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Saturday, June 16, 2012

minimal packing

It's so, so much easier to pack for a trip when your basic wardrobe is small.

I was recently talking about this with my mother, who enjoys the process of laying clothing out on a card table in her bedroom, looking at options, weighing her clothing choices. Although she likes the selecting and reviewing, it's also time-consuming and can be a little stressful (like when you're leaving for a five-week trip in five days).

My packing process for the Trip to France is made easier by three main factors (which is good, because I'm anxious enough about the flight and being separated from Minou and the p'tit minous for the first week without adding to the nerves!)

1) I have relatively few clothing items. (I've never counted them, but may someday).

2) I will be mainly in one area of southern France, where it is likely to be HOT. For the few days when I'm travelling further north, I will be with my mother and can glean from her wardrobe if something warmer is needed (hi Mom!).

3) I'm mostly taking clothes that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have gifted me with over the past years.

Here's what is planned so far:
dresses inherited from M1
interchangeable brown clothing makes four outfits

brown cardigan for airplane & evenings

black below-knee skirt, black t-shirt and two sheer tops for over (blue from M1)

two more summer tops from Mamie & M1

In addition, I will be taking:
  • a bathing suit and pareo wrap
  • a nightgown
  • "intimate apparel"
  • black sandals, brown sandals (both good for walking)
  • light jogging sneakers & quick-dry tshirt, sports bra, shorts
  • toiletries & medications
  • a sketchbook/journal, small camera, and reading material
  • sadly, my laptop. I would be happy to leave this behind (the boys are all amply electrified) but I will be continuing with an online class starting late June
  • a small black bag/purse
  • and of course gifts! I don't want to show those here just in case it would spoil a surprise, but Minou and I had a lot of fun selecting small, light ones that we hope will please.
The only "light" coat that I have is a fairly inappropriate waterproof purple windbreaker, hence the brown cardigan. My other concern is shoes--the black sandals are simple but a little dressy, but the brown ones are Keens--rather technical looking and definately not dressy--p'tit Minou un informed me they were "butt-ugly" (thank you, son--especially since he had to have them four years ago). They look like this:

source: Google images from

I've never packed quite this lightly before and frankly, I'm a little nervous. What do you think--is it enough? Any suggestions from seasoned travellers?

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