How do you pack for a trip?

XstarX

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Another thing about cloths for me, is that I only need one pair of decent cloths to go out for dinner, if needed, while traveling for business.

Since my work puts me around classic (AKA: old) cars, I'm going to smell like old car within fifteen minutes after driving at a job side. I typically get up, toss on yesterday's clothes, and shower when I get back to the hotel. My dirty clothes have to go in plastic bags to get packed for the trip home.

To put this into perspective, I once got randomly stopped by TSA (airport security), and they swabbed me down, and I tested positive for explosives. Really got the attention of a lot of people around me. About 45 minutes later, an explosives expert cleared me to go. Unburned hydrocarbons can test as explosives. Go figure. I had time before my flight to down a few Jack and Cokes.

I do have to give props to all the TSA agents involved. They were very professional, and very polite.

CD
How interesting as my hubby got stop at airport to for same reason, we were like omg what explosives ..🙈 we never knew why. He works on cars
 

XstarX

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I use the hot shampoos and soaps. There is always too much soap, so I bring those home. I don't think I've purchased a singe bar of soap in 20 years. I stay in good hotels, so the soaps are good quality.

CD
Im😔, my hol was cancelled to aruba this year & my Spain hol, I just hope they don't cancel September🙈
News has just came on now, France & spain r rate is going up😔

Some hotels in uk are saying they are thinking of removing bathroom items due to covid.

My problem is I go though like a big shampoo bottle a week & up to 2 conditioners a weeks, I only use a particular make since sueing salon to. Then I have pots of leave in conditioner, then I take sun spray for hair, I also like to take my hairdryer as hotels cuts out after 4mins.
I take 4 to 5 cans of mousse to and 1 hairspray. my hubby takes so much to as he has crazy hair, the amount of conditioner he goes though to is crazy, he to has to have special brand of conditioner due to his hair type, it's literally like a sponge lol.
I go to trade hair shops & sales assistants show me leave in conditioners I just don't get why they are so small in uk, the 1 she recommended other week was like £9 but wouldn't of lasted 1 time lol.

I do love at end of week when I have hardly any products left & loads of room in case left when packing, I then go to my favourite shop & buy lots of little gifts for me & family back home
 

TastyReuben

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To put this into perspective, I once got randomly stopped by TSA (airport security), and they swabbed me down, and I tested positive for explosives. Really got the attention of a lot of people around me. About 45 minutes later, an explosives expert cleared me to go. Unburned hydrocarbons can test as explosives.
Your story beats mine. I was stopped and searched in Saginaw because I'd packed a bundle of suspicious-looking sausages that, on the x-ray, looked like one of those cartoon pictures of TNT. :laugh:
 
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I generally pack the way TastyReuben mentioned: with mix-and-match combinations. If we're driving, I know that we can generally buy whatever supplies we may need on the way, which helps save packing space. I also bring one dress-up outfit, in case the opportunity presents. But, I've lost track of how many times I've done this, and then forgotten the shoes. Button-up shirt, nice pants, and sandals? No.

My wife always overpacks, but never quite as much as we did the first time we visited Europe together. We were going for a week, and I had one moderate-sized suitcase, and she had three large suitcases, plus carry-on bags. I may be one of the few people out there who's glad that airlines now charge for how many bags you bring. She was doing aerobics workouts back then, using a VCR (in the mid-90s). It took me quite a while to convince her not to bring the VCR (and her weights!!) so she could do her workout every day! I convinced her that we'd be doing PLENTY of walking in London, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam, and of course we did.

But, that was also back before most suitcases had wheels on them. We took the train into Amsterdam, and then the tram toward where we were staying. If you've been to Amsterdam, you know that the city is built with roads and canals in concentric rings. We were on the right street for our hotel, but maybe a full mile from where we were staying. And, it was a hot August day. Such fun lugging all those bags, stopping periodically to catch our breath.

Now, my TSA story. When you go through security, you are expected to remove anything metallic and put it in the bin, including keys, coins, and your belt. I had just lost a lot of weight (about 25 pounds), and I hadn't had a chance to buy new clothes. So, when I raised my hands to go through the scanner, my pants started to fall down. The security agent told me to pull my pants up, and I said, "I can't...I just lost a lot of weight, and I haven't had a chance to buy new clothes!" He just laughed and waived me through.
 

Lullabelle

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I pack my case, TVC then takes out about half of what I put in. I always over over pack, take things 'just in case I need them' never do but they are there anyway because you just never know.
 

mjd

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Ex works in the airline industry so we got discounts on shipping FedEx. I would pack what I needed for an overnight stay and FedEx the rest to my destination. It was just a medium sized box or so and always waiting for me by the time I checked in. Anything beyond that, I would buy but that only happened a few times.
 

