Create your day

A Packing Challenge

Wednesday will be our first plane flight with our son. It is a scary and exciting prospect all wrapped into one. Here’s my thing about flying, I dislike checking baggage. So my challenge was how to fit my son’s and my clothing all into one suitcase small enough for a carry on. Oh, I could have managed easily with one of those roll types, but where’s the fun in that? I’ve been made fun of many times for size of suitcase I bring along with me, but I find that the more I simplify things, the less stress I have.

We will be gone for four nights and I plan on fitting all of our clothes into this:

Yes, I am crazy, I know. I know that not everything we will need will not fit in here, but I will also have my son’s diaper bag which will be filled with the rest of his essential stuff. However, everything I need will fit. It only takes some choices and creativity.

Here’s how I go about it

  1. I make a list of everything I think I need
  2. Add everything I want to take
  3. Pull out outfits that can be mixed and matched and that equal the number of vacation days. Layering pieces are ideal.
  4. I always plan out what I’m going to be traveling in and try to make sure it includes bulkier pieces such as sweaters
  5. I limit my options. I only take precisely what I’ll need. Usually I will separate my clothing into must have and would like to, and if there isn’t enough room it doesn’t go
  6. Pair down the toiletries. For example, do you really need to take the curling iron and the straightener? Tough choices, I know. I also pare down my make-up bag and I definitely don’t take all of the hair and face products that I might usually use. I think I can live without them for a few days and really, who’s going to notice?
  7. I rarely take more than one pair of shoes. Unless I’m taking a longer vacation, will be traveling over more than one type of terrain, or am attending different types of functions, I don’t see the need. I have managed to pack more than one pair in this suitcase, but that was before I had a child who also needed suitcase space.
  8. Always ask yourself, what do I really need and you’ll be golden. You rarely need as much as you think you do.

This may not sound like a lot of fun to most people, but for me, it takes away the stress of staring at a suitcase of clothing wondering what in the world I feel like wearing. I do that on a daily basis anyway. I don’t feel like wasting my vacation hours doing it.

Anyway, back to the suitcase issue. Some of you may be saying “you can’t possibly fit everything in that small suitcase!” And to you I say “oh, but I can and I will.”

Here is the proof:

Inside I have fit

For me: one pair of jeans, two tops, one cardigan, two shirts, socks and undergarments, pajamas, make-up, straightener

For my son: three pairs of pants, one hoodie, two long-sleeved undershirts, two short-sleeved onesies, one long-sleeved shirt, one long-sleeved onesie, pajamas, socks and about 3 sleeveless undershirts

Toiletries: all carry-on size approved. Shampoo and conditioner, lotion and soap for my son, contact solution, diaper cream, make-up and toothpaste

All that’s left to add is my toothbrush and glasses.

And we’re ready for takeoff!


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