Friday, January 25, 2013

Packing List - Just One Carry On Bag

I promised to post a copy of my packing list that I use when preparing for an overseas holiday and here it is! 

I like to take one carry on bag (slightly smaller than the full size allowed) and one small day-pack for myself and one of my sons (my husband carries the other).  This list includes items I will be wearing, as well as what is in the bag.

I can go for an indefinite amount of time with these items as they can be washed in the room's sink or bathtub and left hung out to dry overnight.

My oldest son when he was one year old hiking in New Zealand.

And now the list:

2 blouses (I take the long sleeved travel shirts by Gondwanda that can be buttoned up to be short sleeved as well).

2 tshirts (I have one bamboo travel shirt by Gondwanda and one wool t-shirt by Kathmandu that is meant to be a base layer but I find it useful as a tight but breathable t-shirt).

rollup ballet flats/dress/cardigan/black stockings (This is my solution to a "dressy" outfit.  It's not anywhere near as dressy as what I wear on a regular basis at home, but I just don't feel comfortable turning up to high tea at a fancy hotel in hiking boots and trousers.  My dress is a black ankle-length maxi dress by Capture which doesn't show packing creases.  The cardigan is a black cardigan by Modcloth to add a bit of warmth.  My ballet flats are Rollasole.  They do the job of being light weight and pack small but they are not very durable.)

skirt (A Macabi ankle length travel skirt.  This allows me to be culturally appropriate when visiting religious places of worship and countries where it is not appropriate for a woman to wear trousers.  It washes and dries overnight without creasing too badly.  It does have the option to convert to shorts but they look pretty bad so I stick to the skirt configuration.)

pants (Gondwanda travel pants with zip off legs that convert to shorts.)

2 socks (Tilley endurables travel socks.  Wash and dry overnight!)

2 underwear (Tilley endurables travel underwear.  These don't look particularly sexy but they are full coverage (i.e. come up to my belly button) and wash and dry overnight.)

bra (You don't need details on this do you?  OK, in the interest of over-sharing I take a black t-shirt bra that will work with everything.  I made sure that this won't show through my lighter coloured blouses before selecting it.)

bathers (My usual black polka-dot retro style one piece.  This is actually one of my only piece of "normal" clothing I take.)

warm jacket (Kathmandu thermal zipped up jacket.  It's cozy and warm.)

raincoat (Rainbird black zip up jacket style coat with hood.  The hood can be zipped away if I'm just wearing the jacket against wind rather than rain.)

sun hat (Kathmandu travel hat.  It packs without showing crush marks.)

hiking boots (I love my Gondwanda hiking boots.  They're very comfortable and provide good ankle support.)

thongs for shower (Just a cheapie pair from Kmart do the job here.  I did pick a black pair with sparkles because let's be honest, a pretty pair packs just as small as a plain pair.)

night gown (Black silky nylon vintage slip.  I wear these all the time to bed, and it packs so small and light and is easy to replace, unlike my more precious vintage dresses.)

silky scarf (Big enough to wear as head scarf.  At home I wear these in a 40's style turban for housekeeping or bad hair days and when travelling I like to have one on hand for locations where it's appropriate for woman to cover their heads.  If it's just to enter some religious buildings I keep my scarf folded up in my pocket to put on as needed, otherwise it's worn all the time.  This scarf does show packing marks, so I keep it folded neatly in a zip lock bag so at least the marks are regular rather than just looking crumpled.)

warm hat (A thermal grey beanie that I got at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.  Excellent for keeping warm in the snow.)

warm gloves (Matching grey thermal gloves from the same place.  These are pretty thick so if I was going to Antarctica or anywhere where I would want to be wearing gloves while taking photographs I would also take a thin pair to wear underneath.)

long johns x 2 thermal top x 2 (If visiting countries where thermals are necessary.  The Kathmandu woolen thermals are pretty good and come in nice colours that look like clothes rather than underwear.)

carry on travel bag (Mine is slightly smaller than the full size allowed as I find that a bit too much to carry - I need to keep my hands free to hold my children's hands when necessary and a big bag gets in the way.)

day pack (I have a little triangular day pack that is designated as my son's "carry on" bag for the flight and thereafter is carried as a day pack.  For the flight this contains children's entertainment and my Kindle and while on holiday it contains water, first aid kit, torch, travel guide, camera, and children's toileting supplies.)

laundry bag (A super big one with a draw string but it's actually too big now that I wash every day.  I might re-think the need to bring this, though it does corral all my laundry supplies together.)

watch (I don't bring a mobile phone so I need this to get to things like the dawn flag-raising at Tiananmen Square, which was great by the way, well worth getting up early.)
travel clock (One with a good loud alarm so we don't miss flights or trains.  I'm a heavy sleeper.)

torch (One of my emergency supplies.  Is also good for looking inside tombs/ruins/caves without electricity.)

