Pack It Up: Part 4 in a Series

Pack It Up 1: Choosing Luggage

Pack It Up 2: Packing Accessories

Pack It Up 3: Tips for Long Flights

A quick wrap up of our trip to Maine: we packed my North Face pack, the diaper bag, a large suitcase and Maggie’s car seat. The suitcase was one I didn’t know we had, a rolling deal with a telescoping handle. (Please don’t ask me how a large rolling suitcase escaped my notice in a 600 sq. ft. apartment. I’m tired.) I used my cubes and packed that sucker so tight and so well, even including an extra duffel bag for items acquired in Maine. It was a thing of beauty, like packing Tetris at the advanced level. I called my mom to share in my awesomeness and pshawed her concerns that it would be too heavy. Doesn’t she know I’m awesome?!

I should know better than to laugh at my mother, since I was the one who had to unpack about ten pounds into the duffel at check-in and check that bag in order to bring the large suitcase under 50 pounds. Live and learn, I suppose, and this was my first experience packing for someone other than myself so I think it went okay. I don’t own a scale so I need to eyeball it better next time.

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This Christmas was all about new travel accessories. After the fiasco with our Newark Liberty International Airport baggage theft (curse them and every one of their sticky-fingered handlers and we have STILL not received a response to our claim), Tom got me luggage locks for Christmas. I laughed. Ruefully. He didn’t just get me those but that got the biggest laugh. Actually, that’s not true: the biggest laugh was when I presented Tom with his new toiletry kit and suitcase that he requested for business trips that require suits that he can’t roll into a ball in his backpack. We put Maggie in the suitcase to test quality control; she found it satisfactory.

The biggest addition to my kit was a lot of lightweight travel-friendly clothing: underwear and shirts from ExOfficio that can be washed in a sink and dry within hours, cutting out the need for excess clothing and lightening the luggage load. The t-shirt made partly out of soybeans is particularly cute. My favorite favorite favorite present this year was this Patagonia dress in blue. It’s light, made of wrinkle-free material, and is stretchy enough to fit well but not tight enough to cling to chubby parts. Most importantly, it’s flattering without being immodest: it has a high back, enough of a v-neck to be cute but not showy, and is rather long in length. It should be acceptable in all but the most conservative of sacred sites.

So, that’s my most recent bit of packing advice. When you’ve collected all the gear and you’re doing some serious multi-week traveling, it makes sense to have a dedicated travel wardrobe. None of these items are part of my day-to-day clothing options; these are strictly for trips. Cuts down on wear and tear, and it’s like having all-new clothes on vacation.

Just don’t let customs officials think your baggie of Tide is some *other* white powder, if ya know what I mean.

That’s right. They’ll ask you where you hid the rest of your donuts.

Sigh. I told you I was tired.

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