"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The India Journals, Ch. 2, Preparing for Lift-off

Ch. 2   Preparing for Lift-off

"When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money.  Then take half the clothes and twice the money."  - Susan Heller

I posted a note on Facebook bragging about my luggage weighing only 24 lbs., and that includes the 8 lb. weight of the carry-on-sized suitcase itself for my upcoming four-week trip to India.  I not only impressed a bunch of friends, but I impressed myself as well.   This is the lightest I have ever traveled and I’m still taking too much.

There will be two interior flights in India, to and from New Delhi and Kolkata, with a checked bag limit of 33 lbs., thus the necessity of traveling light.  These two flights are at the first part of the trip, so expanding my suitcase after that doesn’t matter.

The toys—cameras, laptop, and their accoutrements, along with other stuff I’ll need/want on the airplanes—will go in the day pack that I take on the airplane, or I will put them in my special vest-of-many-pockets.   That vest is handy; it prevents over-weight baggage when need be.

Patty T suggested on Facebook that I reveal my packing secrets, so they are as follows.  I thought that was a good idea and decided to post it here on my blog.   If a bag goes missing, or something in that bag, I will have ready access to what it was.

I dress casual and for comfort, but I will be spending seven days on a brand new fancy riverboat that encourages somewhat dressy wear for dinner.

In the suitcase:

6 Tee shirts, including my Seattle Seahawks shirt to wear on game days.
4 Pants, two casual hiking/convertible, two a bit more dressy
4 SPF long-sleeved shirts to wear unbuttoned over tees
2 Tops, long-sleeved, somewhat dressy to wear over misc. tees in various combinations
2 Blouses
6 Pair sox, all black
1 Pair sox, white
6 Panties whose wearing life can be extended with panty liners
1 Pair sneakers
1 Umbrella that’s been all over the world with me and never yet used
1 Clothes hanger for drip drying laundry
1 Pkg. wet wipes
1 Bra, extra
1 water-resistant windbreaker
1 Bra
1 Pair of $5 white cotton pants I bought in Auckland, NZ, for lounging in my room.
1 Large envelope for collecting receipts, brochures, etc.
1 Bag lamb's wool and paper tape for complaining feet 
Misc. toiletries, and extra plastic bags
Purple shoulder bag for day trips.   It comes from the Lavender Farm on Maui.

Folded or rolled and packed in Zip-locs

Sneakers full of panties, sox, umbrella, and some York mints

Lambs wool and paper tape, dental stuff and name tag

In the backpack:

Surface Pro tablet, charger, USB mouse
Kindle and charger
Envelope with flight and hotel info and maps of terminals
Envelope with misc. info
Passport, vaccination record, etc.
Camera (another goes in my pocket) wrapped in a tee for sleeping
Toiletry bag with a hook for hanging in bathrooms
Small toiletry bag for use on airplane
Cases for glasses
Meds, including malarial and intestinal tumult pacifier
Neck pillow
Goodie bag
Cell phone
Travel clock
Electrical adapter for India
Journal and mini-notebook
Extra Zip-loc bags

The tech bag:

4 2 GB SD cards, plus each camera has a new one
4 4 GB SD cards (just in case) I shoot over 5000 photos on each trip
4 extra camera batteries and charger, and connecting cord
4 AA batteries for larger camera
Surge protector
Sharpie, pen, pencil
Cell phone charger
Lens cleaning kit
2 USB thumb drives
SD card reader

I still have to decide if I will wear a pair of jeans or a pair of the hiking pants with zipped pockets.   I will wear a long-sleeved tee, one of the SPF shirts, my vest-of-many-pockets, a lightweight jacket, and a pair of slip-on shoes.

This was a good idea, Patty T.   Now if something gets lost, I’ll have a readily available list of what was in the bag.

This afternoon I folded/rolled all the clothing on the dining room table, close to Pablo’s cage.  Then I got really brave and brought down the suitcase and packed it—right in front of him!  He hasn’t caught on yet that I’m leaving, so he and I are still besties.

Usually, to save my skin from multiple punctures, I use my spare bedroom for packing central, hiding everything until the last moment.   It tends to keep peace in the house.

About that silver suitcase with the blaze-orange duct tape stripes.   I bought it at Costco and expected there would be many silver suitcases showing up on luggage carousels.   I thought about a bright luggage strap, but they tend to come off.   Duct tape it was!   Easily identifiable, easily spotter on a carousel, and one other benefit:

Years ago when people bought new skis, they would spray them with paint and make them too ugly for people to steal.   Same idea.  Would you steal a suitcase that looked like that? 

Packed, ready to go.  NOW I’m getting excited!


  1. Have a fun and safe trip. I'm looking forward to the stories. Bud.

  2. You've put a lot of thought into your packing. I can't think of a thing you might need that you haven't included in your lists. It's not an easy task to remember every single little thing when you're planning to document your trip with photography and FB and blog posts.

    Best wishes to you, Gully. Take good care of yourself.


  3. GOOGNESS AM I IMPRESSED .. I have never heard of a 33 pound limit for baggage .. usually it is 20 Kilos .. I think something is lost in the translation .. 33 U.S. pounds .. ummmm. AMAZING what you packed. I take very few clothes and MANY personal health items that I cannot get in India as a for instance. AMAZING WHAT YOU PACKED and it weighed less than 33 pounds .. Smiles .. Cap ..

  4. Haven't had the itch to travel in quite some time, but something about the anticipatory excitement you brought to the packing project makes me want to head for the luggage closet. Was that an old blue Crown Royal drawstring bag I spotted? They make fantastic soft bags for all sorts of packables. Cool post and good reference for your next adventure.