Lets wrap it up – Less as possible but as much as necessary (In this (suit) case less is more)
Looking back of many years travelling experience, I followed always one maxim: easy travelling means light packing to avoid unnecessary effort and stress.
Two pieces of luggage at the max! Two pieces are always good to handle and to observe. Sometimes fast moving gets necessary and how should this work with heavy and lots of pieces? Some people already arrive at the Check-In counter – with a red face and emergency in their expressions – Notwithstanding the mission “relax” starts with a certain level of excitement either way, because you get thrown off well-known tracks.
To not relinquish everything that is important to me, I belong to the species of “optimizers”. There are also the “Hardcore”-Fans, hence the lunatic fringes that cut off the handle of the toothbrush to save 10 gr. I don’t go that far, even though I have to admit that I cut off the handle of the hairbrush because it was really heavy and bulky. “Hardcore” doesn’t have (m)any hair either way, hence doesn’t need a hairbrush, isn’t led into temptation to take a curling iron or hair-dryer and saves the shampoo on top.
Recently I am traveling with people to show them beautiful places in nature, mainly to show them the ocean as well as whales and dolphins.
Not rarely did it happen that participants arrived with a 23kg suitcase and checked in extra luggage. How shall that end when one has to add all the beautiful Hawai’i items bought during a power shopping tour? Especially if some stuff can be bought much cheaper at the destination – probably even so cheap that you can give them away as a present afterwards, because one can only use them once at the very specific destination (for example flippers).
However, everyone has different needs and every journey demands something different. Hawai’i for example offers sun, beach, ocean, swimming with dolphins, hiking on tropical wet trails, 3000m altitude with freezing wind (partly sub-zero temperatures), which includes everything a heart could be yawning for – unfortunately also as far as concerning the suitcase.
Everything is manageable, especially with some experience and for those who don’t have them, I suggest continuing reading.
Very important! Always make sure that your pets get off the suitcase…
Regarding packing, men and women, as in many other cases, think and work differently from each other. Susanne, my wife, regularly checks the packed up things again with my help, some things are unpacked and in the end, the content is very tightly structured for a woman’s’ suitcase. Just to add, after the checking is done, this and that, so it gets heavier again in the end…
She has always been smart but finds herself, as a very fragile person, in a railway underpass with a faithful questioning look on her face in front of very very long and steep steps to the platform with an out of order escalator and no elevator in sight. Why having a man, especially one that prides himself a trail runner, if not for situations like this? Starting a discussion now would only cause bad blood. So I take one suitcase in each hand, the backpack at the back and start climbing up and just save the regular visit at the fitness studio and the relationship coaching,
Reaching the top after the athletic workout, I break out in a sweat. By now, at the latest, experience pays off. Because, man doesn’t wear a cotton (T-)Shirt but – exactly – is wearing an amazing functional shirt. It doesn’t soak up but transmits liquids, hence doesn’t start smelling during a long journey. So the man is proud to be pushed at his limits by his wife and is glutted with thankfulness, appreciation and kisses.
To cut a long story short, as it is also the case with many books, one can reduce the essentials on a few pages (the optimizer), unless one has a “Kindle” instead of real books with him.
Here comes the list: is doesn’t claim to be comprehensive and I am always thankful for suggestions and improvements. Every constructive hint received will take part in a drawing with PRICE.
Rimowa Alu-wheeled suitcase, middle size, 64lt, unfortunately it comes with already 4-5 kg empty weight, but robust and stable, if fragile items should be amongst your luggage.
OR: a wheeled suitcase-backpack, approximately 80ltr with removable day pack (e.g. Carribee, Meru, Osprey)
Lowe TT Roll on 40ltr. Backpack, suitable in size as carry-on luggage into airplanes; can be used also as a wheeled suitcase or as a daypack for shopping or trekking with clothes and food.
Small Trail backpack or shoulder bag (woman), easy to store in the carry-on luggage for small important things to avoid standing up for each thing you might need from the overhead lockers.
Money belt to carry everything really important directly at your body (money, passport, credit card, smartphone) and any usable odds and ends (small headlight (Black Diamond)), pen/note sheet, small plastic/titan(Edelried) fork/spoon, small clasp knife (Victorinox/Wenger etc.) – don’t take it with you into the airplane!! – band-aids, salt/pepper (in small paper bags)
Waterproof, wind resistant, light cagoule/windbreaker (e.g. North Face, Jack Wolfskin, Patagonia and other no name producers – fluorocarbon-free at the best)
1-2 Fleece jackets (optimal with hood, colors matching with the other outfits)
2 functional shirts (best out of Merino wool)
T-shirts, shirts/blouse etc.
Surf shorts/bathing suits
Long pants and wind- and water-resistant over trouser/ski- or Snowbardpants
First-aid kit, Rescue crème, painkillers, band-aids/bandage or liquid wound closure, sanitizer, Arnica
Light Beach towel
Sun protection incl. headgear
Hiking/walking shoes (e.g. Salomon Trail running shoes, Asics, Adidas, Inov 8…)
Other useful stuff:
Water bottle, plastic, foldable 1 ltr.
Thermos mug, 100% leak tight (e.g. by Alfi, Stelton), small thermos can 0,5 ltr.
Cosmetics – make sure to only take the amount necessary for the duration of the journey with you i.e. don’t empty the bottles already at home but store the leftovers for the journey, probably fill shampoo in smaller bottles (recently you can also buy cosmetics in travel sized containers, preferably no glass)
In most of the visited countries there are no purification plants and wastewater directly flows in the ocean, hence the advice is to take bio-degradable and environmental friendly products with you
Useful small stuff: (just as an advice and possibility, not often needed but if…)
Needle and fixing pin, fiber in different colors, superglue, simple and robust elastics to close bags, piece of wire, 1m thin rope, lighter, pegs
Memory stick with all important documents (scanned Passports, papers etc.) and maybe also sent to your own e-mail address
Purchases worth to be considered:
E-books instead of books
Noise cancelling Headphones e.g. Bose QC 15 for frequent fliers
GoPro camera optimal for underwater, small, acceptable picture and video quality or the
cheaper Lumix by Panasonic over- and underwater camera (but this is a complete different topic…)
For the flight:
Compression hosiery, good for long flights, keep the cardiovascular system going, light (pretty unsexy but work miraculously – many athletes swear by them)
Susanne always takes with her: nose ointment for drying mucous membrane, empty thermos mug for her carry-on luggage which can be refilled during the flight with hot water/tea, a piece of ginger
Multifunctional clasp knife (e.g. Leatherman or Victorinox) with pliers, scissors, different screws, rasp, saw, etc.
Have a light hearted time!