How to Pack Like an Expert
New York Times writer Susan Heller famously said, “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.”
Even when we have great intentions, it’s easy to overload our suitcases. We wind up dragging a lot of stuff around. There’s more to keep track of; it winds up being a lot of physical and mental clutter. And, of course, we wind up paying a ton of extra fees for the additional weight and luggage.
So, rather than viewing efficient packing as a practice in minimalism, I like to think of it as a challenge that helps you make the most of every vacation: you have what you need, you’re freed up to not have to lug around a bunch of extra weight, and you can put that saved money towards a special souvenir, a nice dinner out, or another cool experience.
So what are the secrets that seasoned travelers use to guarantee expert packing? Here are the top 6:
1. Remember the 80/20 Principle — that is, 20% of what you pack will be 80% of what you actually wear. If you’re like most people, you’ve already noticed this. You pack four pairs of shoes, but you really only wear one pair every day. You pack three sweaters and a shawl that you never use, because you wind up just wearing your favorite light jacket that goes with everything you own.
2. Don’t pack for every possible situation. Pack for an average day. There’s no way you can cover every contingency. Look at the forecast, the average temps and weather for that time of year, and go with that. If there’s a freak week of rain in what’s normally a sunny season — unless you’re headed to an extremely remote area that sees few travelers, it’s very unlikely that you won’t be able to purchase a rain coat or an umbrella where you are. If there’s a cold snap, there’s probably also a store nearby with just the thing you need.
3. It’s okay to wash. If you’re going to be gone for three weeks, pack enough clothes for one. If you’re a hardcore DIYer, almost every resort or town in the world has a Laundromat or laundry service. If you’re feeling like you want break from daily tasks and routines and you’re really looking forward to the luxury of having other people pamper you, have your clothes laundered and folded for you. It’s still often cheaper than luggage fees!
4. For warmth, go with layers over bulk. Pick several thin layers with insulating, wicking fabrics — merino wool is a great one — over a big jacket. Heavier items like jackets and sweaters don’t offer the flexibility. They’re just hot, and when the sun comes out, then you have to cart around a huge coat. But a compact zip-up fleece can roll up easily into a bag or backpack in the afternoon and then come back out again for that sunset walk on the beach.
5. Think: mix and match, simplified palette, and multi-function items. If three tops match three bottoms, you’ve got nine possible outfits. Add in a Swiss-Army-Knife travel item like the popular Chrysalis Cardi, and you’ve got one item that converts into eight different things. As travel blogger Fred Perotta says: bring pieces, not outfits.
6. If you’ve got to have something bulky and heavy -- wear it, don’t pack it. Hiking boots, down jacket, that awesome cable knit wool cardigan — these might very well have a great place on your trip, but they shouldn’t be in your suitcase. Wear them on the plane. You can easily pack several versatile layers for the space that one sweater would take up.
If you’re ready to pack for an adventure, I’d love to talk to you about it. I know we can find a place that’s just right for you — and I’ll even give you insider tips packing suggestions for your specific destination! You can reach me today by clicking here.
History Isn't Promised
As human beings, we’re guilty of saying “We’ll go there on our next trip,” and “There’s always next summer.” The truth is, next year isn’t always promised. Just last month, the world watched Notre Dame become engulfed in flames, losing three main parts of the historical structure. Now, France is racing to repair the damage before the foundation weakens from spring rains.
The tragedy brings to mind how blessed we are to have sites that recognize and honor our history. Even more so, gratitude floods my heart that we can visit and experience these bucket list wonders.
Believed to be royal or sacred land during the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu is an awe-striking sight stretching over five miles. It’s covered in over 150 temples, houses, and sanctuaries in the countryside of South America.
Bucket List Item: Watch the sunset in the ruins of Machu Picchu.
The oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the pyramid complex honors royalty of the kings and queens of the Egyptian Fourth Dynasty. The entire complex is made of varying-sized pyramids, tunnels and chambers, temples, sacred walls and tombs, cemeteries, and more.
Bucket List Item: Take an illusionary picture “kissing” the Great Sphinx in the Pyramid Complex in Giza, Egypt.
The massive, three-story stone amphitheater was home to the most gruesome gladiatorial combats. The building features the most advanced architecture of its time with a 20-foot basement that transforms the battlefield into an aqua theatre and housed animal cages for exhibit.
Bucket List Item: Enjoy an exclusive Rome rooftop dinner and Colosseum night tour that includes viewing the underground chambers.
Representing the United States’ birth, growth, development, and preservation, Mount Rushmore was creatively crafted (using dynamite!) in the mid-1900s. Mount Rushmore annually attracts two million tourists who visit to delve into our national history, hike our national parks, and explore the museums honoring our iconic presidents.
Bucket List Item: Hike to visit Mount Rushmore and take a short drive Bear Country USA to see black bears, elk, mountain lions, buffalo, and other wildlife from the comfort of your car!
Discover the over 13,000-mile-long wall that was built collectively starting in 770 BC to protect Chinese border. The Great Wall of China holds the record for the longest building project. Only about 30% of the wall remains due to natural causes and human damage.
Bucket List: Enjoy a cultural experience during a 4-day Beijing tour, taking in the most beautiful views of the Great Wall by night at the Simatai section, which is the only section to offer night tours.
The sad news of Notre Dame shocked the world, although it sets the example as to why it’s crucial to see the top items on your bucket list. Because of donations and laborers, Notre Dame may stand a chance to be restored.
And because you have a travel agent who has the ultimate industry connections and education, you have the best chance in witnessing the most majestic historical sites around the world.
Don't wait! History is happening now!
-KHM Travel Group
Call Shore Travel to assist you in planning the next adventure for your bucket list travel.