Traveling Light


Delta Moon flies to Italy on Tuesday, and I’m packing light. Last time we were there the travel space was so limited we only got to see our suitcases every third or fourth day. This time I know what’s coming and will be prepared.

The key to traveling light is discipline. Each traveler has to work out his own.

In England a few years ago I talked with a stagehand who had worked with the band A-ha. He said the singer bought sixpacks of socks at Tesco and threw each pair away once he’d worn them. He swore that was cheaper than washing them.

Lee Child’s fictional hero Jack Reacher travels everywhere with nothing but a folding toothbrush. Every couple days he buys new clothes and throws the old ones away. In one book some thugs break into his motel room and trash his toothbrush. Reacher flips and seeks revenge.

The toss-and-replace approach seems wasteful to me, though my plan may be more labor intensive. At home I like to wear natural fibers, but on the road I’m a believer in synthetics and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure-Castile Soap. David Lindley says the reason he wears polyester onstage is that he can wash his clothes in a motel sink with the little shampoo packet. I’ve found you can’t always count on the little shampoo packet. Polynosic rayon looks and feels better than polyester and dries in a few hours with no wrinkles. I’ll pack enough underwear and socks for three days, two cotton T-shirts, two button-down shirts and an extra pair of black jeans. That, along with an iPad, cables, pedals, a journal and some papers, fits in a shoulder bag that will go under an airplane seat. And, oh yeah, swimming trunks.

I’ll let you know how this works out. Anyway, if I have to break down and buy some clothes, where better to go shopping than Italy?

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