I spent most of Sunday doing laundry, shopping for toiletries and packing my suitcase. I hate packing. It's probably my least favorite part of the trip process. I actually hate it more than unpacking and doing laundry once I get home.
I've discovered why I dislike it so much, and why it makes me so irritable
Fortunately (or unfortunately), many travel books have a packing list. I do have Rick Steves' travel guide for Spain. And sure enough, on page 853 (yes, I know it by heart) is his packing list. I say this with caution, because 1) he is a man 2) he clearly favors the freedom of traveling "light." Rick says that once you pack your suitcase, you should remove (and will only need) half of what's in there. Well Rick....I tend to add more.
I get what he's saying. And believe me, lugging heavy suitcases in other countries is not fun. But I also think his recommendations, especially for females, are not practical. Here are some up for debate:
- 5 shirts (combination of 5 short sleeve and long sleeve): There is no way I can do that. Not gonna happen. I'm bringing 2 long sleeves and 4 short sleeves, 2 black cardigans, and 4 tank tops. Hey....I like layering!
- One sweater or fleece: I actually agree with this one. One black sweater for me.
- One pair of shorts: I agree with this one, too, only because I hate shorts
- 5 pairs of socks: I'm only bringing 4. Take that!
- 1 pair of shoes: Ok, I assume he means you will pack one pair and have another pair on your feet? That's still not acceptable. I'm bringing 4 - tennies, good walking sandal, another good sandal and dressy sandals/heels.
- 5 pairs of underwear: I'm bringing 7, plus other undergarments that do not pertain to Rick.
- 2 pairs of pants: Again, unacceptable. Right now I have 3, but am considering removing one. Also have 2 pairs of cotton capris.
- 1 Swimsuit: That's fine. Although years ago I remember Rick writing that a sports bra can also be a swim top, and I think that's stupid.
- In addition, I'm bringing a "work out" outfit in case I can get in a run, as well as a sun hat and scarf (to dress up my blah white and black clothes). Some hair product and make up is also needed.
- I realize this might sound like a lot, but remember that most of it is light (skirts, sandals, shirts, pants) and not heavy pants or sweaters.
- I have no issues with hand washing items in hotel sinks, but when I'm on the bus tour, I really won't have the chance to wash anything, as we're staying in 4 hotels in 5 nights! I need some options
- I'm also unsure of the weather. It should be decent during the day (60s and 70s), but I think it will cool down at night. That's where pants/jeans will come in handy.
- I don't want to look too much like a touristy dork. I will look like a tourist and it's bad enough that I won't have a cute purse or can't bring a lot of clothes with color. So let me bring what I need to get by.
My clothes and toiletries fit fine in my 25" rolling suitcase, and there is room (and weight) for souvenirs. I'm also carrying on a backpack with my money, guidebook, netbook, camera, trashy girlie magazines for the plane, snacks and medicines. I have a great day pack that can fit in my suitcase.
I'm pretty well traveled, and I can't say that I have regretted bringing the stuff I do. I will wear most, if not all of these items at some point. I see what Rick is saying, and agree with him on some items. But if my packing list is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
Jamie vs. Rick
Monday, March 26, 2012
Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States