I travel, a lot. For past few years I’ve exceeded 100k miles per year. Much is for work, but plenty of it is for fun.
2015 included the following (mix of work and pleasure):
- Peru, Buenos Aires, Uruguay
- Singapore, Bali
- UK (multiple)
- New York (multiple)
- D.C. (multiple)
- Richmond, VA
- Palm Springs (multiple)
- Bay Area (multiple)
This means I’ve tried a lot of luggage, packing styles, and have fairly rigid travel routines and habits – some (ok, most) would say bordering on neurotic.
Here is what works for me, some of my favorite products, and some of the ideas I have around how I am going to pack for 2 months with a carry on. A follow up post will detail if and how I was able to do it.
I’ve bought (and returned) a handful of bags for this trip. Key criteria was a backpack and carry on size. I started with a 48 liter Osprey made for travel (think less straps than a backpacking pack) – but it was way too heavy to carry without a frame when full. Link to Amazon. That was returned. I then went with a smaller, but more structured bag, which I am keeping and will use for many trips – but is not quite big enough for 7 weeks. Porter 30 on Amazon. On my last trip to REI, I found a new but returned last season Osprey Kyte 46 Women’s pack which seems like it will do the trick. At $85 on sale, no complaints. Kyte 46 on Amazon.
First attempt at packing:
Here was my first attempt at packing. This easily fit in the bag and is only missing toiletries. Here are some of the highlights & favorites:
- Sleep sack. Until recently I used a cotton blend. While it was great, it was not small enough for this trip. I recently purchased a silk liner with a place for a pillow. It is AMAZING. I used on my last UK flight. Super small, warm, soft. Find here: REI
- Inflatable pillow. To save space I have started to use camping quality gear over travel gear. I LOVE Amazon – Sea to Summit Pillow.
- Ear plugs. I cannot stress enough how important these are and how critical to find the right ones for you. There are literally pairs in every bag I travel with. Get individual packs so they are always clean and new. Here are mine: Best Ear Plugs – Amazon. This is a 200 pack, I last bought in 2014 and still have some left. Best $20 I’ve spent.
- Eye mask. Best ever, I am on my third Blinks Eye Mask – Amazon.
- Lots of Eagle Creek and Sea to Summit stuff bags.
- Ex Officio bugs away clothing. No Zika! Women’s bugs away products.
- Shoes – Tiek’s foldable ballet flats. New favorites (sorry AGL – you don’t pack as well). Only at Tieks. Bringing flip flops and a pair of Keen’s.
- Electronics – Right now, packing a Fire Phone, iPad Mini, Kindle Voyage and a camera. Camera is an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. Small, but powerful. Link.
What am I leaving behind? I am not bringing a laptop, my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, tennis shoes (may break down and buy if Keen’s aren’t enough), or my iPhone. I am also bringing a $30 necklace and no other jewelry.
Goal is to take about 30% of this out of the bag before I go.
Do you have packing tips or suggestions? Please share in the comments below.