What a Trip We Had – What I Packed, Part 4

What a Trip We Had – London, Part 1

What a Trip We Had – Uxolo Guest House, Johannesburg, Part 2

What a Trip We Had – Touring in Johannesburg, Part 3

What a Trip We Had – What I Packed, Part 4

When you are on a month long trip, planning must take place as to what you are bringing so you don’t overpack.  I’m limited to one suitcase on our trips so I try (operative word – try) to pack smartly.  The challenge on this trip was the variable weather.  It could be cool/cold in Cape Town, cold in the mornings on safari but hot during the afternoon, windy, pleasant, cool and possibly rainy during other times on our trip.  What’s a gal to do?

My first concern was what shoes I would bring. I obviously brought my gym shoes for rugged walking, and warmth but I also wanted to bring some other shoes to appear to be more city like or dressed up if we went out and to change out my gym shoes.  I chose two pairs that I purchased from DSW.com

This first pair is a Clarks Privo Haley Stork Sport Flat shoe that I purchased in black. I felt that I could wear it with my slacks or with a dress.  It was very comfortable and if my feet got cold, I could always wear black socks underneath it.  I believe it is on sale now through Amazon.com

black shoe

The second pair,  Clarks Hare Sport Flat,  are in a taupe tone that would go well with khaki and brown pants.  They are currently sold out at DSW but you might be able to find them or a similar style elsewhere:

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I wanted a pair of blacks pants that wouldn’t wrinkle that could be dressed up or down.  I don’t care for the “slinky” pants that you sometimes see in travel stores.  Since the weather would be unpredictable, I wanted something that had a little structure and wouldn’t be flimsy.  I found these Original Fit Ottoman Knit Bootcut Pants at Travelsmith and I would recommend them.  These pants coordinated well with a grey/white herringbone pair of pants that I brought.  The colorful tops would work well with both of them.

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I also had a pair of medium weight knit pants in a coffee au lait color from Eddie Bauer in the  Travel section on their website.  I did bring a pair of jeans but only wore them a few times – it got hot in the afternoon in the Kruger and I wore shorts then.   The other pair of pants I brought was a grey and white herringbone style pants that could be dressed up or down depending what I wore with it.

I did wear my Smart Wool socks and my feet felt very comfortable.  They are not hot and they are not itchy as you might expect with wool.  I highly recommend them.  They have various weights so find what works best for you.

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I brought two sweaters, a black cardigan and a merino wool pullover.  I also brought a sweater set – short sleeve pullover with the matching cardigan, both in violet.  With a floral scarf I got several outfits out of this combination.  Violet cardigan with short sleeve black jersey under it or violet short sleeve sweater with black cardigan over.  The scarf looked great with both and could dress it up a little.  I could also do black on back or violet on violet.  I was pretty happy with my choice.

I always travel with my Ex Officio travel underwear since they dry overnight and my PacSafe purse with is as pretty close to pickpocket protection as any I have seen.

I had my LL Bean barn coat with my with the flannel lining for those cool times.  I didn’t want to bring a raincoat with me so instead I bought one of those rain slickers that come in a little packet and made out of thin yellow plastic.  I think we got ours at Niagara Falls a few years ago and I just kept it.  At this point, space was a consideration so if I looked geeky, so be it.

Rather than using the travel cubes, I used zip-lock storage bags.  One for undies, another for socks.  I rolled my jersey tops and my knit pants.  I also brought with me my CamelBak for when we would be out for the day and I had multiple things to take with me like my Kindle, snacks, tour books, etc.

camelbak

Speaking of tour books, I really like the Rick Steves series.  I had the good fortune to meet Rick when he and his girlfriend were on the same cruise as we were.  I had seen his shows on PBS as well as borrowing some of his DVDs from the public library but meeting him in person was a real treat.  Since then I tend to read and follow, to a degree, his guidebooks.  Perhaps he is dumbing things down for us but I like knowing which direction I need to walk to find the particular castle that we read about.  We would have found it easy enough at the TI center (Tourist Information) but he saved us some time and steps.  He lists bus numbers, train stops, etc…he makes it quite easy to travel.  Although we do enjoy his guidebooks, we do our own research as well.

There were a few things that I didn’t need to pack because the weather was cool/cold and overcast while we were touring the wineries but who knew.   Each trip is a lesson for us and it does get easier.  Do you find that packing is easy or difficult for you?

 

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