Travel Tips

Life from a Suitcase

Just because you love traveling doesn’t mean you love living out of a
suitcase. I don’t, and I think you would agree that this is one of the few
unpleasant experiences of any long adventure. (I’m talking about land tours
and adventures taking you to multiple destinations and various hotel rooms,
here, not cruises.) The thought of filling one suitcase and possibly a
carry-on with everything you need for a one, two or three week trip is
daunting. Even worse that filling it, is searching through it to locate the
one item that you actually need at any given moment. You know you packed
it, but the question is where. I’ve done some serious damage to all of the
nicely folded shirts and pants in my suitcase while digging around trying to
find the phone charger or the hat that I know I packed somewhere. It’s
almost a given that I will want to wear the white tee shirt that is on the
very, very bottom of the stack of clean clothes in my suitcase on the second
day of the trip. By the third day, the neatly packed suitcase is a
disaster.

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Fortunately, I have discovered some really good packing tools that can ease
the pain of suitcase living. Packing cubes and packing folders available
from Eagle Creek, www.eaglecreek.com, www.llbean.com and others are well
worth the investment. The Eagle Creek folders come in 15″, 18″ and 20″
sizes. I like the 15″ size for my tee shirts and blouses and the 18″ size
for my husband’s shirts and my pants. The 20″ size would probably be best
for bulkier items and men’s pants. They all come with a plastic card
printed with folding instructions and you simply fold your item according to
the instructions around the card. Then you stack the items inside the
folder and pull the card out to fold the next item. You end up with a stack
of perfectly folded shirts which you enclose by folding up the four sides of
the envelope and “seal” with the Velcro fastener. The folder then can be
thrown into your suitcase and no matter how much digging around you do
later, the items inside the folder will stay neatly folded. The clothes
actually stay relatively wrinkle-free for days.

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Packing cubes also come in several sizes which are great for socks,
underwear and rolled clothing if you prefer not to fold. I use the smallest
size for my various power cords, chargers and spare batteries. The
two-sided cube is especially nice for dirty clothes on the plastic covered
side and clean clothes on the mesh side. Just reach in your suitcase, pull
out the cube and voilá! Clean underwear on one side and dirty on the other!
So, with the right packing tools, keep on traveling. There’s no need to
dread suitcase living. In the words of Jack Kerouac: “Our battered
suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no
matter, the road is life.”

 

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