This post is an attempt to answer several questions from different people about packing so forgive me if I bounce around a bit.
First of all, I have to tell you guys that if we are driving somewhere, we bring ALL THE THINGS. Seriously. Multiple clothing & shoe options for each day, lots of entertainment (coloring books, reading material, games, etc), cameras, laptops, blankets, pillows, fitness stuff, and suitcases packed FULL. For a simple weekend trip we usually bring enough for a month. 😉
However, if we’re flying… we are no-nonsense, essentials-only packers. This is simply because we don’t like checking bags. If my bag has to be checked, it will no doubt get lost. When we went to Italy in 2013 one of our bags got sent to the wrong place so we spent 2 weeks living out of one carry-on size backpack. This made us realize how little stuff we actually NEED when traveling. So for this trip when we packed, we packed light.
What you see in this photo is everything we brought on our entire 17 day journey! Two carry-on sized bags and 1 personal item.
Our choice for carry-on size backpacks:
We each carried one Osprey Porter 46 backpack. These aren’t cheap, but they are excellent quality. They are standard carry-on size and you can easily put the straps up to carry the bag like a suitcase as well. We loved all the extra compartments on these bags! Plus they were very comfortable to carry and easily adjustable. Best of all, they also have a front panel opening. So they open like a suitcase. I LOVE this feature! It makes it so much easier to find what you are looking for in the bag. For a size comparison, here’s the backpack next to my standard rolling carry-on that I usually fly with:
And here’s a peek inside my bag once it was packed:
For bottoms I brought 2 pairs of shorts (1 athletic, 1 regular), 1 pair of yoga pants, and 1 pair of skinny jeans. I also brought 3 dresses to rotate through. In Christopher’s bag he packed 3 pairs of shorts and 1 pair of linen pants as well as 1 casual button up shirt. To save space in our bags (and because planes are cold!), we wore our warm clothes on the plane (a cardigan & scarf for me, a jacket for him). We both wore sneakers on the plane and packed Chacos for beach days. We brought the barest essentials as far as extras, entertainment (1 deck of cards plus books & music on our phones), and toiletries went (1 quart size bag each, thankyouTSA) and that was that. 🙂
How we pack our backpacks:
We packed our outfits (minus pants) for each day in these gallon-sized bags (see below). Each bag has a date on it and then into that bag Christopher and I put one shirt each, one pair of undies each, and a pair of socks each. That way we are sure we won’t clash and we don’t have to figure out what we’re wearing each day. For this trip we brought 8 different gallon-sized bags with outfits that we washed half way through the trip and then re-wore for the second half of the trip. We also had a 9th bag for our swimwear and a 10th for one long-sleeved shirt each. So each of us packed 5 gallon-sized bags in our backpacks.
I posted about this before we left and I had several of you ask me how I actually rolled the clothes up in each bag so I made you a super quick video tutorial:
Very basic. Very simple. A lot of blacks, whites, greys, and blues. But very practical which worked well for us. 🙂
Our choice for a personal item:
We carried the Travelon anti-theft cross body bag as our personal item (we would swap it back and forth since it got heavy). We bought this bag in 2013 for our Italy trip and it has been awesome! It has traveled to most major cities with us. Inside this bag goes our itinerary for the day, snacks, travel journal, lip balm, medicine, band aids, headphones, flashlight, deck of cards, cell phones, power brick for charging cell phones, a credit card (other credit cards, passports, and cash were carried in these money belts), and my DSLR camera.
Christopher with the cross body bag and me with the DSLR camera (at the Roman Forum)
How we pack and travel with a DSLR camera when flying:
When we fly, I don’t bring my whole camera bag. Which means that we only bring one DSLR camera and only one lens for it attached already (on this trip we brought a Nikon D750 and a 50mm 1.8/f). We also brought a little point & shoot camera (Nikon S8100) that has served us well and is perfect for beach days (if we are planning to swim, I usually leave the DSLR in the room because I don’t want to leave it unattended on the beach). And honestly, cellphones these days take awesome pictures and video as well. The DSLR goes into a protective sleeve cover (I have this one, but when I searched for it just now, I also saw this other one and it looks even better so I might be purchasing it in the future). And then my camera is either worn crossbody if I know I’ll be using it a lot (which is pretty much always, haha!) or it goes our Travelon bag.
Whew! That was a lot of information. Let me know if I left anything out or if you have any questions! 🙂
So tell me, how much do you usually pack for trips? Do you pack less when you fly?