Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vacation: Packing

Ok, my recap of Thailand is soooo far over due! But I've finally made a big dent in editing photos, cropping laughing, deleting a few! So it's time to start! And the best place for that is at the beginning, packing. Packing for 2 weeks in a single carry on, with room!

I think every woman out there can relate - over packing! I know I am was one of the worst! I need 17 options for 4 days away. I mean what if it was hot? what if it was hot and humid? what if it was just warm with a breeze? Correct me if I am wrong but all of those are different outfits in my book!

Addition to over packing, I seem to have had a curse of international-flight-luggage-doesn't-make-it-itis! Let me tell you 2 weeks abroad without a change of clothes is no fun, nor cheap, nor highly-dramatic-crying (right Mom?!). So after those hard lessens - I do not every travel anywhere without at least one change of clothes/2 extra undies in my carry-on {unless I'm going to visit Mom bc I can raid her closet for something til we hit the stores! ;) } And if I was going somewhere tropical, add a bathing suit to that carry-on. So I know I will be set for at least a while without ruining my vacation bc I am stuck without anything to wear.

So when we planned this trip I knew a massive suitcase wouldn't do (for me at least!). I was going to do it a carry-on. Two-weeks, lots of options - determined to make it happen. And I needed room for souvenirs!!! And not only did it work for me - the Hubs (the shoe King) did too! Neurotically I planned everything down to a detailed spreadsheet/packing list - so the days leading up it wasn't all that hard! We even brought home clothes that went unworn!! From a carry-on! 

Basics and options were the key. As you peak below, patterns were at a minimum and pretty much everything I could mix or match based on mood, temperature, humidity or daily adventure level. I also knew what our basic plans were for the trip - lots of walking around in Bangkok, lots of beach/pool/island exploring in Phuket and casual dinners throughout the trip.

Once that I knew the basics I started laying items out. Tank tops in a variety of styles and color were more than enough - and I made sure each one could be worn with any of my 'bottom' options. A few of my Lululemon workout tanks actually pulled double duty, the humidity and heat in Thailand in August (their Monsoon season) is very high, so the sweat wicking fabric was essential to staying cool & dry all day while walking around the city. I wore tennis shoes onto the plane, and packed just a few options for flat sandals. Absolutely no need for heels and or wedges anywhere in Thailand, unless you are going somewhere fancy. I did plenty of research before we went because I planned on bringing a pair, every article said don't bother you wont wear. And I am so glad I didn't waste any valuable space, they would have gone unworn! And very basic accessories - gold watch, long plain gold necklace & a few fun ring options. 

I thought some labels might help! 
(And yes atop those flip flops, I placed a few more items (2 dressed/workout shorts & my make-up bag - shown below) 

 Now after doing mine, next up was the Hubs suitcase. I had to do it for him. He is the throw it in, in a ball and go type. I knew that method wouldn't work - nor would just simply placing his items in. One of the KEY factors in making this work is how you fold/roll! Neither of us would have been able to fit the items we brought had we not done this. I laid everything out next to the suitcase and then as I went to place each item in, I gently fold/rolled it. So the final item was roughly half the size it normally was - in that size you can stay organized and easily stack items in. I mean just look how many full size adult male t-shirts I was able to get with this method (Shown below, on the right side of suitcase)!

Stuck our under garments, and socks in the upper flap/zipper. And cords/chargers etc went into one of our outside zippers. While the other held a binder with all our trip information organized.

How do you pack when traveling?  Have any of you traveled abroad with only a carry-on? If so how long were you gone for? Would you be interested in seeing how I came up with what to bring? Outfit/mix matches?

*NOTE: If you every travel anywhere in Asia I highly recommend traveling light! You need a lot less than you think! Clothes are very reasonable there - so plan to shop and get some fun new stuff! And if necessary, you can easily pick-up a super cheap suitcase (I saw some for what translates to $6, with wheels!) and just check one on the way home! We also brought single use laundry detergent - I did a load in our bathtub one night, of socks and our workout gear/tank tops - since they were all worn and we wanted to wear again! And just hung them to dry - our hotel room in Phuket even had a drying rack (which is how they all dry clothing over there)


  1. I always roll everything when I travel, but I'm notorious for overpacking but still forgetting something. Case in point, we went to Maine in May for a wedding. Brought just about everything I didn't need, forgot a jacket/sweatshirt for the cool mornings. Sigh.

    1. Forgetting something is always the worst!!!! I usually do the same - but have enough travel shampoo to last a month! Oh well, we can jsut try to do better next time! :)

  2. That is absolutely unbelievable. I'm definintely an overpacker. I can't even get my rolled up clothes looking as neat as yours!

  3. I am all about the carry-on! I haven't checked a suitcase since my semester abroad in college. Love your packing tips.

    1. WOW!!! This was only my 4th carry-on only trip, but I'm slowly becoming a convert! It's totally do-able and so worth it!

  4. i am a total over packer! but as long as it all fits in my carry-on, i am fine.

  5. You did a great job! I also roll my clothes for every trip. Makes things SO much easier to fit. :)

  6. Can't believe you talked us all into taking carry ons, but, you did was awesome !

  7. Your suitcase is so organized that I'm now ashamed of how I overpack and do nothing to save space at all. It always works out that I end up "surprised" when I get to the airport and am over the weight limit...THE WORST.

  8. Packing play an essential role in planning vacations. You have packed each and every thing in a perfect way. I got helpful ideas for packing and I will surely keep in mind for next vacation. Thanks for sharing this informative read.

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