Packing – Always Taking Too Much?

2013 06 02 Seat Ibiza 4 door trunk

I’d never used a travel packing list and we’d always managed to travel with just carry on bags. BUT we’d never been on a 6 week trip with both of our laptops. So in 2013, I started with the Rick Steve’s packing list and customized for this multi-country trip – a trip that had lots of different climates, transportation, and activities.

How’d the customized packing lists work out? Great! Although I admit I HAD sneaked an extra shirt, pants, shorts, and socks that I didn’t end up using. Also had too many chargers. And an extra Universal Adapter. When we checked in at Air Canada in San Diego they weighed the bags. Our rolling carry met the dimensions, but it didn’t meet the weight! The carry on weight max was 22 pounds, and our rolling bags weighed 24 pounds. The laptop bags (eBags TLS Workstation backpacks) hold a LOT, so we quickly switched out some stuff that should be with us if the checked bags got lost, they got weighed OK and off we went, our luggage in the baggage hold and the laptops and essentials with us. It was actually liberating! Probably don’t have to mention that trying to put a 24 pound bag in the overhead bin would have been a bit of a struggle, even if we were in the first class cabin with plenty of room.

I usually pack my purse in my laptop bag, but on some airline you can wear a SMALL purse in addition to your carry on allowance. Check the airlines you are traveling on to be sure.

Packing Lists


  • Shoes – 3 pair walking/comfy
    • 1 sandals
    • 1 Keens H2 (for hikes and water)
    • 1 closed toe, city / night
  • Jackets – layerable
    • 1 rainproof with hood
    • 1 lightweight (alone or under raincoat)
    • 1 medium weight
  • Shorts & Pants
    • 2 capris
    • 1 shorts, nylon quick dry UPF 50
    • 2 jeans (blue/black)
    • 2 lightweight slacks
  • 1 belt
  • 1 swimsuit in plastic baggie
  • Socks
    • Ankle: 4 pair wicking, 2 white, 2 black
    • 1 black touser socks
    • 1 compression socks for long flights
  • 5 underwear, quick drying
  • 2 bra’s – 1 sport, 1 other
  • Shirts
    • 4 short sleeve various colors
    • 2 long sleeve UPF 50 – layering over shirts
    • 1 tank top
  • Sleepwear shirt
  • 1 hat, packable
  • 1 lightweight scarf for extra layering

Toiletries / Medicine

  • Washcloth, small thin travel size
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Shampoo, conditioner
  • Brush, comb
  • Lotion
  • Razor
  • Sunscreen
  • Some small bandaids
  • Deoderant
  • Blunt nail clippers, file, tweezers
  • 2 pair reading glasses
  • Tiny hand sanitizer
  • Vitamins
  • Antihistamine tablets – non drowsy
  • Kleenex go packs
  • Make up
  • Makeup remover towelettes
  • Eye makeup remover pads
  • Folding dual voltage travel hair dryer

Money and Secuity

  • Moneybelt:
    • Passport, plane ticket, bank debit card, 2 credit cards, driver’s license, money
  • Security – copies of docs:
    • Extra copies in carry on luggage: passport, plane ticket, Rx’s, insurance


  • Daypack – packs into itself (Kiva keychain backpack)
  • Purse – PacSafe 100
  • Wristwatch with alarm
  • Earplugs
  • Ziplock baggies, quart and gallon size
  • Travel sewing kti
  • Travel info – guidebooks
  • Keychain flashlight
  • 2 Sunglasses and keepers
  • Sink Stopper, flat rubber
  • Mini travel umbrella


  • Camera
    • Extra batteries
    • Gorilla tripod
    • Charger
  • Cell phone and USB cable for charging
  • MP3 player, headphones & mini-USB travel charger
  • Laptop
  • GPS and car charger
  • Universal Adapter and triple tap adapter plug
  • Short network cable

Wear on flights

  • Heaviest shoes w/compression socks
  • Jeans
  • Short sleeve shirt
  • One of the jackets
  • Empty water bottle, fill up inside secure area

Like this packing list? Make it your own, here’s a link to the doc to print or download!

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