Eleven years is a LONG time to reap the joys of Paris. Three days and a wake-up are all that stand between Bernie and me and our eleventh trip. It seems like a fairy tale sometimes but oh so real. How blessed we are!
Now comes the challenge of packing for Paris for almost seven weeks. Tis not an easy task but one that we hopefully have mastered. Here are some packing tips for an extended stay in the City of Light.
-Purchase one of the new lightweight suitcases. Given the 50-pound limit enforced by the airlines, you don’t want to eat up ten to twelve pounds with a heavy suitcase. The lighter ones are 6-7 pounds.
-Place all of your liquid toiletry items like bath wash, shampoo, cosmetics in small plastic, travel bottles easily obtained at Target. Then put them individually in small zip-lock plastic bags and fill them to the brim. The laws of physics are on your side with this process, creating fewer leaks. Who knew? Of course, Bernie did. If the bottles are not full, the extra air combines with the pressurized cabin to force the liquid out, and you can end up with a mess on many fronts. Double bag if you wish for really messy items.
-Place each article of hanging clothes (still on the light-weight hanger) in its own plastic, dry-cleaner bag. Paris apartments are usually shy on hangers so this is a useful tip. There is nothing more frustrating than to get to your apartment and have to go purchase hangers! The plastic creates an air-cushion around your outfits and saves on wrinkles.
-Take your own face cloths and bars of soap for hand-washing. Use your leftovers from previous hotel stays.
-Since we cook frequently, I take a plastic bag of salt, pepper, and all other spices that I like to use in preparing our favorite meals. I only have about six dinners that I prepare in Paris so I know exactly what to take. Spices are tres, tres cher (very, very expensive), and you likely will leave them behind.
-Take a small utility bag filled with items like scotch tape, scissors, a small screwdriver, note pads, pens, paper clips, rubber bands, and little clips for closing up cereal, etc. Also a coffee scoop.
-Don’t forget to take a medicine chest! I have a zippered container full of OTC medicines, a thermometer, bandaids, Ace bandage, and we each get a generic antibiotic from our physicians, just in case. I am amazed at how many of our visitors do not think to bring even an aspirin or an Aleve for their journey.
-Take your cloth grocery bags since you have to pay for them at some of the grocery stores.
-Download all books you want to read on your digital device. Really saves on weight.
-Pack shoes, belts and small purses along with your jewelry in your carry-on. These items are heavy and no one checks the weight of this suitcase. I like to have my jewelry safe by my side!
-Place all other clothing items like scarves, undies, folding tops, etc. in large plastic zip-lock bags so if your suitcase is opened for any reason, everything doesn’t flop out. We’ve all seen this happen at the airport and it can be embarrassing!
So, there you have Linda & Bernie’s best packing tips. Hope this will give you some good insight on how to make a long trip easy and trouble-free from a packing standpoint.
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Linda & Bernie