I’ve finally learned to pack efficiently – and its about time says she. It all comes down to the realization that the only things you really need when you travel are passport, money (ATM/credit card), and a set of clothes! Everything else is nice to have but not necessary. I’ve also learned that I no longer want to lug around a large suitcase; I never used half of what I packed; and I’m no longer strong enough to lift a suitcase into an overhead bin without injuring myself or clobbering a fellow traveler. Additionally, other than looking presentable and clean, no one really cares what I look like, or if I wear the same clothes over and over. This is very freeing by the way.
Weeks ago I started throwing things I thought I’d need for the Scotland trip into a laundry basket. This weekend I laid it all out on the guest room bed and started to weed out. I’m only bringing a small carry-on size suitcase and a backpack for 10 days so I must pack efficiently. I’ll check the suitcase and use the backpack as a carry-on. By the time I’d finished I’d put half of the original pile back in the closet (as the packing gurus suggest). The suitcase is full but has plenty of room should I wish to add a lovely Scottish wool sweater on the return. Success!
I choose black and white as my base colors, a yellow hooded waterproof jacket and a scarf for color, and walking shoes. Ecco makes a comfortable and decent looking Goretex shoe. Scotland in July is rainy and temperatures are typically in the 60s during the day and 50s at night, layers are the way to go.
We’ll be moving around so I divided the clothes into categories and put them into separate zip lock bags with the air squished out. Doing this means I won’t have to unpack each night; I’ll take what I need from each bag the night before and otherwise leave everything neatly in the suitcase. I’ll be washing out clothes as needed, if you roll them in a towel to get the excess moisture out they usually dry overnight.
SCOTLAND car touring, 10 nights in July
2 pairs of pants with pockets (good for having camera and glasses handy)
2 short sleeve t-shirts
2 long sleeve t-shirts
4 pairs of socks
1 night gown
4 pairs of underwear
1 hooded, light weight, rain jacket
1 pair water proof shoes
1 pair small light weight ballet slippers
toiletries, basics only, all in small containers
a knife and corkscrew
soft sided cooler
bug spray with Deet
pocket shopping bag
Scotland travel guide, map, and copy of our itinerary
small over the shoulder handbag
2 electric plug adapters
Carry on: Anything of value (electronics and camera) I’ll carry on – as well as the things I need to be comfortable (ha!) on the plane. I wear my watch and earrings, otherwise I don’t being jewelry.
noise cancelling earphones, blow up pillow, eye mask
toothbrush/paste, moisturizer, face mist, disinfectant
camera, 3 rechargeable batteries, charger, 2 – 8g SD cards,
iPad with keyboard, charger, battery backup
iPhone and charger
small water bottle
I packed similarly when I went to Peru for 13 days in 2013 and wasn’t lacking anything – nor was there anything I didn’t use. The temperatures were similar, but where Scotland will be wet, Peru was dry and dusty.