Toothbrush, cap, tooth powder (I take tooth powder tablets that Lush make so I don't have to show them at airport security.  Normal toothpaste gel has additional security requirements.  The cap is to stop my wet toothbrush smearing all over the inside of my toiletry bag.)

glasses cleaning cloth (Nothing worse than dirty glasses.)

camera (We have a digital SLR that's pretty big and heavy but it does take very nice pictures.)

guidebook (Lonely Planet is my favourite.  We did try out switching to the digital version but found the maps and index to be cumbersome so have reversed to the heavy printed one.)

first aid kit (I carry this in my day pack and have had cause to use it twice so far.  An essential.)

paper nail file (I hate having a broken nail, it really bothers me.  I do remove all my nail polish and cut my nails short before travelling to decrease up-keep.  I leave my toe-nails painted though, they usually last better without chipping.)

hair comb/brush (A cheapie one from the supermarket that also has a mirror and folds up into itself for storage.)

foundation/brush (A short handled kabuki brush with my Chanel Pro-Lumiere works just fine.)

hair band/tie, two bobby pins (I made the mistake of travelling without these once and had to put up my hair in a very strong wind with just one old bobby pin I found in my pocket.  I have very thick wavy hair and it was a challenge.)

laundry rope, sink plug, hard soap (For all that daily washing.)

razor (Ladies you know what this is for!)

bar shampoo, soap container (I have a Lush bar shampoo that doesn't need pulling out at airport security.)

concealer (Whatever one I am wearing at the time.  At the moment it's Mirenesse Icon Sealer.)

bar soap, soap container (Better than liquid body wash as I don't need to pull it out at security.)

solid deodorant (As above.)

tweezers (Ladies, you also know what this is for!)

viscose travel towel (Dries quickly and does a suprisingly good job of exfoliation if used a little damp.)

air sickness tablets (I get motion sickness just driving to my in-laws house so a good strong tablet is essential.  At the moment I'm using Quell.  I did try Sea Bands which did nothing for me.)

passport, air tickets/boarding passes, visas, cash, credit/debit card, drivers licence, vaccination certificates, spare passport photos.  (I carry these for myself and my children.  My husband looks after his own.)

kindle, charging cord, power adaptor (I read so quicky that taking paper copies of books is a nightmere.  Hooray for the Kindle!)

inflatable travel pillow (Economy long haul is quite an endurance test, anything to make it easier.)

aspirin (I get migranes.)

pads (One for the ladies.)


lip balm

eye mask

mini moisturiser

condoms (And one for the gents.)

copy of eye prescription

guidebook (Cover with paper so you don't look quite so much like a tourist when consulting.)


notebook (For diary writing.  I carry one for each of my children as well.)

two packs cards (I have a book of card games on my Kindle.)

security pouch

black stockings/thermals (Depending on the temperatures you're expecting.)

face wash cloth

door lock


medicare card

For the kids I also include clothing, bathers, entertainment (readers, bedtime stories on kindle) mini crayons, activity books, mini activities, diaries, glue stick, little car), pullups, nappy sacks, undies, wipes, toothbrush (I purchase children's toothpaste on arrival), socks, rain coats, beanies and a swimming nappy.  I haven't forked out for children's quick drying travel clothing as it's very expensive and they grow out of it so quickly. We just make do and they will wear a pair of jeans until they really REALLY needs a wash and then we go to a laundromat and do all their clothes at once if it's a country where that's possible.  They have each got a child's size Rainbird rain jacket as they use these at home as well so we get our money's worth out of the purchase.

That was long!  Has anyone got any questions or suggestions?  Do you do something different that works even better?  Would you like links to specific products?  Let me know :-)

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