It’s been a while (9 years, to be exact…) since I traveled abroad and I am so happy to report that we are planning a trip to Switzerland! To be quite honest, the first few years after having our little guy I had absolutely no desire to take a big trip. Airplane rides, strange beds, and generally facing a lot of unknowns with baby in tow sounded anything but fun to me — but now I’m getting my travel bug back. I am usually a serious homebody, but I also really love collecting stories and adventures. Travel, to me, is one of the best experiences in life, even when things go wrong. Of course I hope things will go smoothly, and I plan to do everything in my power to make sure we are able to enjoy our trip without any major snafus. Which is why I intend to make this our lightest packed trip to date.
Why pack light?
I like to think that how we travel best is an extension of how we prefer to live at home. Speaking personally, clutter drives me nuts at home — and it’s the same when I travel. If I have to dig through cavernous suitcases to find the one thing I need, I’m not having a very good time. If we have so much stuff that our clothing and gear is exploding all over the hotel room, you can bet I will be feeling a bit grumpy rather than relaxing as much as I would like. And that’s not to mention the physical discomfort of hauling giant bags through airports, train stations, and across cobblestone streets. Or, heaven forbid, the airline loses your checked luggage and you are facing a trip with nothing but the clothes on your back.
Packing light, as in, only packing what you can carry on, solves many of these issues. It makes you feel free. If you are interested in packing lighter, this this Zen Habits post is a great place to start. While I am not ready to travel with only one change of clothing (!) I do think it makes a lot of sense to pack smart and as light as is comfortably possible. For instance, rather than pack only one set of extra clothes, I plan on packing a handful of versatile pieces more akin to The Daily Connoisseur’s 10 item capsule wardrobe, modified for my particular needs on this trip.
5 Things I am Not Packing:
- My big camera (pictured above) – I am going with the iphone on this trip instead of a camera, because frankly, I hate hauling the big camera around, and I worry about leaving it places and getting it banged up, which means I don’t use it as much.
- A laptop – We are bringing the ipad, so I can use that if I get an itch to work, check email, or blog, but otherwise I don’t need the extra weight.
- Heels – Really. We’re going to the Alps, for crying out loud.
- Fancy clothes – See above. (I will be bringing a nice top to wear with dark jeans, and maybe a jersey dress that you can wear just about anywhere)
- Toys – Other than a stuffed animal “friend” and a few books, I don’t see any need to load us down with toys. We’re traveling with family who are entertaining enough…and there’s always the ipad in case of emergency ;)
So, that about covers it. If you love to travel, I would love to hear from you — are you a light packer? Heavy packer? Somewhere in between? Also — any tips for Switzerland??