Lightweight Suitcases And Tips For Packing
Light weight is...
Light weight for luggage is relative. Light weight luggage for my son is completely different than light weight for me. I don't think any luggage is light weight and he doesn't think any luggage is heavy.
Some items to consider when deciding on luggage:
- What kind of traveling do you do? Leisure/business?
- What kind of clothes? Play clothes/business/formal?
- What is the length of your trip?
- What kind of transportation? Casual travel(car tours, backpacking) Formal travel (airline, train)
- Will you be traveling Internationally or domestically?
- Will you be checking your luggage or carrying it on?
- Will you keep your luggage for a long time; Is it durable?
A typical light weight suitcase is somewhere between 7 pound and 15 pounds. Though in the past year several of the suitcases I have seen on sale at Costco have been lighter. A duffel bag or backpack can truly be lightweight. REI has rolling backpacks that weigh 7.5lbs for around $250.00. L.L. Bean has lightweight luggage for reasonable prices too.
Choose Your Luggage Carefully
Choosing the right luggage is important. I looked up the size limits for the flight to Memphis on the airlines website before buying a new suitcase. Sometimes the plane you are flying on doesn't meet the qualification on the website. The carrier was, obviously, aware of the situation. My case was checked at the gate without charge. On the return trip, same carrier, the case fit the plane overhead compartments. When using an expanding suitcase be careful it still meets airline specifications after it expands if you are planning to use it for carry-on.
When packing consider how much weight you can lift. This is important for carry-on luggage. No one wants to pay more for checked luggage, but it is really annoying when the people in front of you can't manage their luggage.
Some of the new planes have pull down overhead luggage bins. At 5'9" I had difficulty getting my case out of this sort of bin.
Light weight should be determined by the scale weight of a bag and your strength. If you can't lift the bag consider paying the fee and checking your case.
What Kind Of Luggage Do You Like?
What kind of Luggage do you like best?
At the age of nine Mom and I took the StarLIght express from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Why it's called the express remains a mystery. It was an all night affair. My uncle and mom both tried to convince me to take one of my doll suitcases and let them send the rest of my things by mail. My play suit cases had eight pieces.
After that trip I learned the value of having the right luggage. Too many pieces are a nuisance and not enough triggers a shopping spree.
Really light weight luggage, until recently, was made out of titanium. Therefore it was very expensive. Recently luggage made of polycarbonate has come on the market reducing cost substantially. Polycarbonate luggage gives your goods the safety of hard sided luggage without the weight.
Once You Have Chosen Your Luggage
Once you have chosen your luggage; packing is the next important step toward a successful tip.
Know Where You Are Going
Knowing the geography of Australia will make a trip there much nicer. December is summer and June is winter down under. Traveling lightly if you are going to Australia in June and then on to the Philippines will require both cool weather and warm weather clothing.
Remember, if you are south of the equator winter will be in the summer of the Northern Hemisphere and summer south of the equator will be winter in the Northern Hemisphere
These days you can track the weather just about anywhere on the internet.
In the days before internet a friend was taking his family on a surprise trip over spring break. He told them to pack for warm weather. He would have been correct if they had been going to the Grand Canyon during the summer, but in April it is quite another story. He ended up buying everyone coats,long pants,gloves,hats and snow boots. He was from Indiana and everyone went to Arizona for the winter. He didn't realize northern Arizona could include high altitude and snow in April.
Our family plays this game: pack everything you need, still keeping the luggage light, and return home with a clean pair of socks and underwear. This is how you can accomplish this.
Lay out everything you will be taking on a flat surface. When you are satisfied with what you are taking fit it into the suitcase. Mementos can be shipped home.
Keep the idea of shipping things home in mind for trips where you buy lots of things. It is easier than trying to juggle luggage though an airport.
Packing For The Correct Season
Check the weather before you go. Growing up in San Francisco gives you an unusual perspective of summer. A native would never go out in the evening without a sweater or jacket. It gets cold here at night during the summer. I wasn't convinced that you could go to Chicago and really not need a sweater on my first visit. I can tell you it is gospel truth. You don't need a sweater in Chicago during the summer. Check the weather, then only believe three quarters of what they predict.
Cold weather packing tips:
- Wool scarves can keep you pretty toasty during the winter, spring or fall when you aren't sure of the weather.
