• RITA M. PEREZ

He ain’t heavy, he’s my suitcase!


Packing Light – I shudder just thinking about it lol! However, on an itinerary where you will be moving and changing locations a good bit – it cannot be underestimated. In fact, it can be the difference between an enjoyable vacation and a miserable one! You will never meet anyone who says “I wish I had packed heavier” when they return from a journey. Here's some benefits of packing light:

1. Having too much luggage “marks” you as a typical tourist. Con artists figure you’re helpless and you become a serious pickpocket or scam target.

2. You can save money in checked luggage fees to treat yourself to some special “extras”. You also save time by not having to wait around at luggage carousels in strange airports.

3. You won't have to lug around a heavy bag and look like a crazy person--this was me last September. I way over-packed for my cruise conference, and of course accumulated more. The walk from customs to my car was the longest walk ever because my bag was so full that the wheels didn't moving as easily. Lesson learned!

Here are a few suggestions for cutting back on the amount of items you think you need on your next trip:

* Create a list or itinerary of everything that will be going on in your cruise. This will help you stayed organized on the things you will absolutely need for your trip.

* From this list, spread out everything you think you might need on your bed. Pick up each item one at a time and ask yourself “Will I really use this enough to justify carrying it over to the Mediterranean?” (or wherever you are heading) When in doubt, leave it out! You can also see what items can be mixed or matched to use multiple times.

* Don’t pack for the worst-case scenario. This is definitely where I struggle because I like an "insurance plan" for everything! Pack instead for the best-case and buy yourself out of any jams along the way. Risk shivering for a day rather than taking a heavy jacket, which can add extra weight to your bag, as well.

* Invest in a good quality piece of luggage that fits your needs. The big travel gurus such as Rick Steves and Samantha Brown offer options online that are reasonably priced and come with or without wheels. If you are healthy enough to carry your bag, do it… suitcases on wheels don’t get along with cobblestone streets very well…

So weed out the unnecessary and (lightly) pack your bag! Remember, in your travels, you’ll meet two kinds of tourists – those who pack light and those who wish they had!

Happy Travels,

Rita


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