Saturday, November 16, 2013

Packing for Japan 2013 Trip- what worked and what didn't


My biggest lesson was that a piece of luggage stacked on top of a rolling-type luggage is a bad idea.
Yeah, you have an all-in-one handle, but you are also adding weight up top where it's not being leveraged so much as just pulling your hand down. Once I started just carrying the top bag over my shoulder, it wasn't so bad, but still awkward going through...
  narrow train gates and....

 narrow Limited Express and Shinkansen train aisles.

With the width of the purple bag or the bag over my shoulder, it wasn't easy to get through the bustle and bottlenecks. I envied the people with the 4-wheel-look-at-me-I-turn-sideways luggage, but apparently some folks are having trouble with more outdoorsy terrain (bricked sidewalks, streets, cobblestones, etc.). 
The Ultimate Luggage Scenario would be paring it down to the one 2-wheel medium-small sized bag (one I can tip and haul up those no-escalator-option-here-pal train station stairs...
which were everywhere. And if you need to go to the other side of the tracks when you realize you need the train that goes north, not south, you now need to haul your luggage up one flight and down another, yay). As long as I don't have another big bag to haul up, the one bag would be much more do-able, especially with two hands on the side handle. Do all the shopping towards the end of the trip if you go to multiple hotels, and bring a carry-on duffle in the main bag for clothes to make more room if need be.
Or: go to the gym and get really strong and step the hell out of the stair-step machine.
Or: stick to 1 hotel.

Dead Weight

As far as what I shouldn't have packed: A) the big jacket. It was only really cold in the few mountain places we went, and I could just supplement my light hoodie with a cozy scarf and gloves and/or hat, and I was good.
B) Sleep sheep: As a fan-sound sleeper, I was satisfied with the bathroom fans and over-your-head A/C.
C) The fleece pajamas. Any place that was that cold had feather comforters if not heaters, so I was just setting myself up for sweat bath city. This wasn't winter, it was Fall.

On the Go

I was glad of my big, light, yellow purse, though.
Easy to fit in wallet, coin purse, Japanese snacks, a ever-needed water bottle, and even my thin hoodie when it got too warm.
Easy to fit inflatable neck pillow, tablet, not-to-dry snacks, and MP3 player for the plane. And a humidifier. Haha, j/k, you have to check the humidifier, which defeats the purpose. Accept your destiny as human jerky.

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