In Discussions, Discussions, Lifestyle, Minimalism, Nomadism, Packing, Travel

Minimalist Packing to Travel: 1 Carryon. 1 Bag. 2 Months.

This is how a (Hybrid) Minimalist packs a practical wardrobe and suitcase to travel for 2 months!

So you all know by now that I’m heading to Europe for 2 months. If you haven’t.. SURPRISE! I AM GOING TO EUROPE FOR 2 MONTHS! 🙂

I promised a packing post, and this is what I’m bringing.

WHAT THE HECK IS A HYBRID MINIMALIST?

I am totally making stuff up right now.

You know those women who wear only neutral colours so that everything matches, has only 2 pairs of practical shoes and wears one necklace their entire life?

I am not that woman.

I am not that kind of minimalist.

I am a different version of a Minimalist.

A Minimalist Huppie

By that same vein, I am also a light traveler, but not so extreme that I don’t bring anything but a passport and one outfit, because I am what I like to call practical, paranoid, and slightly vain (PPV).


For instance, I bring items to back up my photos, lots of electronics, I have emergency items and so on and so forth.

Lastly, I only dress like this when I travel because it makes sense.

At home, I have lots of clothes but that’s home, not traveling.

Wardrobe-Closet-Mochimac-Clothes-5

THE RULES I TRAVEL BY

  • I don’t care about looking cute on vacation because I am not looking for love, and won’t ever see these strangers again, and if I DO see them again, it’ll be on my home turf and I’ll be extra cute
  • I don’t plan on going to clubs, parties, or any big events (I’d pack accordingly if this were the case)
  • I hate carrying a lot of stuff because it gets heavy and annoying
  • I hate paying fees to check in suitcases, and I travel as free and as light as possible

I don’t really understand the point of looking your best on vacation but not at home.

Why not look your best all the time in your home city instead? Those are your compatriots and people you REALLY see daily!!!

While traveling, I care about being COMFORTABLE, sweat-free, sunburn-free, and blister-free.

Pain is not fun.

Pain is not beauty for me.

Yes, we will be seeing family members / friends, but they don’t care about my appearance because if they did, they wouldn’t be friends worth having. Besides, if they ever visited ME in my home country, I’d look super cute.

On vacation? Not so much.

I literally look like a hobo. YOU of course, do not have to look like a hobo, but you can follow the same rules, swap out the shoes, and the clothing for pieces of your own.

Don’t bring Birkenstocks, bring heels instead, etc etc.

HERE GOES!

HOW LONG THESE ITEMS WILL LAST ME

2 months or longer, up to a year or more I wager.

Dunno, I have never tried past a year.

The only things that my run out past 2 months would be my pills, shampoo, conditioner, contacts and contact lens solution.

I can pretty much live on this for the entire year of traveling in warm, steady climates if I had to (and once in 2010 when I traveled around the world, I did!).

As long as the weather doesn’t change into winter and stays a semi-summer the whole time, I’m good.

WHERE DOES IT ALL FIT?

1 Carryon and 1 Personal Backpack (it’s my camera bag).

I don’t like bringing extra stuff if I don’t need it, and I HATE, HATE, HATE carrying luggage, so I am making it as practical for my life as possible.


A lot of stuff below will seem unnecessary to you, especially if you go out to eat in restaurants all the time, but I am more of a local grocery store kind of girl.

I like going into local groceries and buying a baguette there, some cheese, and having that for lunch.

I am not a fan of paying through the nose for overpriced food I could make at home.

The few times I will go to a restaurant, it better be something amazing.

CATEGORIES OF PACKING

I break it down into areas such as this:

  1. Documents / Money
  2. Clothing / Shoes
  3. Electronics / Entertainment
  4. Toiletries / Makeup
  5. Medical
  6. Miscellaneous

Click on any image below to biggify.

