Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Luggage Challenge

On Saturday I'm leaving for a three week solo trip to Europe for work - and pleasure. I have a notorious reputation as a 'heavy' traveller. Dozens of items get thrown into my luggage 'just in case' - just in case I'm invited to afternoon tea with the Queen...just in case I go to a black tie dinner... just in case. Of course these just in cases never happen and I find I've lugged half my wardrobe to the other side of the world and back, some of it never worn, paying excess or check-in fees, wasting time at baggage carousels, and generally being annoyed by my cumbersome 'essentials'.

This trip I've decided to road test a different way to travel.

The Holly GoLightly method.

I'm only taking a 50cm x 30cm x 20cm carry on bag, a computer case and my hand bag.
A small bag will give me plenty of travel options. I can carry it on board or check it in and lift it easily onto Eurostar train baggage racks without waiting pathetically for a bloke to help me.

This is my first clothing cull of mix and match pants, skirts and tops, and a few scarves to dress up my outfits for meetings. They will need to be reduced by half if I am to have any hope of getting them into my little bag.
The big plus is that I'm travelling to the Northern Hemisphere during their spring/summer so no need for thick winter woolies. I'm going to take one jumper and one coat (which I'll wear onto the plane)

My biggest problem is shoes. I want to take a pair of boots, my runners, some stylish walking shoes and some sandals. (I'm afraid Imelda is rearing her head.) And I still have to squeeze in my cosmetic bag!

Tomorrow will see the final cull and the 'Closing of the Bag' challenge without the need to sit on it.

Any tips you may have on travelling lightly would be greatly appreciated.


  1. At this time of year I would think hard about the boots. But if you get wet shoes you do need reserves. It is a long time since I have travelled for an extended period so I really don't have much advice. Last year my daughter was on exchange to Swtizerland through the winter and the best advice she was given was that there are such things as washing machines! she managed to stay under her limit easily by the mix and match method.

    Enjoy your trip.

  2. Did you know that rolling your clothes seems to allow you to fit more in? This is a tried and tested backpack method. Jodi

  3. Yeah no boots, runners, going out shoes and smart casual shoes only! Can you skip the coat too? Leave it at the gate with hubby or friend? You'll only have to carry it around the 3 weeks!

    Have a FABULOUS time! Take lots of pics for us!! xx

  4. I'm bad at taking too much also. However I try to make sure all outfits are mix & match; I even take things that can double as PJs if they have to, rather than my normal jarmies; and I remind myself that it only takes a few minutes to wash out clothes in the hotel shower OR you can always get hotel laundry service. I'm afraid that doesn't answer your question of shoes though. Have a great time, whatever you take. : )

  5. Good luck! Remember that time I had to sit on my suitcase in Montreux! I am excited by your new method and want to learn from you!

    We can't wait to see you in the Northern Hemisphere very soon.

  6. oh man, good luck with that! i think you're denying yourself way too much travel space in that one single carry on bag... unless u can afford to buy clothes over there , wear them, and post them back to syd lolz

  7. have fun on your trip otherwise, you're very lucky :O)

  8. The rolling clothes is a great idea. Also you can store cosmetics/underware inside shoes!!

    If you are coming as far as Ireland or the U.K. it has cooled down today and yesterday - a jumper (sweater) might not be a bad idea. (sorry!!)

  9. I'm a big believer in rolling the clothes, like you would a sleeping bag. They just seem to cram in better.