Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: sdkelley

Joined: 5/25/2010
Posts: 7
Traveler Since: 2007

May 24, 2010

We are always reading that it is important to pack light - and I agree. Too many times I came home with cothes I had packed & never even worn.

Here is what I do: Half of my travel wardrobe consists of items that I will throw away. I save and take clothing that normally I would discard.... it might have a small stain or maybe it really isn't all that up to date or some such reason.

At the end of the trip,  my packed items are reduced AND I have room for the "treasures" I have found.  My friends at first laughed at me, but guess what - they are all doing at least some of this scheme.

 

Author: gerabel

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 22
Countries Visited:

Iceland, Westman Islands, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy, France, England, Greece, Grecian Isles, Spain, Gibraltar, Malta, Comino, Gozo, Morocco, Sicily, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Mallorca, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, much of the USA, among other places.

Traveler Since: 2000

August 14, 2010

YES, I have been doing this for years... this works especially well with old socks and underwear that have just about seen better days and which tend to take up lots of extra sacred space in your suitcase!  When you're packing to go home, toss out the old and make room for the new!!!    HAPPY TRAVELS!! (*_*)

Author: southeastern

Joined: 7/27/2010
Posts: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

August 14, 2010

I have also left a trail of old underwear, socks and etc. as I have traveled. It however backfired on me on an OAT trip in Thailand. I put everything in a plastic bag and threw them in the trash can of my hotel room. As we were leaving a cleaning lady came running down with the bag for me. I thanked her and gave her a tip. My husband wouldn't quit laughing. Best not to wait until the end of the trip to discard!

Author: calsandy

Joined: 7/21/2010
Posts: 12
Traveler Since: 2007

August 14, 2010

 I laughed heartily at the last post. I also bring clothing to toss and have feared that someone would do exactly as that maid did, especially with my old underwear. It hasn't happened to me, YET!

Although most of my travel wardrobe consists of special travel clothes (i.e. quick dry, sun protection, etc), I occasionally add items from 2nd hand shops, which I can leave behind. In fact, the daughter of a friend toured her way thru Europe, discarding clothes she had bought from 2nd-hand shops.

Whatever works.

 

Author: leila

Joined: 5/29/2010
Posts: 2
Traveler Since: 2010

September 13, 2010

Would like packing advice -other than bringing old clothes and throwing them away.

Taking 9/22/10 thru 10/13/10  cruise /land trip to Italy/Greece/Croatia/Turkey..on NCL can we wear capris/shorts that time of year?

 

Anxious about packing for 3 weeks--would like to bring one suitcase and we bought lots of polyester to hand wash--any suggestions?

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 515
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

September 14, 2010

Although the weather should still be nice, I would not wear shorts in Turkey and maybe not in Croatia. Capris are fine and loose cotton or linen should be cooler than the tighter leg synthetics. I saw a lot of women that time last year in capris and sandals. Shorts will probably be okay on the ship but I don't know where you would be going on the land excursions. If you're going to churches/mosques don't wear shorts. Bring a light scarf for a mosque visit. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

As far as packing, use the lightest weight clothes you have and layer with a cardigan or jacket. Wear your heaviest clothes on the flights. Try for one sweater (or shawl) and one jacket.

I know it isn't easy packing for three weeks but you should be able to pack what you need in one suitcase within the weight limits. Keep clothing and shoes as light weight as possible and pack your shoes in your carryon if you have to.

It should be a great trip -- have fun.

Author: leila

Joined: 5/29/2010
Posts: 2
Traveler Since: 2010

September 14, 2010

Thank you Luisa..I appreciate the packing information..

Actually I was wondering if it would be warm enough for my husband to wear shorts and me carpris

 

did not know to bring a scarf for mosque..thank you for taking the time to answer my questions...Leila

 

 

 

 

 

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 168
Traveler Since: 2002

September 15, 2010

We usually travel for 3 weeks at a time and I have found the following helpful. Travel Smith catalog has Pack It's which hold 8-10 shirts/blousesneatly at a time. I use packing aids a LOT for everything. It helps to keep the suitcase neat when I just need one item from the pack. Also take a lot of mix and match items. This way, after sending laundry out on ship which is less expensive then hotels, I can wear clean items for three weeks and not leave a trail of tossed items. The biggest problem is shoes. Women tend to need more changes than men. Wear the heaviest and you probably can take one extra pair of shoes in the suitcase.  Hope this helps.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 515
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

September 15, 2010

I think it will be warm enough for shorts and capris for several days but perhaps too cool by the end of the trip in November.

