Travel Light. Who Me?


This is what Rick Steves says I should bring on a trip of any length.  A suitcase that you can carry on the plane.  In this instance the suitcase you see above is 23″x14.5″x7.5″ and if you total those numbers up it equals 45, which is exactly the cary on size suitcase United Airlines allows.

What about the souvenirs?

Or the cute shoes.

Or cute outfits of any kind?

And most importantly, the CAMERA BAG.

If you know anything about Rick Steves, he leads travel tours all over Europe and has a show on PBS showing you how to travel around Europe on a budget, and also how to travel light.

The key, apparently, is to spend time in the evening doing your laundry in the bathtub using hair shampoo and then letting it dry (with a portable clothesline that you bring).

In order to have your clothes and intimates dry overnight, you need moisture wicking clothing, which is really expensive, but it is worth it in the long run if it dries quickly and you can wear it the next morning.

Another alternative I have heard some people use is to take all of your old underwear and just throw them away after you wear them.

I didn’t choose that option.

Rick Steves gives you a test:   pack all of your luggage before you leave on your trip and then take it to the downtown area in your city and drag it around for an hour.  If you are struggling, then you are bringing too much stuff.

Rick Steves provides a packing list (one catered to women) on his website.  Then add what he also packs from the Documents, Money and Travel Info. section on down.


Okay.  For my trip to China, I definitely need to pare down my wardrobe.  What you see laying on the bed is all I am bringing to China as far as clothing.


This much larger suitcase will be checked and will hold some of my clothing, but mostly this luggage is designated to bring booty home.


I have invested in some “travel cubes” which as you see above show you how to fold your clothes to minimize wrinkling, and to fit a lot more into your suitcase.  (So far, this has worked for me on other trips).


I am also bringing along two sensible, and comfortable pair of shoes, along with a scarf to dress up my outfits, as well as a warm coat, rain poncho, gloves, scarf and hat.

The key is to carry onboard the smaller suitcase with a couple changes of clothes, medications, and basic toiletries (in accordance with TSA guidelines) in the event that my luggage doesn’t arrive in Beijing with me.

Of course, my camera backpack with my camera and iPad will be with me at all times. As far as my camera goes, I am bringing my big DSLR Nikon D300, with an 18-270 mm lens, but will also use my iPhone for a point and shoot (in airplane mode, so as not to incur any roaming charges while traveling internationally which = a SUPER expensive cell phone bill).  I am not bringing a laptop, so I won’t be able to download photos.  I have a few 16 GB memory cards, so I’ll be fine.

I am thinking of investing in a VPN (virtual private network) so that I can’t be tracked on the Internet over there, and so I can access all of the banned sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other personal blogs, because I hope to blog while I am there.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. you can do it! I never carry more than a backpack or a carry on suitcase! and my camera bag of course! but.. a lot of international travel won’t let you carry on 2 items–especially coming home–so be aware of that! did 3 weeks in Europe in 2010 with a backpack–stayed in hostels and yes, did laundry! just got back from 10 days in greece with only my camera bag and 1 case the size of your carry on! so you can do it! btw.. I ROLL my clothes–minimizes space and wrinkles–the military packs this way 🙂 HUGS and have fun!

    1. Okay, Nancy, but what about souvenirs? Do you not bring any stuff home? I think I will do okay with the clothing and packing that sort of stuff. Just worried about the stuff I am going to bring home.

      BTW, really want to get to Greece someday, and France and go to the Christmas Bazaars in Germany and elsewhere.

      Thanks for your great advice, and HUGS to you too.

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