Top critical review
19 people found this helpful
Needs updating, DVD needs chaptering
on June 3, 2008
This book is clearly laid out in a "list" style and has short paragraphs for the most part. It is a quick read, unlike some other packing books ( The Packing Book comes to mind, a little too much information there), and is printed on good-quality paper, not newsprint.
The DVD is very informative, even given that it is also an advertisement for the author's luggage and travel accessories line. She presents everything very clearly as far as how she is able to pack all this stuff in a suitcase (I think it would be excellent for someone going off to college, or someone trying to pare down their wardrobe to a manageable amount), and the scarf wearing ideas are great.
The author does not travel light by any means. She definitely writes for the cruise ship/organized tour audience, where someone is either handling your luggage for you and/or you are staying in one place for several weeks. Also for people who think other people are keeping track of what they're wearing. No way would you be able to navigate stairs daily (for train stations and other places) with all the stuff she takes. This is not the book to read for tips if you're trying to backpack through Europe (some hostels or train stations will not let you leave your luggage anywhere, not even in lockers, so you have to carry it around all day), or are trying to travel simply with one carry on and maybe a personal bag.
The DVD is not properly chaptered. In fact, when I put it in my computer to view, it looked like it had been dubbed directly from her VCR tape--the title even came up as "DVD Video Recorder". The menu looks just like what you'd get from a home DVD recorder--you can move through the recorder-made "chapters", but they are not titled.
It would have been nice to see how you got 35 outfits from what she had hanging behind her (Smart Packing for Today's Traveler has actual pictures of both clothing types and combinations). A swimsuit with a sarong is okay for around the pool or walking around a beach town (although shorts would be far more useful as you have pockets), but I wouldn't call it an outfit, as (like workout clothing or PJs) it is for a single purpose. A travel outfit needs to be wearable in a variety of places. Also, many people see jackets/sweaters as functional, not decorative--if it is not needed for warmth, it is not worn, as it is just one more thing to drag around or leave behind somewhere.
Bottom line: This is a good book for those who are going on longer trips and the aforementioned child off to a college dorm with limited space. It would be nice to see a new edition where she also covers traveling with just a carry-on and a personal bag.