If you have ever traveled overseas to paint I am sure you can relate to this.
Remember when you dragged loads of your equipment (just in case) in a large suitcase(s) with you? You will have probably said …”Never again will I bring all this stuff.” Right?
I remember my first time with my friend Lisa and we learned when traveling on Ryan air why most Europeans only carry a back pack. The small airlines charge you for luggage by the pound! A very cheap flight can turn expensive quickly.
Our trip to Greece included small flights, boats, taxis and lots of stairs so less was more! Let me rephrase that- Less is a necessity!
This was around my 12th painting trip overseas. It took me about four trips to really learn to consolidate. Trust us when we say take stuff out of your luggage and bring a carry-on and a small bag.
Pack consciously- down to the bare bones.
You may opt for a sturdy carry-on with good wheels if you don’t want to check in luggage. I found one at a second hand store. This way if I get paint on it I won’t feel badly. Even if you are checking a bag, go smaller. Carry your own suitcase once filled around your yard, over grass, up stairs to see how burdensome it might be.
How to minimize:
Select coordinating clothes as suggested below or read this great blog by Lady Light Travel.
Here is a list of clothes I take with me.
First I have three rules: Is it lightweight, wrinkle free & dries quickly when washed? I will be hand washing some things.
1 black casual pants (doesn’t show dirt)
1 black dress pants (or black skirt)
1 other pant to wear when traveling (that matches shirts or blouses). Must be super comfy.
2 wrinkle free blouses (I like white).
Scarf to dress up a blouse or necklace or wrap around your shoulders if it gets chilly at night.
2 blouses/ shirts that go with the pants/skirt
3 casual daytime thin shirts (easy to wash/dry)
1 pair of painting pants/shirt or a smock/apron
Make up, toiletries (creams, lotions are put in zip lock bags in the amount needed for the trip.) Minimum makeup as we barely wear once there. Bring a small amount of Woolite or laundry detergent in a small baggy- double bagged.
1 bathing suit (no towel necessary)
Comfortable shoes ( I wear the heavier pair on my feet and pack a lighter pair.)
Here is the blog by Lady Light Travel with fabulous travel wardrobe tips for packing lightly. There are photos of the clothing at the end. This one is for the ladies however, our gentlemen participants can take the concept and use it as well.
How to place clothes in suitcase.
Lay your clothes flat across the suitcase allowing each article of clothing to hang over the sides. Place each item flat on top of the other. This keeps them from wrinkling and takes up less space than rolling. You’ll see why.
After all the clothes are on top of each other you will want to fold back in the pieces that are overhanging the suitcase in all four directions making a nice compact bundle.
Then carefully take the whole bundle (everything you just folded to fit the suitcase) out of the suitcase and lay the bundle on a flat surface keeping it together.
Using a large plastic bag like one from the laundry or a vacuum bag made for traveling place your bundle of clothes inside it. (A vacuum bags is recommended because it has a zip lock, however, it is not necessary.)
Once the bundle is inside begin to close the bag but first roll the bag from the closed end toward the open end to displace the air. The bag then goes pretty flat. Before the air gets back in, either rubber band it close or tape it closed. If using a vacuum bag just zip it up. Even if some air gets in, it will stay flatter.
Now your clothes are as compact as they can be. Bring a second bag for the trip home if the first one gets damaged. (See Image 3. )