I will be honest and admit that I have a tendency to overpack, unlike my sister, but in the last year or so I have really gotten my travel routine down to a science. What I bring with me depends on how long I’m going to be gone for and what I’m going to need based on where I’m going. I have three different size roller bags that I use, and I might take one or two personal items, depending on the trip. (A summary of my personal items/purses will be in Part II of My Current Travel Routine.)
I cannot travel without a roller bag, and the bag must have spinner wheels (meaning that there are 4 wheels and it can be rolled down the street straight up rather than tilted, as demonstrated in the photos below). At first I didn’t think there was a whole lot of benefit to the four spinner wheels as opposed to two, but it makes things so much easier to be able to keep your bag upright and move it on wheels.
Here is a quick snapshot of some of the things I bring with me on a trip:
After the jump I walk you through the three sets of luggage I might take depending on the length of the trip, as well as typical items – from largest to smallest – that I routinely take with me.
Small Luggage – Short Trip
If I’m going to be gone less than two days (which is my typical trip, often I leave and come back the same day or the following day), I take my Samonsite Hyperspace XLT boarding bag in cranberry. This was a present from my parents for a career promotion, and I love it. I never have to gate check this bad boy, unless I’m flying some puddle jumper in which NO roller bag, regardless of size, will fit. The bag is basically a feminine version of rollable men’s briefcases that they often take on overnight trips. It looks like this bag may be being phased out, but here is another cool option, and I like this color too (very professional).
The bag has straps that snap on each side so that you don’t have to open the entire bag to retrieve your items. This is very similar to a laptop bag or briefcase and allows easy access to the padded laptop/media compartment at the very front of the bag. See below for a picture.
The bag also came with a toiletries bag that contains two pouches. One pouch is plastic-lined for your leakable items, while the other is covered with mesh.
I typically carry my liquids in the plastic-lined pouch, which though small, is plenty of room for a short trip. Typical items that I bring include: a face moisturizer, an under eye moisturizer, toothbrush (foldable, antimicrobial kind available here from The Container Store), toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner samples just in case where I’m going doesn’t have any, contact lenses (dailies), contact lens solution (never needed because of dailies, but for “just in case”), a comb, Q-tips, mini Nars cleansing oil (which I refill because this is the perfect travel amount), an exfoliator, face wash, dental floss, and hair ties (even though my hair doesn’t really need them anymore – force of habit).
I bring my makeup in a separate Tory Burch makeup bag, which is part of the collage of other things I typically bring below. Description in caption.
Medium Size Bag – Mid-Size Trip
If I’m going for three days, or I have to bring extensive documents or bulky clothing (read: Toronto in winter), I will bring a regular sized carry-on. Right now I’m using the blue one below, but I want to get a cranberry Samonsite to match my boarding bag and, as you will see, my personal and large roller bags.
If I have a little more space, I will pack my GHD flat iron. I never pack a hair dryer anymore because every place has them or my hair is short enough that I will let it air dry. I typically take the same Tory Burch makeup bag and Samsonite double-pouch on mid-size trips as well. The double-pouch remains packed and ready to go at all times, so I just have to pull it out of the drawer when I’m ready to travel. I like the ease of that, and it shortens my packing time, so that’s why I’m not changing my toiletries bag when I increase the size of my luggage.
Large Size Bag – Long Trip
On long trips or trips where I am traveling for both personal and business and need to take two sets of clothing, I take my big Samonsite Hyperspace Spinner XLT in the largest size available, also in cranberry, which must be checked. I purchased this bag with a gift card to match my Samonsite Boarding Bag. Not really sure why, as I don’t usually take them both on a trip. This bag is also on close-out, so I found what some have called the “newer model” here.
The Samsonite has one giant compartment. When you unzip the bag, there are two compartments on the cover, one of which that is mesh, the other of which is plastic-lined (like a large version of the toiletries double-pouch bag). On my last trip, I was able to fit my muslin cloth backdrop and tripod for photography in this bag, as well as clothes and work necessities for five days, and I had plenty of room to spare.
Here’s a picture of the inside:
Here is a picture of all three sets of luggage:
Also, I use a variety of packing cubes in my luggage. The ones I have and use (depending on length of trip) are below. All by Eagle Creek in a nice bright blue color that is easy to see.
That sums up my travel routine, with three exceptions. One is my personal items, which I’ll discuss in my next post.
The second is those packable slippers I promised you, which I bought at The Container Store, though I don’t see them now.
And one final surprise . . . guest!
To Safe and Comfortable Travels!