We've traveled around the world
( 26 airports, 13 countries over 12 months one year) with just a small carry-on
piece of luggage each and stayed on our $23/day per person budget to the 45 countries on 5 continents that we have been to so far.
BIG SECRET TO HOW WE TRAVEL CHEAP AND EASY
See this photo of me in Brugge in September 2006 at the beginning of our European part of our world adventure? That is the exact same blouse ( and pants, shoes and socks) as shown in the top photo and one of the two outfits I took on our recent month long trip to China. I had a public speaking engagement in Beijing and confessed this secret to my amused audience.
You will see it ALL though this blog, because it is my "travel uniform" that I always wear on plane trips, to doctors, fancy hotels or restaurants etc. or any time I need to look presentable. The picture below is me wearing it with the three of us having an exquisite dinner at one of the most luxurious hotels on earth in one of the world's most over-the-top extravagant cities, Shanghai.
TRAVEL UNIFORM TIPS
I tend to like to wear natural fabrics and do most of the time. I have on a silk top and cotton shorts as I write this in tropical Penang, but my "travel uniform" is mostly polyester with a little spandex. I bought the pants and top years before leaving the USA in 2006 and they still look almost like new ( despite that rather deceiving first photo). They hand wash and dry quickly which is necessary in fast and slow travel.
I also had a pair of Berkie sandals that I had long before the trip and they are still going strong as my warm weather shoes and slippers. I didn't pay much for most of my travel uniform and got it all on sale, but we do tend to invest in shoes, so paid a good price for expensive quality.
VERSATILITY IS KEY TO TRAVEL WARDROBE
Yep, there is that top again a few years ago in Barcelona and DaVinci has on his "travel uniform" for this fancy dinner with our beautiful Spanish friends.
The black velour top that I wear as my sweatshirt and/or warm dress top happens to be the third one I have bought along the way. The first one flew out the RV window somewhere in Scandinavia when I was using it as a window shade while working my laptop on a long drive day in our campervan.
The second one was cut off me when I broke and paralyzed my arm in Austria. Third time is a charm I guess. I actually use it here in tropical Asia when we go to movies because the air conditioning makes it freezing in the malls and it was very handy in northern China in the winter. Even in hot-climate travel, I have it wrapped around me and often use it on the plane.
PACKING TIPS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
We all have "travel uniforms" that are versatile, easy and usually black. Since we like to pack very light in one carry-on only for each of us, we tend to wear the heaviest things.Our adult, layered travel uniforms have remained the same,( DaVinci is still wearing those exofficial pants that you see here in Paris), but Mozart changes a bit because she grows.
Here you see her basically in the same outfit in Paris and San Francisco. When we were in based in Europe we bought her one good pair of boots every fall, which lasted a year and became part of her uniform.
LESS IS MORE
I've heard some people complain about wearing the same things over time, but it's never bothered me. In fact, I love it because it makes my life easy. In my glamorous twenties and thirties, during my modeling and acting days, I use to be known as quite a fashionista who never wore the same thing twice and it use to take me an hour or more to get ready, instead of the 3 minutes it takes me now. ( This is when I was a VERY heavy packer, but usually had someone else carrying it for me).
I use to try on endless shoes, tops, and accessories getting it just right. Now I see that as a waste of time. Been there, done that, glad those days are gone and all the time and space I wasted in organizing and shopping for it all. Less stuff makes for an easier life. One or two scarves is all I need to accesorize.
TRAVEL LIGHT WITH KIDS
Mozart has more clothes than anyone because they are small. She has fashionista and model leanings, but wears the same things over and over, which is typical of most people who usually wear only 20% of their clothes. Still, she has much less than most kids and yet always looks great and feels abundant.
TRAVEL PACKING TIPS
What is your best packing tip and do you have a travel uniform?