Shop Tom Bihn
1-800-729-9607
emailus@tombihn.com
Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 41
Like Tree61Likes

Thread: Back from Italy

  1. #1
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    La Mesa (San Diego), California
    Posts
    242

    Back from Italy

    So.....Italy was better than I ever dreamed it could be!!

    I learned a lot about what works for me as a traveler and what doesn't! I have discovered that I do not like one-bag travel....and you know what? That's okay!! It's not like I failed a test!!

    My beloved Aeronaut is going to a new home to be loved and to continue with new travels and adventures. A WF will be joining me on my travel adventures going forth, as well as a 25" or 29" rolling bag to be checked. After three hours of trying to get through the airport lines in Milan for the return trip home, the Aeronaut was just too much for my back.

    My Ristretto for iPad was perfect as a personal item on board, however. It was just exactly the right size to hold my iPads (regular and mini), iPhone, Bluetooth headphones, RFID blocking pouch with passport, 2 mini OPS (one with euros, the other with 2nd ID and credit cards), side effect, 3D organizer cube with cables, plugs, adaptors, Side Effect with my sunglasses inside, medicines in small OP, and a small yarn stuff sack with my current sock knitting project.

    The superstar of the trip, however!?!? My Side Effect. I never left the hotel room without it! Once we were in our room(s) I transferred the mini OPs (with money and credit cards) into the Side Effect, kept my glasses case (to keep either prescription sunglasses or regular prescription glasses in), copy of passport, flushable wipes, iPhone, a drink "koozie" (to keep drinks cold since they don't serve over ice in Italy), and a small, lightweight umbrella (used for shade as well as rain). I wore the SE cross body for security. The weather was in the 90s, so no need for jacket or sweater. If I had needed to carry one, I would probably have used my Ristretto as my EDC instead.

    Whenever and wherever I travel, I keep a small journal to note what items I brought that worked, what items didn't work out, and what I wished I had brought. So....if anyone is going to Italy in the summer, here are just a few of my notes:

    1. Bring a visor, not a hat. Too warm on the head wearing a hat, even if for sun protection.
    2. Patagonia travel dresses are super for breathability and they DO NOT WRINKLE. Little black dress can take you from day tours to evening formal meal.
    3. Diuretic if you have a lot of difficulties with edema. Boy did I ever get edema. After three days without relief, I found a Farmacia. They didn't speak English, but I was able to communicate Edema. After one Diuretics, I was in the restroom 4 times in one hour!
    4. Speaking of restrooms, bring travel packets of flushable wipes. Can be used for toilet paper as well as cleaning hands.
    5. Again, while we are on the subject of restrooms, a candle and matches would have been great to have along. Not to get into too much icky detail, but NONE of the hotel bathrooms ever had fans.
    6. A couple first aid ice compresses (the ones wear you crack and shake and then they get cold). The first time I asked for ice, I got 3 cubes in a paper napkin. When I was finally able to communicate that I needed ice for an injury, they brought about 1-1/2 cups of ice....this time in an unfolded paper napkin.
    7. I should also have brought a couple of the small travel Shout stain remover packets.
    8. The small travel sized bottle of Downey Wrinkle Releaser was invaluable in freshening up and un-wrinkling the few creases that our clothing did manage to get.
    9. Small battery night light to help you find your way to the restroom in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar room so you don't have to turn on the bedside lamp or use a flashlight that may wake your spouse or partner.
    10. Argan oil is the absolute BEST to manage dry hair. A little goes a long way. BUT, it cannot be stored in a GoToob! I rinsed out an empty bottle from my eye drops. The size was perfect and it really controlled how much to use (because a VERY little really does go a long way!)
    11. Light shoulder shawl, for going into churches.
    12. A CAT5 or CAT6 network cable! Wifi was spotty at best. Some hotels only offer it in the main lobby. Some only allow one hour of free wifi. But all had the cable outlets...you just needed the cable to get "wired in."
    13. Take 1 tour every OTHER day. Hubby and I tried to squeeze in 2-3 tours every day. We got to see a lot, but it was so much pressure to be at a certain place at a certain time. We actually enjoyed ourselves the most when we skipped the tours to Murano and Burano and just spent the day exploring Venice on our own. We spent hours people watching at Saint Marks square in Venice. It was one of the best days of our trip!
    13. Compression socks - yeah, they're pretty fugly, but so were my rhino feet when we landed after 15 hours of traveling!
    14. A "koozie" to keep you drinks cold! Beverages are served chilled, but no ice! If you want to take your time sipping a cool drink, you'll need a "koozie" to keep it cool. I did get one drink with some ice, but only 2 ice cubes!
    15. I almost forgot about the other SUPERSTAR TB item! The travel trays! Never leave home without them!!!

    If anyone else has tips for Italy or Europe travel, please add to my list!!!


    See my happy Side Effect at Saint Marks!?!?

