Wayward Lovers

[wey-werd] turning or changing irregularly; irregular: a wayward breeze.

Travel Stuff: Packing

What do I bring for such long trips? How do I pack? What are my essentials? How much luggage do I bring?

I get asked these questions a lot. My usual answer is that I’m bad at packing and you should ask someone else, but I’d finally like to really answer these questions. Maybe you can find some wisdom in my methods or perhaps learn from my mistakes.

To start, here’s a very boring video of my actual packing process.

The Break Down:

My Suitcase!

  • I have 4 large plastic bags that separate my clothes into shirts, sweaters, pants/shorts, and skirts/dresses:
    • Shirts Bag: 6 sleeveless tops and 2 t-shirts.
    • Sweater: 8 cardigans, 1 zippy sporty sweater, and 1 pull over sweater.
    • Pants/Shorts Bag: 2 pairs of black “skinny’ jeans (I wear one pair to travel), 3 pair of black shorts, and 1 pair of black leggings.
    • Skirt/Dress Bag: 3 skirts (red one, long black one, and short black one) and 2 dresses: a fancy-ish black dress and a casual stripey dress.

  • I also have 3 smaller plastic bags that include underwear, socks, and nylons:
    • 12 pair underwear and 4 bras.
    • 8 pair small socks, 7 pair tall socks.
    • 7 pair nylons.
  • Shoes:
    • 2 pairs of flats.
    • 1 pair running shoes.
    • 1 pair sandals.
    • 1 pair black walking ankle boot/shoe.
  • Toiletries:
    • Face soap/moisturizer.
    • Shampoo/conditioner (I don’t always pack these, but I had some extra room).
    • Body wash (again not a usual packed item, but is nice to have if I have room).
    • Hair brush.
    • Scissors. I often cut my own damn hair when I travel.
    • Hair dryer and hair straightener (I didn’t always travel with these things, but I found it too unpredictable whether a house would have one or not that I decided it was worth it to bring my own).
  • Miscellaneous: 
    • Plug adapters.
    • Charger for my camera.
    • First aid type stuff (bandaids).
    • Personal items like some jewellery/hair clips/sunglasses.
    • Sewing kit.
    • Knitting supplies.

I managed to get my suitcase under 20 kg with all that junk in it. It took a lot of work and many hard conversations with myself of whether or not I can fit one more ball of yarn and one more pair of shoes, but I did it! All this stuff fit and weighed in at 19.5 kg. Not as much wiggle room as I would normally like, however, I’ll soon use up my shampoos and no longer travel with that weight for awhile. As I travel I’ll figure out what clothes I’m actually wearing and get rid of the ones I’m not. I also have a pair of pants that are hanging together by a thread (damn my powerful thighs), so that will be another item out. I’ll probably send a box of knitted things to friends before the 6 months are up. Not that yarn weighs much, but it can be bulky. What I’m saying is, do not fret for I will soon have room to collect many knick-knacks. Worst case scenario Best case scenario, I start putting things in John’s suitcase.

I also carry a medium sized backpack as one of my carry-ons. It has a whole other set of stuff:

  • 1 set of clothes from my suitcase in case my luggage is lost.
  • My laptop.
  • My denim jacket.
  • Airplane drugs (tylenol, pepto, antacids, allergy meds, etc).
  • My work in progress knitting project.
  • My makeup bag.
  • 2 sketchbooks.
  • 1 bag of various art supplies.
  • Chargers for my phone and computer.

I obtained this backpack after my other medium backpack broke. I purchased it last Spring on Vancouver Island at a MEC. So far I really like it and I’m still figuring out the best ways to pack things in it.

On top of all that I still have one more small bag. My little red backpack:

  • 1 scarf.
  • My Pentax K-30 DSLR.
  • Spare camera bits.
  • Wallet/Passport.
  • 1 bottle of Benadryl since I’m allergic to everything.
  • My glasses.
  • A book.
  • Headphones.
  • My phone (unless it’s in my pocket).

I use this little red bag for an everyday bag instead of a purse or, like a,  fanny pack?. It’s handy. It holds many things and is comfortable on my back/shoulders. It’s not overly fancy, the bag is a simple wax canvas bag from Toms and I picked it up while in the UK about a year and a half ago. Over all it’s holding up well but it has a couple rips on the outer lining of the bottom of the bag. Ima patch it up tho.

Most importantly, I can zip up the important things to deter thieves, but it also has an easy access pocket where I keep treats and tissue.

That’s pretty much it. I am definitely getting better at packing, but I still have a long way to go to being minimalist. I just can’t do without some of my comforts.