Packing posts are pretty popular around here. Which makes sense, because packing is hard. And personal. And often left to the very last second, when, in a blind panic, we end up leaving our passports behind and accidentally packing the cat.
So, yeah. Hard stuff.
And it doesn’t really get easier. Even when you travel full-time for a year. There are still tough decisions to be made along the way. Things to part with. New things to add. And things you know no one else would lug around the world with them, but gosh-darn-it you’re going to.
Or, at least that’s how packing is for me.
Which means my list probably looks very different than other digital nomads. I’m not one of the pack-two-outfits-and-go travelers who loves doing laundry in the sink every night. And I’m also not a pack-for-every-emergency girl who whips out one of those knives that basically hides an entire toolkit inside.
Instead, I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. A minimalist where I can be, but willing to carry more weight in exchange for a little comfort and vanity (curling iron, anyone?).
So, my best advice when packing for travel is know yourself. If you hate doing laundry, pack more clothes. If you need a digital detox, skip the computer. If you’re going to be lugging your backpack up a mountain, choose the lightest items you can. And if you just can’t sleep without earplugs, don’t forget them.
And just in case it’s helpful or gives you ideas, here’s what’ll be in my bag later this month when I wave farewell (temporarily) to the Swiss Alps and set up shop in Paris.
Clothes: 7 tank tops, 4 long-sleeved shirts, 4 long-sleeved zip-ups, 1 short-sleeved shirt, 2 open cardigans, 3 skirts (2 black, 1 red), 1 tennis skirt (which I sleep in and bum around in), 1 pair colored pants (teal, like this), 1 winter coat, 1 nice dress, 1 bathing suit.
Somewhere along the way, I’d also like to pick up a pair of jeans (both my pairs have become too big and are getting left behind in Switzerland) and another bottom (skirt/pants).
As I alluded to above, I carry a bit more clothes than your average nomad. For me, this works. I only carry my backpack about once a month (so a little extra weight isn’t a big deal) and since I work while on the road, doing laundry every couple days feels like a massive waste of my precious exploration time. So I carry enough to get me through a little over a week and to layer as it gets colder.
Accessories: 1 scarf, 1 belt, 1 beanie, 1 clutch bag, 1 small faux leather backpack, 1 pair cute heels, 1 pair trail running sneakers (for hiking/running), assorted jewelry (3 necklaces, 3 pairs earrings, 1 ring, 1 bracelet), assorted socks and undergarments (4 bras, 10+ pairs underwear, 8+ pairs socks), 1 pair boots.
(The pretty red shoes and the little black cap pictured were trashed and donated to charity respectively. I go through shoes like nobody’s business, constantly exploring new cities and mountains on foot.)
(The earphones pictured died here in Switzerland and were replaced by a much smaller, bright pink pair of earbuds. Better for traveling.)
Toiletries & Bath: Shampoo, soap, small jar of lotion, deodorant, baby sunscreen (for me and the dog), hairbrush, bobby pins, and hair ties, razor and a handful of blades, hair concrete by Alterna, curling iron (not pictured).
(The hair concrete is on probation. I used to use it all the time, but haven’t used it at all since I got my most recent haircut, which brings out my natural curl. If I don’t use it or if I use it and don’t love it in Paris, it’s headed for the trash.)
Since it’s more environmentally friendly and cheaper, I usually buy full-size toiletries instead of travel-sized. If you’re going on a short trip, small, refillable bottles make tons of sense. But for me, small refillables would be impractical and generate a lot of waste.
Makeup: Bare minerals face powders and brushes, 1 gold eye shadow and brush, mascara, nail clippers, tweezers, chapstick.
Dog Supplies: Sleepypod carrier, Yummy travel bowls, leash, harness, and collar, shears (for cutting Luna’s hair), heartworm meds and Benadryl, toothbrush and doggie toothpaste, one tennis ball, dog food and bones, poop bags.
Paperwork and Other Essentials: Dog paperwork and passport, printouts of tickets, reservations, etc., passport.
That’s all she wrote, darlings.
Enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What’s in your bag?