Pack and Play

August 31, 2015

Two flights to Europe in a month –– one to London, one to Rome, plus a weekend in Muskoka –– is forcing me to perfect my packing skills. Jason tends to carry a bag of his own, while I pack myself and the three children into another. Luma’s clothes fold to the size of a wash cloth, and our summer clothes, mostly cotton and rollable, don’t take up much room either. As always, it’s the shoes that pose a challenge, with Iole wanting to bring at least four pairs, and her mother wanting to do the same. We come to a compromise, and pack two pairs each, with one to travel in. If I consider our outfits for the week/weekend ahead, I can even cram us all into a Longchamp. One thing I never do is pack straight into the suitcase. Instead, I make piles on the bed or the floor, and do all my editing there. If I am not absolutely sure about something (that top is tight in Toronto, why would it fit in Tuscany?) I send it back to my cupboard. And here’s the order I pack: shoes first, and washbags –– both packed inside a cloth bag which I use as a laundry bag/diaper bag once we’re away. Accessories come next, then swimwear and underwear in fabric bags. I then pack each child so I can easily access their pile at the other end, and finish with my own things (fold it, roll it) on the top. And while I always travel with my own cosmetics, I’ve had too many sticky explosions to dare to travel with kid’s toothpaste again. So, I tend to pick up a shampoo and sunscreen at a local pharmacy at the other end, and leave it behind when we’re done. Wasteful, but worth it. And I always leave a little room for travelling indulgences. In Italy’s case, I may even bring a spare pliage. Because, how will I resist freshly pressed olive oil, Santa Maria Novella creams and teacups from Ceramiche Toscane the size of la bella luna?

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