Thursday, October 1, 2009

Travelling light

I’ve got a few days away coming up soon and it started me thinking about packing. I packed very badly going to Great Barrier Island a couple of weeks ago, I ended up bringing half my clothes home unworn and I don’t want to do that again.

This thinking reminded me about reading an article a few days ago in my local rag so I went hunting to find the following questions that were asked of a travel writer.

How about considering these questions yourself and sharing?


1) Do you travel light or heavy?

I used to be able to travel light but as I’ve gotten older I seem to have lost that skill.

2) Cattle or first class?

First is my first choice but seeing as work pays for most of my travel that never happens. I’ve gotten upgraded to business a couple of times but never first class. One day maybe…


3) I can't travel without...

My iPod and my trusty Kathmandu toilet bag. A place for everything and everything in its place.

 4) What's always in your hand luggage?

My reading glasses and a big fat book. I always make sure I have a book mark as well as I hate using just anything to mark my page.


5) Favourite or most exciting airport to land in?

Jean Batten Airport (Auckland) because that means I am home. Gawd that sounds lame so perhaps I’ll try Narita – there’s nothing like Japanese airports for hustle and bustle.

6) Most memorable trip?

In a good (relaxing) way: a few weeks relaxing on an isolated island in the Gulf of Thailand and experiencing all that the island had to offer

In a not so good way: Flying from Moscow to Mumbai on Aeroflot and finding that my seat wasn’t even attached to the floor of the plane – scary sh*t!

OK I know I cheated on that one.

7) Best packing tip?

Really consider what you’ll need – dual purpose clothing items and footwear are key to minimising the excess baggage charges.


  1. 1. The lighter the better.
    2. Doesn't bother me.
    3. My mobile for music and a killer set of ear plugs.
    4. Don't take hand luggage except for handbag.
    5. My husband, because I'd really miss him if I left him behind.
    6. Favourite: All airports where we landed safely.
    7. Getting trapped on flooded roads in North Queensland.
    8. Get a smaller suitcase. Because you really don't need that much.

  2. That's a fascinating list, Lou. I'll have a go. I rarely travel, by the way.

    1. Would like to travel light but it never works out that way.
    2. I'd love to travel first class but never have.
    3. Can't travel without: books. Extra ones in case I read faster when I'm away.
    4. Hand luggage - books, iPod, toothbrush.
    5. My Litteraturtraeet - the family tree of literature, in Danish, from the Royal National Library of Denmark.
    6. All airports are despicable. I travel by train as much as possible. The best train station I've ever seen, architecturally, is Liége (Belgium). St. Pancras is stunning again.
    7. Most memorable trip: first flight was from the UK to Arkansas for a conference. Terrifying technical problems, lightning storms, redneck attitudes. Going to Switzerland for a fencing competition two days after (stupidly) splitting up with the love of my life and sitting by the Rhine wondering whether I should just slip in was a picturesque low point… did quite well at the competition though! Taking the train to Germany to visit said person recently was wonderful in many ways, as was my three days in Norway recently.
    9. Packing tips: a friend takes no luggage and buys a set of clothes from charity shops when he lands. Then he takes them back at the end of the week. Genius or stinky? Not sure.

  3. I have the same toiletry bag in bright red. I could probably fit my clothes in that, it is so big.
    My suitcase is also bright red. Saves checking every black and dark blue suitcase that comes down the conveyor belt.
    I always take too much. YVR- Vancouver International is a beautiful airport with amazing sculptures by local Haida artist Bill Reid.
    Have a look here:

  4. Well I am in the middle of packing for our trip. I was hoping because we are heading to Arizona I could pack light - turns out we are going to be in 30C to start - down to 10C - ackk have to take double the clothes!!!!

    Lou you really need to experience Vancouver like Lori said - yes we are prejudiced but its phenomenally beautiful. The fact my son has been working there the last three years helping to create the beauty definitely prejudices my view. I am hoping to see some of his work on Sunday.

  5. Daze: Yeah right on #2 - everyone hates cattle class surely?? You must have flash phone that you can turn on inflight - mine's not that flash so I use my iPod. OK now I want flash new phone like you have.

    Vole: Nice to see you - to see you nice! I agree re trains though that gets tricky when once hails from downunder. Look forward to seeing again the new improved St Pancras one day. Re #9 Ewwwwww

    Good thinking re suitcase Lori - I do the same, I have a suitcase that looks more like an overly bright Hawaiian shirt but it always easy to spot. Will check out the website shortly.

    That is a pain Joanne - as if packing isn't hard enough. That's the downside with mystery weekends away - where are we going and what will I need? My ex never got that and was always planning surprise trips :-(

  6. I a-l-w-a-y-s bring too much clothes and shoes on my trips, and some really stupid stuff too. Thee most unnecessary thing I've ever brought was my polar fleece - to the Canary Islands in the middle of the summer. It was so hot we couldn't even touch the asphalt!
    So sorry, I can't give you any packing tips... and if I do, don't listen to them!


  7. Can't best this list...for sure the Russian experience...even beats my U.S. Army plane horror stories.

    Un-necessary, duh clothing I've every packed? Two sports coats and ties on my first visit to Yucatan back in the 70's (pre-Cancun computerized vacations). They don't work real well climbing pyramids...not to mention that it rarely goes below 90 degrees F down there. Object lessons are the most enduring.

  8. Wow, Lou....great list. You mean you're not an expert at packing by now? I totally over-pack. And I totally overcook for company.
    I'd rather have too much than not enough....of everything!

  9. That's funny Daniel - I'd love to check out the Canaries one day.

    jadedj; very true - I'd love to hear some army stories if you ever feel like sharing.

    I'm the same Kathryn re cooking. I sometimes have a nightmare about that exact scenario - people over and not enough food aaarrrrggghhh


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