DOCUMENTS / MONEY

Hybrid-Minimalist-Packing-Trip-Travel-Documents-Money

  • Passport
  • Credit Cards used to book transportation / flights
  • Transportation cards – E.g. Paris ID for traveling on the metro
  • U.S. Dollars (to convert to Euros when I get there; you get a better exchange rate)
  • Canadian Dollars (for the interim between flights before leaving & arriving)
  • Toronto TTC Tokens (Public transportation because we don’t take cabs & my parents won’t drive me)*
  • House Keys
  • Printed flight & hotel confirmations, maps, and a list of stuff to buy
  • Photocopies of my passport and important documentation (in case I get robbed)
  • 1 Moleskine leakproof pen (not a liquid like those ink pens)
  • 1 pad of paper

*They have never driven me to and from the airport. Ever. Chalk it up to laziness, uncaring.. call it what you will. I just never rely on them or ask them for a ride anywhere when I travel.

CLOTHING / SHOES / ACCESSORIES

It is totally by luck that it all matches each other.

I didn’t particularly plan this colour scheme, but I guess my traveling stuff tends to match anyway because I buy things like linen in light colours, and I have a penchant for blue and grey.

Hybrid-Minimalist-Packing-Trip-Travel-Clothes

  • 2 button-up linen & cotton blend shirts
  • 1 linen light wrap (for the arms to keep the sun off)
  • 3 tank tops (to swap out as I wash one each day and let it dry)
  • 1 long-sleeved top (to wear to sleep and in a pinch to go out if need be)
  • 1 dress – will be wearing this with Birkenstocks *shrug*
  • 1 pair of leggings (to wear to sleep in case it gets chilly for some reason)
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of pants (linen)
  • 2 cashmere sweaters — I hear it’s cold this year; and I can layer these in case I need to
  • [Not pictured] 2 bras – I wear one, wash the other, and rotate like that
  • [Not pictured] 3 pairs of underwear – Will wash as I need them
  • [Not pictured] Swimsuit – I TOTALLY forgot to photograph this, but I am bringing one

I HAVE A TRAVEL OUTFIT TOO

Obviously the jeans, a shirt or two and a cashmere sweater will be my traveling outfit, so it isn’t this entire wardrobe going into a suitcase.

Hybrid-Minimalist-Packing-Trip-Travel-Accessories

  • 1 pair of Persol sunglasses
  • 1 Tilley Hat — a must-have when it’s hot
  • 2 pairs of small white socks — Just in case I need them for whatever reason
  • 1 Watch – I don’t rely on electronics for dates / times; watches are the best especially in between timezones

Hybrid-Minimalist-Packing-Trip-Travel-Shoes

  • 1 pair of Birkenstock sandals — hoping this will be everyday that I can wear them
  • 1 pair of flip flops — only for the beach or pool
  • 1 pair of ballet flats — only for when it rains and for “dressing up”

WHY SO MANY TOPS?

You will notice that I have more tops than pants.

My reasoning is as follows: You sweat a lot more in your upper body than in your legs. My bottom doesn’t tend to sweat as much as my top.

ELECTRONICS / ENTERTAINMENT

All the following items are pre-charged the day before.

Hybrid-Minimalist-Packing-Trip-Travel-Electronics

  • Macbook Air 11″ + Power cord
  • 1 USB key – I keep my budget handy in here to update
  • Belkin USB key extender (things like the Optex SD card reader are really bulky)
  • 2 External Hard drives – I always back up my photographs twice
  • Kobo Glo + Power cord — pre-loaded with A TON of books to read
  • iPod Touch (for organization and notes) + 1 Charger that can be used for the iPod as well
  • iPod (for music) + 1 Charger that can be used for the iPod Touch as well
  • Canon G12 (am leaving the Canon S95 at home) + Battery Charger + Extra Batteries
  • Sony RX100 + Battery Charge + Extra Batteries
  • Spare Camera Cord — Just in case the SD card reader conks out
  • Optex SD Card Reader — Saves on battery life of the camera
  • Bose Headphones — You’ll see that I forgot to photograph them so I added them in later
  • Sennheiser Earbud Headphones — Some places don’t deal well with Bose headphones
  • 3 Adapters for plugs in that country

TOILETRIES / MAKEUP

Hybrid-Minimalist-Packing-Trip-Travel-Toiletries-Makeup

The makeup is only if I want to feel a bit more “dolled up” for an unexpected something-or-another, but I plan on not ever having to really use it during this trip.

