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Packing Light - Consider your Underwear

Save ounces, if not pounds, through these tips.


paris guy underwear

This guy could save a lot of weight in his luggage by eschewing his fancy undies.

James Martin

Lots of travelers on their first overseas trip are baffled by all the "pack light" admonitions they receive before they've boarded their flight. Well, maybe we're all crazy in the same way, but have you ever heard a diehard wanderer say, "geez, you should see the monster suitcase I went out and bought over the weekend. Had to forklift the sucker up to the checkout counter. My next trip is gonna be soooo good." No? The fact is that we're all yammering on about traveling light because it always works out better that way. I mean, nobody's gonna notice if you wear the same shirt on Tuesday as you did on Friday, so you might as well not care either. Your arms will thank you for your fashion unconsciousness.

And nobody cares at all about your underwear (except if you're a female rock star, but that's a special case). I've met nurses who say they don't even notice what kinda undies you're wearing even if you've gotten in that car crash your mother's always warning you about. So, since they're pretty invisible, we'll start our packing tips with underwear.

Here's what I do: I take the rattiest old underwear accumulated over the previous year that I should have thrown out but didn't and I put it all in my suitcase. Clean of course.

And along the way I wear them and throw them out. Nobody's the wiser except perhaps the hotel maid. And just in case you're wondering, I've never received a note from a swanky hotel with my tattered drawers inside saying, "Dear Hotel Resident, we've found the following items of clothing in your room after you'd checked out and thought you'd appreciate it if we returned them." Not once--probably because I don't frequent swanky hotels.

By the time I return home, my luggage is maybe half a pound lighter and I've got room for a couple trinkets for the natives in California. If I think I'm going to need even more room, I'll use the jeans strategy: I'll wear an old pair of jeans on the airplane to Europe, wear them until I can't stand them in the heat of summer, then toss them as well.

In the course of writing this little tidbit, I came across an intriguing idea whose time has perhaps come: disposable underwear. Really, they sell this on the web. Check out DNA Products. They'll sell you a 5 pack of disposable panties for three bucks. Guys get a choice between boxers and briefs. Click "For Him" and check out the picture. I was thinking, "they've even got that special pouch in the front where a guy could stash a camera, passport and maybe a couple of cold beers, all safe and sound." And then I came to my senses. Sometimes you have to filter out the advertising hype.

Still, it's an idea, no?

Is Edible Credible? Edible Underwear Considered--But Not Much

And finally, what if you didn't just toss those old shorts in the garby, but you could actually eat them! What a great money and weight saving idea--every third day you could eat your accumulated undies and save oodles on a day's restaurant bill. But alas, I found a review, not on the lascivious benefits of consuming your special honey's unmentionables, but an actual taste test of the product, called Edible Underwear Taste Test - A Must Read!. It was. In any case, based on that test, I do not recommend wearing or eating edible underwear anytime soon--or until they come up with an anchovy pizza flavor for them anyway.

Enough. I'm outta here. Pack light, I'm tellin' ya--it's best.

Packing for your Overseas Trip

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