Sometimes, this is how I feel about packing…it’s too overwhelming! I GIVE UP!
…or maybe I just want to take my dog wherever I go.
Confession: I am not a planner. It cramps my spontaneous, keep-my-options-open style. Except when it comes to packing. I lived in India for 3 years after college, and now I travel almost 4 months out of the year, domestically and internationally. However, I didn’t learn how to pack well until recently. Last March I was gone for a month (Nashville, India, Nepal, and Hong Kong) and each place required a different kind of outfit.
India… salwar tops (long tops that cover your bum)
Nepal… trekking clothes and boots
Hong Kong… conservative but cute/western (those women are super classy!)
I only took 1 checked bag, 1 carry-on suitcase and my backpack (considered my “personal item”). How did I do it? Here are some tips and product recommendations:
- I packed my heaviest items in my carry-on suitcase, so that my checked bag wouldn’t exceed the 50-pound weight limit. Bring a rolling carry-on suitcase so you won’t break your back with those heavy books or shoes
- Timbuk2 is my favorite! Durable, life-time warranty, and lots of compartments!
- Shoes – wear ones that come on and off easily
- Laptop – if you bring it, make sure you have easy access because you usually have to put it in a separate bin when you go through security
- Light jacket
- Book or journal
- Computer for work or tv/movies
- Comfy pants and socks for long flights
- Neck Pillow – this Muji one is my favorite!
- Tops that will go with one or two pairs of pants
- T-shirts – if you’re going on a service trip, you can re-wear shirts on work days! Everybody will stink so no one is going to notice or care ☺
- Shoes – be strategic! Tennis shoes, sandals, semi-nice shoes for non-work times
- Don’t bring the whole bottle, use travel containers. Put them in a plastic bag or consider buying a travel bag like this one from Eddie Bauer
My Go-To Items
- Water Bottle & coffee to-go mug (if you know you’ll use them)
- Sleeping Mask – Muji has one that is simple, washable, cotton
- Ear Plugs
- Snacks – protein bars, individual trail mix packs
- Caffeine of choice (if you’re picky) – tea bags, coffee and mini French Press