Pack hack – the reason toilet paper isn’t wrinkled.

It’s tough trying to decide what to take for a month-long trip to Italy – especially at this time of the year.  I’m expecting chilly in the mornings and evenings, and moderate to hot during the day.  But, one thing is for certain – I am only taking one bag!  I took two bags on my last trip.  What a mistake!  Getting used to the steep, cobblestoned streets in hill towns is challenging enough without a rolling suitcase, backpack and personal item.  And, of course, bags gain weight as the days pass.  Hmmm…I wonder why?  The wheels on my rolling bag became more elliptical with each passing day and eventually quit rolling at all.  I was forever apologizing as I got on and off trains or put luggage into or took it out of overheads.  “Scusi.  Mi dispiace.  Mi scusi.”  Another, very real benefit to not taking more than one bag, is that I won’t have to check in a bag to fly.  My friend told me a very entertaining story about reclaiming lost luggage in Sicilia.  Maybe she’ll write a guest post for us!

I won’t be in any one place for more than six days, so, really, I don’t need a month’s worth of clothes (or, shoes!).  My bag is a 46L Osprey – it converts from a backpack to a duffel.  I’ll show you a packing trick my mom shared with me years ago…

Fold your pants and skirts in half lengthwise.  (I envy the lucky souls with inseams less than 36″.)  Layer them, from lightest to heaviest.  Now, roll them up like a burrito – from the waistband to the hem.  Place it in your bag.

Layer tops, with long-sleeved on the bottom and sleeveless on the top.   IMG_1301[1]

IMG_1302[1]    Fold in half, cross-wise, then fold the sleeves toward the center.  Roll burrito-style from one side to the other.  Into the bag…

   IMG_1303[1]  There are six pairs of pants and 12 tops in this bag, now.  (Ultimately, this bag held three pairs of shoes, six pairs of pants, 12 tops, three dresses, a robe, nightgown and all lingerie.)

This method of packing reduces wrinkles and saves space.  If I wasn’t worried about wrinkles, I would just stuff clothes into the bag like I do for backpacking.

Now, onto the one-quart bag limit for liquids, aerosols, creams and gels.  I’ve always wondered about the significance of one quart and the 3 oz. limit per container.  Any chemists in the house?

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