  • 3 oz. of shampoo in a GoToob tube (I bought the John Masters Organics shampoo to travel)*
  • 2 oz. of facial cleanser in a GoToob tube
  • 1 oz. of facial moisturizer in a GoToob tube – am not sure I will need much as it’ll be super hot
  • 2 x 2 oz. of body moisturizer in 2 GoToob tubes – can’t bring coconut oil, need this for eczema
  • Spare cap for a GoToob (I’ve broken them before)
  • 1 tinted Burt’s Bees lip balm
  • 1 Brown Jane Iredale Eyeliner Pencil
  • 1 Black Jane Iredale Mascara
  • 1 Pure and Simple Powder Foundation Compact
  • 1 Makeup Forever HD Microfinish powder (takes the shine away like no other)
  • 1 Jane Iredale Sunscreen powder (for the days I don’t wear a hat)
  • 1 pack of makeup wipes
  • 5 reusable squares of organic cotton all-purpose wipes
  • Electric toothbrush + Power cord
  • 2 packs of GUM interdental brushes
  • Floss
  • Razor
  • [Not pictured] Feminine stuff (it’s a Diva cup)

*Soap nuts do not travel well.

They are first of all a liquid like water, not viscous at all. Second of all, they are a natural product which means unless it’s refrigerated ALL THE TIME, it will spoil once opened.

**Coconut oil also melts in hot weather.

It is fine as a solid if refrigerated or in a colder season, but during the summer IT WILL leak all over your suitcase and stain everything in coconut oil.

Yes, I have done this. And yes, my coconut oil is currently a liquid in the jar, because it’s been so hot.

MEDICAL

Hybrid-Minimalist-Packing-Trip-Travel-Medical-Pills

  • Scopolamine patch (works much better than dramamine for me)
  • Allergy pills – I’m allergic to everything
  • Eczema cream – Put into a tiny pot, hopefully will not have to use it
  • B12 supplements – May end up eating vegan half the time
  • Estrosmart supplements – Still on this until at least September
  • Eyedrops – Eyes can get really dry on the plane
  • Spectacles – I am blind as a bat
  • Contact lens box
  • 2 tubes of contact lens solution***
  • 12 Contact lenses (6 spares per eye, 12 in total)

***The very old version of these contact lens solution bottles actually snap open at the top with a little work, so I just refill them with fresh contact lens solution each time I travel.

The newer models they sell for “travel size” packs now, do NOT snap off so you can’t refill them.

I saved these little bottles, and thank goodness because I reuse them constantly and save $20 each time.

MISCELLANEOUS

This whole section can probably be eliminated for most folks but it is necessary for me.

Hybrid-Minimalist-Packing-Trip-Travel-Miscellaneous

  • Yoga Paws – I am trying these out for the first time; I love yoga but don’t want to carry a mat; that little black bag beside it is for the Yoga Paws to be held inside
  • Neck pillow – must have because I sleep on flights and on buses & end up with neck pain without it
  • 5 Handkerchiefs – Organic cotton, will wash them daily
  • Candied ginger – For nausea
  • 2 packs of candy drops – To encourage my ears to pop & for any possible nausea
  • Travel Umbrella – You never know
  • Travel Soap – Hotel soap is really drying on my skin and not natural
  • Safety pins
  • Earplugs – These come in handy for very loud music events because I have ears like a baby
  • Hairbands
  • Hair pins – It’s a good idea to pin back your hair underneath a hat so that it doesn’t get in your face
  • 2 Tea Boxes – I bought the super tiny Glasslock ones to hold my looseleaf tea
  • Swissgold Tea strainer – Easier to travel with this one, can dry it right away versus the cheesecloth which I’d prefer using, but don’t want to leave around to dry in a hotel room
  • Travel pillow – Yes I travel with my own pillow. Hotel pillows are disgusting because people drool!!*
  • Travel cup and spoon for tea – Ditto, because usually they have grody cups in hotel rooms, or none at all and it’s styrofoam (ick)
  • [Not Pictured] Corelle Travel plates – Great for eating in the hotel room! BF will carry these.
  • Tide-to-Go Pen: Handy for spills
  • Travel Glasslock Box – Can use this to store food in when we travel, as we’re going plastic-free

