How much is too much and how to choose what to leave behind? The tried and tested rule of twice as much money and half as much luggage as you think you will need is always a good rule of thumb but does nothing to actually assist with choosing what to pack and what to leave behind.
Choice of clothing ….. for warmer climates.
It is only the past 4 or 5 years that I have used ‘specialized’ travel clothing, ie. synthetic clothes that are very hand washable and dry quickly without needing ironing. I spent 3 days traveling between Saigon and Phnom Penh with no opportunity to have anything washed and ended up wearing the same pants and shirt for the whole trip.
The pants were Columbia Omnidry and the shirt was a long sleeve one from Kathmandu, the type that has buttons to keep the sleeves up and has an odour proof treatment that really does work. Arriving in Phnom Penh I washed them both in a hand basin using cold water and shampoo at about 2100 hrs. By 0303 they were both dry and ready to wear without any ironing.
The magic words I now look for are – nylon, polyester, tactile or other non cotton fabrics. The other key words are – hand wash, do not tumble dry and cool iron if required. The new high tech synthetics are great with moisture transfer abilities etc, etc. Many feel and look like cotton but just wear and launder so much better.
This type of clothing costs more, sometimes a lot more, but it weighs considerably less, takes up less space and can be laundered quickly and easily when on the move. I am not the type to spend money on a whim but I would not hesitate to pay the extra for brands like Columbia, Vigilante or North Face.
Choose colours and combinations to allow the maximum number of matching pairs (pants and tops) from as few clothing items as possible. A fashion parade in front of a mirror takes time and can feel a bit silly but is worth it in the end.