Packing for the Voyage – Our Best Tips

I am a packing BOSS!  Now, I understand that there are about a million and one bloggers who have created packing lists, so I’m not really going to do that.  And right up front, I want to assure you that nobody is paying me anything to write this stuff.  (I haven’t even yet figured out HOW to get anyone to pay me anything for blogging – but that’s another story.)

I did want to share that as hubs and I have been doing more wandering on the Voyage, I have been studying up, and here is one thing I have seen over and over again:

Checked Luggage = Lost Luggage!

Maybe not this time, maybe not next time…but eventually.  And so I have learned how to use packing cubes and envelopes to enable us to travel anywhere for at least 10 days in a 22 inch carry-on suitcase and a backpack.  We’ll be leaving on Monday for Hawaii, and we’ll only be taking carry-on items.

Eagle Creek NYTPhoto Credit:  New York Times

It starts out by using the Eagle Creek Pack-It system.  Again, Eagle Creek has no idea I feel this way.  I wish they did, as I’d be a great sales rep!  Here’s one thing I’ve learned:

Clothing Wrinkles When It Moves

In a suitcase that is.  Eagle Creek Packing Cubes and the Envelope make it easy to compress a whole bunch of clothes into a very small space.  These are the pieces we’ll use.  With the envelope up top, you use a folding board and can compress at least 10 – 16 tops, skirts, dresses, shorts or pants into a six-inch thick bundle (seriously…I’ve done it!) the beautiful thing is, the clothing travels well, with minimal wrinkles.  Each evening, I hang tomorrow’s items, and by morning, they’re perfect.

20180122_14303420180122_14425020180122_15075120180122_150916

The medium packing cubes let me roll knit skirts, pajamas, and palazzo pants into a small compressed bundle.  Swimsuits and all that stuff will go in another cube.  The smallest cubes are perfect for underwear.  There is nothing better than having the hubs know exactly where to find his stuff, with no rooting around in a suitcase!  We use the tiniest cubes for electronic chargers, etc.

Each of us has TSA approved travel kits, which are always packed with the liquids that we need when traveling.  (In between trips, all I do is refill the shampoo bottle!)  It’s pretty much “grab and go.”

20180122_134152.jpg

And then there’s this little baby.  I call it my “anything you need kit.”  While I swore that I wouldn’t give you a packing list, you could probably fix your car with less than is in this little pouch.  It holds everything from superglue and Velcro to toothpicks and teabags.  It has a mini-lint roller, band-aids, eye drops, laundry detergent and wet wipes.  And a whole bunch of other tiny, but very useful things! It’s saved us on many occasions.

20180122_134045.jpg

How it all fits together is dependent upon whether or not we’re TSA Pre-checked.  Our electronic readers and tablets go in the backpacks so we can access them easily.  I always wear a large scarf or pashmina.  It can serve as a blanket on a cold airplane, can be a swimsuit cover-up, a shawl, or even a throw for a picnic.  (Ummmm….and I always put the heaviest stuff in hub’s backpack.)  There are always quart and gallon sized zip lock bags in my suitcase – perfect if you have a damp swimsuit or need to make an ice pack!  And lastly, copies of all important travel documents and information, including passports, emergency credit card numbers and prescriptions are stored safely in a cloud account (we use One Note) – so that we can access them from any computer.

So that’s how we roll.  Does anybody have any other great tips to share?  I’d love to hear!  And Eagle Creek, if you’re trying to get hold of me in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be on a beach in Hawaii!

Lynn

 

29 thoughts on “Packing for the Voyage – Our Best Tips

  1. karen207

    Hi Lynn,
    After crisscrossing the country most days of the year for eight years, I considered myself a packing BOSS. And I’m pretty darn good. I too have been to Hawaii with only a small LUG bag carry-on, and to California, and to ….I haven’t used a suitcase in, well, forever. But I bow to your packing prowess. I didn’t know about the envelopes so all of my clothing was rolled. Worked beautifully, fit in small spaces, but not as attractive as your photos. And I love your anything you need kit. Great idea!
    Whenever I told other women about my packing, the conversation and my attempts at conversion stalled as soon as they found out that I don’t carry multiple pairs of shoes (at most a pair of running shoes if I’m going to be away long enough to use a gym) and I don’t carry hair dryers and all kinds of makeup products. It looks like your bag is larger than mine so would probably hold more shoes. How many pairs do you take?
    The only other suggestion I can offer is that when I went to California for my retirement trip, I took old underwear, old socks, old t-shirts and, each night, tossed what I’d worn that day. That gave me loads of room in my carry-on to buy new, something I was all too happy to do!
    Karen

