Plan, Pack, Cruise

St. Andrews Scotland

A view of St. Andrews.

I have written about packing before.

I’m usually pretty good at it.

In fact, Cosmopolitan Magazine interviewed me last week asking for tips on packing for a long ski weekend – from how to pack a suitcase to what to pack. Watch for it in their February edition.

But my upcoming trip has many legs and purposes making it more complicated than a ski weekend. Here’s my itinerary.

October 30 – Fly to London

November 1 – Launch Party for The Traveler’s Handbooks. You’re invited.

November 2 – Take the train to St. Andrew’s, Scotland. It’s a small town with a big history. Sitting on the sea, it has less than 15,000 inhabitants. It is where the game of golf was first played and has the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. It will be a wonderful, peaceful alternative to London for four days.

November 5 – Return to London for five days where I’ll attend the World Travel Market and associated functions. I’ll be speaking there on Wednesday and Thursday.

November 9 – I fly to Nuremberg to spend a couple of days in that city and then get on the River Countess. My first river cruise will take me along the Danube to Vienna!  My thanks for this journey go to Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Premier River Cruises

November 18 – Fly home.

What to pack.

I need business attire, clothes for outdoor walking along the beaches of St. Andrews and elsewhere as well as more dressy attire for the cruise. I need to plan for rain and cold and warm weather. In November, one never knows. To keep the luggage I’m carrying manageable, my clothes are conservative in color and scarves bright. Here’s my list.

  • Black dress pants (I’ll dress up the pants for the cruise so that they’ll work for business attire and dress)
  • Jeans and black casual pants
  • Black sweaters (2), indigo wool sweater, blue cardigan, yoga zip jacket, black camisole, burgundy camisole, dressy black blouse, dressy cream-colored sleeveless. Also one silk long sleeve undershirt.
  • Black velveteen jacket.
  • Rain coat (yellow) and rain pants
  • Light wool jacket – red
  • Dress shoes. Walking shoes
  • Warm scarf. Dressy scarves. A few pairs of earrings.

Yes, there’s a lot of black in this wardrobe but my jackets and scarves brighten things up. This packing list is a combination of my standard approach and suggestions from members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Please scroll down to see all their suggestions.

How to pack a suitcase

  • Lay dress clothes out across the bottom or your suitcase folding them up, over the sides and let the extended pieces dangle until you have packed everything. When you have packed everything else, fold the extended pant legs, dress or shirt arms over the rest of your clothes. This will minimize wrinkling.
  • Fold clothes, don’t roll them. In a traditional suitcase the folding method works best.
  • Fold your pants in three and add them to your suitcase one on top of the other alternating waist and pant leg so that the waists don’t bulk up one side of your suitcase.
  • Fold sweaters and tops and layer them on top of each other, again, alternating bulky sides so that they end as a level surface.
  • Shoes go in shoe compartments. If they won’t fit, place them in a plastic bag before packing and stuff them down the sides.
  • Stuff socks, underwear, silk underwear, hat, gloves, rain coat… into the gaps along the sides.
  • Leave space to pack your toiletries bottles last so that you can place them near the opening of your bag. You’ll need to take these out when going through security at the airport.

I write this to you from the airport with my carry-on beside me and one much larger than usual purse.  I’ll be gone 20 days. We’ll see how I fair.

Packing suggestions from the Solo Travel Society

  • Micheline – Cardigans and pants for Scotland and daytime on the cruise. A dress with a shawl or nice scarf for evening. Comfortable shoes and a pair of dress shoes. Perhaps a jacket that can go over the dress & with the pants.
  • Pamm – I went from the Greenland glaciers to London to Cape Town, Ethiopia and Jordan in a carry-on. (two months) Layers that can worn singly and doing laundry on the ship will make it work. Plus wear as much as you can in transit. :-)
  • Diane – Black for the basics, a couple of colorful scarves to dress up.
  • Flamenkita – Check convertible pants, one of the Patagonia dresses you can use it as a dress and skirt, also, check for reversible tops … Hope it helps ! :)
  • Stephanie -Love this website lots of great ideas! I NEVER check a bag! I was in Africa for 27 days!!!
  • Kathy – Wear the same color — choose navy blue, black. Take slacks, skirt, dress. Dress up with tanks, shirts, blouses and a jacket. I just did 9 days on a carryon and a backpack.
  • Karen – Not for packing, but a suggestion anyway. We and another couple toured Scotland a few years ago. We are not golfers, but I found that we could go play what I think was called the Ladies’ practice greens for a ridiculously low price. It was like playing a very challenging mini-golf. We had a great time and could go home and laughingly tell people we played St. Andrews.
  • Ffion – Send some unneeded clothes back home after using them? Leave a suitcase with a friend? Buy clothes along the way?
  • Annette

    WOW, you can fit 8 sweaters/jackets + everything else in a carry-on? I’m impressed! Maybe you’ll be wearing one, but still… Tell me how please.

  • Partha Mandal

    Nice post and thanks for sharing this useful information and yes manage all the things in a proper manner so you will get all the necessary things at the time you require

  • Angela Gilbert Weber

    Put together each outfit you will need on the trip, complete with accessories, and lay it on the floor. Then pack the things you won’t need soon on the bottom and work up. Put small items like costume jewelry in a small plastic bag. Put all toiletries in another plastic bag. On top place the items that you will need immediately on arrival.