Do any of you pack a MINIMAL travel wardrobe?
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    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    Default Do any of you pack a MINIMAL travel wardrobe?

    I have been reading about people who travel lightly.

    Their stories are fascinating.

    In fact, there's one clothing company (ExOfficio) whose tagline is something like "6 weeks; 8 countries; one pair of underwear."

    Basically, the travel light crowd does exactly that -- rinse out clothes and let them drip dry overnight.

    I'm intrigued. Partly because I think it can be done inexpensively, if planned out ahead of time. (Although, at $18 a pop, that Ex-Officio underwear would be spendy. But not as spendy as paying overweight luggage fees!)

    For example, today I went to Goodwill and bought a Chico's Traveler cardigan. It's similar to this one: http://www.chicos.com/store/browse/p...&maxPg=3&size=

    It cost me $6 at Goodwill, and I think it will go with a lot of other clothes.

    I think I'd like to build a travel wardrobe something like this one: http://www.chicos.com/store/browse/s...catId=cat40010

    So, do any of you travel REALLY light?
    Last edited by Early Bird; 06-08-2009 at 07:45 PM.

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    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    yep...last year dh and & did 7 days thru mexico with only backpacks...(and these were not the x-tra large packs either).... it was dh's first time traveling like that and he didn't think he could do it...but he did great... (he's your 'resort' --pull-behind luggage kinda guy) and this was a whole new experience for him....

    if you think about it, alot of times how many of the items that you drag along do you really truly use or need...

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    I do. Travel really light and really cheap. (have a hostel membership)

    Always washed out clothes. They will usually dry overnight, especially if you are in a warm country.

    I never take more than the smaller rolling suitcase for where ever I am going. The one exception was I took a backpack (not the suitcase) to NZ. The packing varies with what season and where I am going. A good rule of thumb....lay out what you 'think' you will need and then remove half of that. Not more than 2 pair of shoes....weight! (one is 'doable' quite often) And watch the liquids.......more weight. Learn to 'double-use' things to cut down on packing. (IE: lipstick can work for blush) Get an easy care hairdo and forget the hair products/appliances. You don't really need all the makeup you use at home....unless something 'formal' is planned in the trip...pick items carefully. (I took none...or 3 ) No real light colored pants (white) as they show dirt, get dirty easy and often can't be worn twice. If you go commando the underwear isn't an issue and if it is then thongs.

    It can be done......just has to be a 'mind set' going into it....you will be wearing clothes more than once and the same outfit often.

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    We did a week in Europe last year with only carry-on. It really saved us too because we were supposed to have a long layover but had no problem bumping up to an earlier flight because we didn't have any checked bags.

    I pack three shirts, two pairs of pants, two pairs of underwear, one extra bra, an extra pair of shoes (usually a pair of sandals in the bag and I wear my sneakers on the plane), toiletries, snacks, comb and small electronics (iPod, charger for camera battery, convertor for European outlets). All of the clothes can be mixed and matched as can the shoes.

    Roll the clothes instead of folding to take up less space and prevent wrinkles.
    Last edited by elphie; 06-08-2009 at 11:40 PM.

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    I don't travel lightly. I'm not extreme the other way, but I do need 'extra' pairs of everything just in case.

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    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elphie View Post
    We did a week in Europe last year with only carry-on. It really saved us too because we were supposed to have a long layover but had no problem bumping up to an earlier flight because we didn't have any checked bags.

    I pack three shirts, two pairs of pants, two pairs of underwear, one extra bra, an extra pair of shoes (usually a pair of sandals in the bag and I wear my sneakers on the plane), toiletries, snacks, comb and small electronics (iPod, charger for camera battery, convertor for European outlets). All of the clothes can be mixed and matched as can the shoes.

    Roll the clothes instead of folding to take up less space and prevent wrinkles.
    I am glad to see your packing list.

    Hope you don't mind a few questions:

    Are your clothes made of special fabrics that you can wash and drip dry? Or do you mostly just air out after wearing? Is your packing list in addition to the clothes you're wearing? Do you wear a jacket or raincoat?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltin' Mama View Post
    I don't travel lightly. I'm not extreme the other way, but I do need 'extra' pairs of everything just in case.
    Me too!! I don't go to extremes either but I can't seem to travel lightly either. I always admire those people you see that get off longhaul flights with the smallest suitcases. Everytime we go overseas I say to myself and DH that I'm going to be like that next time. Doesn't happen.

    Good Luck!

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    Registered User TheRootedNomad's Avatar
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    I found it much easier to travel light before I got heavy . However I can still do it for me. I really rot at it for the boys. Most of the time we're just going to see family anyway (by car) and so I'm more worried about tieing up their washer than space in the trunk.


