Setting off on a European adventure that involves train travel? Be sure to put your backpack or duffel through Laura’s Italian Train Test, which should help you determine if you have over-packed.
Laura’s Italian Train Test
- Select a small bathroom in your house, and shut the windows.
- Turn on your shower to the hottest setting, then close the door to the bathroom.
- Pack your suitcase or backpack with everything you think you need on your jaunt around Europe.
- When you are packed, and the bathroom is dense with steam, bring yourself, your backpack, and 8 or 9 close friends into the bathroom and shut the door quickly so as not to let the steam out.
- Ask your friends to sway back and forth in the steam, poking you with their elbows.
- Pick up your backpack, raise it above your head, and shove it over the top of the shower curtain rod.
If during this test you find that you cannot heave the bag over the curtain rod, or if you drop it onto your own head or the head of any of your friends, or if you manage to topple, bag, friends, and all, into the tub wrapped in a dripping wet shower curtain, you have over-packed.
Remove unnecessary items* from your bag and repeat steps 4 through 6 until your bag passes the Italian Train Test.
*The definition of “necessary items” varies widely with each traveler.