This is a place devoted to giving you deeper insight
into the news, trends, people and technology behind Bing.
You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags, “Every year I pack heavier.” The measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels. You can’t travel heavy, happy and cheap. Pick two.
Too much luggage and camera gear mark you as a typical tourist. It throws up a wall between you and the grizzled Spanish fisherman mending his net. Serendipity suffers. Changing locations becomes a major operation. Con artists figure you’re helpless and move in. With one bag hanging on your back, you’re mobile and in control — and less likely to have your luggage get lost, broken or stolen.
Limit yourself to 20 pounds in a carry-on-size bag. A 9" x 22" x 14" bag fits under most airplane seats. For many, this is a radical concept. “9 x 22 x 14 inches? That’s my cosmetics kit!” But I’ve bullied many people into packing lighter than they thought reasonable. Checking in with them halfway through their trip I find they’re converts — evangelical like me about the beauties of packing light.
Whether you take a backpack or small soft-sided suitcase (with a shoulder strap or zip-away backpack straps) is up to you. I use a carry-on convertible suitcase/backpack. Someday I’ll join the many travelers who prefer the soft-sided suitcases with wheels (“roll aboard”). But as long as I’m strong enough to carry my bag on my back, I will.
How do you fit a whole trip’s worth of luggage into a small suitcase or backpack? The answer is simple: Bring very little. Spread out everything you think you might need on the living room floor and scrutinize each item. (This is fun to do with your travel partner.) Ask yourself, “Will I really use this snorkel and these fins enough to justify carrying them around all summer?” Not “Will I use them?” but “Will I use them enough to feel good about carrying them over the Swiss Alps?” Frugal as I may be, I would buy them in Greece and give them away before I’d carry that extra weight over the Alps. Think in terms of what you can do without — not what will be handy on the trip.
Whether you’re traveling for three weeks or three months, you pack exactly the same. I’ve seen people pack a whole summer’s supply of deodorant, tampons or razors, thinking they can’t get them in Europe. The world’s getting awfully small; you can buy Dial soap, Tampax and Bic razors in Sicily. Look forward to running out of toothpaste in Bulgaria. Then you have the perfect excuse to go into a Bulgarian department store, shop around and pick up something you think might be toothpaste …
Entire books have been written on how to pack. Here are a few simple tricks. Pack for the best scenario — not the worst. You can buy yourself out of any little jams as you go. Use stuff bags (one each for toiletries, underwear and socks, bigger clothing items and towel, camera gear and film, and miscellaneous stuff such as a first-aid kit and stationery). Roll and rubber-band clothes, or zip-lock them in airless baggies to minimize wrinkles. Pack your backpack only two-thirds full to leave room for picnic food and souvenirs.
The bulk of your luggage is clothing. Minimize by bringing less and washing more often. Every few nights you’ll spend 10 minutes doing a little wash. Be careful to choose dark, lightweight clothes that dry quickly and either don’t wrinkle or look good wrinkled. To see how wrinkled shirts will get, give everything a wet rehearsal by hand-washing and drying once at home.
Many travelers are concerned about appropriate dress. During the tourist season (April–September), the concert halls go casual. I have never felt out of place at symphonies, operas or plays wearing a decent pair of slacks and a good-looking sweater. European women wear dresses or skirts as often as slacks, but American women generally feel comfortable wearing slacks.
Once you’ve decided what to pack, remember you’ll walk with your luggage more than you think. Before leaving home, give yourself a test. Pack up completely, go into your hometown and be a tourist for an hour. Fully loaded, you should enjoy window shopping. If you can’t, stagger home and thin things out.
Go casual, simple and very light. In your travels you’ll meet two kinds of tourists — those who pack light and those who wish they had. Say it once out loud: “Pack light.”
Rick Steves (http://www.ricksteves.com) writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and radio. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Do you have tips for how to pack for a trip to Europe? Share your suggestions with other travelers in the comments section.
I've been packing according to Rick's advice since my first trip. To add some to what he says here
- Unless you're traveling someplace very remote, assume there will be hairdryers wherever you need them.
- Rip your guidebooks apart and take only the pages for the places you'll be going.
