There’s a lot to think about when packing for a trip. Packing for a longer trip shouldn’t be that much different from a short trip, even if it feels a little more overwhelming. For our Beyond Vacation kick-off trip, Andy and I will be traveling for just over 7 weeks, so we will be doing laundry along the way. We won’t be flying at all, so there aren’t any concerns about carry-on limitations, but we still like to travel light. In fact, I’ve made it my goal to pack even lighter than I did for my round the world trip. So what does my packing list look like for this trip?
Backpacks and purse
On my round the world trip, I traveled with a 40L backpack and a smaller day pack. This meant constantly having to carry the smaller bag on my front, which can be rather annoying. I like having a day pack for carrying things around while I’m exploring a city for the day, but this time around I decided to find a bag that packs up into itself and can easily be stored in my main bag.
I’m traveling with the same 40L backpack plus a purse, and the day pack will be hidden away on travel days. As I write this post just a few days into the trip, I’m still undecided about the day pack. So far, I wish I had my old day pack, but I’ll give it some more time.
>>I now have the REI Trail 40L backpack and I love it!
Since we will be doing laundry as we travel, I have a little over a week’s worth of clothing with me. I was aiming for a week and ended up with slightly more. It’s still a bit cold here in Europe (at least where we are) so I wish I packed a few less t-shirts and couple extra long sleeve shirts. But I’m sure I’ll be happy for all the warm weather clothes once we make it to Italy.
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of gray pants
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 3 tank tops
- 8 t-shirts (1 to sleep in)
- 2 nicer shirts (well, cuter than t-shirts)
- 1 long sleeve shirt (which means I’m wearing this same shirt over my t-shirt every day because it’s cold)
- 9 pairs of underwear
- 2 bras
- 5 pairs of socks
- 1 bathing suit
I am not a woman who cares much about shoes. I prefer comfort to fashion, and as you can tell from the clothing list, I don’t have much need for cute shoes when I travel.
- Tevas sandals
- flip flops
I tried to stick to the TSA approved carry-on size liquids because it’s easier to pack that way, and anything that will run out while we’re traveling can be purchased on the road. Since Andy doesn’t have nearly as much stuff as I do in this category, I did use about half the space in his liquids bag to pack more bottles of contact solution. I almost never wear makeup, so I didn’t travel with makeup on this trip.
The Ziploc bag in the photo has my medicine in it. For some reason the pills I take come in blister pack sheets, 10 pills to a sheet, 3 months worth in a box. I learned on my round the world trip that the box falls apart pretty quickly when traveling, so I didn’t bother with it this time.
- toothpaste and toothbrush
- 5 bottles (60ml each) of contact solution
- shampoo, conditioner, shower gel
- moisturizer and lotion
No matter how light I manage to pack, this category bumps up the weight of my bag by a lot. My laptop weighs less than 4 pounds, but combine that with the camera and everything else, and suddenly my backpack is pretty heavy.
- external hard drive
- DSLR camera with 2 lenses
- all corresponding cords, chargers and batteries
Of course there are all the things that don’t fall neatly into one of the above categories. This isn’t a complete list, but you get the idea.
- wallet and passport
- business cards (for the blogging conference)
- tissues (always good to have for public bathrooms)
- glasses and sunglasses
- travel towel
- sleep mask (annoying, but then so is being woken up at 6am by the sun)
- small notebook and pens
After only a few days, I can already see a few flaws in my travel packing checklist for carry-on only. My biggest struggle seems to be with the bags themselves, not what I actually pack. I might just go back to the double backpack routine, even if it is annoying. Perfection probably isn’t possible, but I will keep tweaking the list with each trip, and hopefully one of these days it will be good enough. But I can’t imagine ever ditching my carry-on only philosophy.
You might also enjoy:
- My Favorite Luggage for Carry-On Only
- Best Carry-On Luggage
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Europe for Two Months
- On Living a Non-Traditional Life