It’s probably the first question over 90% of the people we share our story with ask. There are many different opinions on what makes sense, even within our family, we all have a different idea. Obviously, the less we bring, the more mobile we are, and the easier it will be to move from place to place: a smaller rental car, less to lug on and off of trains, in and out of airports and taxi, etc.
Fewer clothes though also means more laundry, and maybe not leaving the house with everything we may need. The thing is, we aren’t going anywhere so remote that we will be cut off from the world. Most of our itinerary has been planned so that we follow the spring, summer & early fall. Warmer weather = fewer clothes. If we run into a few cold days or want to go trekking through glaciers, we can pick up some boots and a jacket. If we get tired of our clothing, we can trade some items out along the way.
We will prepare a bag at home for the more extreme destinations, and when the time comes to visit those places, use luggage free and have the bag shipped to us. (Antarctica Expedition, Safari in Kenya, etc)
With the help of our packing cubes and some youtube tutorials on how to roll and fold the clothing to fit the max in each available space, we will begin our trip with two carry-on size roller bags and one regular full size roller bag. Dad will split his clothes and share space in each of the girls carry-on sized rollers. Mom can have her own regular size suitcase. We will each then have our own backpacks for electronics and carry-on items.
After several hours of research and planning, our initial packing list is below.
Once on the road, I’m sure we’ll find some things we never touch and others we’ll need to pick up.
When we get to that point we’ll do an update comparing “What we thought we’d need before leaving home” to “What we really needed”… Only way to know for sure is to just go for it and see what happens…
The items we list are those we have researched and chosen to purchase for our journey. Should you decide the same items would work for you, as Amazon Associates, we do earn from qualifying purchases made using the links below
3 Long Sleeve t’s
6 Pairs of Socks
3 Capri style pants
2 Bathing Suits
1 Light Jacket
1 Pair Flip Flop
1 Pair Dress Shoes
1 Pair Tennis Shoes
3 Polo Style Short Sleeve Shirts
2 Long Sleeve T’s
2 Dress & 4 Hiking Socks
1 Button Down Dress Shirt
1 Pair Dress Pants
1 Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt
2 Pairs Active Travel Pants
1 Pair Hiking Pants
1 Bathing Suit
1 Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
1 Pair Black Dress Shoes
1 Pair Sandals
1 Pair Hiking Shoes
Mom’s packing list is still under construction…
With business meetings scheduled near the start of the trip, it will be a little harder for mom to pack as lean as the rest of us. Being the family medic also means mom will be organizing the vitamins, essential oils, etc., not all of which can fit in the carry-on.
Mom also doesn’t find it as comical as dad to be wearing the same outfit in all family photos. (Dad is often the one behind the camera)
Valid points, and the reason for mom’s full size suitcase. We will do our best though to keep the traveling clothes to the one big bag. We can always ship things home, or donate to the locals, and purchase needed clothes along the way. We’ll be much more mobile with fewer bags…
Update coming soon, when the list is finalized…
It is amazing how much more can fit in a suitcase when organized. I was never a believer in packing cubes until I gave them a try last winter on a winter ski trip to Switzerland. Those who ski know that packing for a ski trip usually entails extra baggage for the bulky items.
By utilizing packing cubes though, I was able to pack for a week in the mountains in a single carry-on sized roller bag; active wear for the days & business clothes for a weeks worth of evening events. (And no, I didn’t wear the same clothes everyday)
Dress shirts in one, active ski clothes in another, a small one with the change of clothes for the backpack.
Grouping the items prevent the usual digging through the bag to find a shirt, instead you only have to find the right cube. When arriving at a hotel, you can drop the cube into a drawer or shelf in a closet, open it up, and you are ready to go.
There are so many brands of packing cubes available at a wide range of prices. Already owning a flat eBag toiletry kit that is a favorite, I purchased a set of eBags cubes first and then a set these from Travel Wise. Aside from the eBags cubes being twice the price when it was time to purchase, I couldn’t really tell a difference in quality, so we’ve purchased four sets of the Travel Wise cubes – a different color for each of us.
Our trip is not intended to be a backpacking trip around the world. However, on travel and touring days, we will use our backpacks often. We chose to go with a backpack with a maximum size of 30L. Keeping the bags in the dimensions we selected and under 30L in volume, allows them to be stored overhead on most small aircraft, bus, or trains and small enough to fit under the seat in front of us. They will be big enough to carry our electronic gear through the airports on travel days, and then small enough to use as a day packs as we explore local destinations.
These bags are both comfortable and sized small enough so that we can’t overload and make them too heavy. Each has a laptop sleeve at least one or two additional compartments to stash things in. Emily’s has the ability to slide over the handles of the roller bag, which will be convenient when she’s had enough carrying.
(1) Small HP Laptop for Each Girl
(1) Kindle Each
(1) BUBM Cord Organizer
Mom & Dad’s Old iPhones
One Day’s Change of Clothes
This is a great backpack for all the electronics and photography gear, and I love that it isn’t labeled with a brand name that screams “Photography Equipment” It fits conveniently in plane, bus or train overhead bins, or under the seat. With all the zippers, it’s very functional and easy to access any of the gear without tearing the bag apart.
(1) Laptop Computer
Camera & Lenses
BUBM Cord Organizer
One Day’s Change of Clothes
The Osprey Porter is another nice all-around bag. Comfortable for mom to carry without getting too heavy. Plenty of dedicated storage pockets for travel documents, Laptop, pens, phones, hand sanitizer wipes , medicines, snacks and all the other little knick knacks mom carries with us on trips.