*Note: We don’t sleep in hotel beds either, we sleep on the hard wooden plank underneath the bed / mattress, so don’t try and get smart and say they’re full of germs too.

That does it.

That’s what I’m bringing for 2 months..!

I will note that I wouldn’t even bring things like a cashmere sweater if I knew it wouldn’t be cold this year, but better safe than sorry.

I think what I packed is pretty practical for the possibly colder weather (especially at night), and to try and balance between being comfortable while being a tourist walking 15 hours a day.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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36 Comments

  1. d
    dunny

    Hi, SSS, I love your blog. I am going to try a carry-on size bag for my next trip — 2 weeks in Ethiopia in January.
    I retired from contract work recently and now I travel about half the time.
    I am curious about how you handle foreign currency exchange.
    I generally use cash when travelling. I take half with me, and get the other half get from ATM’s along the way. I exchange CAD to sterling, euros, or whatever at Vancouver Buillion & Exchange, which give me slightly better rate than my credit union.
    Sometimes I use a credit card for hotels but with both credit card charges and ATM withdrawals I find I am paying an extra $60 per $1,000. CAD above the cost of changing Canadian cash to Euros say at VBB. Partly because the funds are translated twice, once to US and then again to CAD.
    You mentioned in this post, that you change CAD to US cash in Canada and then change them into euros in Europe. How much do you save that way? Do you keep a US cash account?
    Good luck with baby and Montreal move.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      @dunny: There are two schools of thought on this.

      If you follow my brother, he says to just use a credit card.. “soooo much easier”, but I am wary of people stealing my identity and card overseas.

      If you want to go my paranoid route, I bring cash. Whatever I bring, is all that I spend, nothing more.

      I usually pre-pay all my hotels and flights with my credit card (but I bring it along for ID), and if I cannot pre-pay, I pay with my card anyway, unless I have enough cash, then I just cover the bill in cash.

      I usually bring USD because it’s accepted everywhere, although CAD is not bad either, but I find that USD is the main currency.

      I exchange in the country itself. It’s a lot cheaper (I’ve found) than going to a big bank like TD Canada Trust, although I do not have a credit union so I do not know if the rates would be better there.

      Lastly, I do have a US cash account 🙂 I have a USD account with TD Canada Trust that charges no fees but you can only withdraw 5 times a month but deposit as much as you want. It works perfectly for me.

      Good luck!

      (And thank you :D)

      Reply
      1. d
        dunny

        @save. spend. splurge.: Thanks for your answer. I will try taking US cash next time and changing it in country. Actually, I did this for my trips to India, and got a much better rate on rupees in country than the VBCE. Next trip to Europe I will try this with euros.

        Changing the subject, I am impressed with your attitude toward shoes and fashion when travelling. Most advice on what to pack and wear when travelling is impractical, especially regarding shoes. I used to take Birkenstocks but now I have discovered Keen shoes. I have the brown suede lace-up walking shoes and the sandals, which I wear at home and on the road. I can walk forever in these shoes, although they are not in the least fashionable, they are passable with jeans. The sandals are loose and sturdy at the same time. http://www.keenfootwear.com/ca/en/shoes/women/

        To compensate for the casual shoes and jeans, I make sure my tops are cotton, cashmere, wool, or linen (no fleece or sweats), always add a scarf or necklace, plus I do my eyebrows and use eyeliner (or have brows and lashes died before I leave). I have several Longchamp totes and a Ralph Lauren short beige waterproof coat. This works for most seasons and is reasonably smart.

