Subject: Packing light
Sandy, Leslie, Carollyn, etc.,

I just have to get in on this packing light discussion. Never do I take more than one carryon and a purse like leather backpack. In fact, I just returned from 3 weeks in Italy with just that. I took a blazer, raincoat, one black skirt, one pair of black pants and one pair of tweedy pants, 3 tee shirts (black, white and gray), a black sweater, socks, stockings, nightgown, underwear, 2 pair of shoes and 3 scarves. I get sick of wearing the same clothes all the time, but in actuality, I have 9+ different outfits with the scarves. Everything is washable and I do a little laundry nearly every night. I do take a couple of inflatable hangers because they help things dry more quickly and a small container of Ivory liquid, useful for laundry, hands, etc. My cosmetics are down to the very minimum, and in small containers. Since my hair is short, I don't need a hairdryer and in fact, I avoid any electrical appliances because they lead to other things like adapters and transformers. I take guidebooks, but I pick out the one that is the best and just read the others before I leave. Anything really special or different that is not in the book I'm taking, I copy and then throw away when I'm finished with it. Often I mail things home, especially books and brochures that I collect on the trip.

I love shopping for toothpaste - this year we bought Activ-Os - quite a toothpaste, I must say - and shampoo and all kinds of stuff in foreign countries, so I don't worry about running out of anything. I try very hard not to take anything that I don't need daily. The only exception is a course of antibiotics in case I get really sick. Fortunately I've never had to take them, but that's only because I have them.

I love the ease of traveling light. I don't know how people get huge suitcases on the train or the bus, and I've rented more than one car that barely held our 2 small suitcases in the trunk.

It can be done, ladies - you just have to wear the same clothes over and over...

Callie in New Orleans