Please Allow Me To Pat Myself On The Back

A lot of times, things just don't go my way. But once in a while, they do! As I alluded to in my last post, I arrived at my client site last night after coming from Reno. Today, tomorrow, and Thursday morning are the culmination of 11 days on the road for a combination of business and pleasure. I had to pack a LOT, and out of pride, refused to check a bag.* I was able to bring all of this with me:

  • 2 days' worth of business casual
  • 2 days' worth of trailer chic (including heavy boots)
  • 4 days' worth of snowboarding and apres-ski gear
  • 3 days' worth of trailer chic

* Full disclosure, I did check my snowboard bag, as Burton has yet to invent a foldy version. But still, the pants, heavy socks, goggles, mittens, you name it... all into my carry-on. I'm no Jen (she went to Thailand for 10 days with only a purse and looked suhcyoot... more on her later), but for me, this was a major win.

Which brings me to my point: I am a firm believer in avoiding checked luggage by any means necessary. We did it for the first time when I went to Europe with my parents for 10 days. Back then, I panicked. But once we got there, and now that I'm in this line of work, I've never looked back. Traveling with just a carry-on is so much less risky, usually cheaper, and all-around easier! Here's a few things I've found useful in my quest to travel light... now pour yourself a beverage and listen up:

  • Invest the time and money in finding a bag you're comfortable with. It doesn't have to cost a lot (I got mine on sale for ~$130 roughly eight years ago and it's still kickin'), but you need to like it. Check out its compartments, its dimensions, and frankly, its appearance. Make sure you have space for toiletries, undergarments, and whatever else you typically travel with.
  • List the days you'll be gone and what you'll be doing on those days. For example, when I went to New Orleans with the girls, I knew we'd be doing tons of walking during the day (comfy shoes, comfy pants / dresses) but going to nicer meals at night (nice jeans or a dress). See where you can overlap items; a denim jacket, a maxi dress, etc. and jot those items down so you don't forget them.
  • Visualize what will actually fit, and get rid of things that won't. This has helped prevent me from the "sit and zip" I practiced for so, so long to wedge my poor bags shut. I have learned that I simply cannot bring two pairs of wedges on my trips and now wonder why I ever tried.
  • Remember Coco and realize that, similar to my point above, you probably don't need everything you've laid out. In fact, I'm almost certain you don't. One less shirt, pair of pants, or face cream will not kill you, and chances are, you weren't going to use it anyway.
  • If (IF!) you have space, grab extras of any item that you were on the fence about leaving behind. For me, this is usually an extra bikini or pair of sandals for warm trips, or an extra sweater or scarf for cold trips. We aren't monsters, after all.

Oh, and when all else fails... just hope you have a girl like LAW who can give you a play-by-play packing list when you need it most.

Happy traveling!