LissaC

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I travel solo and budget style, staying in hostels and taking low cost flights whenever possible, which also meant travelling with carry on luggage only, which in some airlines (Ryanair I'm looking at you) means only a small backpack. So I travel light and that's an understatement. I can also achieve the miracle of leaving empty room in my bag so I can fill it with souvenirs. For a 5 day trip I usually carry two outfits only + the one I'm wearing, underwear and a pyjama, and I always wear dresses which are lighter than trousers + blouses + socks.

I got a big luggage case for my first long distance trip, which was Hong Kong + China. I got tired of wheeling the luggage around me and didn't even use a lot of the stuff I packed so on my next trip I got a big backpack and packed as light as possible. I packed so light I forgot stuff like toothpaste and enough underwear and ended up hand washing clothes (and drying them with a hair dryer) almost everyday in every hotel I stayed. Shopping for toothpaste in Iran was a once in a lifetime experience especially as it was on my first day there and I couldn't understand their numbers. I also managed to lose a cellphone on that trip somehow.
 

Mountain Cat

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The extended conversation between TastyReuben and JASOH1 inspired me to start this thread. .For years I over packed. Overnight trip - pack for a week. Go for a week - pack for a month.
I can pack for an extended trip in a carry on bag and my C-Pap.
I have discovered the joy of packing cubes, I can pack two or three days of outfits in each cube including underwear. TR as obsessive as you are you should investigate packing cubes. So easy. Open a cube, pull out everything you need for that day - underwear, socks/hose, top, bottom. Get dressed and go.
We stay in hotels so a blow dryer is not necessary. I have lots of 3 oz. travel bottles so there is no need for large containers of lotion, shampoo or conditioner.
We both use an electric tooth brush. When traveling we only need one base. The brush heads can be switched out as needed. If you do not want to spend the money on hotel laundry service most hotels in the U.S. have a guest laundry. Bring a book and a glass (bottle) of wine and wash a load of clothes. Much better than over packing.
In recent years most of our travel has been in conjuration with G's business - a conference or trade show where the company will pay for a companion traveler. G attends the conference and I sight see. Easy to pack. In addition to casual clothes I need a couple of dressy casual outfits for business dinners or functions. 1 skirt or a pair of slacks, two tops and a light jacket or pashmina. A pair of pumps. I like jewelry and I am tempted to pack lots but limit myself to two sets that can be tucked into a jewelry roll. If I need to I can carry that in my purse. About purses - at home I use a small cross body purse. When I travel i carry a larger purse with a tooth brush and an extra pair of underwear. We usually drive and rarely fly. I have had luggage lost once on a flight.
OK - I have rambled long enough.
How do you pack?


As much as is practically possible, I prefer to travel by car. Understand it is not always practical.

BUT between space limits, I am 6 foot one with bad knees and ankles and 1) being behind some inconsiderate blankety-blank who thinks it is his gawd-given right to push his seat all the way back into my knees, or 2) having to sit in the space right behind the bulkhead where ankles cannot stretch out, and 3) not being able to put my worst leg out into the aisle very often, and 4) not being able to stop my chosen vehicle WHEN I want to stretch and walk around - I seriously prefer to drive to any vacation locale as often as practical! - Obviously this does not help if I choose to travel to another continent! Or if I have to visit a family member on emergency.

My last plane flight was to Chicago November 2014 when my father passed away. I drove from Connecticut to Florida and back again when I went to visit my brother and his children in 2016. I had planned to do this again this past spring, but... COVID.

I wish I had the packing skills of my mother. She was the queen of suitcase packing. Any of the rest of the family could pack a suitcase to full, and she'd come along and re-pack for all of us and we had twice as much in each of our individual suitcases than we'd started with.

Air flights back when I was working, to go to conferences: I'd pack a couple nice outfits but otherwise just casual. Unfortunately my feet have been so bad for years I cannot EVER wear pumps or anything that looks feminine. Other people just have to deal with the non-aesthetics of my footwear. On top of this, it is size 10.5 - 11 (US MEN's scale) footwear. I refuse to cripple myself to make someone else happy. If it is a short trip, it is just the pair I am wearing.

