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Plan - Pack - Go - Enjoy
The Brellie Way
Benefit from Brellie's complete packing strategy.
She includes tips about baggage restrictions, weather in France, and considers vacation activities.
Finally, Brellie guides you with a MyGoz2 Packing List and her own 12-step packing ritual.
FIND YOUR AIRLINE'S BAGGAGE LIMITS - NUMBER SIZE WEIGHT
Save money, hassles and heartache
Rules are specific to each airline.
Rules for allowable size, weight and number of bags vary frequently.
Ticket class and your travel destination(s) further define these rules.
Verify with your airline's website
Example: Air France website has Our Baggage Tips.
Select your checked baggage to adhere strictly to the limits. Use a tape measure.
Choose your carry-on baggage to adhere strictly to the limits. Use a tape measure.
ALERT. If you have a connection:
Your baggage limits may be determined by an interior flight and NOT the overseas flight.
Why? Often the planes flying internal France/Europe routes are smaller than those crossing an ocean.
Check YOUR airline's website for baggage limits that affect YOU!
Avoid surprise expenses
Airlines may impose baggage fees at the last minute for additional, overweight or oversize items.
Do you really have that much extra cash on hand or ability to pay with your credit card?
Did your budget for this vacation include a surprise baggage fee expense?
Save money, hassle and time. Adhere to their limits.
Spaces are smaller in France
As a practical matter, spaces tend to be smaller in France.
Budget hotels have tiny rooms.
Most vacation rentals have much less space than a U.S. equivalent.
Car trunks can be surprisingly small.
A brief anecdote from Brellie about car trunks
Nearly every year Brellie watches as arriving tourists, especially Americans, wrestle with a dilemma at the car pick-up.
Four friends, usually two couples, reserved a decent-sized sedan that accomodates 5 passengers. They arrive and disembark the free airport shuttle van that brought them to the car pick-up. The kind driver unloads their luggage for them. Jet-lagged but also happy and excited to see France for the first time, the traveling friends start to pack the trunk of their new Peugeot. In go 2 suitcases, whew! Next, a few small carry-on bags get stuffed in around them. Then, uh-oh! What to do with the other 2 suitcases and assorted carry-on items? Do they put them in their laps for the duration of the trip? How far will they be driving? Do they try to tie them on the roof somehow? Brellie always hears them discuss the same few options. Usually, that is when they start to argue and Brellie is on her way because her Momy already has her car packed and ready to go. Brellie has never seen how they resolve their dilemma. She smiles about it and wonders if they will remain 4 traveling friends or become 4 traveling angry people. Meanwhile, just outside Brellie's car window, motorcycles dodge in and out amongst the rush-hour traffic on the Paris Beltway (Peripherique). Those 4 travelers will encounter this traffic if they ever pack their car.
MONITOR THE WEATHER AT YOUR DESTINATION
International weather websites provide high and low temperatures expected at your destination during your stay.
AccuWeather is one that gives current world weather and forecasts.
Beware, France temperature is always reported in Celsius.
For example 25°C is quite comfortable while 25°F is below freezing.
Daytime and nighttime temperatures can vary considerably.
PLAN FOR BOTH YOUR EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Will you be eating in a restaurant for every meal?
Do you intend to picnic?
Do you have tickets for the opera?
Will you be engaging in strenuous activities or sporting events?
Will you be going to the beach?
Will you be walking considerable distances?
LET'S GET PACKING
Less is better. Layers are better. Roll-up compression bags are valuable.
Use the handy, downloadable, MyGoz2 Packing List as a guide for toiletries, first aid, personal hygiene, medicine, practical, kitchen, picnic and extra items.
No printer or you prefer to use it on-line?
No problem. Preview the MyGoz2 Packing List.
Brellie's 12-step ritual for packing
Use the MyGoz2 Packing List.
Clear a large table so that you can line up everything you need all in one place.
Plan for every vacation day plus at least 2 extra days just in case.
Pack the 3-1-1 bag from this collection.
The MyGoz2 Packing List has suggested items for the 3-1-1 bag.
What does 3-1-1 mean?
3 is for 3 ounces or less. Each container must hold 3 ounces or less.
-1- is for 1 quart bag (or 1 liter bag) and is the size of the clear, plastic, zipper-seal bag itself.
-1 is for 1 bag per person.
Pack a carry-on toiletries bag.
Include items that are NOT liquids, gels, pastes or anything prohibited for security reasons.
Comply with the rules for allowable and prohibited carry-on items.
Refer to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration Travel Information for up-to-date information on allowable and prohibited items.
Pack another checked luggage toiletries bag.
This will go inside your checked luggage.
Pack this toiletries bag WITH the liquids, gels, pastes and items that could not go in the carry-on toiletries bag.
Comply with the rules for allowable and prohibited items in checked luggage.
Find them by checking the U.S. Transportation Security Administration Travel Information for up-to-date information on allowable and prohibited items.
Pack your allowable carry-on baggage.
your 3-1-1 bag
the carry-on toiletries bag
one change of underwear
one pair of socks
pajamas, nightshirt or nightgown
one pair of slipper socks
one extra shirt or blouse
hat and sunglasses
Select a warm top layer.
Plan to wear it on the plane.
Wearing it frees space in your carry-on baggage.
It may be a sweater, a sweatshirt, a jacket, a windbreaker or some other warm top layer.
What you select depends upon expected weather at your destination.
If it is too warm to wear it when you depart, plan to tie it around your waist.
Pick ALL of your departure day clothes.
Hang them in a special place.
They will be conveniently ready for you when you dress on departure morning.
Line up your clothes to pack.
Count the days of your trip, including travel days.
Use this number as you select clothes to pack.
Include as appropriate:
Underwear and Socks
Shirts and Blouses
Use the weather report and expected vacation activities to determine the mix of long and short sleeves.
Hint: Washable silk and microfiber dress up and down, pack very small, and wash and dry quickly.
Pants and Dresses and Skirts
Use the weather report and expected vacation activities to determine the mix of long and short.
Beachwear and Active Sport Gear
Do you need a swim suit, cover-up, beach shoes, hiking apparel, workout gear?
Do you need opera clothes or formal wear for a special event?
Wear very comfortable walking shoes and you don't need to pack additional ones.
If you must, add a pair of sandals or slip-ons that dress up and down.
Reduce and Elimate.
Do you really need everything?
Take a good, long look at this collection of clothes and make sure that you really NEED all of them.
Remove the extras, keeping in mind that you have a just in case change in your carry-on bag.
Weigh the extras.
Add the extra items that you might need, for example, for a picnic.
Brellie notes that a lightweight, flat, flexible cutting board is also handy in a hotel room. It works as a cutting board, place mat and plate.
Literally, weigh the extras. Are they worth the extra pounds?
Will they add significant pleasure to your trip?
Will they prevent significant inconvenience during your vacation?
Roll the clothes. Yes, roll them!
They take less space and compress better.
If you are very careful rolling them and avoid creases while doing so, they should arrive virtually wrinkle-free.
If you have compression bags, use them.
Jeans are an exception. If you must take them, wear them; they are heavy and bulky to pack.
Pack the luggage.
Pack your checked baggage with the rolled clothes, toiletries bag for checked luggage, and any extras.
Adjust items as necessary to meet your allowable luggage limits.
Another Brellie hint - you don't need a luggage scale.
Use your own bathroom scale. Weigh yourself, note the amount. Weigh yourself holding your luggage. Note the amount. The difference is the weight of your luggage.