Adventures in International Travel — Packing Light

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Robin, this is for you. In my previous post I mentioned having brought one suitcase for our two-week trip to New York. It weighed 21 kg (about 45 lbs) and contained everything for the four of us, in addition to our hand luggage (also as light as possible).

I knew I would be staying at my sister’s and brother’s homes. They have washing machines, so pajamas, 3-4 days worth of lightweight clothes, and Shabbat outfits (two each), sufficed. I added bathing suits and swim floats, and a duffel bag for the return trip. I didn’t shlep toothpaste or shampoo, umbrellas or jackets. My daughter and I each took one additional pair of shoes; the younger children took none. In an emergency, we could easily buy something. And I didn’t even end up wearing everything. Two booster seats and a stroller were a royal pain but didn’t count in the weight.

Another reason to pack light is to save room for the return. Besides books for the children and the book club, the seats and the stroller, I’m taking a guitar for my son and an air mattress–we hope to try camping again.

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Comments

  1. tnspr569 says:

    Whoa. You are GOOD.
    Funny story- the night before I moved out of my apartment at the end of the previous school year, I was packing up my belongings into various suitcases, duffel bags, etc. Some stuff was to remain in storage and some stuff was to accompany me to my summer vacation destination. Surprisingly, I didn’t run out of room in any of the suitcases. A few days after I arrived at my vacation destination, I realized that I had left AN ENTIRE DRAWER OF CLOTHING BEHIND! Needless to say, it took some work to get the clothing to the vacation destination.

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  2. tnspr569 says:

    Whoa. You are GOOD.
    Funny story- the night before I moved out of my apartment at the end of the previous school year, I was packing up my belongings into various suitcases, duffel bags, etc. Some stuff was to remain in storage and some stuff was to accompany me to my summer vacation destination. Surprisingly, I didn’t run out of room in any of the suitcases. A few days after I arrived at my vacation destination, I realized that I had left AN ENTIRE DRAWER OF CLOTHING BEHIND! Needless to say, it took some work to get the clothing to the vacation destination.

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  3. I hate packing.

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  4. I hate packing.

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  5. I’m trying, I’m trying. We’re going for a full month though, and we can expect it to get pretty darn cool at night so we need some warmer clothes too. Plus dress clothes, plus hiking clothes/boots, plus… Aack. I’m REALLY hoping to limit it to one big wheelie bag, a duffel, and carry-ons, and heaven help me if Maya falls asleep and needs to be carried at any point. At least we don’t need to bring a lot of toys or books – Grandma’s well-stocked and there’s a nice library nearby.

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  6. I’m trying, I’m trying. We’re going for a full month though, and we can expect it to get pretty darn cool at night so we need some warmer clothes too. Plus dress clothes, plus hiking clothes/boots, plus… Aack. I’m REALLY hoping to limit it to one big wheelie bag, a duffel, and carry-ons, and heaven help me if Maya falls asleep and needs to be carried at any point. At least we don’t need to bring a lot of toys or books – Grandma’s well-stocked and there’s a nice library nearby.

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  7. New airline rules here in the States are making the “pack light” idea a necessity. Most airlines will only give you one free suitcase to be checked per ticket(no more than 50 pounds and a whopper of a fee if you exceed that) and the cost can be high for a second suitcase. A few airlines are already charging for all luggage–cheaper for the first suitcase you check and mega money for the second.

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  8. New airline rules here in the States are making the “pack light” idea a necessity. Most airlines will only give you one free suitcase to be checked per ticket(no more than 50 pounds and a whopper of a fee if you exceed that) and the cost can be high for a second suitcase. A few airlines are already charging for all luggage–cheaper for the first suitcase you check and mega money for the second.

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  9. Can’t wait to see you again!

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  10. Can’t wait to see you again!

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  11. A Living Nadneyda says:

    We managed to get Mom+3′s luggage into one suitcase too…. I can’t remember the weight, but it was probably more than 21 kg. We’ll be coming back with slightly more than that…
    ALN

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  12. A Living Nadneyda says:

    We managed to get Mom+3′s luggage into one suitcase too…. I can’t remember the weight, but it was probably more than 21 kg. We’ll be coming back with slightly more than that…
    ALN

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  13. we pack as little as possible as well – mostly for the purpose of having more space for the return trip – especially since El Al cut the weight limit to 50lbs. down from 75

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  14. we pack as little as possible as well – mostly for the purpose of having more space for the return trip – especially since El Al cut the weight limit to 50lbs. down from 75

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  15. I took too much, even though I used my parents’ washing machine all the time.
    My sister, in AZ, just takes a carryon, and the one time she took a suitcase, it was stolen/lost by the airline. Of course it was her daughter’s and full of hard/impossible to replace items.

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  16. I took too much, even though I used my parents’ washing machine all the time.
    My sister, in AZ, just takes a carryon, and the one time she took a suitcase, it was stolen/lost by the airline. Of course it was her daughter’s and full of hard/impossible to replace items.

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  17. We just got back from our two week visit to the U.S. We took three suitcases there (we have two young kids). One of the suitcases had a smaller suitcase in it so that we could bring more back. While there, we bought three more suitcases.
    That’s right, we just got home yesterday and brought home 7 suitcases (and a new booster seat for my son). We packed light knowing that we’d be buying clothing there. I must say that it was a lot of fun shopping and buying things for a fraction of the price of what they’re sold for in Israel. Can’t wait to use everything. I’m surprised we weren’t stopped in customs seeing as how we had four suitcases full of new stuff. I guess I should just count my blessings. One thing for sure, it’s good to be back. The weather here in the Jerusalem area is so much nicer than New York! We had a lot of rain and of course a heat wave. It felt like you were in the rain forest. Fun fun. It’s good to be back!

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  18. We just got back from our two week visit to the U.S. We took three suitcases there (we have two young kids). One of the suitcases had a smaller suitcase in it so that we could bring more back. While there, we bought three more suitcases.
    That’s right, we just got home yesterday and brought home 7 suitcases (and a new booster seat for my son). We packed light knowing that we’d be buying clothing there. I must say that it was a lot of fun shopping and buying things for a fraction of the price of what they’re sold for in Israel. Can’t wait to use everything. I’m surprised we weren’t stopped in customs seeing as how we had four suitcases full of new stuff. I guess I should just count my blessings. One thing for sure, it’s good to be back. The weather here in the Jerusalem area is so much nicer than New York! We had a lot of rain and of course a heat wave. It felt like you were in the rain forest. Fun fun. It’s good to be back!

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  19. I will be referring to this post in the coming weeks as we get ready for our own trip, and trying not to dread the whole experience too much. Is it wrong for me to already wish it was behind us??
    It was wonderful to see you!

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  20. I will be referring to this post in the coming weeks as we get ready for our own trip, and trying not to dread the whole experience too much. Is it wrong for me to already wish it was behind us??
    It was wonderful to see you!

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