Leslie Pitt Schneider loves to travel and does it frequently for work and for pleasure. Her trips have taken her all over the globe and we asked her to share her top 5 tips with our Momentum readers.
Confucius said: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart”. Adding to that, I’d say: Wherever you go, go with an open mind and an under-packed suitcase
My love of travel started when I was a 16 year-old exchange student to Norway but my appreciation of un-packing before leaving on trips only started in the last few years. What years of traveling, especially internationally, has taught me is that most parts of the world are not “handicapped accessible” . It’s rare to find ramps or elevators. And it’s not uncommon to find multi-flight stairways at entrances of hotels and other establishments.
And after lugging a 50-pound plus suitcase, packed for two weeks abroad, up three flights of stairs to a Four-Star Florentine hotel, I vowed to never leave home with a suitcase, brimming with “just-in-case” items. Gone are the days of having a clean outfit for each day or having an extra three (or six) shirts, “just in case” I want to change between a day of sight-seeing and dinner. Very rarely have I ever changed before dinner because (a) an early dinner is usually the last stop of my daily sight-seeing activities; and (b) I am usually too exhausted from all-day pavement-pounding excursions to even go back to the hotel, let alone shower and go out again.
So, what do I pack?
1. Things that I cannot buy anywhere, other than my prosthetist’s office: extra C-Leg chargers with appropriate electrical outlet adapters; extra prosthetic supplies, from stump socks to silicone pads to duct tape (yes, duct tape does fix anything).
2. Wash & Wear clothing. No, not the polyester laden travel pants you see in an Orvis catalog or the nylon tear-away pants. Instead, it’s au natural for me, all the way. Cotton. Wool. Linen. Denim. With travel-sized containers of laundry soap, things can be easily hand-washed with amazingly freshly-laundered results. Also, most cities have laundry mats, with European ones being amongst some of the most cleanly in the world.
3. Mix & Match Clothing. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Garanimals-era but I love to bring a few basics that can be mixed in a variety of ways. What this usually includes is black pants, or leggings; a black skirt; white shirts (long sleeve with collar and long-sleeve t-shirt); grey, beige or black cardigan long-sweater; grey, beige, or black v-neck t-shirt or sweater (cashmere if traveling during the colder months); half as many pairs of bras, underwear and socks as the days I’ll be gone); a good leather belt; a brightly colored pashmina; a pair of well-worn boots and a pair of well-worn flats.
4. Toiletries. All travel-sized containers of my usual products with extra pairs of contact lenses and glasses (two things that being without would leave me virtually sightless).
5. An umbrella, a light-weather coat, hat, gloves, and an extra tote bag (packed in the outside pocket of my suitcase).
Despite my experience, I do still over-pack when I leave packing to the last-minute but when I start packing several days before departure, I am able to pare down the “just in case” items, leaving extra room for souveniers to bring home.
And with that, I wish you bon voyage!
For more of Leslie’s life adventures follow her blog at http://onelifeonelimb.com/
To learn more about Leslie’s story, watch ‘Limitless‘, an Ottobock flim.