The Mystery of the Vanishing Clothes

It was a dark and rainy night when our two travelers land in Budapest. Their flight had been delayed out of Charles De Gaul (nothing new there), the luggage missed the connecting  flight (it was off stalking conveyor belts) and hunger was gnawing unmercifully at their tummies (that bad airplane food suddenly seemed doable).

Sometime past the witching hour, the disheveled travelers reach their hotel.  All she wants is a Diet Coke and a hot bath. Ah, to her disappointment, she will have neither.  Giving up on any civilized accouterments, the travelers collapse into bed and sleep until the morning sun pushes open their eyelids. Time to explore!

They walk and look and do and shop. Ah, they shop. OK. She shops; he pays. She makes calculated purchases. He gives her that disgusted “not more stuff” look. He knows the luggage is of the extra small variety and will never accommodate more stuff.  But, our lady traveler is unmoved because she knows the secret of the vanishing clothes.

Flashback to packing day:  We see her bag splayed open on the bed. She carefully selects each gently worn item.  She folds a pair of khakis, pressed but definitely past its prime. Next, a faded black t-shirt is snuggled against the inside suitcase rail. A jacket with some fraying around the collar is zipped and pressed into place.

A pair of shoes is resting at the edge of the bed. In contrast to the clothes, they appear almost new. No scuffs or scrapes and plenty of tread on the soles.

She knows the secret:
•    Good shoes are critical
•    Clothes are disposable

Flash-forward to our travelers in Budapest: Our lady traveler is exploring this new territory. Maybe she will find a great top or the perfect pair of pants. With each discovery, she will retire an item.  The old will be recycled. Let’s call this…progressive attrition. Thus, the bulk in the suitcase never changes.

The rule is simple:  Something IN requires something OUT.

Smart gals know the joys of vanishing clothes:

•    Don’t buy new before the trip
•    Pack the old
•    Discover a new treasure in a new place
•    Buy
•    Recycle the old

Now you know who dunnit in the Mystery of the Vanishing Clothes.  It’s you!  Go Gals!


Filed under Travel: managing luggage, Uncategorized

6 responses to “The Mystery of the Vanishing Clothes

  1. bjp

    What a terrific idea! 😀

  2. John Bradford

    While men usually do not spend a lot of time shopping, the idea may be worthy for the guys. We find the small tool, knife or pair of gloves that seem to be just right. With a sacraficial garment the return flight will carry that creative beer opener back to the states.

    • Even though men are usually not the big shoppers (I’ve known a few who can out match me!) make it easy for your significant other to spoil you a little with something special. Be ready to discard a garment to make room in the case.
      Thanks for giving us the perspective from the other side of the coin.
      Please visit again soon.

  3. Mary Frances

    Stupid me! I have always bought new-to-go! I always had to have my “best” for the trip each time…….I had to look like “the prettiest one and the best groomed one on the trip–perfecto!
    Thank you for these tips to make my trip a perfect on–now I can “pack and go” and enjoy the trip, rather than making it more costly and less comfortable. A trip should be a learning and pleasant one, rather than a fashion “contest”! And. when I return, I can bring back some of the experiences to my friends and family

  4. Plus, every time you wear that special garment or catch a glimpse of that treasured item, all those wonderful memories flood back. You relive the trip.

  5. Smart tips. This is definitely the way to go. Until the FAA regs changed about liquids and cosmetics, I never checked a bag. A deft traveler needs to be able to hit the ground running. That your luggage doesn’t get lost is an added bonus.

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