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Hi Karen! It looks like we travel quite alike. My choice of shoes depends on destination. If I’m going to be hiking, etc. I take a pair of running shoes, which I wear on the plane (heaviest or largest are always on my feet.) Or, if just sight seeing, etc. I have a pair of Echo shoes that look nice with slacks or jeans (and don’t give you the “tennis shoe wearing tourist look.”) In my bag go either ballet flats or dressy sandals for dress, and that’s it. I’m considering buying a pair of Tieks, because they pack so nicely and I’ve heard good things – but they’re expensive. On this Hawaii trip, I’ll try to squeeze in my Teva water sandals. I never take a blow dryer, because I count on there being one at my destination – or the world is just going to get scrunchy curls! My 3 or 4 make-up items all fit in a tiny zipper bag along with individually wrapped make-up removers. I will admit that I’ve never yet done the “throw-away technique,” but I have read about it from others. It’s also pretty easy for me because I’m pretty much not a shopaholic. And my 22 inch carry-on roller has an extra compression zipper and straps, so I can usually get a few extra things in there if necessary. On a couple of trips, we’ve bought art and then had it shipped directly to our home. Here’s to more great traveling! Thanks for your comment! ~ Lynn

      Like

      Reply
  2. RetirementallyChallenged.com

    I have read – and watched YouTube videos – about those packing cubes but haven’t yet used them… perhaps I should! I also carry an “anything you need” kit. Mine includes a highlighter pen (great for tour books and maps), rubber bands, paper clips, and post-it-notes.

    Have a wonderful trip!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      The AYN kit does have rubber bands, and safety pins. I’ll be adding paper clips and post its! And my pen and highlighter are always in my backpack because I keep a small travel journal. The envelope is just ridiculously efficient. I’ve turned a couple of folks on to them. It’s amazing how much stuff you can get in there! ~ Lynn

      Like

      Reply
  3. Dan Antion

    I guess I’ll be the voice of non-reason. I travel a lot for business, and I almost always check a bag. I don’t like the stress of dealing with carry on bags, wondering if I’ll have space, and since I travel alone most of the time, schlepping into the restroom with me. Also, I almost always need a second pair of size 12 shoes (which I do fill with socks) and a sports jacket.I’ve done the carry-all-on-board and I have come to prefer

    I’ve only lost one bag in 40 years, and I think I came out ahead after the airline settled. These days, I know where my bag is by following its journey on the airline’s app on my phone. I was worried last week, because I had a 51 minute layover in Atlanta and had to get from A1 – E2, but my bag was on board as I was in the jetway for the connecting flight.

    You seem to have packing down to a science, and I do have to say that I like getting to a destination and not having to wait for a bag, but it’s a rare event for me. Very nice post!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      I’ll tell you, Dan, I do think it’s different for you men! Jeremy almost always wears his sport coat on airplanes. He says the pockets function like a woman’s purse. But men’s packing is much less complicated than women’s! Men can pretty much always wear the same thing in the evening as they wore in the day. No double clothes for one day. And he packs only EXACTLY what he will wear – he figures out each day in advance! He takes absolutely no “just in case” clothes! I’ve asked him, “What if you spill coffee in your lap.” His response? …That’s what credit cards are for…” LOL Thanks for your comment! ~ Lynn

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Liesbet @ Roaming About

    Just taking carry-on luggage is the way to go, especially now that extra fees are being charged for checked luggage. When we lived on our sailboat (and ALWAYS needed spare parts and western goodies), we traveled (as in visit our home countries to see friends and family and bring back necessary goods) with checked luggage. Since then, we try without.

