As I said in my earlier post about going with the backpack style carry-on bags, I would do a follow-up story to tell you how it went.
First, a little more background on my efforts. I did a sample pack with enough clothes to make up 20+ outfits. Packed it and left it for 3 weeks then opened it up to check to see how wrinkled the clothes were. I packed 8 short sleeved shirts, two long pants, 2 shorts, underwear for a week and my DOP kit. I used the techniques shown on RickSteves.com. Best of all, the total weight was about 22 pounds. I can carry that and it will fit in the overhead of any airline that we planned to use during our trip to Europe in the spring of 2014.
Since we planned a week in Malta and a couple of days in Barcelona, prior to our 12 day cruise on the Mediterranean, we split our packing into two parts. First of all, we packed a 24″ roller bag with our cruise clothes. Both my clothes and my wife’s clothes. I pre-ordered the rental of my tux on the ship so that I did not have to pack a suit or sportcoat and slacks. All of my wife’s dresses would take up less space and weight less than one sportcoat, so I figured that it would be well worth the cost. Since it was a 12 day cruise, we needed enough clothes for a dozen outfits for each of us and a pair of dress shoes in addition to the shoes that I would wear to Malta. Also, since we had our carry-on backpacks from the week in Malta, we would have some extra clothes there as well. The roller only weighed in at about 35 pounds. Quite a drastic reduction from two 48 pound roller bags the year earlier.
We were not going to be using the “cruise clothes” in Malta and since we did not want to haul the roller bag to Malta and back, we made arrangements to drop the roller bag off at Citadines, the hotel we were using when we returned to Barcelona the following week. I planned a 6 hour layover in Barcelona before heading to Malta so that we had time to put our carry-on bags in the locker at the airport, take the R2 train into downtown and the L3 metro to our hotel to drop off the roller bag. The staff at the Citadines locked our bag in their secure storage room and it was there waiting for us when we returned a week later. We even had time to walk the La Rambla and enjoy some tapas and a cold beer before heading back to the airport.
As many of you know, most timeshare condos have a laundry room or a washer and dryer in the room. The place in Malta had a laundry room, so, on the night before the last day at the condo in Malta, I put on my bathing suit, and went to the laundry room and washed everything else. That meant that we would have week’s worth of clean clothes to add to what we packed in the roller bag and left in Barcelona.
I know you are just waiting to hear how it went. It went great but I know that we can go lighter next year. I still had too many shirts and pants and not enough underwear. My wife had a couple of outfits that she didn’t wear as well. Doing the week in the timeshare before the cruise worked out well because we had access to a washer and dryer which meant that we could get along with fewer clothes. The other thing that worked out well is that by sharing one checked bag and having a week’s worth of clothes in our carry-on bags, we did not have to worry about a lost bag. Fortunately we did not have a lost bag and could change clothes as often as we wanted during the cruise.
Already looking forward to next year’s vacation, especially since we will be going to Africa for a couple of weeks before we spend a week in Myrtle Beach for a family re-union. That means that we will need one set of clothes for the safari and an entirely different set of clothes for a week on the beach because it will be winter in South Africa and summer in Myrtle Beach.
Turning Dreams into Memories,
One Vacation at a Time.
As you might guess, this document is a compilation of information from our travels as well as from other travelers. I hope it has been of value to you. Check out the important links below.
- Packing Checklist
- Parent Authorization Letter For Unaccompanied Minors
- Medical Treatment Authorization Letter
- Travel With Minors-Permission Letter
Don’t hesitate to email us when you return from your trip with any suggestions that will make this document better for you and your fellow travelers!