        I am also a big fan of cashmere. I will look for one of those wrap sweaters like you have.

        Also, I need a pashmina — I am going to try this week in the new Little India in Surrey (BC). And I will also look for that brand that you always mention. I have a long wide fringed striped very thin jersey scarf in shades of brown and blue that I bought in France, that is currently my stand-in.

        I also do not like black on me (looks fab on others), so I opt for navy or brown plus light blue and cream and hits of orange. I see you choose pale colours like beige and pale grey even for sweaters,wraps and pashminas — don’t they get filthy travelling? I wash cottons and linens but not sweaters on the road.

        Looking forward to more updates on your finances. I was contractor/consultant for the last 8 years too, but am living on passive income now.

        Reply
        1. save. spend. splurge.

          I am thinking if you change it in the country where they actually use the currency, you can get a far better rate than trying to do it in your own country where they don’t use euros or rupees for instance 🙂 That was my logic.

          Oh yes. I am not a fashionable person when I travel. I know this and don’t care because I am traveling. You need to be able to walk, and even low heels are not going to last 15-hour days.

          I agree with making sure that I look presentable, although when I went to Asia, I was really in full-on tourist mode!!! I DID NOT dress for fashion whatsoever. I was in sweat-wicking pants, a Tilley hat, etc. 🙂 No makeup, etc.

          Cashmere is one of those fabrics I can’t live without now. I have cashmere everything, even cashmere sweaters for the home to stay warm. I’ve never found anything quite as warm and as breathable although camel hair might be up there some day.

          I’d highly recommend a cashmere pashmina. I can’t live without mine, but it depends on where you travel — somewhere warm would make that pashmina overkill.

          I do not like black on me either (hey we’re the same!). For the pale colours for my items, it was because I was going to a hot country. I don’t like to pack dark colours when I am under the sun, it just makes me hotter. If I were traveling during winter, I’d have navy blues, dark greys, etc.

          It was just a practicality issue for heat, nothing more. 🙂 (That, and it all kind of matched…)

          I love that you were a consultant for the last 8 years! Congratulations on living on your passive income and being able to travel. Me, I’m still in the game, although I don’t think I’ll ever really retire fully. I have only been working about 4 years out of the 8 I’ve been contracting…. I’ve been taking it easy, and I rather like this one year working, one year off mode I am currently in.

          Reply
          1. d
            dunny

            @save. spend. splurge.:
            I am flying to Addis Ababa tomorrow morning via Toronto, so I really had to switch to carry-on only as the baggage handling at Pearson is a mess. It all fit, and more. I can’t believe it. I had to get 3 oz containers of everything at the last minute. That’s the only big change.
            I love cashmere. If ever in Vancouver, check out Black Goat Cashmere on South Granville. The owner designs her own stuff. I want to get a travel shawl and wrap sweater like you have. http://www.blackgoatcashmere.com I want to compare White & Warren when I get a chance.
            Yeah, consulting was interesting and lucrative, hard work, with lots of time off between gigs, but now I just want to travel.

          2. save. spend. splurge.

            IT ALL FIT!!! Congratulations 🙂 I’m so happy for you.

            I am thinking I want to go back to Vancouver, but I will (more than likely) buy something from Black Goat Cashmere (I’m curious) later on this year near Boxing Day… I am kind of itching for a dark coloured cashmere travel wrap.

  2. rasilla

    if I ever go on a trip like that, I will be sure to come back to use this as a reference. I love that you covered EVERYthing.

    I hope that you are enjoying yourself so far 🙂

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Aww thank you. You should of course pick and choose based on your needs but I’m glad it helped!