    Name:  image.jpg
Views: 778
Size:  557.3 KB

    And my poor rhinoceros feet three days AFTER landing in Rome!

    Name:  image.jpg
Views: 785
Size:  889.5 KB
    Last edited by Melissa; 07-30-2014 at 07:31 PM.
    Seeking Cardinal Co-Pilot!

  2. #2
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Puget Sound region
    Posts
    896
    Great review of what worked and didn't work for you. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about why multiple bags work better for you (I prefer this also.). Glad you had so much fun. Murano and Burano were not worth the time on a hot boat ride, IMHO. You made the right decision to skip that tour.

    When we visited Venice some years ago, the jazz orchestra was playing at night right behind where you're sitting. We were just hanging out, sipping drinks, and my husband decided to chat with the standup base player when the musicians were on break. The next thing I know, Mr. Monkeylady is sitting in and playing base! It's one of the things that can happen with slow travel.
    Melissa and haraya like this.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  3. #3
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    684
    Great tips! Patagonia dresses, argan oil... a lot of helpful ideas! Thank you for sharing them.
    I agree that the Aeronaut can get really heavy on one's back. I am hoping the A30 will be an improvement. But sometimes it is worth it to check something; really depends on the circumstances.
    Melissa likes this.
    ----
    Please bring back the Portable Culture patch!

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    159
    Nice review of what worked and what didn't Melissa! I'm one of those people who had to travel with compression socks as well - I've had a DVT (blood clot) and have a couple underlying risk factors that put me at risk for another one. I do recommend drinking lots of water on the plane, doing in-seat foot/leg exercises and getting up regualrly and walking around. I actually have to get a prescription anti-coagulant to inject for long flights, but more OTC remedies include taking a baby aspirin (if you can) to decrease the risk of blood clots and horse chestnut supposedly helps with circulation. There are a couple companies that make compression socks that look like normal socks.
    Melissa likes this.

  5. #5
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Calgary AB
    Posts
    328
    I find that rehydration salt tablets ( nuun) really help with edema in hot weather. One a day does the trick for me.

  6. #6
    Registered User cucciasv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Garnet Valley, PA
    Posts
    127

    Since you asked about travel to Italy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
    If anyone else has tips for Italy or Europe travel, please add to my list!!!
    Thanks for the wonderful tips when traveling to Italy... lots of great info there!

    Since you asked ... and, if anyone is interested, I wrote a big article called, "How Not to Embarrass Yourself and Annoy Everyone Else When Visiting Italy." It's been very well received, and our Tom Bihn readers may like it at well.

    It's to long of an article to paste or attach here, so I provide you with a link to my article. I hope you like it... and please, pardon the humor!


    Someone please help me!
    I have BAS (Bihn Acquisition Syndrome)!!


  7. #7
    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    405
    One tip I can give being in Italy is..dont down the first glass of water they give you before a meal...its there so you can wash your hands. :D

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    147
    Fantastic tips! I can't wait to go back to Italy!!!

    << 9. Small battery night light to help you find your way to the restroom in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar room so you don't have to turn on the bedside lamp or use a flashlight that may wake your spouse or partner. >>

    Re: the above, I have a foursevens mini ma flashlight, it has a really low mode, perfect for what you describe. But it also gets super bright. Always good to have a flashlight when traveling. (Other brands make comparable I'm sure, but I'm hooked on foursevens lights.)

    On our trips to Europe, we learned to take your #13 even farther -- every other day, do mostly nothing. No plans, maybe pick one "must see," and just go wherever the rest of the time. It takes a lot of pressure off, and you sort of feel what it's like to live there.

    Or maybe what it's like to live there as an unemployed person there, who inexplicably has money to pay for a hotel room. :-)

  9. #9
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    La Mesa (San Diego), California
    Posts
    242
    Quote Originally Posted by cucciasv View Post
    Since you asked ... and, if anyone is interested, I wrote a big article called, "How Not to Embarrass Yourself and Annoy Everyone Else When Visiting Italy." It's been very well received, and our Tom Bihn readers may like it at well.

    It's to long of an article to paste or attach here, so I provide you with a link to my article. I hope you like it... and please, pardon the humor!


    Someone please help me!
    I have BAS (Bihn Acquisition Syndrome)!!

    Love the article! For the most part, it was exactly as my experience was in Italy.

    I did my due diligence to make sure I wouldn't come across as the "ugly American;" but I was still shocked when a waiter refused to bring me a cafe. We were at an upper scale restaurant, and I knew that Italians take their cafés AFTER the meal. I had an appetizer and first course; I was full, and I was finished with my meal. I asked for un cafe (espresso) and was very brusquely told "No! no cafe!" After the rest of the of the party I was dining with had finished their third and fourth courses (I did not order as it was just too much food) I was again told "No." I had to wait until the rest of the entire party (8 of us) had finished all 4 courses and then finished their desserts before he would bring out cafe (espresso). I also noticed that the waiters tended to start with the men when taking orders rather than the women (as here in America). HOWEVER, I came from a VERY old fashion traditional Italian family. For family dinners, the men are served their meals before the women seat and eat, so the servers asking the men at the tables for their orders first didn't catch me by surprise as much as it did with some of the other ladies in our group.

