Lessons learned for a healthy and warm fall/winter vacation

During our trip to Europe, we’ve made a few observations on what we should have packed and how we should have improved.
Our packing list after the jump

K’s Clothing
3 pairs of Undershirts
1 pair of Lightweight Khaki slacks
1 pair of Jeans
1 polo
2 short-sleeved button up shirts
2 long-sleeved button up shirts
1 cashmere sweater
3 pairs of dress socks
4 pairs of sports/ankle socks
1 The North Face raincoat
1 Marmot jacket
2 pairs of shorts
1 pair of swimming trunks
5 pairs of underwear
All-weather The North Face shoes
Dressy Kenneth Cole Walking Shoes
1 black leather belt
Flip Flops

S’s Clothing
2 Dresses
2 Pairs of shorts
1 Cardigan Sweater
1 Cashmere Sweater
2 pairs of Jeans
1 pair of leggings
2 T-shirts
3 tank tops
2 pairs of walking (non-water proof) shoes
1 The North Face Raincoat
1 Marmot Jacket
1 Skirt
1 Long-sleeve button down shirt
5 sets of undergarments
4 pairs of ankle socks
1 swimsuit
1 bag of cosmetics
1 Flip Flops

Electronics
2 Nikon dSLRs
Netbook
Sony Point and Shoot
2 iPhones
Hair Straightener
2 Power Converters

Food
Emergen-C
Clif Bars
Granola Bars

Misc
2-20 inch carry-on suitcases
Daypack
Backpack
Purse
Money Belts
Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray
Travel Shaving Cream
Disposable Razor
Travel Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Soap
Contact Lens Case/Solution
Deodorant
Toothbrush/toothpaste
Dish Soap
Laundry Detergent
Extra Ziploc bags (Sandwich and Gallon size)
Mini Flashlight
Travel Wallet for Travel Documents and Passports
3 Travel Books
Notebook
Playing Cards
Tissue packs
Moist Towelettes
Toilet Seat Covers
2 Pillow cases
Tide stain remover stick

It sure sounds like we brought quite a bit of things with us.  Much of it was very useful, and some of it was not.  In addition to all this, there were quite a few things we wished we brought.  A few of the things we needed, or could have used were scarves (K,S), gloves (K,S), wool socks (K), rain shoes (S), extra socks (S), more undershirts (K), and extra leggings (S).  Scarves are so compact, and can be folded which would have added nothing to the weight of my luggage.  Gloves could have been kept in my jacket pockets during travel.   Wool socks could replace the sports socks.  More long socks are definitely necessary no matter where you are going.  Although low-cut socks may be cooler for warm weather, wouldn’t you rather wear the flip flops when it’s hot out.  About bringing more undershirts, I found those best for layering underneath sweater and jackets, and it would have been nice if i had other colors besides white.  Sam really wished she had some rain shoes.  I felt really bad for her when we were in the Paris rain, and all she had were her beige Mary Jane walking shoes that exposed her feet/socks to the rain water.

Some of the things we wish we didn’t bring an extra dSLR (K), notebook (K), extra pair of shorts (K,S), Kenneth Cole shoes (K), straightening iron (S), and the extra dress (S).  Since S decided that she wanted to give photography a shot, she bought a new camera, and I lent her one of my lenses.  But since she’s already taking great photos with her dSLR, it seemed useless for me to take redundant photos.  What was more handy was carrying around the Sony Point and Shoot camera to snap photos quickly and to take self couple shots.  I brought the notebook initially to remember the places we went and the food we ate, but as we went to different places, bringing a large notebook didn’t seem so handy.  What I should have done, was bring a pocket notebook, or use my iPhone to type notes down.  One pair of shorts was enough for each of us.  Although, I never used my shorts, or swimming shorts, having only one pair of each would be useful if the Fall weather warms up.

Important items that kept us healthy, safe, clean and warm include Emergen-C powder, Food Bars, sweaters, jackets, money belts, Rick Steves Travel books, laundry detergent/shampoo (for washing clothes in apartment rentals and hotel rooms), and extra ziploc bags (for accidental liquid spills, or for carrying food around).  I felt like we packed just right, for people who don’t want to buy too many essentials while we’re away and want to stay healthy.  I wanted to point out the suitcases (International Traveller IT-0-1) we brought with us to Europe were great!  They were super lightweight and sturdy weighing in at 4.84 pounds.

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