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Cause I’m Leavin’ On A Jet Plane

Boomers need to lose some of the baggage, travel light, and enjoy the trip.

Last summer, my husband Doug and I made our third trip to Europe. And from a strict luggage point-of-view, it was by far the best.

Granted, the whole venture was planned on the spur of the moment. We hadn’t thought we’d be able to get to Switzerland for our youngest son’s college graduation, both because of the expense and because our daughter was getting married a mere week after we’d return.

But at the last minute, we knew we had to go—-and by “had to” I mean really, really wanted to. It was to be a six-day trip, and let me tell you that is not enough time to meet yourself coming and going. Jet lag is not my friend. Jet lag actually reduces me to a weeping puddle of pathos, from which it typically takes at least three days to recover.

So we made one great decision. We decided if I was going to bawl for three days, we sure weren’t going to make the situation any worse by hauling around too much luggage. We decided to take one carry-on wheeled bag, plug a smaller tote bag. For two of us. Period.

It was fantastic. Now I think maybe on the other trips, I might have actually been crying from a displaced shoulder or something. Do you realize how few clothes you need on a trip, if you’re willing to wash out some items in a sink if necessary?

John Flinn, who writes a column called The Competent Traveler for The San Francisco Chronicle, offers advice on hand-washing that a child could follow:

I’m surprised at the number of experienced travelers who don’t know about this trick to cut drying time in half: Lay out a dry towel on the floor, place your clothes on it and roll it up lengthwise. Take off your shoes and shuffle back and forth a few times on the roll to squeeze the moisture from your clothes. Give it a quarter turn and repeat. Let it sit for a few minutes and repeat once more. When you unroll your clothes, they’ll feel almost ready to wear.

Doesn’t that sound like some serious vacation fun? From now on, no matter how long of a journey we plan, we are not checking luggage. We’ve got no one to impress except each other, and that’s already been taken care of.

Posted by Katy on 06/10/08}
in LifestyleDreamsTravel

  1. Katy,

    Are those your feet sticking up from the wild flowers in the photo at the top of the blog?

    Just thought I’d ask.


    Posted by Kathryn Harris  on  06/10/08  at  10:48 AM

  2. Katy,
    What a great habit to form this year following the American Airlines’ new baggage fees. My hubby always did prefer to roll his clothes when packing…now I see the benefit. More room!

    Love the look of your new blog!

    Posted by Kelley Mathews  on  06/10/08  at  11:41 AM

  3. I plan to pack lighter this time - I’ll have access to a washing machine while I’m there and I’m not above wearing the same thing every day. But I’ll also be taking a suitcase full of peanut butter M&M;‘s and other delicacies that my daughter can’t find in Ireland. I always pack lighter coming back from a trip because I’ve been hanging on to these clothes that are good for about one more wearing, then they get trashed before the return trip.

    Posted by Alison  on  06/10/08  at  04:43 PM

  4. Hey, Kat! Did you look closely at her feet? I think she has a couple of cross tatoos! It’s not me, but I’m am that kind of a fun girl….:)

    Kelley—Thank you! Doug designed it (with a lot of input from me) and I like it a lot. My hubby rolls his clothes, too. Try traveling with one bag—you’ll love it!

    Alison—This time??? When are you going to Ireland? Hey, take two suitcases and check me through! I am dying to go. I’ve got it bad right now. I had a travel agent advise us to hold on to our very rattiest underwear for when we went overseas. Then wear them once and pitch them! I got a huge kick out of her “professional” advice! (But I’m not above it….)

    Posted by Katy McKenna  on  06/11/08  at  05:12 PM

  5. tmopfqptj6fep0q6

    Posted by Tracy Salinas  on  11/12/08  at  06:07 PM

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