      The trip so far is going well. I’m missing Canada a lot, my traveling days may be over.

      Reply
  3. The Asian Pear

    Thank you! BOOKMARKED!!
    I’m trying to go to Hawaii with ONE bag but it’s proving more difficult than I anticipated… *GULP*

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I could have cut it down more if I was not paranoid

      Reply
    2. Tania

      Girl, you can do it!! I lived in Honolulu for 20 years and grew up on Maui. You don’t need much in Hawaii and the clothes that are the best pack up small anyway.We’re a casual place. Jersey dresses, maxis, bikini, flat sandals and maybe a haviana (flip flop) If you’re going to Honolulu, you could do a LBD and a dressy sandal but you don’t have too.One light wrap or very light cardigan. Don’t bring too much makeup either because it will just sweat off. Feel free to write to me (my blog is linked to my name) if you need any help. @The Asian Pear:

      Reply
  4. Pauline @ Make Money Your Way

    You can certainly last a year with all that. Last summer I spent 6 months around Europe but we went all the way to North Cape so we needed warm clothing on top which takes a lot of luggage space when you are not using it. I just bought Birkenstocks but they give me blisters, maybe because they are one stripe not two like yours. I imagine your feet getting a nice two striped suntan :). I use a pair of Ipanema anatomic flip flops, love how they have the shape of the foot and the sole is smoother than Hawaianas, I can walk 10 miles in them easily.
    Is it common to use diva cups in Canada? I use a cup too but all the friends I’ve talked about it in France, except my similar friends who work for months in remote developing countries have looked at me like I am crazy.
    Enjoy Europe! Where are you going apart from France?

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I wear socks with my Birks because it feels SO much better. Less blistering. The Diva Cup is not common in North America from what I have experienced but I am trying to convert others 🙂

      Spain! France and Spain this time around.

      Reply
  5. s
    summerlude

    Hi!
    Great post, but I’m kind of wondering: aren’t the 2 oz bottles for toiletries kind of small for 2 months? are you planning on finding more in the hotels where you sleep, or you just manage to use this little?
    Also, I’m experimenting with this app, Packing Lists, and it may be some indulging in some slight OCD behavior but.. I’m hooked! I can make a packing list for, say, a week long trip to the beach, or for a 3 days winter business trip, and then use it again with minimal changes the next time I have a similar trip coming up!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I do this Packing List idea already, I should post it. I start with a base list then I have lists for events or changes.

      2oz is more than enough because I traveled for 2010 for a year and found I didn’t need more than an ounce a month.

      You are right however, if I need more shampoo I will nip by a pharmacy and buy some more but I am pretty good at rationing my liquids.

      Reply
  6. PK

    You may not be “that woman”, but you still make me look bad… and people tell me I “pack light”. Respect.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      So no carryon for you? 😉 I would pack less but I have my own dishes, food boxes and pillows.

      Reply
  7. LAL

    I will say I easily surpass you. I have a photo and perhaps I’ll send it via email. I took 2 children ages 3 and 1 and myself on a 3 week vacation. I flewsolo for 12 hour direct flight and used a double stroller, backpack, and 1 handcarry suitcase, and a carseat.

    Not many people can beat that and I have yet to meet another parent who can travel the way I can. Every parent I’ve meet their jaws have dropped and I posted a picture for friends and family, let’s just say no one could believe it. I photographed me, the kids at the airport and I didn’t pay for luggage.

    Oh I packed 7 changes for the kids, 5 changes for me, 1 change in my backpack, jackets, and a couple of other things.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Did you also pack your own pillow, food utensils, mosquito net, and food prep boxes? I think not. I could pack less if I just slept in hotel beds and ate out in restaurants the way you (and most people) do.

      Reply
  8. SarahN

    Wow that’s serious germ phobia but it sounds like you’re used to that level of comfort! Even your own mug and spoon! I always pack heaps of underwear cause they’re small, and if you move locations a bit wet stuff can be a pain. Though I agree it’s natural to have more tops than bottoms. I take next to no electrical stuff – saves me stressing when I don’t go out with it all. No laptop!

