Packing for a Vacation


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Everyone has an idea about packing.  I am always looking for the lightest suitcase so that I can bring more with me.  My husband and I travel between California and France at least twice a year.  If you read my blog, you know that one of my sons lives in France.  Everything time I go to see him and his family, I bring “stuff” for them along with my clothes and my “stuff”.  Let me know if you have some good packing tips that I am overlooking.

1. Soft sided suitcase or hard shell suitcases.  I bought 2 - 32″ wheeled duffle bags at REI a number of years ago that I think work well for me.  But as you can see, this is not a sexy bag!    Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 3.53.18 PM

I chose REI because if they fail, this company will take the bags back and give me a new suit case in exchange. However, I love the idea of the hard shell cases since they seem to be very light and some of them come in great colors.

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Recently, I have been tempted by the French designed Lipault suitcase.  It is made of a lightweight nylon twill, is super light and comes in bright colors.Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 3.15.09 PM

2. Cell phones and iPads;  I find myself traveling without my favorite camera more often because of my cell phone.  Most of the time, I bring a good camera as well as my mini iPad.  I always take a picture or two of my packed suitcases so that if they gets lost, I will have a picture of it to give to the Airline’s lost and found.


3. I am a list person.  This way, I don’t have to think about what I might forget.  My lists are flexible and ever changing but I always use one. I also figure that if my bags gets lost, I will have the list of what was in it with me.

4. Suitcase organization; I like bags that have some internal pockets and I always try to remember to put a few plastic bags in. (Remember to add this to my list!) The empty bags are good for wet bathing suits, shoes and dirty laundry. I also use the plastic bags for items like salt and olive oil that I might be bringing home.  I roll my clothes since I am under the impression that this saves space and then I will have space for gifts. I have successfully brought home wine, mustard and pickles by putting the bottles in 2 plastic baggies and rolling my jeans around the bottles.

5. Global Entry Program; If you travel out of the US at least 1-2 times a year, this is a marvelous time saver. It costs $100 for 5 years.  Those who are approved for the program can re-enter the US by using a kiosk at the entry airport.  The kiosk reads the traveler’s passport or green card as well as finger prints. Basically, there is limited or no waiting at immigration.–xb0CFVJffgoduVgACA

6. Weigh your bag before you leave home; We also use a mini scale to make sure that we haven’t gone over the limits for luggage.  I bring the scale with me so for the return trip.  If I need to bring a second bag, I  pay for it online before leaving home since that is less expensive than paying at the airport.

Bon Voyage!


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