With the turn of the calendar page a couple days ago and pouring rain this morning, we realized that our 'travel season' is just around the corner.
That means ‘packing the suitcases’ – those small roll-aboard-sized bags with which we travel in the air or on land and sea -- is also just around the corner.
We have used the same Travel Pro roll-aboard bags for years.We find these small bags are much easier to haul up and down and over uneven European sidewalks and subways (some with long flights of stairs). And they are much easier to get into the narrow rail car doorways and over the grated ramps of Greek ferries. And they must be packed light enough that I can carry my share of the load.
These, now battered, accessories have seen us through our month-long overland sojourns and cruises of varying lengths.
In the photo to the left, I posed as ‘bag woman’ with those trusty travel companions as we set off for Greece last spring: our two roll-ons, my Baggallini purse and tote; and a Travel Pro shoulder tote.
We will be taking the same gear on our 19-day Celebrity Solstice cruise from Honolulu to Sydney this fall. This will be the longest cruise we've been on and 12 of the days will be 'sea days' -- those wonderfully relaxing days spent on the ship.
Cruise ship ‘formal nights’ and our ‘small suitcases’ are not a match made in travel heaven. But we’ve met the challenge. Here’s how:
The Scout packs a suit, dress shirt, tie and shoes and is set.
((Tie and belt are rolled and tucked inside the dress shoes to save space.)
And I have ‘the little black dress’ that I purchased at Chico’s, (a U.S. women’s apparel chain) a couple years ago:
I tuck in a few scarves, necklaces and tops and I am set for those formal affairs without ever wearing the same thing twice.
The scarf/shawl (pictured above and to the side) is a sequined affair that I bought at at Italian street market (8-euro) and the glass necklace was a souvenir from Rhodes, Greece.
(Scarves and necklaces are my preferred choice of souvenirs these days. They take up little space and can be used both while traveling and back home.)
That same little black dress on another formal night – this time another Chico’s top and a necklace purchased in Madrid -- turn it into a kaleidoscope of color.
Another Chico’s top (I am what they call a 'Chico's Chick')– a poncho of vibrant primary colors (it folds up as small as a scarf) is how I accessorized that little black dress on a Mexican cruise.
And for those other ‘country club casual’ dress code times on board, I’ve relied on the basic black or white pants and accessorized it with a few tops – the kind that can work with either.
One example is this top I found at Kirkland’s 1 Best Kept Secret, a designer label sample shop (with fantastically low prices). I can wear it with those black and white pants:
An afternoon cocktail party last fall aboard Celebrity’s Silhouette was a casual affair: those white pants worked well in the Adriatic Sea and a hand-washable top finished off the outfit.
On another evening, a black shawl replaced the black jacket that I use on shore excursions and ‘dressed up’ a bit, the black pants:
Speaking of shore excursions, when in Europe we’ve usually worn those black or dark colors for which Europeans are known.
Again, by using a few scarves, I can wear the same basic black outfit and it always looks a bit different – and scarves take up much less room than do tops and blouses. On our upcoming trip we'll be heading into Australia's spring/summer so I plan to wear the whites more often than the dark colors:
That’s it for this Travel Tip Tuesday – sorry you had to see so many photos of us, but I couldn’t think of another way to illustrate this post. I promise I’ll stay behind the camera in future posts.
Other posts related to packing tips can be found at:
Tuck these in your suitcase
Note: We are often asked for our packing tips and that's what prompted this post. We were not paid or otherwise compensated for the brand name references – we buy, we use, and IF we like something, then we recommend it.
Now it’s your turn. What are some of your travel fashion packing tips? Please tell us in the comment section below or send us an email. Hope to see you here again soon ~