Quite Continental Charm School: Day 25 — Travel Light
25/02/2012 § 6 Comments
The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
Image via the George Eastman House.
Day 25: Travel Light
On the topic of travel, we’ve already discussed what you should wear while you travel and keeping a journal, but I still wanted to touch on what I consider my best trick for a charming voyage, no matter if it is for a weekend or a month: always travel light.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I checked a bag on a plane, but it isn’t — thankfully — because I have a harrowing story of losing my cases on a trip. I’ve been blessed to have never lost anything while travelling — knock on wood. Instead, it was born from two distinct recognitions: First, that I have a definite lack of patience when it comes to travel: no patience to wait for the baggage carousel to fire up, no patience for dragging around heavy rollies in crowded train stations, no patience for checking in bags. But second, and perhaps more importantly, I noticed a growing desire for simplicity while I was travelling. I realized I didn’t need to drag along endless individual options in an overstuffed bag, but rather a multipurpose uniform that contained endless combinations.
I’ve since made two week trips to Cairo, London, Paris and Buenos Aires, all with only a carry-on. While the ease in getting around while on the trip is refreshing, I must admit the hands down best part of travelling light is stepping through customs and heading straight for the taxi queue — don’t even give that baggage carousel a second glance!
A few tips to help you travel light:
- When packing, first, pick a single color scheme: that way, everything will match everything. Then, set out everything you want to bring, and try to cut it in half. Get comfortable with the idea that you will repeat items. Plan to do laundry while you are travelling and streamline your choices even further.
- Ladies, your secret weapon is a single dress that can be dressed up or down. Nice dinner? Add heels and a clutch. Casual walkabout? Throw a chambray shirt on over it and belt it at the waist.
- Only bring the toiletries you absolutely cannot live without. In most places, you can buy the basics. If possible, stockpile samples of your essential items — they pack excellently.
How do you pack? Do you travel light?