In the days between the New England road trip and our departure to Europe we spent our time researching cities, hotels, landmarks, and transportation. We've got a rough sketch of where we are going but will let the schedule develop as we talk to locals and other travelers.
In addition to researching, we needed to pack. This was actually pretty difficult for me. We decided that while we were in Europe, we would take trains and public transportation whenever possible. Since we'd have to carry everything, we agreed to each pack only one rolling suitcase and one back pack. Packing thirty days of clothing into one bag was a challenge. I like having extra outfits--just in case. I couldn't do that on this trip and every item needed to earn its spot. Even with my ruthless, no frills packing strategy, the zippers on my suitcase were popping. However, as I was weeding through my suitcase for the absolute essentials, I remembered space bags! They've always seemed like a gimmick but I was desperate. Here's what happened.
I love these bags. They cut the space needed for my clothes by a third. I was shocked at how well they worked. Steps for using the "magic space bags" 1) Put clothes in bag 2) Seal open side by sliding plastic fob (like a zip lock bag) 3) Roll zippered side towards opposite side of space bag 4) Listen for air to escape from special one-way valves built into the bag.
You might be wondering if my clothes look like a rumpled mess after getting squashed into an airless bag. I was worried about the same thing and was pleasantly surprised when I started unpacking because my clothes actually look better than if I had packed them as I usually do. Space bags receive five stars from me.
I've been calling them "space bags" but the actual name Pack Mate Original Roll-Bag.