- Put reading material on electronic devices such as iPods
- Tide 3x concentrated makes a good (liquid) laundry soap for the nightly wash chores
- Wear stuff until it stinks
- One pair of shoes is fine
(Now - how to get away from carrying all those chargers, batteries, flashlights, headphones and all the other little electrical goodies ?)
A "Smartphone" carries music, books (see "Guetenberg Press"), A white screen (Blank "Word" document) makes a very bright light, earbud headphones, all with only one charger. If you use one that uses batteries you're even conered in out of the way places (albeit at a cost).
PS: A Smartphone eliminates the need for your laptop as well. Internet browsing, writing documents, spreadsheets, ect.. I used a desktop in the US and a Laptop in Mexico and did all my work on the plane via a Smartphone. (A Smartphone is a Windows operating system devise as opposed to an IPhone or BlackBerry)
WELL IN REGARDS TO CHARGING MAYBE U CAN USE A Powermat (www.bestbuy.com/.../9516838.p) OR
I've heard that tourists in Europe should not really wear shorts as some European countries find it distasteful. I guess women can get away with Capri-style pants, though. Any comments / suggestions / verifications ?
I've travelled and worked in the UK, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Women tend to dress up a little more than most American women, especially professionally. But a nice skirt and tunic blouse are always OK, and, if made of synthetic or knit, pack down to nothingness. Mix and match a couple of each, allow only two pairs of flats, and you're good to go!
In order to lessen the weight of checked luggage, I put my husband's shoes in the carryon bag. We both wear tennis shoes to travel in since they also can be heavy in the checked luggage.
Take a pic of your case & any valuables. Save to your phone or email. Makes any claims of lost or stolen items easier. Also put sa copy of your itenarary in the front pocket or your case. It might reunite you with a lost bag.
Always put a couple of tablespoons full of Woolite in one of those tiny travel bottles. Anything can be washed in Woolite in a sink, so you pack much less. Also make sure to pack ladies' slax and sweaters in a neutral tone (tan, black, etc) so everything matches everything else in your suitcase. Instead of dressy evening atire, pack some cheap fun "jewelry" in a tiny ziplock baggy for evening accessories. Take a tip from the French - always pack a lovely silk SCARF - it takes up no room or weight and really makes a color statement.
My husband and I went to Italy last April for nine days. We kept telling ourselves that we were going to pack light. We had one ave. sized suitcase to check and two carryons. That was light for us. I took one sweater, one raincoat, and one jacket. I took slacks and tops in similar colors so that they would all mix and match with one another. We went with a tour group and it worked out wonderfully.
My husband and I traveled to Europe for 4 months, staying at youth hostels. We each had a day back pack, 2 pairs of jeans (one on and one to spare) 3 changes of under clothes,
socks, 3 tops, one sweater, and a coat, and one pair of boots we wore. We traveled from Dec to March. I hand washed clothes as needed. It's amazing what you can do when your young and motivated.
And of course this was written by a man... with no reference to traveling with small children. Give me a break. I only wish I could travel this light.
I would live out of a pull-along and a computer bag for six months at a time while travelling throughout China for business. The pull-along contained clothes and personal itens while the computer bag was everything needed for the office. Packed only enough underwear and socks for a week along with four shirts and two pairs of pants (one pair was jeans). Throw in a pair of shoes, a sweater vest, two ties, and a set of thermal underwear. Simply wear your jacket or carry over your arm.
When you chose a jacket to bring, make sure it has pockets, particularily on the inside. Jackets don't count as a carry on, but their pockets can carry different sized items ranging from combs and small toiletries to paperback books and cameras.
Moreover, make a trip to Sharper Immage or a similar store to buy travel versions of the items that you think you can't do without (ie, a hair dryer that is as big as the palm of your hand).
This article made references mostly for air travel, but packing light is especially desireable when your trip includes a lot of traveling by train and bus. And, China is such a country where you travel as such, so packing light will make your trip much happier as well as safer.
yes, there are men in this world, and there are couples with no children. Must everything in life revolve around what to do when children are involved ?
Some tricks apply to people without children, some apply for families. That does not mean that the suggestions are useless. Just useless to you.
Fly West Jet they don't screw you over with added on charges. Dah, we are on vaction, and luggage is needed. We fly West Jet whenever possible.
© 2013 Microsoft