Posted August 8, 2013 in Adventure Journals by Jim Markel
Former Red Oxx Public Relations intern Kat Healy learned the hard way why traveling with wheeled luggage perhaps isn’t the best idea. She shares with us her experience in packing clothes for a month-long adventure — what to take and what to leave behind.
Since I worked for a luggage company known for one-bag travel, it’s a bit embarrassing when I fill an entire car for a weekend trip. Thirteen outfits for two days/three nights, four pairs of shoes, a light coat, a heavy coat, a medium-weight coat, two bathing suits… overkill, I know (even for Montana).
So as I started packing for my month-long adventure, I was determined to take only a Sky Train and a CPA.
It just didn’t happen. It could have, but it didn’t.
To the dismay of my longtime neighbor (and Red Oxx CEO) Jim, and the most efficient packer in the domestic United States, his wife Amanda, — I took a wheeled suitcase. I rationalized my decision by blaming my itinerary: quick three-day stop in Minneapolis, Christmas in Chicago, New Year’s in New York, and part of January in Israel.
It meant packing for a sludgy New York City winter, arctic wind in Chicago, and anything from sun to rain in Israel. (As it turned out, Israel had the craziest weather it’s had in 20 years. Torrential rains flooded parts of Tel Aviv. It snowed in Jerusalem. Waves hit 23 feet in the Mediterranean Sea and sandstorms cut short our camel ride in the Negev Desert).
I decided I would check a suitcase and take my Rock Hopper with camera gear as my personal item.
As soon as I landed, I cursed myself for bringing wheeled luggage. Dragging my new suitcase through the snow in Minneapolis, I felt like a travel rookie. Worse, I needed help getting it up the outside stairs to my friend’s apartment, and then help bringing it downstairs to where I was staying.
As I struggled to get my luggage to my next stop, a friends’ third floor apartment in Chicago, I cringed at the thought of hitting the uncarpeted stairs. Navigating the &aposL&apos train in Chicago had been terrible, but at least there was an occasional urine-soaked elevator.
It wasn’t until I attempted to pull my rolling suitcase up a long cobblestone road (the narrow streets in Jerusalem made it impossible to drop us off near the hotel) I vowed never to travel with wheels. (Note: I have the utmost respect for my choice of wheeled bag. I was incredibly impressed with it sustaining only one minor injury—a lost screw on the outside shell—during my entire month of abuse.)
A few things I learned (the hard way) while traveling:
I have come up with an easy way to pack for my next vacation:
Pull out everything in your laundry basket from the last week. Wash and pack it.
We loved Kat’s story, finding it to be quite amusing and very helpful. We look forward to Kat filling us in on the juicy details of her stay in Chicago, New York and of course, Israel. ~ Jim