Monday, November 23, 2009

Packing Light

We're going on a 7-day Caribbean cruise next week, and this is all I'm taking. One bag under 50 pounds. I'll also have a small backpack for meds, book, music, and one-quart ziploc bag with allowable liquids. The airlines forced us to do this when they started charging $25 to check a bag. Depending on our frequent-flyer status, we sometimes get by with no extra charges. We haven't figured out why we might have to pay outbound, but not coming back. Tinker just got back from 14 days with one bag, so he has it down to a science.

The last time we sailed out of Miami we drove, and had a total of four bags. We took advantage of the early walk-off at the end of that cruise, so we could get the car and be on our way home before 10 AM. That always feels like a cattle stampede with a couple hundred passengers trying to get to the door with their bags. There was this one couple ahead of us who appeared to have only their carry-on luggage, one small bag for her, and a small back-pack for him. The cruise staff asked them several times if they had all their luggage. "You won't be able to get to the other luggage through this door." The couple insisted that they travel light. We really wondered how they managed the week with two changes of clothes, since that's about all that could fit in those bags. We guessed they didn't go to formal night, or even ate in the main dining room. They could hang out by the pool, and go on excursions. They probably had a good time.

So we're paring it down this time. It's easier to do for a warm climate, since we won't need coats and heavy sweaters. I'm packing mix-and match tops and bottoms, including formal wear for two nights. One pair of black shoes, one pair of waterproof sandals, and the sneakers on my feet. I even packed sunscreen and insect repellent. Belize here we come.