I’m going back “home” tomorrow, for the first time in about a month. When I left, I packed one suitcase full of everything I’d need for that time. It was particularly challenging because it involved a bunch of places: Seattle, NYC in the Summer, the Galapagos, and then back to NYC. I did get to do laundry every ten days.
Typically, when I pack (even for a weekend) I worry that I’ll forget something. Given I managed to live for a month, I’m pretty sure this suitcase has everything I need.
I’m mostly documenting for myself, but if anyone else dreads packing, maybe this will help…
For the trip, I brought three different bags. I highly recommend each of these. The suitcase is by Travelpro (I think it’s this one on Amazon), the laptop bag is le pliage by Longchamps, and the smaller purse is Cole Haan. All of them are very durable and comfortable to carry.
This is pretty straight forward. I need my Macbook to work, my Kindle to stay sane, and my iPhone for everything else. The iPhone isn’t in the photo because I needed it to take the picture (before it was in that little gap in the middle).
I also take all the associated chargers. This trip I brought along two sets of headphones. For a short trip, I only take my earbuds. For any long trip, I also bring the noise canceling ones. For “wearables” (can’t believe I just wrote that) I brought my Pebble watch and my Fitbit. I carried these all in the laptop bag.
Would pack again: all of it.
This is where things get more complicated. I was pretty surprised by some of what happened here.
The biggest limitation when traveling is shoes. To give myself the most variety I opted for a pair of black ballet flats (with ties) and a pair of beige sandals. They’re neutral, so they match everything. They generally work pretty well for casual, and about as formal as I get.
I’m also usually cold, so I included a beige cardigan. I have some shirts I like to wear something under my shirts, so I included Uniqlo airism tank tops in both white & black.
Would pack again: 5/5.
I packed five neutral shirts. For the last year or so I’ve been a subscriber to Elizabeth & Clarke, a basics service. Each season they send me a couple new basics. I haven’t been a fan of the fitted tops (button down particularly) but all of the T-shirts are great. Four of my neutral shirts were from there, and I’d recommend subscribing.
Would pack again: 5/5.
I also packed two blouses. I’m not really sure why. I’ve worn one twice, and one not at all. I probably could have gotten by without this.
Would pack again: 0/2.
I packed four pairs of pants. Jeans, jeans that happen to be green instead of blue, capri jeans, and maroon shorts. All of these were completely worth it. I only wear pants on planes, so I wore the jeans when I flew. Seattle was cold, so I wore jeans there too. NYC was super hot, so I wore the shorts or capris.
Would pack again: 4/4.
I packed three skirts. The pink one also doubles as a strapless dress. These were of the most use in the Galapagos to pull on over my swimsuit. I could have gotten by without the purple one.
Would pack again: 2/3.
I’m a little befuddled by this. I own 9 white sundresses (no, I don’t know why). Yet somehow I didn’t bring ANY white sundresses for the month of July. I did bring five colorful ones.
These were worthwhile, especially in Galapagos/NYC. If I was doing it again, I wouldn’t bring the long one. I hardly ever wear maxi dresses, and it takes a specific mood. Not a staple.
Would pack again: 4/5.
Exercise & Sleep
I always have grand aspirations of exercising while traveling. For that matter, I have grand aspirations of exercising while home. Regardless, I always pack the clothes just in case inspiration strikes. I did end up going running some this trip, so it was worth it.
My exercise clothes aren’t very exciting. I literally still wear the same sweatpants and sports bras I used in high school. For shirts, I tend to use startup tshirts and other tops I like. I sleep in the same type of stuff. (Yes I wear those weird shoes to run, whatever. I like running in them and never wear them in public unless I am out running).
I also brought a swimsuit & towel.
Would pack again: 8/9 (one less top).
There’s a few other things I always make sure to have – a set of rainbow pens, a few small notebooks, and a reusable water bottle. I did forget one notebook I would have liked to have, but generally this was good.
I also packed the usual toiletries you’d expect: toothbrush, toothpaste, antiperspirant, razor, etc. I very rarely pack shampoo or conditioner, and tend to rely on hotels and/or friends having it. One of the things I try to make sure to do is pack bandaids & cortisone (just in case!) I also pack some basic meds: ibuprofen, nyquil, sudafed, etc.
Every time I pack I end up thinking “What if something important happens and I need make up?!” So I pack it. I never wear it. Similarly, I packed a few extra pieces of jewelry, but I just wore the rainbow block necklace the entire time.
Would pack again: everything but the makeup and extra jewelry.
I obtained some things during my trip.
I’ve been teaching with Startup Institute New York for the last year, and during my last class I was gifted a hoodie. I just wish I’d had it earlier in the trip when it was cold in Seattle! Similarly, when Diana was in town from Soundcloud she let me have a tshirt. I’ve been sleeping in it.
One day while i was in NYC at the end, I went shopping. In high school I LOVED shopping, but haven’t done it as much since adulthood. I picked up a dress and a couple shirts, all of which I’ve been wearing.
Things that are conspicuously absent from these photos…
Underwear. I packed basically all of the underwear I own. I figured you didn’t need to see a photo of it. I would pack all of it again, it doesn’t take much space, and it’s nice to know you have it and aren’t going to be in a laundry crisis.
Traditional sneakers & socks. I hate both of these things. Tying shoes is so much effort and my feet feel suffocated and like I’m walking on a weird pillow. I also just dislike having to wear socks. I’ve come around to wearing them in the winter, but very rarely do in the summer. While Galapagos was doable without, I’d recommend taking either durable rubber sandals, or sneakers/socks. So I didn’t back either of them, but probably would next time.
Hair dryer & straightener. Sometimes, I dry & straighten my hair. Both of those items are big and took up a lot of space in the suitcase. So I didn’t bring them. I’ve been happily hair dryer free all month. If it were winter and cold out, I’d bring it.
Umbrella. Yeah, should have packed that. Whoops. Next time.
Anything I didn’t have that you always take, but should? Let me know!