Saturday, August 23, 2008

Travel light. It’s the only way to go.

Here’s a universal truth about European train travel: No one will help you with your luggage.

The only practical answer is to travel light. It's also the best way to go in this country, too.

On Amtrak's long-distance trains, both the bi-level Superliner sleepers and coaches have a common luggage storage area on the lower level. There are luggage racks above the coach seats that will handle a small suitcase and a carry-on bag, but the roomettes and bedrooms are another matter.

You can bring one small – and I mean small – carry-on bag into your roomette. You can get away with two such bags in one of the Superliner bedrooms. Anything more or bigger than that and you’ll be climbing over your stuff for the whole trip.

I travel with one small carry-on bag and a briefcase-size canvas tote bag. That’s it … and I can be away and on the road for two to three weeks with no problem. The secret – for me, anyway – is shirts. Wrinkle-resistant knit polo shirts are best. I pack one for every day I’ll be gone, plus a couple of extras. And I make sure that every shirt will go with the one pair of slacks and the one pair of jeans I bring.

If you really think things through
and plan carefully, you’ll be amazed
how little you really need to carry with you.

Remember ...
there are only two kinds of travelers:
Those traveling light,
and those who wish they were.

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