“ Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just enough baggage. “
Charles Dudley Warner
The Perfect Packer
I am always on the lookout for the perfect suitcase. I am convinced if I find the perfect suitcase, I will become the perfect packer. The perfect suitcase weighs nothing and fits everything. Every time a new suitcase comes out, I try it in the hopes that it will be ”The One”. I am a regular at Savinar Luggage ( savinar luggage.com). As my salesman’s son becomes more and more successful as a comedian, I acquire more and more luggage. One year I treated myself to the fancy Rimowa luggage one sees all over Europe. I bought my kids some cheaper duffle bags. The duffle bags worked much better for me than the suitcase. I ended up borrowing theirs and eventually getting my own. You shop and you learn.
I am a crammer. You can cram much more into a duffle bag than a hard suitcase.. If you need more room, use the outside compartment for dirty underwear, dirty socks and souvenir brochures. Most airline personal will not be interested in stealing that (except for some reason in Moscow –where they even took my luggage tags) .
The perfect packing bags for crammers and over packers are called space bags by Flight 001 (flight001.com). I think they are designed for carry on luggage. You put as much as you can pack on one side of the bag and sit on it to get the air out. Then you can pack more. Technically you put your dirty laundry on the other side – or you can pack more stuff in them (like I do). It is brilliant and much more organized in the duffle. I am a big believer in packing accessories.
I don’t like to wash things out on vacation, which is why I bring so many clothes. In St. Petersburg, I decided to have the hotel wash a shirt for me. The cleaning bill cost as much as the shirt. I believe the shirt was Prada. I went back to overpacking.
The rule of thumb with airline travel is, the more things I need to bring, the less weight the airline I am flying allows me to carry. Those small planes between cities or countries wreck havoc with my packing plans. Remember the old days when you could bring 75 pounds? If you were over , you just paid a small fee. Today you better hope your children are the right weight to fit on the plane.
I bring a fold up extra bag for shopping. I have to pull it out at my first destination to put in half my stuff to meet the luggage requirement on a smaller plane. I always say that I am not going to do it again . It is hard to juggle two bags with the lack of airline help or porters- a word that is rapidly becoming extinct.
The airlines are basically telling us, don’t travel if you cant carry your own suitcase. We wont help you. It has finally come to this. I watched a stewardess tell a ninety year old woman if she couldn’t put her bag in the overhead compartment, she shouldn’t be carrying it. (Stewardesses and women fliers are another blog)
I see these people with their carry on luggage for two weeks. I look at them in awe. I wonder if I am looking at some kind of packing genius. Do they never wash their clothes and don’t care? Do they wash everyday and pack their clothes wet to the next destination? Do they own that perfect article of clothing that works for all occasions and is never soiled or wrinkled? I always want to open up their suitcases to see what I have brought that they considered unnecessary.
A good tip to know is that you can always make up the extra weight in your carry on bag. Mine is always way too heavy for me. You only have to have your luggage not arrive a few times, or get bumped off a plane in Brussels wearing white furry after ski boots in the spring, to know that you better have everything you might need with you. I always travel as if I am going to Cuba or Burma and will not be able to buy anything I need ever.
I just heard about this new suitcase. It is not a hard suitcase and it is not a duffle. It is something in between. I think it could be the perfect suitcase. I will let you know.