Pack Light & Simple

Nov 12 - question



Today on the Indie Travel Challenge┬áthe challenge is to pack for a six month trip and share what’s in your bag. I’ve taken lots of six months trips, and I love packing for them, but for this challenge, I’ve packed for a pretend one.

Because every trip is different and what we pack varies by the region we visit and the type of trip we’re taking, there’s no one-size-fits-all packing list. That said, it’s safe to say that most people pack too much sh*t.

For the purposes of this challenge, I’m packing as if I’m going to Europe for six months, over winter, just to make it fun. Winter packing makes people crazy. Their bags bulge. They don’t need to.

I’m committed to traveling carry on only, and I plan to continue to work as I travel (which is my life, so that’s fair, right?)

The Bag

I’m taking my Tortuga Backpack. I’m in love with this bag. I purchased one for my husband about a year ago when we were living in Guatemala and he was facing business trips to New York on a frequent basis. It’s, hands down, the best all around bag produced, and it’s carry on sized on virtually every airline. The only time I’ve ever been forced to gate check it was on a pencil sized plane between Ontario, CA and San Francisco. There were glove boxed sized overhead bins. Silly.

I’m also using their packing cubes. I used to think these were the most unnecessary, ridiculous item ever: until I tried these. Convert. Besides, these are designed to fit the bag perfectly. I love well designed systems.

What I’m Taking

Here’s the complete list, for six months, in winter, with work:

  • Macbook Pro & cord
  • iPhone & charger
  • Toiletries (TSA approved)
  • Makeup (I only use dry makeup, so the TSA doesn’t mind)
  • 4 tank tops
  • 6 pair of socks
  • 2 bras (1 packed, 1 worn)
  • 7 panties
  • sweater dress (does double duty, worn one direction it’s a nice dress, the other way it’s a casual sweater, picked this up in New Zealand, it’s merino)
  • 1 pair tights
  • swimsuit (hoping for hotel swimming pools once in a while!)
  • 3 long sleeve tops (1 merino, 1 alpaca, 1 sport material)
  • 3 pants (1 dressy, 1 yoga, 1 jeans)
  • 1 skirt (cozy long skirt)
  • water bottle
  • tea bags (never leave important things to chance!)
  • vitamins (1st week’s supply)
  • Tortuga daypack (folded up and tucked in the side pouch of the bigger bag)

Is that really enough for a six month trip? YES. It is. It’s nice clothing for parties and evenings out, work clothes, casual clothes, and enough layers to go from skiing and outdoor adventures to workouts.

What I’m Wearing on the Plane

Jeans, a white tank top, my alpaca sweater (that I got in Peru) a pair of knee high leather boots, the only shoes I’m taking, they dress up or down, and my lightweight down jacket. Hat & mitts are in the pockets.

Notice that I have ONE BAG. My Tortuga. No personal item. No purse. No extras.

Why does this matter? It doesn’t, except as a demonstration of what’s possible. You CAN travel long term with very little, and have everything you need. In this scenario, I have loads of extra room for things I pick up along the way. I always pick up things along the way.

And, I’ve got the Tortuga daypack tucked in which will work as my purse, and my work bag for nipping out to coffee shops with my computer when I’m hanging around Bucharest.

Wanna See How I Did It?

complete list

two long sleeve shirts

small packing cubes

packing cubes tucked nicely into the Tortuga

bag's half empty

sweater dress &toiletries lay ontop of cubes

computer slides inthe top sleeve

all packed!Travel clothes ready


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