Order from Chaos a.k.a Packing Fun

Ok! So, packing is the trickiest part of this whole endeavour. Or at least it seems that way at the moment. Trying to Tetris packing cubes of clothing, toiletries and extras into a backpack that will fit into the overhead bin is a challenge. Thankfully both airlines we’ll be traveling with also allow that extra “personal item” for under the seat so I have a little  more wiggle room.

A month of travel…. Two very different climates…. one carry on bag (and a small extra bag)!!! Can it be done?

Oh, I’ll make sure it can.

For those friends and family who are always wondering how we do it, here’s a list of the contents of my backpack:

Clothing: (pretty much everything is lightweight and quick dry for washing in the sink)

– 3 black t shirts     – 3 t shirts of different colours       – 3 long sleeve sun shirts

– 2 pairs black capris    – 1 pair heavy yoga pants for NYC

– Underthings: (4 pairs undies, 1 sports bras, 1 regular bra, 4 pairs socks)

– PJs: 2 pairs light shorts, 1 t shirt

– Dress clothes: 1 summer dress, 1 dress/skirt, 2 black tank tops, 1 black shrug

– Shoes: 1 pair ballet flats, 1 pair sandals, 1 pair slippers, 1 pair shower shoes

– Misc: 1 bathing suit, 2 sun hats, 1 thick shawl (can double as a blanket)

– Accessories: a couple of necklaces, a few pairs of earrings, a bracelet


Liquids: – Sunblock       – facecream       – toothpaste       – conditioner       – tea tree oil    – facewash

Solids: – shaving soap   – shampoo       – makeup (minimal)

Misc: – razor       – toothbrush       – brush       – softball (for shoulder and foot massage)

Random Items: – flashlight       – binoculars (for animal watching or being in the nosebleed seats at broadway shows)

– softball (For massaging sore shoulders and feet)       – umbrellas

In my personal item:

– My purse       – Electronics: laptop, 2 cameras, chargers, cords etc.

That’s about it!! Plus what I’m wearing on the flights (dress pants, wrinkle free shirt, sports bra, running shoes).

It helps traveling with someone else. I have all the electronics and mom carries the pantry (tea,coffee,snacks) and first aid kit and two sleep sacks.

Our backpacks have been traveling with us for at least 5 years now. They are the best we’ve found for staying carry-on size even when filled (although not if the expandable capabilities are used) and holding the most goods. Soft sided rocks!!! They are the Rick Steve’s Convertible Carry-On and they’ve allowed us to get by with no checked baggage for years!

I’m also trying out different packing cubes this trip. They are similar to the Eagle Creek Specter line of cubes but I purchased them at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) store in NYC last year (Much cheaper and this girl loves a bargain).

Time will tell if we actually use everything we’ve brought (in the case of the first aid kit, hopefully not!!) or if there’s anything we wish we had! I’m sure a few more last minute necessities will make their way into the bags tonight but this should be a pretty good overview of what’s coming with us!

Next up….. The Journey Begins!


3 thoughts on “Order from Chaos a.k.a Packing Fun

  1. I have done the occasional carry on for short haul flights but I don’t know how you can do that for a month. Love my packing cubes though. Dan thinks they’re a scam.


    • The packing cubes work for me, at least for now. I like trying out new systems to see if I can find something even better!
      It’s not easy but it’s nice to go light. Keep trying!! It’s worth it! ; )


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