As promised, here are some shots of how I packed my Tom Bihn Aeronaut for my one-month trip to Europe (1 night in Paris, about 25 days in Barcelona, 3 nights in Segovia, 1 night in Madrid). Before you all commend me for doing what seems impossible, let me just say that I’m not following the rules for traveling light as closely as I probably should. Most packing lists for clothes list about 4 bottoms and about 5-8 tops. I have way more, here’s a list of the clothes I’m bringing:
- 2 skirts (I intend to buy another one there)
- 1 dress
- 2 pairs cropped pants
- 1 pair casual pants
- cropped yoga pants
- about 14 tops (!) which includes 2 long-sleeves t-shirts, 2 short-sleeves shirts, 2 polo shirts, 3 t-shirts, 4 sleeveless tops, 1 sweater.
- 1 bikini
- assorted underwear and socks
- 4 pairs of shoes (that breaks all the rules of traveling light) – 1 pair of Teva sandals, 1 pair of sporty Keen hiking sandals, 1 pair flip flops, 1 pair converse shoes
All of that fit very loosely in my Aeronaut. I used two large packing cubes and put all the tops in one and all the bottoms (except bulkier pants) plus underwear in the other. This is how I packed:
You might wonder where cameras, laptop, toiletries and other gizmos have gone. Since I am flying only on Air Canada, I’ve decided to bring a second smaller bag. It’s a Kipling briefcase, which will be very nice to have when I’m at the conference in Segovia. In it I’ll put my little 12″ Powerbook (the bag has a special computer sleeve), my Canon Powershot A650 with assorted cables and battery charger, small toiletry bag, and a couple of folders with papers I need for the conference. My travel hair dryer will go in Alan’s bag. I’ll take a picture of his system tomorrow. So, in short, I’m bringing way too many clothes and shoes while still keeping within the carry-on limits. There will be plenty of room in Alan’s suitcase for us to bring a few gifts to friends as well as for whatever we wish to bring back. But since we don’t have much money at the moment, not having room to bring stuff back is actually a good thing…
We are now in Barcelona after our one day and one night in Paris. I have to say I am very happy with my new Aeronaut. Although it looks slightly bigger than our usual carry-on suitcase with wheels, we weighed both bags at the airport (Alan still used our old system for this trip) and my Aeronaut was exactly 10 kg (22 lb) – I told you I’m bringing too many clothes! – while Alan’s was more like 12-13kg. I know his bag doesn’t technically pass the weight limit for carry-on bags, but never, in all our years traveling on Air Canada, we have seen them weigh carry-on bags. Since we check-in at the electronic kiosks, we only see the agents at the gate. But it can definitely happen on internal European flights, so be prepared for that. We have opted for the trains for our trips within Europe, so not much worry there.
I found the Aeronaut, even at 10 kg, very easy to carry on my back and it made navigating the ups and downs of the Parisian subway system a breeze. Alan grumbled every time he had to stop and pick up his suitcase to carry it up and down. He said he’ll be switching too after this trip.