by Kate Collins
Having just taken two trips – one a ten day tour of Cuba, the other a long weekend for the Malice Domestic Mystery Writers’ Convention in Bethesda, Maryland – I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the most important ingredients of a successful trip is having the perfect suitcase. Sound silly? Let me make my case.
On my trip to Cuba, my baggage was limited to forty pounds, so I took a small carry-on and a small Hartman suitcase. I underpacked and suffered for it, allowing myself only four tops, three pairs of capris, and a dress for our two formal nights. Boy, did I get sick of wearing the same things over and over. That, combined with having only one sweater, and that one not nearly warm enough, and a single pair of dress shoes (that I’d forgotten gave me blisters) was actually stressful.
My friend and Cuba roommate, Marilou, took a larger case, a Samsonite, and had an enviable amount of room. I liked it so much that for my trip to Maryland, I bought the same Samsonite. What a difference! Not that I want to be an advertisement for Samsonite, because I did see other brands of the same size, but with that bag, I had space for dressy outfits for the entire four day trip, including formal night, plus shoes for all occasions, plus my book promotion materials, plus cosmetics, pjs, undergarments, and still had room to spare. Honestly, it made my stay more enjoyable.
Okay, be frank. Do you think that’s silly? Have you found the perfect suitcase?