    Now when it's just me, even now I can pretty much backpack (reg size) it for a couple of weeks. I got the hang of it when I was in school. My packing is never exactly the same as a lot depends on where I am going, whom I'm going to see, and the weather, but it would look something like this with bottoms being black, white, navey, or grey:

    wearing
    ~bra
    ~undies
    ~socks
    ~tennies
    ~heaviest pair of bottoms I plan on taking be it jeans or heavy shorts (generally it's jeans or cords)
    ~shirt
    ~jacket or coat or heavy sweater
    (Whatever the outter wear it MUST have pockets. I've been known to sew some deep ones on the inside if I need to.)
    ~jewlery (sometimes I wear whatever I'm taking and sometimes I wear none of it and ziplock baggie it in an oddball place)It's always minimal though.
    ~a small empty water bottle in pocket (sometimes it has to start out empty)

    backpack
    ~2 bras
    ~2 or 3 undies
    ~2 bottoms
    ~4 tops
    ~2 pair of socks or stockings
    ~the 2nd pair of shoes
    ~ curling iron
    ~ deoderant
    ~ razor
    ~ conditioner (I don't worry about shampoo. most of you can probably do away with the conditioner as well)
    ~ ziplock baggie with deck of cards, 5 dice, a couple of pens and if I'm traveling with some one either the Phase 10, SkipO, or Canasta deck. (I also shove a few blank checks in this bag folded down in the card box.)
    ~Even if I don't think I need it I generally will take one outfit that can be really dressy. Sometimes this means I add a dress that can be rolled really small or sometimes it means I make sure one of the shirts I bring is really dressy.

    *****sometimes the following items go in the backpack including the purse itself and sometimes they are in the purse or fanny pack*****

    ~purse just a hair larger than the size of large paperback book like TWIGHLIGHT
    ~fannypack
    (sometimes I take both, sometimes I only take the fanny pack)
    ~eyeliner, mascara, foundation
    ~sunblock is optional
    ~camera
    ~wallet change pursey thing with license, money, health insurance car, debit card, and that emergency only cc
    ~comb
    ~a couple of hairscrunchies and or barrettes
    ~pocket date book with phone numbers/ directions ect
    ~medication
    ~phone
    ~some splenda packets
    ~hard candy
    ~gum
    ~yardsale bought paperback

    Money is split up between on my person and the backpack. Generally the purse and most of the items are in the back pack with the phone and wallet in my pocket.
    It looks like a lot but I generally don't have much trouble at all getting it in. Many of items are small and I roll the clothes and don't take bulky fabrics unless I am wearing them. Most of the shirts I general take are cotton and can be crunched up in my hands but are not clingy. They do generally need ironed once they come out of the bag but hotels have these as does family. If there isn't going to be one I go with something else. I use to be able to get away with the spandex type stuff but alas I can't any longer and so it does take a little more thought but is definately doable.

    ****If traveling by bus or train I also generally shove a few more snacky things in the backpack as well.

    Sorry I was so wordy ..... thought it might help someone.
    Last edited by TheRootedNomad; 06-09-2009 at 08:46 AM.

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    Dh and I travel very light. Whatever we wear on the plane plus a tent hiking boots, I bring a bathing suit. When we need toiletries or another item of clothing we buy it along the way at a store the locals shop. Its part of the travel experience. We've done this in Belize, hong Kong, Thailand, loas, bequia. We spent three weeks in Hawaii like this, the whole trip including airfare was under 500! Its a great way to travel. That said we do encounter suspicion at the airports and always get our bags thoroughly checked and questioned.

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    Registered User stinkbug's Avatar
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    When we take the motorcycle on trips we pack VERY light! Pretty much whatever will fit in a T-bag (motorcycle pack) and the saddle bags. Our jeans/pants are covered with riding gear, so they don't get dirty. Also, zip off pants/shorts are great and versatile. I don't take a purse, only a debit card and ID. We can do a five day road trip with just a change of undies and some extra shirts.

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Early Bird View Post
    I am glad to see your packing list.

    Hope you don't mind a few questions:

    Are your clothes made of special fabrics that you can wash and drip dry? Or do you mostly just air out after wearing? Is your packing list in addition to the clothes you're wearing? Do you wear a jacket or raincoat?
    My clothes aren't special fabrics, I just let them drip if I spill or feel like we were active and they need washed. Otherwise I just let them drip over the shower rod.

    The packing list is what goes in my suitcase, I have another outfit that I wear. And I forgot to put pjs on my original list.

    I layer for my jacket. I have a trench rain coat that isn't the slick style so it is fine for normal wear. It is thin and I also take a hoodie. I have three types of weather jacket w/o all the bulk. A small scarf and pair of stretchy gloves as well tucked into the front pocket of my suitcase. We were actually in Germany for Easter last year (2008) and it SNOWED, my hoodie and trench did me well.

    Dh didn't take extra shoes so he had a little more room in his suitcase which we put snacks, books, magazines, and a deck of cards in.