I was in Ephesus last October and it was quite hot -- lots of people in shorts. You will need a hat and sunblock there. It was also very warm in Antalya on the Med coast, but don't know if you go there.

I do what grammyflo does but I use plastic bags that I save from shopping online and large zip lock bags for underwear and socks. I like the idea that everything is visible if TSA agents need to check my luggage.

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 515
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

September 15, 2010

<<I think it will be warm enough for shorts and capris for several days but perhaps too cool by the end of the trip in November.>>

Sorry, I don't know how I got the idea that trip ended in November. Now I see it's mid October, so yes, it will be warm enough for shorts and capris.

 

Author: sfoster

Joined: 11/19/2010
Posts: 2
Traveler Since: 2008

November 19, 2010

We have a sack in our basement that collects "disposable" clothes and at least half of our clothes and shoes will not come home with us.  I have gotten so I do some fun bartering with disposable clothes.  We were in Albania last month.  I'd brought a leather jacket I no longer wanted.  I took it that day because I would need the warmth in the morning but not later and I knew Albania was a poor country.  As we were getting ready to return to ship there was a young man who was selling bracelets that I suspect he was charging very little for.  I indicated I would trade my jacket for one.  He was thrilled and so was I.  I took a picture of him wearing my jacket as we pulled away.  Every time I look at that bracelet I smile. 

 

Author: robsmom

Joined: 9/21/2010
Posts: 34
Traveler Since: 2011

April 13, 2011

Where do you store your suitcases? How large/small was your luggage? Should we use soft sided (duffle type) or standard?

 

 

 

Author: shatzi

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 59
Traveler Since: 2009

April 14, 2011

"Your Travel Handbook"  has a section on luggage which is quite helpful.  If you are going on a river cruise, there is ample room to store your luggage under the beds.  

Author: rscrawford

Joined: 1/20/2011
Posts: 4
Traveler Since: 2005

October 19, 2011

I have a problem with overpacking clothing.  I am a plus size lady and it is difficult to find clothing in Europe (a lost suitcase on a previous cruise was a nightmare). I am getting ready to travel for 3 weeks and wondered about the ship laundry fees.  I can handwash a lot of stuff, but jeans, and heavier pants I would like to have laundered.  I have searched the web site and ship information and can't find fee information.  Does anyone have information on the fees? 

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Traveler Since: 2007

June 24, 2012

 We're always looking for suggestions for packing less and less.  We too are fans of discarding unneeded clothing, however, frequently, there isn't sufficient clothing we wangt to discard.  We have found that a combination of discarding and doing laundry while on the trip is a reasonable compromise.  Now that OAT and Grand Circle PD's communicate with us beforehand, we always ask about the availability of laundry services.  We have found that our PD always has one or two places on our trip where we can either have laundry done for us at a reasonable and much lower price than the hotels charge, or have coin-operated machines for doing it ourselves.  By doing laundry, usually once on a trip, we can pack half as much as we need and always have clean clothes.  On our recent Ancient Kingdoms trip with OAT, our PD had a place in Siem Reap for laundry which did 5 kilos for the equivalent of $2.00, washed and folded.  Virtually everyone on our trip used it.  However, on our recent trip to Spain with Grand Circle, we were the only ones who used the laundry facilities recommended by our PD.  We found that very peculiar, but understood when we saw how much luggage most of the other travelers carried.

