33 days in Europe.
I am flying into London, HTR with Air Canada (I love you Air Canada!) but once I get there, I'll be flying to Genoa with Ryan Air, allowing only 20 Kilos of total checked luggage. Normally that's no big deal, because I can have up to 10 Kilos carry on (this is where I would usually keep all my bathroom items, like shampoo and shaving cream and things that could potentially leak all over my clothing). But wait; hooray! The Terrorists have screwed things up for everyone once again! NOW we have to CHECK everything that I would normally have in my carry on, the HEAVY things. Clothes don't weigh much. Bathroom stuff does. I can't have ANYTHING, not even make-up in my carry on. This is bullshit (smart, safe, but bullshit) so I have to pack 33 days worth of things into 20 Kilos of one suitcase.
So I've been working on a packlist, very very specific packing list!
- Small club purse
- Wallet (drivers liscence, passport, local currency, travellers cheques, Roadpost phone number cards, scuba liscence, credit cards)
- Address book
- Travel journal & 1 good pen
- Printout of flight information
- Phrasebook & guidebook
- 1 lightweight suitcase
- Easy to pack duffle bag
- Soap in container
- Shampoo, conditioner, body wash
- Facial exfoliant
- Cosmetics & make-up remover
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hand wipes
- Painkillers, sleeping pills, MIDOL
- Deodorant & perfume
- Cotton pads
- Toothpaste, toothbrush, floss
- Warm sweater/jacket (LIGHTWEIGHT!)
- 2 long sleeved shirts
- 2 t-shirts
- Tank top/muscle shirt
- Club shirt/dress shirt
- Dress pants/slacks
- 2 pairs of Jeans
- Jean skirt
- Jean shorts
- Summer dress
- 2 Club dresses
- Dinner dress/cocktail dress
- Casual warm weather outfit (cotton)
- Track suit (for travel)
- 7 x panties
- 4 x socks
- 3 bras (black, white, neutral)
- Walking shoes
- Club heels
- Casual heels
- 2 bikini's
ADDITIONAL TRAVEL GEAR
- Souvenirs of Canada (for trade/gifts)
- Underwater camera (disposable but expensive - I have 3 sitting at home)
- Digital Camera, AA batteries, memory cards
- iPod, Charger
- Cellphone & charger
- Postcards from home
- Notepad/extra pens
- Laundry detergent
- Ziploc bags
- Duct tape & masking tape
- Cards (for fun)
- Pocket knife
- Glue stick (for scrapbooking on the go so you don't have to bring it all home!)
- Watch & jewelry you don't mind losing
- Travel clock (with alarm!!!)
- Mini flashlight
- matches or lighter
- Kaopectate (for when food disagrees with you)
- Listerene pocket packs
- Inscence, maybe small scented candles
- Book to read
- Luggage locks
There, I'm done! That's everything I need to bring. I made sure I was very specific, I made some things less specific but I'd like to note some rules and tips that make packing for travel so much easier.
- Clothing: if you don't like wearing it, don't bring it! It won't look any better in Milan. This is a tip I read in a book called "solo traveller". Normally you'd think everyone knows better, but I had always convinced myself that it was better to bring things you would be able to throw away to make room. Not really that great of an idea... It does suck wearing shit you don't like! Why not bring less of clothes you love, then you won't mind wearing them? Plus, pictures turn out better!
- Packing - be super specific. Write down exactly what item you're bringing, and how many. Sit down and write, rewrite your list. Pack, repack. Take everything you don't really need and convince yourself not to bring it. Think of what you can buy locally, if you don't really need it. The worse thing to pack is shoes. They are heavy, and you don't end up wearing half of them! With clothes, make sure every item can mix and match. Don't bother packing 7 bras with 30 matching panties, so they go with every outfit. I do that all the time, it actually takes up a lot of space and BRAS CAN GET HEAVY. Every pound counts on an airplane!
- Be neutral. With colours, I mean. The less colours you have, the less you have to worry about making things match. Shoes, undergarments, accessories, make-up, however you usually are with dressing. You can use 1-2 colours of eyeshadow to cover a lot of bases. It will save room on clunky and annoying make-up. Same with lipstick... 2-3 colours will do fine! (light, med, dark) Pick pants that are a neutral colour that will match most of your shirts. Get creative.
- JEANS ARE HEAVY.... SO ARE SHOES. Keep these at a minimum. Note: the older the clothing, the lighter they are. After being worn and washed, clothes get thinner (including jeans) making them perfect to pack! So if you have a pair you have loved for 5 years, then bring'em! They'll be comfy, light, and easy to scrunch up next to your favorite pair of shoes. Remember that where you are going, will need certain shoes. Don't bring high heels to Africa, bring walking shoes. Sit down with your shoes and actually WEIGH THEM with your hands, you'll be amazed at how some runners are so heavy!
- What will I be buying? Ask yourself before you leave. I'm going to buy shoes and a purse in Italy. So I will not be bringing an extra bag like I usually do, and I'm only bringing 1 pair of heels. Saves me room :) and I know I have nothing to worry about! I know I can buy clothes there for super cheap that are really nice. I won't bring more than I need to last 1-2 weeks!
- Can you send anything in the mail? MAIL YOURSELF stuff that might be akward to pack. Heavy stuff, shoes, trinkets, etc. If you can, have someone mail something you maybe forgot and really really need after you have arrived.
That is pretty much all I have to say about packing, whew! Hope I can follow my own rules lol!
I am so excited about leaving, it's all I can think about. I told my girlfriend: it's like an incredible pain that can't subside with a painkiller. I ache inside, I'm slimly avoiding clinical depression by reminding myself I'll be on an airplane soon enough! I haven't spent this much time without travel in a LONG TIME... I haven't even gone to BC to visit my parents! Ouch... Ok I am going to drink my tea and dream about pasta, cappuccino, sleeping in, cheap merlot, and flirting italian men! GOD I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE FREEDOM AND INDEPENDANCE ONLY EXPERIENCED BY A WOMAN TRAVELLING ALONE!!!