The Things I Carry

“What do you pack for a year of travel?” People ask me that all the time. Frankly, I am tired of most of the things I brought. I have tossed a few items and purchased a few new things along the way, but here is a list of everything I have with me.

Clothes: I put all of my clothes in two Eagle River 15 inch packing sleeves. My clothing items include:

*Workout shorts and tank
*Black dress for theater or nicer events
*Black tank tops to wear under clothing. I can wash these at night which makes my clothes feel fresh every day, even when I am not near a laundry facility to wash all of them.
*Beach dress and swimsuit
*Jeans/black pants I bought at grocery store when I was freezing in Colombia…and now I kind of like them!
*3 casual dresses – very lightweight with no big zippers, buttons, or embellishments – I try to choose ones that can be used as day or night wear. Two have short sleeves and one has long sleeves
*Long Black shorts
*Black skirt
*2 thin shirts to match black shorts and skirt
*Light and dressy tank tops bought along the way
*Shorter khaki shorts
*Black leggings- perfect for cold weather layering, modesty wear, or for under a dress.
*Pajama pants and tank
*Socks for bus rides
*Cardigan sweater
*Lightweight jacket…bought on the road when I encountered cold weather but will probably ship home if I send another package.
*Underclothes-I bring my oldest things so I can wear them for the trip and toss before I come home to make room for new purchases
*Black linen pants-mainly for overnight bus rides..feel like pajamas but can be worn for activities the next day.
*Thin long sleeve black shirt for layering on cold days or modesty at religious sights
*Multicolor thin scarf for belt or hair
*Scarf for use as wrap, modesty, or beach blanket.

Bags: Inside my suitcase, I pack some other bags (very light ones) for different functions throughout the trip. They include:

*Nike back bag with cinch strings to use for weekend trips
*Purse for daytime use
*Fold up nylon tote bag- I bought this at Bath and Body Works and it feels like a feather. I have not used it yet, but it is small enough to fit is my cosmetic case so I have it as a back up.

I am pretty low maintenance with “product” while on the road, and like to try new things when I arrive, but here are the things currently in my cosmetic bag:

*Cosmetics: press powder, loose powder, lip balm, tiny blush and brush

Other products in a separate cosmetic case include mini sizes of:

*Insect repellent
*Travel size lotion
*Downey wrinkle releaser
*Face soap
*Nail clipper
*Foot buffer and lotion (bought on the road after weeks of hiking in flip flops)
*Pony tail bands
*Shaver and replacement blades
*Feminine products
*Shampoos and the cool little hotel soaps and lotions that were too cute to leave behind.

I have a separate plastic case for medical emergencies. The items in the bag include:
*Dramamine for motion sickness
*”Just in case” antibiotics,
*Pepto Bismal tablets
*Immodium pills
*Antibiotic cream for bites and cuts
*One Alka Seltzer
*Teeth retainer and cleaner
*Contact lenses and solution
*I also get a prescription for motion sickness patches for choppy or long boat rides. I have not used one yet but I have in the past and they are good to have.

Here are other miscellaneous items that I have found to come in handy:

*Plastic utensils-I keep them with me for when I buy street food or groceries
*Travel blanket and inflatable pillow- my blanket is made of tshirt material and has a small cotton carrying case. I use this constantly-even if I am not cold, I feel more comfortable sleeping on buses and planes when I am covered and sure I am not exposing myself while squished into fetal position.
*Pen and Thank you cards
*Chicago souvenirs…key chains and pens for special people I meet
*Ziploc bags in a variety of sizes for wet swimsuit, snacks, packing, etc. They always come in handy
*Small gifts for children…barrettes and rubber bracelets
*Plastic bag for laundry
*Disposable wet naps for clean up on buses
*iPhone and cords universal outlet adapters and chargers, *Headphones
*Passport with bright case so I can always find it in my bag
*Extra bag for daily use…cotton tote with no zippers
*Shoes…flip flops, Vibram gym shoes, flat slip ons
*Travel blow dryer
*Curling iron
*Comb and travel hairbrush
*Copy of passport
*”In case of emergency” contact info
*Business cards with my contact information
*Refillable plastic water bottle with clip that I can reuse and fill up for free at most hotels and airports. I like having one with a loop that can be clipped onto my purse

All of that stuff fits comfortably in my suitcase. I have a wheely duffle because I like the way it expands and I like rolling better than carrying. Having to carry everything really makes me rethink what I “need.”


About bartoszblog

Working as a teacher has taught me about life. Working at the front desk of a hotel taught me a lot about people.
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2 Responses to The Things I Carry

  1. Denise M. says:

    I must admit, I was wondering what you took with you on this adventure! This is a great lesson in packing light! Happy holidays Nancy! Be blessed and be safe!

    • Nancy says:

      Hope you are having a great break and checking items off your “to do” list! 🙂 The packing list will help me in the future, too. I always forget something! Happy New Year!

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