    On our last two-month trip to the East Coast and Belgium in the spring, we split a checked bag, but on our recent three-week visit east, in the winter, we managed with just carry-ons. Easily. It is amazing, though, how much stuff you manage to pack in those roller bags and backpacks. For now, our backpacks are full of electronics, because of work and the small suitcases have clothes. I love your miscellaneous bag! And, you scarf. I use a sarong for these multiple duties. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      About the only time we check luggage is when heading for a cruise. It is impossible to carry fancy stuff in a 22 inch roller! But we’ve even minimized our electronics! My Surface Pro 4 was expensive at first, but worth every penny! A powerful little machine/tablet/everything you love about your phone all rolled into one device!

      Like

      Reply
      1. Liesbet @ Roaming About

        Awesome! Unfortunately, we need a lot of electronics (routers, antennas, cables…) for our business when we travel. Just imagine how that goes at airport security every single time. 🙂 I’d love to go on a cruise one day to experience it! Enjoy Hawaii!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      For the record, I packed today for Hawaii. In my compression envelope I packed: 4 pairs of shorts, 2 dresses, 10 tops and swimsuit cover-up. And it’s less than 6 inches thick!

      Like

      Reply
  5. aginggracefullymyass

    I just got done commenting on a post from a woman who is taking a carry on bag for a 4 week trip overseas! Now that’s economy of packing – especially if you are traveling in cool weather with bulkier clothes. I think it’s pretty easy to pack light if you are going to a warm destination.

    Some trips we do a carry-ons and some we check bags. Each trip has a different ‘packing profile’. I’m more inclined to check a bag if I have a long layover. I don’t want to drag my carry-on behind me for 4 or 5 hours or pay to have it stored at left luggage. Plus, on some trips I just want to have more of a wardrobe/shoe selection (like when we went to France for 3 weeks last September – the French are so stylish!) Most of the time it just depends on if we are renting a car and/or staying longer at stops (a larger bag ) or taking buses/trains and/or lots of one night stays or steps to climb (carry-on size for those). I always pack a change of underwear and top in my backpack when I check my bag just in case there is a delay in my checked bag. It’s only happened once – we had a connecting flight. The risk goes to practically zero if you are on a direct flight.

    I have used packing cubes for my last two trips overseas and I love them! They help keep me organized and are great if there is limited clothes storage.

    Have a great time in Hawaii!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Thanks, AGMA! I just finished packing and I can’t believe the amount of stuff I just packed into our two carry-ons. I have taken waaaayyyyyy too much stuff. I don’t have much experience in heading to colder climates. Here in Idaho, we’re usually trying to flee from the cold! As for France (or anywhere in Europe), I’ll hope I get to figure out that packing method one day! Thanks! ~ Lynn

      Like

      Reply
  6. Joanne Sisco

    After years of triathlon racing and travelling with bike boxes, I’m so used to checked baggage it doesn’t phase me. It was always a bit of a nail-biter at our destination until we saw the bike boxes in the oversize luggage area. Everything else can be replaced relatively easily before a race – but a missing bike can’t be replaced in such a short timeframe because they are so customized. If we could have checked those, we would have!
    Whenever we travel now without bicycles, it feels so EASY.
    I guess it’s just whatever you get used to.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      So very true! I can not even wrap my head around the concept of taking something like a bicycle with me! (Well, for that matter, a triathlon is pretty mind blowing!) I’m always amazed at the number of retirees I see who check their golf clubs. Maybe someday my golf will improve to the point that I may need to try this! ~ Lynn

      Like

      Reply
      1. Joanne Sisco

        I’d like to think that some day I’ll take trips away in the winter to golf, but my game is abysmal and I simply never invest the time to improve.
        As a result, I’m more likely to travel with a bike than my golf clubs 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Encore Voyage Post author

        Oh, don’t you know it. For me, golf is about “teeing it up and giving it a whack!” It’s really all about lunch out and spending time with my friends! (It’s also why I won’t play golf in Hawaii – I just don’t golf well enough to justify that kind of greens fee! – sigh…maybe someday!) ~ Lynn

        Like

      3. Encore Voyage Post author

        We would make GREAT golfing companions! Another gal I golf with sometimes says, “Drop a ball right there and try again…That last hit was not representative of your true skill!” Then we both laugh!!! Oh, and I’d buy lunch! ~ Lynn

        Like

Comment on the Voyage!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s