    Also, I should mention, if you see a plate or bowl by the cash register at a bar, gelateria, pizzaria (sp.), pasticceria, etc, that is where you place your money and receive your change, rather than directly handing it to the cashier. I didn't see them at all places that we ate, but many of the places we stopped to eat did have them.

    The dress in Rome, Florence and (especially) Venice, was actually a lot more casual than I expected. Jeans (nice jeans, not faded or torn), shorts, tank tops, sandals, were the norm. Milan, however, was a little more dressy.
    Last edited by Melissa; 07-31-2014 at 06:33 PM.
    Seeking Cardinal Co-Pilot!

  10. #10
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    La Mesa (San Diego), California
    Posts
    242
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    Great review of what worked and didn't work for you. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about why multiple bags work better for you (I prefer this also.).
    I think that 20 years ago, one-bag travel would have been wonderful. But at this time in my life, I am not traveling on a budget. I prefer to not have to think about my bags and prefer the freedom that I can get by having someone else handle them for me. I just want them in my hotel room when I get there. I DO want to have one carry on/personal item with me to keep my iPads, headphones, personal travel blanket and personal travel pillow. I would prefer to get to the airport hours ahead of schedule so I can just get my bags checked in and then relax and enjoy the rest of my time sipping a cocktail and relaxing until we board. When we go on longer vacations (ie, a week or more), we tend to travel with a group of long-time friends. None of them have any interest in trying to one-bag it or to travel with just carry on, so I am not saving any time if I am the only one traveling with carry on.

    I really struggled trying to go to Italy with just carry on. I felt miserable because I thought I was supposed to be enjoying some newfound freedom by traveling with just carry on. I felt like I was having to make sacrifices to try to bring only what I absolutely needed. It was rather depressing and I really stressed about what to bring and what would have to be cut from my packing list, and how I just could not match up with all the other TB forum members. But once I let go of that feeling that I had to one-bag it or be a Tom Bihn failure, I really felt liberated! I just needed to convince myself that this wasn't a test or a challenge that I would succeed or fail in, especially since there was no perceived reward in it for me. Tom Bihn is perfect for one-bag travel, but his products are also perfect companions with checked luggage too! I did NOT fail, but l did learn from my experience! That makes it a success, right???

    And I know that there are other Bihnions who also choose to travel with more than one bag, and that regardless of how many bags or whether or not we check in luggage, this forum has always been a wonderfully supportive community that is very generous with sharing each other's experiences so we can learn from each other. I don't think you all will knock me down to 2nd rate Bihnion status for not wanting to try to travel carry on only or to not want to one-bag it, will you??? (Please say no.)
    Last edited by Melissa; 07-31-2014 at 06:31 PM.
    Seeking Cardinal Co-Pilot!

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    147
    Nope. We have a baby. There no such thing as one-bagging it.

  12. #12
    Registered User itsablur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Posts
    425
    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
    IAnd I know that there are other Bihnions who also choose to travel with more than one bag, and that regardless of how many bags or whether or not we check in luggage, this forum has always been a wonderfully supportive community that is very generous with sharing each other's experiences so we can learn from each other. I don't think you all will knock me down to 2nd rate Bihnion status for not wanting to try to travel carry on only or to not want to one-bag it, will you??? (Please say no.)
    Of course not. That's why TB even makes bags designed to slide on to the handles of rolling luggage!
    Own: Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Iberian), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Ultraviolet), Night Flight (Coyote/Steel), Guide's Pack (Steel), Synapse 19 (Olive/Steel), Daylight (Navy), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Founder's Briefcase (Black), Pilot (Steel 400d/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Side Effect (Black/Ultraviolet), Travel Tray (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps

    Want: EVERYTHING.

  13. #13
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Puget Sound region
    Posts
    896
    Quote Originally Posted by vivelly View Post
    One tip I can give being in Italy is..dont down the first glass of water they give you before a meal...its there so you can wash your hands. :D
    No! I've never heard of such a thing! Are you teasing.....?
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  14. #14
    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    405
    No... Lol maybe they don't do this anymore.. Was ages ago when I spent a Christmas at a South Italian families house. First at a Cafe at a train station and then at their home.. You get a small cup of water which I downed and shock horror everyone looked and laughed at me... It's for washjng your fingers not for drinking... Ops! Strange customs.. Don't you guys have taps? Lol

  15. #15
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lexington KY USA
    Posts
    1,141
    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
    Tom Bihn is perfect for one-bag travel, but his products are also perfect companions with checked luggage too! I did NOT fail, but l did learn from my experience! That makes it a success, right???
    Yes, absolutely! And thank you for sharing what you learned!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0