The Traveling Turtle

August 17, 2015

We have all been at the airport and seen a small family pick up 8 pieces of luggage, each one bigger than a ten year old. What is in all that stuff? Chi sa! Who knows!

After many years of traveling only in the USA, I chose to take a tour of Egypt. It was a 17 day trip and I brought a 26” and 22” rolling carry on plus a huge shoulder bag. When I had to drag that luggage down the hall or to the bus I wanted to leave it for the Bedouins! All I needed was a sundress and a shower. Why did I bring all that stuff?

Family in Canada

I was a traveling turtle. I needed to bring everything to feel secure. I wanted to carry my home on my back. What I discovered was the wasted effort of having my own shell when I could have been having Fun! Never again.

If you are a traveling turtle, take another look at your motivation and your needs. I advise all my clients to cut back on what you think you need. You are traveling to Italy, a civilized country that has shampoo and deodorant if you run out. You can buy clothing there—you should buy clothing there! You can even go to a farmacia (pharmacy) if you feel under the weather. They also have laundromats (una lavanderia) where you can wash clothing if you do not want to hand wash items in your hotel bathroom. If that doesn’t sound like fun you can drop off clothing to be cleaned and laundered. Some hotels have this service.

I travel with a 21” suitcase no matter how long I am traveling. I use Zip Lock bags in quart and gallon sizes. These work as my “drawers”—not fancy but organized.

Family in Canada
  • I take one bag and roll up maybe 5-7 pair of undergarments and zip it tightly shut.
  • I use gallon bags for tops and roll them and zip.
  • Pants and skirts are harder--if you can't get them in a bag lay them flat and on top. You can also fold them with pants under your bags and over the top.
  • Wear any lightweight coat or sweater on the plane if you think you need it: I expect temperatures to be from 60 -90 degrees if you are traveling Spring through Autumn.
  • Take one pair of shoes and wear another.
  • Socks go in small bags zipped up.
  • Medications in another bag, liquids in one small bag and other necessary items in another bag.
  • Liquids: get small sample bottles or pour yours into small bottles. You can put laundry detergent in a small bottle. You may need a sink stopper to do that.
  • Make your clothing do double duty.  Clothing that can be used to create several outfits is best--long sleeve shirts can be used as a jacket on a cool night or layered with other items.
  • Color coordinate. Plan to wash clothing--best done on your first night of a 3 night stay.
  • Jewelry—put in a soft jewelry case and leave the expensive items at home. If you can’t risk losing it, do not be using it on the trip.
  • Download guidebooks on your Kindle or your phone. Or copy specific pages to carry.
  • Remember your medications, outlet adapters and phone/camera chargers.
  • Most hotels in Italy do not offer washcloths. Carry one if it is necessary for you.

This turtle has lost her shell! She travels light and enjoys the adventure even more this way. Try it. You will feel free! You will never be a traveling turtle again.

Ciao for now!

Ciao for now!

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