    I have holiday photos where I look better than normal life – not sure why! Just seem to work what I have better? But I care less? Provided I’m meeting the cultural requirements of course. But “cute’ isn’t a word I’d use – I prefer “stylish” I think.And looking good could result in a flight upgrade, the ultimate win!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Maybe you’re more relaxed in photos! I personally use a lot of electronics but if I didn’t care I could leave the computer at home and just use the iPod Touch with wifi.

      Reply
  9. C
    C.M.

    What kind of travel pillow do you have? I’ve been trying to find one that doesn’t hurt my neck!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I bought a natural rubber pillow in Grassroots (organic store here), made my own pillow case and stuffed it with the innards of the organic pillow I bought. From one pillow, we made 2 travel pillows for each of us. I hate actual “travel pillows” as they’re polyester and don’t breathe well.

      Reply
      1. d
        dunny

        @saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.:

        Besides my French press, coffee grinder, beans, etc. I really miss decent pillows when travelling. I think next time, I will hit a cheap big box store, and buy a big soft pillow and leave it behind when I go home (I usually rent a car so I can carry it all along). The horrible hard weird-shaped pillows even in quite decent hotels in Europe just kill my neck trying to work on my MacBook Air and read on my Kindle.

        My next trip coming up in 2 weeks is overland across Asia plus 2 days in Iceland on the way home — the overland trip I didn’t do back in 1974 when I was travelling for a year.

        I’ll be gone for almost 2 months, and will experience hot and cold weather plus I have to wear black shapeless clothing in some countries. I am well stocked up with black linen plants, shirts, and huge coat. I am determined to take only my carry-on plus tote bag for computer, money, etc. I won’t look as crazy as the woman I travelled with in Ethiopia in January (umbrella, sweaters, leggings in the heat !?)

        Reminds me of the time, my sister and I were freezing in an unheated hotel in the mountains in India and it was snowing outside. We purchased cheap hideous acrylic blankets to wrap ourselves in while walking around the town and tossed them later. We also bought white angora socks and gloves, which are the warmest and hardest wearing items. I hate the cold. For the upcoming trip I have cotton waffle long johns and silk underwear, cashmere sweaters. I still don’t have my perfect lightweight cashmere shawl. Can’t find the right size in the right colour in the right weight.

        Congratulations on the baby. I bet it’s sooo cute.

        Reply
        1. save. spend. splurge.

          I AGREE! Great pillows are the stuff of dreams.. although right now with a newborn, sleeping 2 hours is a dream for me.

          I hope you have a good time in Asia!! Definitely bring a sweater because I was caught in Beijing freezing cold on the Great Wall of China and wished I had brought a cashmere sweater or a fleece (I almost froze to death :P)

          Silk is really good for keeping warm, I’d agree with that. As for the lightweight cashmere shawl, I still can’t recommend White & Warren enough. 🙂

          You might also want to try Cuyana, they have a lovely alpaca shawl there…

          Reply
  10. Tania

    Great post, bookmarking for future reference. I actually love just buying goodies from the grocery store and enjoying in the hotel room. Eating out gets old real fast. There was this great gourmet grocery in Hong Kong that I’d buy little tastes at least a few nights a week on the way back to the hotel from our office there and just stay in. Always did a Dean & Deluca day or even the local groceries in Napa. I’m surprised you carry so much USB items, are you using it to backup or for your photos? I rarely use flash drives anymore. I’m looking forward to finding a good online backup. Once listened to this Suitcase Entrepreneur podcast with the blogger behind yesandyes.org and was really intrigued that she could just toss her notebook and get a new one when it went kaput while traveling with no ill effect (she’s one of those traveling all the time types, you may enjoy that podcast too if you don’t already follow it, many minimalists self employed heavy travelers featured).