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 86
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

June 25, 2012

Hi,

A "classic" answer to how to pack light is: pick a base color for your slacks, capris, skirts (for example navy, tan, olive, or black). Plan on wearing each item AT LEAST 3 times on your trip x number of days. (Example: tan slacks x's 3, black skirt x 3, etc..) Then pick some tops to go with most of your bottoms example: a tan & white print blouse or knit top, a navy & white striped top, a solid color in your base color that can be "jazzed up" with a pretty colored scarf or shawl. Take twice as many tops as bottoms, both casual styles and 1-2 dressy ones for evening and farewell dinners. Wear your heavier walking/sports shoes on the plane and bring one pair of sandles, loafers, etc..for warm weather or dressy clothing. Pick a neutral base color for your 1 jacket and 1 sweater or fleece shirt. Instead of dropping your old undies all over the globe, bring 4 pr of the travel type that wash in minutes and dry in a few hours. (Use the hotel provided shampoo to wash your delicates instead of bringing soap)

I took one small suit case and one carry-on for 3 weeks in Italy and it worked out very well. My base colors for slacks and skirts were olive and black. Turquoise is beautiful with both, pink is lovely with both, white, of course. You get the idea. Also, look up Rick Steves packing tips on his travel website for more good ideas and a sample packing list for men and one for women.

Happy trails, CS Walsh

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 238
Traveler Since: 1995

June 26, 2012

Hi,

Walshcs has the right idea.  My husband and I do the exact type packing.  If it's nice weather, I pack polyester tops (JC Penney 5th  Ave or similar), they wash and dry  fast w/o pressing. If it's long sleeve weather I buy polyester/cotton jerseys that also dry faster.  Also, Good ol' Vanity Fair undies dry fast, and faster if you take a few minutes to aim the hair dryer.  My husband bought polyester/cotton briefs and they dry faster than all cotton. We wash out undies every time we shower. The Women's Travel Handbook (GCT) has excellent ideas especially for hygiene (and some bizaare ideas), but it's worth a read. I use stretch jeans without a lot of pockets and with the spandex they also dry faster than 100 percent cotton, as I've had to wash them occasionally and ,  acrylic/polyester sweaters also dry faster. I don't carry fleece/sweatshirt type material for tops because if they need washed, takes forever to dry.  My husband switched to stretch jeans and they not only look good but are iighter than the usual men's cotton jeans.

When JC Penney had sales of 70% off, I found a lot of $50-75  sweaters for $2.97 to 10.97.  Same for high end dept. stores, I shop for travel clothes for cooler destination  on Dillards January 1st 70% off sales (usually with additional 20-30% if you use your Dillards card) when I can pick up tops and sweaters/jackets at the lowest price, sometimes less than $10, original price $24-$70 . 

All of my clothing or mixed composition weigh less than heavier jeans and  sweatshirts. My jackets are nylon water resistant with hoods overtop sweaters/jerseys. I use a waterproof windbreaker (bought on a ship); some sports stores put these on sale in the early summer.  If it's supposed to be windy and cold (like the Ireland.... weather was forecast, I carry a London Fog type raincoat with hood along with the other two coats.  GCT's windbreaker is also excellent and lightweight.   With the type clothing I buy, I can pack less, and it only takes a minute to wash out.  How dirty can they get.?  If liquid soap provided by GCT on ships and hotels' shampoo can get out perspiration/hair gels and spray out of body or hair, they surely can get perspiration out of clothes.  I do carry two packs of sink bowl Tide for one wash, if you can get the water to stay in the bowl.  Or I carry a 1/2 cup of borax in a plastic bag or small bottle for tough stains, but end up not using it mostly. 

I am never over 48 lbs suitcase, and that's when I carry books instead of e-reader in carry-on. Even with 3 sweaters  and long sleeve jerseys,and 3 lb shoes, I was just 41 lbs .. 

It can be done.  But, I'm still wondering how people do it with just a 21" carry-on on an 18 day trip.  We can determne who didn't wash their jeans.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Traveler Since: 2007

June 26, 2012

 One of the things that alwayws puts a chink in our efforts to take less and less is the 'drugstore.' We refer, of course, to the myriad of pills and potions that we may need as a defense against the various illnesses which MAY afflict us when we travel.  We once weighed our 'drugstore' and it came to7 pounds.  Of course, included were our various prescription medications, but they didn't form the bulk of the "drugstore."  So we looked at it.  We had remedies for all types of intestinal maladies, insect repellants, sunscreens, as well as antibiotics, both prescription and over-the-counter for sundry ailments.  We have only used portions of our drugstore a few times, and most of the time have gotten through unscathed.  But we follow the old fisherman's advice:  If you don't take it, you can't use it, and despite the fact that we haven't used most of the items in our drugstore, the one time we decide to leave it home will be the time we would need it.  And there's nothing worse than being ill on a trip.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 238
Traveler Since: 1995

June 27, 2012

You're right about the "drugstore". 

