Sunday, October 12, 2014

Travel: 7 Suggestions for Deciding How Much Luggage You Need

My husband keeps reading me these travel articles about how to pack for a vacation and not bring everything with us including the kitchen sink. His idea of smart packing involves enough underwear to last the vacation, the exact number of changes of clothes and no checked luggage. My idea of packing involves my big orange suitcase, enough combination of clothing for a change twice a day and a pillow. I don't like to arrive and wish I had brought that white blouse!  I check my luggage.

Suites Casa Mia, San Miguel de Allende, Mx.
We were on the third floor. They carried our luggage
up the stairs!
We just do not see eye to eye on everything and travel packing is one of them. I am all about being comfortable, looking as good as possible and taking my pillow. My husband is all about bragging rights! He is a model packer according to the experts. I am just a bad traveler it seems.

But there is some method to my madness...really there is! I know how we function when we travel...well I function. I buy stuff to bring back. I spill a lot. I need good walking shoes and dress shoes.

So here are a few questions I think you should ask yourself so you can decide how much luggage you really need:

  1. Think about your style of travel: Do you eat out, ride in taxis, dress for dinner or spend your time at the pool not sight seeing?
  2. What are the items that you need to be truly comfortable? Vacations are not fun if your are uncomfortable.
  3. What are the things that you need that are not clothing items? For example, do you travel with books, a computer, ipad or even a drawing pad. Be realistic about how much space those they take up.
  4. Do you NEED several pairs of shoes to fill several needs, i.e. walking shoes, slippers, dress shoes?
  5. How much space will you need for bathroom and grooming items? Be realistic about what size shampoo or lotion you take and what is in the hotel/condo.
  6. Will you need extra space when you return home because you may buy a rug or a piece of art?
  7. Will there be a lift in your hotel or condo? If not, will there be someone to help you.
I like to sleep good and be clean. I don't want blisters on my feet but at the same time I do not want to wear sensible, clunky shoes when I dress for dinner. 

In my case two lighter pieces of luggage are better than one piece that weighs the allowed 40+ pounds. So if the luggage is filled to the explosion level when we leave and I cannot even manage to tip my bag upright, that is not good. If I am packing my precious stuff (computer, jewelry) in a flimsy shopping bag, that is not good. I have found what size of luggage I need and that is what I take.

I think that a smart traveler is willing to endure the trouble to stand at the luggage carousel after a flight, pull a sturdy carry-on to the taxi and arrive with what they need for their vacation. But, again, that is just me.

I don't think smart packing is about packing less that you need...not at all.



  1. Good stuff! I try to plan everything for one color of shoes, so I can afford more changes of clothes with less worry about accessories!

    1. Perfect! I had never thought about that. I dress in black a lot so black is my go to shoe color.

  2. Looks like a great place to visit ~ great post ~

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)


Leave your thoughts...I am interested.

Featured Post

Five Little Ducks...stories played out!

The children's song about the little ducks leaving the nest to fly away has always been one of my favorites.  Every mother has seen thei...