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August 03, 2007


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Light packer, for the most part.

When I lived abroad, I did a two week trip through Germany, Austria, and Holland with only a small backpack.

These days, I tend to use a wheeling carry on for all trips from three days to three weeks.

I am generally the latter sort of packer, as in everything-but-the, as in "I really don't see how it could HURT to bring an extra pair of (fill in the blank)--a five- pairs- of- flip-flops, two-hooded-sweatshirts, I- might- die- if- I- don't- have- three- different- Mass- outfits- to- choose- from- packer.

HOWEVER. I am currently preparing to set out on a travel-heavy semester in Europe, and I come close to breaking out in hives every time I think about the fact that I need to pack everything I need for four months (FOUR MONTHS, people!) into one 44-lb suitcase, a carry-on and my laptop bag. Can Elwood give me any tips?

I am definitely a heavy packer. I way over pack for all of us.

Just strip the boys down to their underpants before letting them eat meals, that ought to cut down on the need for laundry. However, I must say that unless you are actually hiking or otherwise required to carry your bags for long distances, I can't see how it is less work to DO LAUNDRY than to grab an extra suitcase or two off of the baggage claim conveyor. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that laundry is generally a Mom Job, and baggage handling is a Dad Job?

I'm a pretty light packer, but I try to bring enough clothing to more than cover the trip, especially for the boy. Like Lucy, I use a wheelie carry on for all trips of all lengths, except camping. People will laugh at you if you wheel a moc-croc suitcase into a campsite.

that's a bit light.

No, I don't pack that light. We used to take two big suitcases, but as the kids got older we changed things around. Now, we take 3 small bags (pilot bags? - wheeled carryon bags), and one medium bag (smaller than the one I see in your picture but bigger than the others. Plus we have a diaper bag.

We hope to go on a major vacation to Europe in a few years - and my plan is to own 5 wheeled carryon bags by then. Perhaps it's a foolish dream, but since it involves Eurorail passes, I dream of getting on and off trains, each of us with a carryon bag. Though I might change that to 4 wheeled bags and two backpacks (one for M13 who will then be M17!) and one for K), which will carry clothes for the smallest one, who will be 7 at that point.

dreams are a lovely thing.

all that to say that I pack heavier than your dh. I prefer less laundry.

and I always take jackets if I'm going to be outside for any length of time on a trip where it might rain.

heavy packer, pack for all possible outcomes. but i pack well, in the sense that i've been packing my whole life so i've had plenty of practice. so i don't bring dumb stuff, just stuff we *could* (and often do) need.

and you bring up a great point about "vacation" for a SAHM. to me, having to do a large percentage of what i do everyday (laundry especially) in a different location makes it no longer a vacation but a burden. next week, my husband is on vacation from his OTH job, and i am wondering do i get a vacation from my daily work as well? i'm not trying to start anything, it just was something i've been thinking about. either way, have a great trip!

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