Now we are going to mention unmentionables. In a word, underwear.
It's something travelers think about more than you'd think. Especially women. Multiple pairs take up precious space in luggage, they say. Dirty ones even more (unless you're a member of the Thong Generation).
A recent article in the New York Times travel section suggested that you pack no underwear at all, and buy new undergarments on your trip. The company Exofficio (exofficio.com) markets a magic pair of undies, suggesting that just one might suffice for a long trip. One!
The package reads: "17 countries. 6 weeks. One pair of underwear. (Okay, maybe two.)" Other positive properties include "packable, odor resistant, moisture wicking, durable, lightweight, quick drying and above all comfortable." Prices range from $18 to $22.
Practical underpants, rather than luxurious lingerie, seem to be more on the minds of Tampa Bay Times readers. When asked for money-saving and packing travel tips recently, at least a dozen readers shared their secrets about travel foundations.
Half a dozen readers said they do exactly what our mothers warned us against. They take their ratty underpants with holes and stretched-out elastic on the road and discard them as they go. (What if they get in a car accident?)
"Take all your sad-looking underwear and socks. Toss after wearing and fill up empty space with souvenirs," writes Emily Farrell of Media, Pa.
From Rosemarie Owen of New Port Richey: "I have left bikini (underwear) in ports-of-call in Mexico, the Bahamas and during two weeks' worth of travel through Europe."
You've got to wonder what the housekeeping staffs are thinking about Americans and their threadbare undies.
Diane Schick of Clearwater, takes the opposite view.
"Bring all the socks and underwear you want. How much space does underwear take up? Shoes are the worst culprit."
When you're traveling, it's always something.