“Pack” to the Future

I love traveling; it’s a lifelong love affair inherited from my father. Growing up, we often took road trips to visit extended family members who lived across the southern half the the country (from Vidalia, Georgia to El Paso, Texas). Dad was a Depression Kid and a borderline hoarder; but he was a master of packing lists and travel itineraries and planning for every possibility. I get the same thrill from these things; however, while he enjoyed loading up the back of the pickup with supplies and taking the scenic route, I prefer flying while using my Girl Scout camping skills for packing light. Through the years, I’ve developed a nearly fail-proof process for minimalist travel that includes a master list and a carefully curated collection of travel accessories.

For our 20th wedding anniversary, we took the longest trip (to the coldest climate) we’ve taken together: 8 days in early spring traveling by plane, train, bus, and automobile to Michigan, Ontario, and upstate New York. After spending months researching, planning, and shopping for just the right items, here is what I took:

  • Purple/blue/pink plaid Jansport Superbreak wheeled backpack
  • Large, medium and small packing cubes
  • Black and white striped Ava & Viv long-sleeved t-shirt
  • Blue merino wool long-sleeved top
  • Gray Life Is Good long-sleeved maple leaf t-shirt
  • Short-sleeved TeePublic Doctor Who t-shirt
  • Black cashmere long-sleeved turtleneck sweater
  • Black Ava & Viv tank top
  • Lands End blue jeans
  • Gray Lands End Starfish stretch pants
  • Travelsmith reversible black & black/aqua/tan skirt
  • Black Cuddl Duds fleece leggings [didn’t need]
  • Navy & gray Lands End Marinac reversible fleece jacket with Windcheck layer
  • Red/blue/green plaid Lands End packable down vest in drawstring pouch (for neck pillow on the plane)
  • Navy Lands End packable rain jacket [didn’t need]
  • Black tights
  • Red and silver maple leaf pashmina
  • Gray infinity scarf with hidden zippered compartment
  • SA reversible navy & gray/white slouch beanie
  • Navy Isotoner convertible gloves/mittens
  • Black suede Lands End ankle boots
  • Black Easy Spirit flats
  • Jewelry roll with variety of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets
  • Necessary undergarments & socks
  • Squeeze Pod 1 quart clear zip pouch with liquid toiletries
  • Squeeze Pod large clear zip pouch with insulin pens, needles, Frio pouch, and Cirkul Sips
  • Cirkul water bottle
  • Magellan medication wallet
  • Humangear pop tub with antacid chews
  • Humangear pop tub with hard candies (for plane)
  • Glucology compact sharps bin
  • KIndle Paperwhite in purple Amazon magnetic case
  • Anker rapid wall charger and portable power bank
  • Anker selfie stick
  • Folding bluetooth keyboard
  • Maxpedition travel tray
  • Travelon packable tote
  • Digital luggage scale
  • Aqua and purple Skullcandy earbuds in zip case
  • Purple Travelon anti-theft cross-body purse [inside: Tweezerman travel nail kit, tiny first aid kit, SA maple leaf convertible head scarf/face shield, tiny Kate Spade wallet, passport, EOS lip balm, comb, phone, clip-on sunglasses, and a tiny framed photo of my Mom, whose inheritance paid for this trip]
  • New purchases during this trip: Go Travel Carry Clip to attach smaller bags to larger rolling bags (a lifesaver when navigating airports, especially after my bag rolled down the escalator into my husband) and 2 blue short-sleeved t-shirts
You’ll notice the following in the list above:
  • Brands I’m particularly loyal to
  • Companies that make specialized travel gear
  • Tops, bottoms, and accessories in coordinating colors to mix and match with each other
  • Variety of styles for comfy travel, urban touring, outdoor exploring, lounging/sleeping, and dining out
  • The terms reversible and convertible — two pieces of clothing for the space of one!
  • LAYERS: Instead of a heavy coat and bulky sweaters, I opted for several light items that can be worn together or separately as weather indicates
  • Divide and conquer: I carried the clear pouch of liquids for both of us, while hubby’s toiletry bag had the rest of our grooming items

So, what does all of this have to do with scrapbooking? Look at the photos below showing the outfits I created from the items in my one small bag! (On the flight home, I swapped the packable tote for my purse when I needed extra space for souvenirs; its size also qualifies as a personal item).


(For those curious, hubby had his own rolling backpack, packing cubes, and similar assortment of supplies and clothing, including his trusty black New Balance sneakers.)

Check out more photos from our trip at my food and recipe blog, The Soup Diva!


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