packing tips

People are telling me I should talk about packing for a trip. I have gone carry-on for years now but my latest trip was a challenge because it was so varied. I had to think carefully, starting at the end, and assessing how much I could handle.

My trip: It began with an 18-day luxury cruise of French Polynesia (most of which I had done just last May and June, repeating this time deliberately because the trip promised a conclusion with stops at Pitcairn Island without a landing, and at Easter Island, with two days of excursions, unfulfilled); landing at Lima, Peru (with an extra unplanned excursion because of an emergency, already described); a flight to Dallas and a flight to Vancouver (using a wheelchair because of my vulnerable leg which required easy luggage for the sake of my pusher and me both); then four days visiting a dear friend in Vancouver (good for more laundry, too); then a cross-city bus to Horseshoe Bay to catch a ferry ride to Gibson’s for another four days with another dear friend; followed by another ferry ride back to Horseshoe Bay and a cab ride back across the city to the train station to board VIA Rail for a 4-night, 4-day journey to Toronto. I did it on one carry-on and a small backpack, mainly to carry my laptop computer and my iPad mini (and tickets and passport and cash). (And a lipstick.)


Well, as I’ve said before, you have to brace yourself: do not mind that you look like Ll'l Orphan Annie, same outfit day after day - but not entirely. I had to dress (sort of) for dinner every night on the ship, not formally but what they call golf club casual. I had one long, black, embroidered Guatemalan dress and a long black skirt with different tops some of which doubled with cropped (black) pants or long (black) pants. I won’t go on. You’ll notice my colour scheme: black and white. Everything went with everything else, including shoes (three pairs) and my security blanket: a big, warm shawl, black and white, of course. I didn’t pack it, not only because it was too bulky to pack but also because I needed it, always, (I don’t like air conditioning.)

I had a black, foldable raincoat (nice design, looks like a theatre coat) which as it turned out, I never wore until I needed a housecoat on the train. (They provide terry robes on the ship.) I had a cabin with a sink and a toilet but I had to go down the corridor for my shower and didn’t have a bathrobe, so I wore my raincoat. The only thing I didn’t wear was my bathing suit; my leg wasn’t quite ready for the pool.

That’s all.

I think, though, that I need a lighter-weight carry-on bag.