How to Pack for Space-A Adventures – an encore presentation! Many times, it is hard to decide what to bring and what not to bring and of course, is dependent on where you are going. If you are traveling overseas, there are many factors to consider including comfort, safety and mobility when you are potentially traveling to many different countries as opposed to flying to an opposite coast to stay with friends or family.
Regardless of your trip, seasoned travel veterans Marv and Carol Feldman shared an article some years back on what they recommend for packing. Hope you enjoy the encore presentation!
How to Pack for Space-A Adventures – Encore Presentation!
Marvin and I (frequent travelers!) are often asked by many R&R Travel News® readers, and also by others, “If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know what to pack?” A good question, especially with the random nature of Space-A travel which can easily take you to places other than your chosen destination.
Carole Feldman packing for a Space-A Adventure. Photo provided by Carole Feldman.
WHAT WE DO NOT PACK OR WEAR
Jewelry – We wear NO jewelry at all – costume or otherwise – not even our wedding rings. Even understated, cheap-costume jewelry may make one a target.
Expensive clothing, shoes and bags – We believe that everything in our suitcase is pilferable so we never pack any expensive clothes, handbags or shoes.
Clothing with “political” statements – The important thing is to be low key, blend in with locals as much as possible, and don’t draw attention to ourselves (we never wear clothing with “USA” or anything identifying us as American).
Jeans – While most people favor jeans as being comfortable, it is virtually impossible to launder them easily, especially if one is washing in a hotel room sink and hanging clothes to dry in the bathroom or balcony.
Excess stuff – Don’t bring several pairs of shoes or bags which may match every outfit. Some military aircraft have very small weight limits!
Below is all you will need.
WHAT WE DO PACK OR WEAR
Warm jacket, hat, scarf, gloves in carry-on – We ALWAYS travel with a warm jacket (packable/crushable in our backpacks), even if we think we will go to a tropical place (e.g., Hawaii), as we never know about re-routed flights. (Once we unexpectedly transited Alaska – we had no problem but a young woman with a baby – both in light clothes – were freezing.) A hat/beanie, scarf and gloves are good to have available on planes – sometimes it is very cold on military planes.
What Carole brings – While I wear comfortable, loose pants and tops on flights, I bring lots of leggings – easy to pack and OK in hot or cold climates. Usually a couple of lightweight tee shirts, a nicer top (all drip dry), one warm but lightweight long sleeve top, a lightweight skirt, and a scarf to dress up a top (or cover my head if we go somewhere where we must be “modestly” attired). All tops are on wire hangers so I can hang them up immediately in our room (sometimes there are no hangers in the wardrobes!). I bring a pair of longer shorts and a bathing suit, too. We wear “tennis shoes” most of the time but I also carry rubber flip-flops (to wear in showers or on a beach), a pair of sandals and a pair of “dressy” flats. All must fit into the suitcase. Most of our clothes are the same on all trips and we assume laundry will be a challenge so it is all washable in the room, if necessary. A laundry (as they have on military bases) is a luxury which we use if we are staying on a base.
What Marvin brings – Several pairs of lightweight cargo pants (easily washable and quick drying), three short sleeve shirts with collars, a couple of polo shirts, and a long sleeve, warmer (but lightweight) top – all on wire hangers. He also brings a bathing suit and a couple of pairs of lightweight shorts. He wears tennis shoes, packs a pair of rubber flip-flops and, if there is space in the suitcase, a casual pair of shoes.
Umbrella, camera, tablet (with Wi-Fi capabilities) – A small, foldable umbrella is essential. We have an inexpensive camera and small tablet for Internet access. Our tablet also has Skype loaded onto the system for easy and inexpensive telephone calls.
Laundry supplies – Wash sheets (a combination of detergent and softener) are great when we wash in laundry machines. For washing in hotel sinks, we just use shampoo and soap. Stretchable clotheslines, a plastic bag of small clothespins and some inflatable hangers for drying are part of our “laundry bag.”
Copies of important documents – We take passports, in case of unexpected international Space-A opportunities and also carry multiple copies of the “name page” of our passport. We bring Space-A signup sheets and other important information, placing these into each of our bags/backpacks.
We never travel without a hard copy of Military Living’s® Military Space-A Air Travel Guide™ – worth its weight in gold!
All of this fits into one suitcase each (which we carefully weigh before leaving home) so it complies with most airline and AMC weight limits.
Carole Feldman Jacksonville, Florida firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprint from May–June 2016 • Volume 46, No. 3 – How to Pack for Space-A Adventures