1. Ha ha. I don't think I could manage with only two pairs. I sometimes get it down to three pairs though and wear the heaviest pair on the plane.

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