Hair dryers - I haven't used one since I was about 30. Air dry for me is the way to go. Even at a business conference. I remember buying a business suit for our conference in New Orleans in June early 1990s. Nearly all the other presenters were in shorts! (This was not true at other locales we went to...) I regret having to donate that suit when I moved up here a couple years ago - it was lovely - but I know I'll never fit in it again. I plan airline travel for ONE check-in suitcase, and ONE carry on bag, in which I manhandle my purse - although I did need my laptop in an additional bag when I also had to work while on a trip. I recall one late 90s trip to my brother's in Florida where I didn't have time to drive - that I arrived with ONE carry on bag alone (and my camera around my neck. Absolutely nothing else but wearing a lightweight coat - hot there, but I was grateful to have that on me when I returned to Connecticut and had to chisel my car out of the ice bank in the parking lot.

I use hotel shampoo and conditioners - and take leftovers home with me. No matter how I travel. If I am staying at a relative's or a friend's place, I bring something small to use - both helps in packing and on airplanes nowadays.

I have never used an electric toothbrush in my life. The regular ones pack more compactly anyway.

I will have a camera out if it is for scenic travel. I prefer camera photos to phone photos but the phone ones have definitely improved that now I'd be fine using just that in some cases. I do tend to try to travel for fun in less-touristy regions more or less, so being marked as a tourist is less of a concern. I judge it by where I am.

Always travel with a book and a Kindle. Widens options. I do carry a larger purse when travelling - extra set of undergarments and a top, plus that Kindle, paperback, and camera equipment. I also travel with clothing (not the jacket) that has POCKETS, preferably four, so I can scatter my credit cards, ID, keys, and cash around - the not keeping all one's eggs in one basket theory. I almost always dress way DOWN when going into New York City (I take a train down from Connecticut/just over the border into New York state). No camera, but just going to meet friends there and do stuff. I did dress up (rather nicely) when I went down to a fancy restaurant for my 60th birthday and met friends there who treated me... I still only had a Dumb Phone then, and I'd been to NYC often enough I didn't care about photographs.

If I will be several days on the road by car, I always bring a cooler, at least for lunches and sometimes for breakfasts. In winter I leave the stuff in the car; in warmer times I stay at places with fridges in the motel rooms. I will find a place (ahead of time) for a decent dinner.

TSA at airports: Back when I had to fly out of Hartford Connecticut to visit Dad... I usually had the earliest flights. They were awesome employees! With a sense of humor too. Any other TSA locales that I happened to see between 2001 and 2014 - eh. But I can understand their pressure in larger airports, and later in the day.
 
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Wyshiepoo

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I go out for a walk and come back when its done.
Yes, whenever I travel my suitcase just appears like magic.

Was going through customs once and the customs officer asked me, "did you pack your bag yourself sir?"

Me, "no".

Customs officer, fixing me with a steely gaze, "oh?"

Me, "my wife did."

Customs officer, *rolls eyes* "ok, carry on sir."
 

vernplum

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In addition to some of the excellent clothes packing strategies already given, let me also stick my oar in: Pre-covid, I was a frequent business traveller across the Asia-Pacific region (plus couple of trips to US per year) and there was a time when I would travel 3 out of 4 weeks a month (it's calmed down a bit and now I go about 4-5 times per quarter) so I had my packing down quite efficiently. There are a few things that were always in my luggage (a trusty and indestructible Samsonite that can fit into an overhead) and those are:

- washbag, medicine bag
- lightweight compact foldable jacket
- small satchel for day trips
- insulated keep cool bag

But, the most important thing I always have is a small size Ikea blue bag that contains miscellaneous bits of hardware: spare charger, usb cables and plugs of all kinds, Swiss army knife, laser pointer, batteries, travel adapters (at least two), shaver, couple of sachets of instant coffee, sunglasses, tape, elastic bands, etc. and all of those little bits and pieces that you may need at some point in time. When I arrive at my hotel, I just lift that out of my luggage and they are all in one place.

s-l300.jpg



Now, vacation packing is a totally different story. Family of 5, with 3 kids, etc...
 

flyinglentris

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I am retired, so I don't pack dressy clothes for business trips anymore.

Generally, I think everyone will agree that if going somewhere for more than a few days, one or more changes of clothes will be a mandatory consideration, along with soap, shampoo, razor and shave cream, an tooth paste.

If just going overnight, nothing is needed, except maybe a camera. I usually always take a camera when road tripping, except to the grocery store or VA appointments.
 

Wyshiepoo

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Which reminds me, this is why I always loved it when we had a motorhome, chuck everything in the internal storage and off you go.

No worries about packing space or any of that malarkey, plus no worries about not having space for souvenirs. We used to come back from France with delicious cakes, bread, butter, cheese, bottles of wine, pictures and anything else that would fit in the motorhome.
 

rascal

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It pi$$&$ my wife off I can pack a bag in 5 mins. And ready to go, whereas she takes two days, her with 2 suit cases and me with one carry bag. Women are so fussy.

Russ
 
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