One of my responsibilities for our trip was to pack for both Jim and I. After reading some tips on lightweight packing I got started on packing lightly for our month-long trip!
It was difficult to know what to pack since we were going to be going from cold and rainy 55F days to hot and sunny 85F days! I used the packing checklist from www.RickSteves.com as a starting guide and to make sure I didn’t forget anything!
How Did We Do?
Overall I think that we did pretty well. We had one major bag per person, a backpack and my purse. The major bags were less than 20 lbs each but more than 10% of our body weights (per the tips). We only had to wash our clothes in the sink or shower 3 times during our trip. We ended up wearing more pairs of socks than I had estimated! Lots of walking around in sneakers made us go through socks quickly.
What did I pack for Jim & myself?
5 Short Sleeve Shirts,
2 Sleeveless Shirts
1 Lightweight Sweater
10 pairs of underwear
7 Pairs of socks
1 Pair of jeans
2 Pairs of capris
1 Dress (not needed)
1 Pair nice shorts (not needed)
1 Pair workout shorts
2 Bathing suit tops (1 not needed)
1 Bathing suit bottom
1 Lightweight jacket
1 Bathing suit sarong (not needed)
2 Pairs of earrings (1 fancy to dress an outfit up)
4 Pairs of shoes: flip flops, ballet flats, sturdy sandals, sneakers (flip flops not needed)
7 Short Sleeve Shirts (1 shirt not needed)
1 Long Sleeve Shirt
1 Pair Jeans
2 Pairs of Shorts
10 Pairs of Boxers
7 Pairs of Socks
Bathing Suit Trunks
2 pairs of shoes: sneakers, flip flops
For Both of Us:
Toiletries – shaving cream, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion (all the freebies from hotel stays) 1 razor, and face wash.
First Aid Supplies:
Blister band aids, regular band aids, Neosporin, 1 ace bandage, Tums, Advil/Tylenol, and sunblock.
-Ear plugs (very helpful!)
- Laptop to download pictures
- Flip Mino – mini video recorder
- Day backpack for small trips around town
- Passport security wallet
– Print outs of all important information, including our hotel, rental car and train confirmations, print outs of interesting sites not included in our guide books, any tickets.
So what did we bring to entertain ourselves when we were traveling on trains and planes?
- Books that I felt okay leaving in random hotels so that when I was done reading I could leave them for others to enjoy. I went to our local used book store and got a few great books at a great price!
- Rick Steve’s Travel Guide of Germany
-A deck of playing cards
With all of our supplies how did we manage to carry it with us?
We packed all of stuff in:
- A hiking (internal frame) backpack (15lbs)
- a rolling carry-on sized luggage (18lbs)
- 1 backpack to carry the laptop and guide books. (12lbs)
Overall Grade: B
We didn’t quite make the 10% rule for weight of our luggage but we were able to physically carry our luggage. The reason why I give us a B in packing is that I had a few pieces that I only wore once or not at all (gasp!) during our trip. Everything else we wore at least three times which was our goal.
Bringing less clothes would have signifcantly reduced the weight of our backpacks and luggage. It would have been much easier with slightly lighter bags. Also next time I’ll try to get all of our luggage into two backpacks instead of three pieces. That way we both only are in charge of one bag.
The other reason why I gave us a B is because I forgot to pack any rain gear! We had to purchase an umbrella in London. Thankfully it was cheap and easy to find! Also we could have used more cold weather clothes. We were only in hot weather for three days in Italy and in cold/warm weather the rest of our trip. One day in Ireland I wore three shirts for extra warmth!
Overall, we were clean and dry most of our trip. Now for next time, just learning to pack less!