We’ve had a lot of discussions about packing.
How much stuff do we bring?
What type of stuff do we bring?
How does one pack for 4.5 months that span two seasons and still have manageable luggage?
I used to travel for a living. As for the packing part — never got that one down. Once we got together and headed out on trips, Hubs would say, “How did you travel around the world with this much stuff?!”
My response? “You can always pay someone to carry your bags no matter the country.”
Truly — this is how I used to travel (notice the early ’90’s hair):
Which brings us to this trip. We made a decision early on — one carry on bag and one backpack per person. Period. And then we started talking about what goes inside the carry ons and backpacks. A few key things we’ve discussed:
- No jeans. Too heavy. We live in jeans. Europeans don’t. Ok, no jeans. Although I do still think about it.
- Layers. Must have good layers. Hubs wears nothing but short-sleeved plaid button-down shirts every day. I mean…every day. (His co-workers who are reading this are laughing right now.) How does one layer plaid shirts? Two button-down plaid shirts?! So, when he wasn’t paying attention, I bought him a cashmere sweater. I went for cashmere because I knew he would fight the sweater thing tooth and nail. But, Rick Steves recommends cashmere due to its weight, so I knew that gave me an in. I was right. Sweater is going in the carry on!
- Easy wash underwear. I know, TMI. But seriously, you need to be able to carry minimal underwear that can dry quickly when washed in the bidet. (Yes, I know that is not what bidets are for, but desperate times call for desperate measures. As a matter of fact, my father-in-law says he just wears his in the shower and washes them that way. That was TMI for me.) So, we paid a lot of money for very little, quick dry material.
- Toothbrushes. For some reason, we decided we had to have foldable travel toothbrushes. I think this one is extreme, but if Rick Steves recommends it…
- Packing cubes vs. compression bags? We have yet to agree on this one. He wants packing cubes; I want compression bags. So, right now we have both. And, I have a feeling it may stay that way because we have much bigger items to
- Tight swim trunks for the boys. Hubs hates this idea, so I have sent him multiple articles showing him that if doesn’t get something now, then he gets to buy it out of a vending machine in France. Haven’t discussed this with JJ yet; had to get Hubs on board first.
- Loveys. We started prepping the kids about 6 months ago. They each have non-negotiable loveys they need to bring with them. Missa B has Rite-Aid and Lambie — they are both small, so that works. But heaven help us if she loses one of them. JJ has Delicate Cougar who is just too big. So, I started working on substitutions. I believe we agreed on one that we actually have 6 of in the house. Lose one? No problem! We have more back in the States! I think this will work. Until the tears start to fall the morning of our departure because Delicate Cougar is staying behind. In a box. Actually, now that I think of it, he will have to move to Grammy and Grandpa’s (Delicate Cougar, not JJ) because I don’t think JJ could handle the idea of him living in a box.
We’ve talked about a lot of other things, and I feel like we’re constantly looking up items on Amazon or running to the store to make sure we have everything. As if we were going somewhere where stores don’t exist.
We had a mini trial run this weekend. We did a quick trip to meet our new niece. We packed up and were pleased by our minimalist attitudes towards what we were bringing.
We got in the car and took off on a 5-hour drive.
An hour into it, I turned to Hubs and asked, “Did you put our suitcase in the car?”
I guess you don’t need quick-drying underwear if you aren’t taking it off in the first place.