I’ve learned a few things about packing recently. The smaller and lighter the suitcase, the better.
Knowing that we were going to be juggling airports and planes, and hopping onto trains when we went to Great Britain, I limited myself to one small, lightweight suitcase. and a roomy carry-on bag that slipped over the suitcase handle. This was just fine for two weeks of travel.
Perhaps thinking that we would be traveling to Florida by car and overestimating the amount of clothes I would need for the cruise, I opted for my large suitcase. I did try to use my carry-on bag for one night hotel stays, but dragging the big bag out for our unexpected week on the road, Disney, and the cruise was a pain and in retrospect, totally unnecessary. With better planning and laundry facilities in hotels, I could have done very well with far fewer clothes.
New rule: If something isn’t lightweight and wrinkle-free, it doesn’t make it into the bag. And by bag, I mean the the small, lightweight, easy to handle suitcase. The big red bag will remain at home.
On the subject of laundry facilities, I was actually surprised by their availability. This was another one of those Plan B situations. My original thought was that we would have the opportunity to wash clothes at our friend’s condo. When that was no longer part of the plan, I had to look into other options. Didn’t know before this trip that hotels had laundry facilities other that the pay by the piece option.
Both the Marriott and Hyatt chains have simple, clean, coin operated washers and dryers. Of course, Disney took it to a whole new level, with a state of the art laundry room with a dozen washers and dryers. At Disney, you pay by credit card, and can set up your phone to be notified when your machines are finished. Even Holland America has added a new laundry option. They now have a laundry bag. For $20, anything that fits in the bag will be washed and folded and returned in one day.
Now let’s be realistic. No one goes on vacation with the idea of doing laundry, and a week or two trip probably wouldn’t require it. But for a long trip, if having the option of occasionally washing jerseys, underwear, and socks means traveling more lightly, it’s worth doing.