Considering the climate and the season of the places I wish to visit, I now have to decide what I need to take, and how much I can comfortably carry (or take upstairs!). Travelling on a budget does not include fancy hotels with lifts to upper floors.
I have friends who travel with a 7 kg backpack. I have no idea how! If I can limit my suitcase to under 20kgs, I’m happy for two reasons. Firstly, I can lift 20kgs without giving myself a hernia, and secondly, some airlines have a 20kg upper limit on checked luggage.
If you wish to lug a 20kg backpack on your back at all times, be my guest, but with advancing years, I prefer a medium-sized four-wheeled suitcase which opens in the middle to reveal two equal sides. This makes accessing your clothes much easier.
I also use separate organizer bags for the same reason. You can buy cheap organizer bags, but it’s best not to skimp on the luggage.
Is my suitcase a friend or an enemy?
Your suitcase can be your best friend or your worst enemy when you’re traveling. Try to buy the lightest case available- I know it doesn’t seem fair but the airline includes the actual weight of your case in their total allowance.
I have just purchased my very own Samsonite Cosmolite Spinner and yes, it’s red! I try to avoid the ubiquitous black and silver cases.
It’s much easier for me to spot a bright red case coming along the baggage conveyer belt but unfortunately, quite a few other travelers have the same idea!
It’s super-light (I can pick it up with just my little finger!) and seems to be extremely maneuverable. I haven’t taken it on a trip yet, but if all the reviews are right, I’ll be laughing!
And here’s the organizer bags I was telling you about. They come in various sizes, and you can pack them in a few different ways. Packing similar items in separate bags works best for me; socks in one, undies in another, skirts in another etc., but you may prefer to pack whole outfits so you only have to take out one bag to go to the showers or bathroom.
Packing tips for baby boomers: Which Carry-on?
In addition to my suitcase, I like to take my Jack Wolfskin Daypack as my carry-on. It has a padded space for my laptop and charger, and plenty of room for a change of clothes, a clear plastic bag of toiletries not larger than 100mls each, my phone and charger, and universal adaptor, and my Lonely Planet – yes, I’m old school, I like the actual book- I can highlight and take notes and bookmark interesting pages with post-its.
Oh, I almost forgot my trusty Thai bag. I’ve taken it on every trip and would never leave home without it. It packs flat to almost nothing but can be filled with all manner of things- groceries or more indulgent purchases like bottles of wine (or water).
It’s made of brightly coloured material, which I usually wear over one shoulder or across my body for more security or heavier loads.
Apart from shopping expeditions, I use it to carry everyday essentials, water (or wine), wallet, passport, an extra jacket and maybe a snack taken from the breakfast buffet?