Sunday, October 12, 2014

RTW Packing Favorites

Even though our RTW trip is still months away, we have already started packing. You see, we are trying to do this trip with just a carry-on sized bag apiece, and that takes some planning--and a little practice. Jeff and I pretty much have our bags packed, though we continue to tweak the contents and make adjustments. We won't pack the kids bags until closer to go-time, since they are still growing, but we are already starting to figure out bags and toiletries and other things that don't depend on growth spurts. It's an interesting and, at times, maddening challenge. I will admit that I have shed real tears over things as silly as which toiletries to bring and which to leave behind. But, I have also discovered some really cool products that I might not have otherwise been introduced to. Here are some of my RTW packing favorites. If you have any tried-and-true travel must-haves or packing strategies that make your travel life easier (or more beautiful, comfortable, etc.), please feel free to share them. I am more than willing to learn from the experience of others. 

The pack. It's nice because it converts from backpack to handheld carry-on.
It has a laptop sleeve, which is accessible without getting into the main packing compartment.
And, it has tons of pockets. I'm seriously amazed at how much stuff fits in here.

Jeff got me a set of these Eagle Creek compression bags for my birthday,
and I loved them so much I bought myself another set.
They're like dresser drawers for your suitcase, and they make me happy,
in a place-for-everything, everything-in-it's place kind of way.
Plus, mine are semi see-through, so I can just go straight for what I need. 

Convertible dress/skirts. Cute and comfortable, and just plain fun.
Not to mention quick-drying and relatively wrinkle free.
I have the one from Exofficio, on the left.
Ruth has the Mountain Hardwear one, on the right.

I was skeptical about this powered toothpaste, at first.
But, I really and truly love it, and might even use it if I wasn't traveling.
There are a bunch of variations, and I haven't tried all of them,
but this fluoride-free cinnamon one is wonderful.

Convertible pants are pretty much a requirement for a trip like the one we are taking,
but I knew upfront that I didn't want zip-off pants. That led me down the path of roll-up pants.
I love these from Eddie Bauer. They are stylish, comfortable, quick-drying
and have zippered pockets to deter pickpockets.

This actually took some getting used to. The first few times I used it, I didn't like it at all.
But, the more I used it, the more I liked it, and now here it is listed among my favorites.
It lasts a surprisingly long time, smells nice, leaves my hair feeling clean and not tangly,
and can also be used in place of shave gel, as well. So far, I have only tried the original,
but there are a ton of other formulas, which I'm looking forward to trying.

These are seriously the most comfortable shorts I have ever worn!
I loved them so much, I bought the skort, too. I want to wear them every single day!

The Nano Puff not only has a cool name, it also looks good,
is quite warm, and folds up into it's own pocket to make it super packable.

I liked the concept from the get-go but must admit that
this has required practice and patience and being comfortable with my body.
I am still learning but am overall very pleased with this little device.

It's a long-sleeved shirt. It's a ¾ length shirt. It's a jacket. It has a hidden pocket.
And, it is incredibly comfortable. The Shirtigan is one of my favorite travel pieces. 

Another multi-tasker. This turkish towel can be used as a towel, beach blanket, shawl, scarf or whatever.
Plus, it's soft, quick-drying, looks cute hanging up and takes up very little space in the suitcase. 

It seemed that taking a diffuser on our trip
was going to be out of the question, which made me sad.
But Jeff found this one and gave it to me for my birthday,
and it may be my very favorite thing on the list!
Now, I just have to prioritize which oils to take with me,
because a quart-size bag of liquids isn't all that much!


  1. My daughter and I are headed to Japan this November. We are restricted to (and would only take anyway) 1 carry on sized bag. I see that you are each traveling this light as well. I'm wondering how many packing cubes each member of your family uses?

    1. I use four packing cubes (2 of the sets from the link, which each contain one medium bag and one small bag). One medium bag contains tops for every season and one contains bottoms. In one small bag, I keep my socks and in the other, my undies. I also have two medium size vacuum-type bags (see my post on containers). I use one of these for winter gear and the other for dirty clothes. I find all of these compression bags to be indispensable for packing in a carry-on, as they truly do help to maximize the space and keep the bag organized. You would most likely be able to get by with fewer, if you are just packing for one season. I hope you and your daughter have a wonderful trip to Japan!


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