Ever since our family vacays when I was a kid, my dad instilled in us the power (and necessity) of packing light. And I’d like to think I’ve learned well.
Last September, Weez and I spent 10 days in Spain: 5 days at an academic research conference (business clothes), and 5 days doin’ the touristy thing in Barcelona (cute dresses, swimsuits, summer clothes). Everything for the trip fit in here:
Tomorrow, Weez and I are leaving for a 15 day trip to Asia: Cambodia, Malaysia, and then 7 days in Singapore for an academic conference.
Here’s what I packed:
Business skirt, 4 matching blouses, 3 cute tops, 2 capri pants, 2 dresses, 3 running shorts, 5 running shirts, under-items, 3 sports bras, 4 socks, toiletries, makeup, jewelry, straightener, emergency meds, my DSLR camera and charger, my cell phone and charger, adaptor/converter, notebook, travel folder, umbrella, 2 books, and 4 pairs of shoes (heels, running, cute sandal, and flipflop).
And once packed up, it fit in the same backpack that I brought to Spain:
Carry on approved!
Here’s the low down on packing light, tight, and efficiently:
- Mix and match outfits, to minimize bringing more clothes than you need.
- Coordinate outfits so they all match with only one or two cute shoes.
- Remember that you can always do laundry there – running shorts/shirts/socks can be hand washed in the sink.
- ROLL everything. I find stuff packs down much smaller if I roll, instead of fold.
- Stuff socks and small items into shoes
- Ditch the blowdryer and curling iron. Most hotels have blowdryers, and hair can be curled with a straightener.
- Pack travel-sized toiletries (<3oz.). If you run out, ask the hotel concierge!
- Layer the shoes on the bottom, and wear your bulkiest (for me, the running shoes) shoes on the plane
I refuse to check luggage. Ever. As far as I see it, unless I’m literally moving someplace else and have 4 suitcases to send, I will only carry on what can fit in an overhead compartment :)
PS… If you live in the CO area, check out my The Dirty Dash free-race entry giveaway HERE!
What’s your philosophy on packing: check it or carry on?
What’s one must-have item you always pack when you travel?
Neck pillow for the plane: is worthwhile to drag along?