Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Packing tips for travel

Two weeks into our trip I'm feeling very practical rather than observational. We're in Tokyo taking a recharge/laundry day after four days of intense travel as a whole family. (Michael is back at work and we 3 women are chilling out. Tomorrow I get to give a talk at the Tokyo-American Club, which I am really excited about.)

I've had some travel & packing tips rolling around my brain, so I am going to write them down here. I can't even judge whether they're original or not, since right now they all seem like common sense, but since this is free advice you'll at least get your money's worth.

The iPod provides the greatest amount of entertainment per ounce if you and/or your kids enjoy listening to music or audio books. "Harry Potter" on audio is great!

For our 3 week trip we packed enough clothes to last a week, and we did laundry twice.

The old saying is true: pack twice as much money and half as many clothes as you need. We were able to buy what we needed in terms of toiletries, etc. in Sydney, Beijing, and Tokyo, so I found that I had overpacked on supplies. I wore pants four times, most shirts twice without any problem before washing.

Even if you don't wear panty liners at home, they are a godsend on a long trip for warding off that "not so fresh feeling" the TV ads have warned us about all these years. Helps extend the laundry....'nuff said.

Find a pair of walking shoes that you can wear with or without socks, preferably with a dress or pants as well. Keen, Merrell, Mephisto are all brands to consider. On a long trip it's well worth the investment. I figure we walked 2-4 miles a day. My Keen "Seattle" Mary Janes took me all over the place. Little T's Merrell "Sprint Jump Kids" Mary Janes did the same for her.

Before you leave home, make sure no one has packed more than they can humanly carry. If your kids aren't old enough to lug their own luggage, you'll need to negotiate who will pack and carry the kids' belongings. We've all almost dislocated our elbows and shoulders pulling around the heavy bags we packed for this trip!


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