- Down jackets or vests stuff beautifully into small spaces and will be sufficient in January even in Chicago.
- Layer what you wear. Tee shirts, camisoles and tank tops are good ideas to pack when the weather is uncertain.
- Long underwear can double as pajamas during the winter.
- Swimsuit (You never know it there will be a hot tub).
Wear your heaviest shoes on the airplane. Yes they are a pain to take off at security, but it will save weight in your luggage. Wear socks, so you can take your shoes off during the flight.
Pacific Grove Spring
Warm weather Packing tips: packing for warm weather trips usually depends on what you will be doing. Unless you are coming to Northern California. In that case pack for a cold spring and add a pair of shorts, flip flops, and a tank top.
Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." You can drive a few miles for very warm weather. Cold, foggy weather is normal during the summer months in San Francisco.
For normal summer trips you may consider bringing:
- Swim suit
- Long pants
- Sunscreen (If flying you may have to purchase at your destination because of T.S.A. rules)
- Sweater or sweat shirt (handy on a cold airplane)
- Hat with visor
- Appropriate shoes and socks
- Spare prescription glasses or contact lens
Northern California Pacific Coast Summer
Consider The Kinds Of Activities You Will Encounter On Your Trip
Regardless of the purpose (business or pleasure) a swim suit, running/workout clothes always have a place in my suitcase.
If you are going on a houseboat trip (casual) all you need is swim suits, shorts, tee shirts and a sweats for cool evenings, Don't forget the ski or wakeboarding boat and the life vests.
If you are going on a cruise (formal) You need daytime and evening clothes,
International travel requires culturally sensitive clothing. Ladies on the Riviera need very little at the beach, while shorts in the middle east and much of the continent of Africa could get you put in jail. Showing upper arms in many places is not acceptable for men or women even in the hottest locations of the world..
A large scarf that can double as a wrap skirt or shawl might be a useful.
For the bicyclist a pair of cycling shoes, bike shorts, and a bike seat to add to a rental bike might be appropriate.
Runners don't forget your running shoes, GPS/heart rate monitor, and (empty) water bottle.
Pay Attention To Color
Color is very important when packing. Monochromatic clothing with a splash of color can minimize how much clothing you need. In the winter black works well. The rest of the year khaki works well. A pair of black/khaki slacks, jeans, a skirt, sweater, black shoes,and colorful tops works nicely for a woman for a week.
The ratio of tops to bottoms is three tops to a skirt or pair of pants. Consider the length of trip and whether you will have laundry facilities. An undershirt extends the length of time you can wear a shirt.
Meg Moon's Great Hub On Packing
- Travel Clothing: How to Pack a Capsule Wardrobe for Your Summer Holiday
For your next vacation pack just 30 items and use them to create over 50 different outfits whilst you are on your beach holiday. Keep luggage weight and cost down while looking stylish.
I always pack a swimsuit. Inevitably the times the suit stayed home opportunities for a dip in a hot tub, sauna or swimming pool appeared. Germany in the middle of the winter found me unexpectedly in Baden Baden with no suit. (Suits were optional). Pack a swimsuit even in the winter. if you like water, it is surprising where you might use a swimsuit. Grandma might like to take you to her aqua aerobics class because her gym has an indoor pool.
Tips For Packing Children's Suitcases
When the kids are little and you are in control of their luggage you may consider some of these ideas.
Pack children's suitcases by outfits. allow you to put all the parts of an outfit together. Place a top, bottom, underwear, and socks in a gallon Ziploc bag. Press the air out before completely closing the bag to make bags compact. Older children should help pack their outfits then they can pick the outfit they want to wear each day without having to dig through their whole suitcase. Have a plastic bag to separate dirty clothes in your luggage. Reuse the bags which had clean clothes in them. There are all sort of uses for those bags. They can be used for ice bags,containers to carry snacks, or travel sickness. Ziploc bags
On This Map You Can See How Brazil And Australia Are Both Below The Equator Which Indicates They Have Different Seasons Than The Northern Hemisphere
What Are You Waiting For
You have picked the best luggage for you. You have picked a wardrobe for travel. Now all you need is a trip. Follow your dreams.
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© 2013 Judy Specht