In a couple of months of my sister will be leaving the country for the first time. I'm excited for her and nervous for everyone else she comes in contact with. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister but she can say and do things that make me squirm.
My sister is a funny one. She loves to travel but won't go hardly anywhere without a companion. She will drive hundreds of miles to visit our mother or go to Hot August Nights vintage car shows in Nevada, but would never consider getting on a plane by herself even for a weekend in Vancouver, BC.
Since her divorce I think she would be perfect for solo travel clubs and excursions for lone female travelers. She could be the next Travel Betty! She is funny and personable, people love her down-home style. Our nieces laugh at her jokes.
My thinking is that her inability to pack or have the right travel gear is keeping her stuck on the ground. Something us regular travelers take for granted, a good basic suitcase and a simple packing list based on where you are going and how long you are away are both new concepts for her to really put some energy into.
Since I love her, I will do my best to help her, to teach her the ABC's of packing and give her simple travel tips to help her first experience in Europe be so good she wants to go back -- and because: (A) She will love seeing the sights (B) She will take pictures of everything, including her food (C) She will forget that she is in another country that might not speak English, but that won't stop her from looking at them as if they are crazy. Selfishly that means the family will have a goldmine of funny things to talk about at Thanksgiving and Christmas for years to come!
Here is what I will suggest to her:
- 22” suitcase – because she can stuff the hell out of it on her way back and probably not go over her weight limit.
- Zipper Tote – to carry on the plane for her magazines, snacks and neck pillow. Maybe a Sherpani...
- Three pairs of pants – because that is her style, no sense changing it now
- T-Shirts - long and short sleeves, maybe two of each
- Windbreaker/Jacket - medium weight because she doesn't get that cold
- Two pairs of shoes - so she can alternate and air them out after walking a lot
- Underwear - enough for half the number of days on her trip since they will have a washer and dryer in London
- Favorite toiletries