Lighten the load

As a seasoned traveler, I find traveling with dirty clothes very annoying. Now when I travel, I go through my closets and chest of drawers and pack only items that I plan to leave behind.

All of us have clothing that is a bit too tight or too loose, slightly dated, maybe a bit worn or no longer wanted. I pick my wardrobe from these items, wear them and then leave them behind. Hopefully, someone else will find these items usable and to their liking. I always leave a note on the left-behind articles saying that I no longer want them.

I use the newfound space in my luggage for all of the wonderful new clothes and articles that I find while traveling. No more traveling with dirty clothes, for me!

I also travel with small containers of toiletries that I may need, and I leave any partially filled containers behind. If I forgot to pack a toiletry item, I consider it an adventure to look for a comparable item in a store at my destination. Surprises can be fun.

I pack, as well, a small can of disinfectant spray for any dubious situations.

I have found that prepackaged compressed facecloths are very handy. Most drugstores or dollar stores have these available.

I tear out pages from large, bulky travel books that pertain to the areas I am traveling to. Most travel books are updated frequently, so why not dump the sections that do not pertain to your trip?

I always recommend to new travelers that they travel with conservative clothing. Leave the bright colors, bold prints, logo T-shirts and flip-flops for the sunny beach trips. If you want to dress like a circus performer, join the circus.

Remember that the things you leave behind may make another person very happy. If you think the items are not suitable for your vacation, ask yourself why you kept them in the first place.

Tone down, quiet down, blend in and enjoy and you will be enjoyed.


McHenry, IL