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    usually my trip involves three week in england. i pack 7 days of clothes. historically, i don't pack light. i have a nice rolling suitcase.

    i bring 7 pairs of worn out jeans, one pair closed birkenstocks (london), 7 pairs of cushy wool socks, 7 worn out tops, 7 worn out underwear, one extra bra, heavy woolen sweater. i go get a "service wash" once a week at a local laundromat. I have never needed anything "nice".

    i bring clothes that are worn out or headed for the trash can. at the end of the trip, clothes go into the trash can. i return home with a relatively empty suitcase or filled with treasures from the trip. Heavy books mostly.
    The woolen socks and sweater come home with me.

    toiletries i buy at boots chemist or sainsbury's when i arrive during the day when I am suffering from what i call "international shakedown - jet lag recovery" - that first day when i am rather dazed and confused.

    edited to add: the last trip, the worn out and much repaired birkenstock shoes were destroyed by hiking a portion of hadrian's wall. they made the remainder of the trip held together with duct tape. I had to stop and "blow taps" for those shoes, over many years, they covered every square inch of england, except devon and cornwall. (devon and cornwall are still on my list.)
    Last edited by ladykemma2; 06-09-2009 at 11:19 AM.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    DH and I take 1 small rolling suitcase apiece, the size that fits in an overhead bin. He carries a backpack with a book and some snacks (not stuffed full!) and I carry a large cloth bookbag with my purse and a few small items (snacks). Our suitcases are rarely packed full, so we have space for souvenirs on the way home. We use the backpack and bookbag on our day trips and leave the suitcase at the hotel.

    I love the Rick Steves "Through the Back Door" series. He has a website with lots of travel tips and advice. My favorite quote is "Nobody ever came back from vacation and said 'let's take more luggage next time' ". They also sell a lot of specialty items like travel bags and lightweight clothing but I have never needed any of it. I mean, do you really need to spend $45 on a *tank top*?

    I generally pack socks and undies for each day, and at least 3 shirts. (I air them after wearing and wear them twice) I make sure I have 1 nice long sleeve shirt in case I get invited someplace I need to be dressed for, or it gets cold. I like cotton knits, they pack well and don't wrinkle too badly ( and you can hang almost anything in a steamy bathroom to get rid of wrinkles). In winter I take a sweater or heavy flannel shirt plus my winter jacket. I get by with 1 pair of jeans. I've only once had to hunt down a washing machine to clean them mid trip.

    A tip I read about years ago was to take dollar store underwear and just throw it out when you are done with it, to free space for souvenirs. I've never done this but always thought it was a neat idea. I have ditched a couple pair of old socks that just gave up during the trip. Why pack them home to throw out?

    I have a small hard sized cosmetics suitcase that fits inside my rolling suitcase. I keep it pre-packed with shampoo, tylenol, q-tips, antacid, sanitary items, baby wipes, etc. I can just grab it and go. If necessary on the way home I can hand carry it, since you can take 1 suitcase and 1 small bag and a purse without having to check luggage. (Or you used to, they are changing those rules now)

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    Awesome thread! We travel a lot and do so fairly lightly. We each have a rolling carry-on bag and each carries a small shoulder strap bag (about 12 inches square, with an outside pocket. If going abroad, we keep a travel wallet in that small bag that contains emergency contact numbers, passports, drivers license, insurance cards, etc. That is easy to whip out at airports. The small bag also has what I would carry in a purse, sunglasses, snacks, cell phone, camera, notebook, pen, and meds. Sometlmes I'll include a map or small paperback. My usual snacks are packs of peanuts, cheese sticks, dried fruit. I also carry a small water bottle, but if going on a plane, I can't have it filled.

    In the large bag, I carry 3 or 4 days worth of undies and wash them out as needed. Sometimes we are in very humid places where it takes forever for the undies to dry, so I need more than one pair. I wear a pair of sandals and sometimes wear socks with the sandles. These sandals are waterproof and close with velcro. My feet tend to swell on the plane, so the velcro gives me comfort there. I take a jacket with a hood and pockets. Usually we don't do our long traveling in the winter, so I don't have to worry about heavier weight clothing and jackets. I also carry a small umbrella. Clothing is pretty simple, and I roll it and put into ziplock bags. (I usually carry a few extra ziplocks, too). My usual clothing list is a couple pair of dark neutral slacks, a couple short sleeved tops that can be mix and matched, a long sleeved top, and sometimes a swingy skirt. PJs, an extra bra, and maybe a swimsuit round it out. I have a small bag that I keep filled with health/beauty aids: moisterizer, foundation, lip gloss, travel sized shampoo (doubles for washing clothes), conditioner, razor, comb, mirror, toothpaste and brush, nail clipper and file, and extra allergy meds. I carry a small first aid kit and a small sewing kit (each about the size of an envelope). I also have a small flashlight that is shaped like a credit card, and a small alarm system, also about the size of a credit card, that I just have to squeeze to set off an alarm. I carry a charger for the cell phone and camera, and if going abroad, I carry an adapter.

    We learned that if we take extra pairs of Levis abroad that often we can trade or sell them there. So we can wear them, then sell them, and free up space for bringing back souvenirs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladykemma2 View Post

    i bring ... 7 pairs of cushy wool socks, ...
    The woolen socks and sweater come home with me.
    As a sock knitter myself, (and since you seem to take good care of them), I have to ask, are the woolen socks and sweater hand-knit?

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