, , , , , , , ,

International travel and the things you need to pack when you do it have been a hot topic lately out here in the blogosphere. For example, Beth Anne is taking us all on a tour through Europe and Kendra made us all wonder where her daughter is. Plus, Cat has a super cool post about how she packs light regardless of the trip length.

Since we all seem to have travel on the brain, and you know, I’m leaving for Europe in less than a month, I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff we’re not bringing with us on our trip.

I like this list because it’s cute, not because I’m necessarily going to use it.

  • Carry on roller suitcases. 

I know that a lot of people swear by the almighty roller carry on as a way to avoid “unnecessary” expenditures and limit useless packing, but I’m not into it. Big (relatively) carry ons just stress me out and make me miserable during layovers and boarding. Instead, we’ll each check a suitcase and between the two of us we’ll have a backpack, my purse and possibly another small bag that Bret wants to have on the plane.

  • Tennis shoes.

One day, I will tell you all the story of the day my mother declared that “We don’t wear athletic shoes for non-athletic purposes.” I keep that edict close to my heart and will not be bringing tennis shoes to Europe. I will bring a pair of older, dressier Keds in case it rains. They’re just old enough that if I destroy them, I won’t be so upset to trash them.

How I would feel in tennis shoes.

  • A money belt.

Not my style.

Maybe it’s because I’ve traveled a lot by myself and with family growing up, but I’ve never felt compelled to use a money belt when I travel. We lock important documents in the hotel safe, make sure to never walk around with all of our cash money and leave an emergency credit card with the passports. Other than that, we practice safe touristing and make sure that we don’t look like targets to pickpockets.

  • Medication we aren’t currently taking.

We’ll take our vitamins, Bret’s allergy meds and some ibuprofen. I don’t see a reason to waste valuable suitcase real estate on medication that we might need.

  • Clothes for every single day.

We’re going for two weeks, but we don’t need to lug around 14 days worth of clothes. We’ll plan to do laundry at least once and bring clothes (Ma, stop skip the rest of the sentence, you’re going to freak out) that we can wear more than once without feeling two gross.

  • Cellphones.


Okay, this isn’t entirely true because I use my phone as a camera and iPod. However, we won’t be putting international minutes or data on them and we won’t be buying a throw-away European phone, either. I’ll have the laptop so we can email family (and blog and stuff) and if we end up in a major bind, we’ll get a calling card.

  • Things that we could easily buy while we’re there.

I’m on the fence about bringing my own detergent, but we’re not going to go crazy bringing snacks and breakfasts and what not. The way I see it is that we aren’t saving money if we go hog wild at the grocery store before we leave.

  • More than 3 pairs of shoes.

Black flats, Keds, boots, done.

  • Expensive jewelry.

Not exactly my travel style.

Let’s be real here: I don’t own much nice jewelry (anymore) so there isn’t a whole lot that I could bring. Chances are, I’ll swap out my everyday studs (that have sentimental value) for cheapie ones that, if lost, wouldn’t crush my spirit.

  • Stuff we might use/wear/need.

If I were being totally honest here, you would know that I’m a notorious over-packer. But not this time! If we can’t guarantee that we’ll use it, it’s not coming with us.

  • A bunch of phrase books for the places we’re going.

Before we go, I’ll fill a few pages in my travel notebook with handy phrases in all the applicable languages. Beyond that, we speak 5 languages between the two of us, so we’ll figure something out.

  • Anything that we would be devastated to lose.


  • High heels and other formal wear.

We’ll be traveling for two Sundays, so we’ll certainly need Mass clothes, but I don’t want to waste space on single-wear formal stuff. (It probably helps that I’m a really “dressy” person to begin with, there’s nothing I’d be bringing that I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing to a fancy restaurant.)

  • Travelers’ Cheques.

Do these still exist?

  • Books we want to keep.

As an avid reader, one of my favorite parts of traveling is finding new things to read. In order to ensure that we have plenty of space for all the new books we’re going to buy, we’ll only take books, magazines and newspapers that we’re okay with leaving behind in hotels, cafes and trains. I figure that someone will read them.

Leave your rare books at home.

What say you, o-blogging-community-o-mine? Do you think I’m really wrong or entirely right?