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One 22″ suitcase, a duffel bag, and a backpack for 32 days

On previous trips we have taken a couple of suitcases each, one large and one medium, plus a backpack each and a carry on duffel.  It was difficult to manage them between the two of us without help. We were ready for every contingency but, there was never enough room to store the bags in the rooms and we were constantly packing and unpacking every bag to find something. We always had much more than what we

Suitcase, Duffel, Backpack

Suitcase, Duffel, Backpack

needed and we would come home with a suitcase full of clothes and things that were unused.

This time I decided to cut way back (and the cruises we were taking made it a necessity). I wanted to simplify our travels and be kinder to the environment. My challenge was one 22″ wheeled suitcase, one duffel bag and one backpack total for both of us! As I started working on my packing list I was finding myself adding a bit more here and there until I realized I would need another suitcase if I kept adding. Extras weren’t an option because the boats wouldn’t have much storage room and hauling our bags on and off the trains in Germany would be easier if we had less. And I was on a mission!!!

I consulted several internet travel sites and spent time revising Tilley and Rick Steves packing lists to suit our needs. It was very difficult to not throw in that extra shirt or extra pair of slacks but once I started filling the suitcases I BECAME MORE DETERMINED TO MAKE IT WORK. I packed and repacked and repacked again until I could get it all in, take it out and get it back in the same

ExtraPocket Duffel

ExtraPocket Duffel

space. (I also threw in a small ‘pocket’ duffel bag in case I ran into problems or needed a souvenir bag.)



Our Packing List:

  • five tops,
  • two bottoms,
  • five sets of underwear,
  • two pair of shoes,
  • sweater,
  • jacket,
  • toiletries,
  • vitamins,
  • two cameras,
  • computer,
  • playing cards,
  • tour books,
  • rain jackets,
  • umbrella,
  • scarf,
  • gloves,
  • a box of Lara Bars,
  • tea,
  • decaf coffee,
  • travel clock,
  • flashlight,
  • emergency meds and bandaids,
  • laundry line and soap.

The toiletries bag alone took up almost half the suitcase! But, i made it work.

The size of our cabins were 90 sq.ft. and 120 sq.ft.  My closet at home is almost as big! There was one small closet for our clothes and our bags, two small single bunk sized beds (or smaller!) a little table, one chair and the room was FULL! So it was a very good move to have limited our bags or we wouldn’t have been able to move in the small space.

Next time I will travel with about the same, although I may need a dress and a suit jacket which will take up some extra space. It was very convenient to only have a small bag each and the backpack. We could move quickly when we needed to, lifting the bags on and off the trains was easily done and storage was never a problem. We still came home with a couple of items we didn’t use and next time they will be left behind leaving room for and extra shirt or blouse. Beach Destinations


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October 2008