    I used to keep different general packing lists when I traveled alot for business based on whether it was mainland trips or to another island, client work or for my duties as a trainer. I think I need to make new lists now for leisure because I wasn’t an efficient packer on my last trip.

    I rarely bring very many toiletries now compared to when I was younger. I used to be much more high maintenance about having all my favorite products with me. If the hotel has it, I don’t bring it (i.e. shampoo/conditioner/body lotion/blow dryer/clothes steamer) and in Hong Kong I used to just buy a few things when I got there as there was a wonderful skin/makeup store in Causeway Bay that sold many items in smaller sizes. During the summer, just tinted moisturizer, a little bronzer and some blush. I prefer my good bose headphones but I always end up tossing them out for ear buds especially now I travel with a yoga foam ,massage roller to put my feet up due to a sciattaca nerve problem (it’s light but bulky). It also helps to massage my body after traveling after a quick wipe down with an alcohol wipe.

    I wear Birks all the time girl! Of course I do live on Maui, don’t know if you knew but we’re kind of a granola crunchy place. We’ve got rich mainland transplants who wear pricey tie dye and then we’ve also got real hippies who make their own tie dye, wear dreads and burn incense. I also like NAOT, which are made in Israel. They’ve got some styles that look like Dansko but also some Birk like styles. I prefer my NAOTs as I think it suits my low arch much better.

    Btw, how’d you do with luggage? Luggage is a category that I’m finding is very difficult to find a piece not made in China. The China items are emitting this horrible gas/smell (same with some shoes made in China). Even Travelpro smells horrid. I’d be curious to hear from you if you find any good lines. Rimowa is made in Germany and beautiful but is also very pricey. I like the look and size of Hideo Wakamatsu and Lipault but couldn’t find any info on where these lines are made (which usually means China). Anyway, if you run across any lines, I’d love to hear about it. I went with a little Antler as it was the lightest option (one of the hardsized bags as the smell seems to be on the canvas types).

    Reply
    1. Tania

      Sorry this was so long, cripes. @Tania:

      Reply
      1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

        No worries!! 🙂 I love long comments.

        Reply
    2. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I like expensive grocery stores too! The food is better and you can buy prepared stuff.

      As for the laptop tossing idea, I don’t buy things with them being disposable in mind. I buy stuff like Apple and then care an guard it with my life. I should note I also hate PCs and love Macs especially now with how friendly they are.

      I never fret about toiletries because I can always replenish but I do like natural stuff which is VERY hard to find at times.

      As for luggage I have stuck with my rolling Samsonite. It makes me cringe to know it is Chinese but I use it so rarely… Although when it dies, Rimowa is what I’ll buy.

      Reply
  11. Blair@LifeDollarsandSense

    Great post! I am working to pack light for frequent work travel…I love your small pouches to organize things, I will work on that.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Sometimes too many pouches make it annoying (harder to pack things into the corners!), but it helps you find thing easily.

      Reply
  12. Ree Klein

    This list is AMAZING!!! I’m going to bookmark it for future reference. It must have taken you a long time to put this post together with the detailed photos, etc.

    Thank you so much 🙂

    Ree

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Well I’m kind of used to putting together packing lists, I did it a lot on my old blogs, but this one was pretty easy because I’ve used something similar in 2010 when I went around the world. I just had to spend time arranging and taking photos of everything.

      Reply
  13. cj

    Ya gotta love the “I am totally making stuff up right now” line. You are too much fun, Mochimac! We travel far lighter, but you have to have what makes you comfy lest travel is a PITA and no longer fun. Seriously, comfort is king in nearly everything I do, but certainly with travel.

    Many of these items which I did not consider in the past need to be reviewed and considered such as the RFID credit card sleeves or the cord pouch.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I would travel with a lot less if I wasn’t so paranoid. I bring my own soap, pillow, etc. I could go with half that carryon if I just ate out in restaurants too.

      Reply

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