We have a "what if" gallon size zip lock bag with such items.  We didn't catch colds or flu the first few times we were on a river cruise, and always figured we could go to a local pharmacy.  This can be expensive, and inconvenient to others if the PD takes us to a place "on the way back to the  hotel", as we experienced.  Then we went from never getting sick, to getting a cold early on.  So we tried to figure out how to lessen what we take.  We went from carrying bottles of cough medicine, kaopectate, etc, to buying gel capsules.  This eliminated a lot of bulk and weight.  There's expectorant, congestion and cough medicines all in tablets or gel caps.  I have to carry a separate bag of foam pads and bandages for my feet to to pad them daily so I can walk; these are not so weighty.  I buy the smallest tube of anti-itch cremes or put in a very small  cosmetic sample jar. . I carry about 10 packs of those sewing kits that we get in hotels/ships; I take the packaging off, and put in a small zip bag, plus several packages of nosebleed remedies because I don't know when I will have one.  I carry one post-it pad, and a very small stapler and scissors., and mostly I use them a few times to assemble all the papers we get.  My "what if" bag now weighs a lot less.  I have to say my husband's "what if" bag is a lot bigger than mine,  his choice. 

We also take travel size body cream (gold bond type) then can discard after used up.  Provided lotions give us rashes, so we use our own.  Instead of my usual cosmetics, I rely on samples, smaller brushes, pencils, and I transfer face creams into a smaller sample type container and if necessary, carry two. I carry 3-4 sample floss from the dentist so  discard as  they empty.  I was lucky to purchase a 70 spf sun screen with a travel size attached to it; was a handy purchase.  I don't like provided shampoo, so I transfer my shampoos in reusable hotel bottles.  All of these are not all in our "what if" bag, but are part of toiletry bags.  I have scaled down the size of that, too by using smaller bottles and discard along the way as things are used.  If I don't use an item in 3 trips, I don't take that item again.

We do not count the weight of our prescription medicine, creams, etc., since we  hand carry these.  I carry only a small amount of allergy, cough capsules on the plane, so to avoid declaring these type meds. 

Since we started using the provided body/shampoo to wash out things, I carry less laundry soap or none, but I do carry some clothes pins.  We carry at least 6 hangers for wet clothes if we wash, since most closets do not have the lift off hangers.  Then at the end, we throw away the hangers or leave in the closet.  On the river ships they use these wire hanges to send your clothes back to your room if you have the crew do laundry. The heaviest item is a travel iron; comes handy on the river ship but on land tours, we found hotels provide irons or pressers in the room.

Our kids laugh at us at the time I take to prepare to pack, but I don't like heavy suitcases and can keep it well within the 50 lb limit.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 962
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 27, 2012

Oh, you use a travel iron on the river ships?  Someone posted recently on another thread that it wasn't allowed.  I never iron when traveling and rarely at home.  Most of my clothes hang out. 

I have a lot of skin allergies, so I bring my own stuff.    Small bars of soap, small bottles of shampoo, I transfer my conditioner into a little plastic bottle.  I bring a small bottle that I've put woolite into for washing my undies.  And I have a travel cord to hang things in the shower, although the river ships seem to have pull-out cords for that purpose.

As far as the "drugstore" is concerned, things like ibuprofen, sudafed and immodium don't take up much space.  My prescription drugs, of which there are not many, I bring in the original bottle in my carry-on.

As so many of us have posted, the smartest thing to do is to pick a dark color for pants and coordinate the tops so that most of your clothes can be mixed and matched.  You may get tired of them by the end of the trip, but that's not important.

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.