My parents’ Christmas gift to the family is assistance in procuring proper travel attire for our visit to Europe. The elder Kipps have traveled extensively over the past decade. With all their experience they have refined their packing techniques and know the specific items to bring that will ensure a perfect trip. We attentively listened to the Learning Annex worthy presentation on Travel Attire and it was quite clear, we needed brand new stuff. After months of sticking to a budget and practicing the Biblical virtue of piety, today, the family broke.
The nuggets we gleaned from my parents are too numerous to list but I will share a couple. Anything cotton should not even enter the suitcase. It is an awful material for two reasons 1) It is affected differently by the gravity in Europe and will take on properties usually attributed to bricks and lead. 2) Cotton will actively seek out your sweat and any moisture molecule in the air and will never ever ever properly dry again in the atmosphere of Europe. It will all end with someone contracting trench foot. Shoes must be made of material that is weightless; based on our purchases this material can only be stale marshmallows. Luckily the shoes have been purchased with enough time to break them in – we have to sleep with them on though.
An aspect of getting new stuff is that the kids overlook the fact that they only will have two pairs of pants for 3 months. In clothing math 1 new item = 5 already owned items. Not once have they bemoaned the fact that their Europe clothing list is half of the list for the RV trip. We all shopped at the same stores to the level of style and color coordination among the family members will be the envy of all who see us in Europe.
We are still not done – magic long underwear is still needed. We have not become Mormons, but we see the value in a full body layer of undergarments (not cotton) to ward off the cold. We will pay attention and make sure that Brody takes his layer off every once in awhile or he may just make it the full trip never shedding the layer. He will probably feel just like a superhero.