My flight for London leaves in two hours. Only slightly freaking out, but I’m ridiculously excited!
I left home over a week ago and spent my last night packing as if my life depended on it. At the time, I was just frustrated that I hadn’t made a list; that the laundry wasn’t drying faster; that it was midnight and I had to get up in two hours. There was no excitement. I cannot describe how much I despise packing and I honestly don’t have a single reason why, other than I’m 1123% lazy. I end up groaning and dragging my heels, picking up the suitcase and moving it around with the hopes that it’ll have packed itself (it never does). This goes on for two weeks before I check in to my flight and realize that it’s now or never.
Brings me back to High School homework…
Two weeks later, my stomach is full of butterflies and everyone can’t help but mock the obnoxious bounce in my step (okay fine, it is a skip). The excitement has exploded now that I’ve checked in to my flights and am fully equipped the pre-trip email reminders for all my hostels and AirBnB bookings! Any ill feelings I held while packing have vanished, and I’ve even repacked three times to approve of my sleep-deprived choices (I passed).
If you’re in need of help when packing for your once in a life-time trip, along with knowing how you travel, what you use daily, and how you dress (hellooo leggings and combat boots), there are so many wonderful links on Pinterest to fabulous blog posts with tips and guides to help you with your packing dilemma – like Lauren’s Guide for Two Weeks in a Carry On. She has beautiful pictures, great descriptions, and it’s a rare Cold Weather packing guide for those of us who are crazy enough to skip the beach for rain and snow. Or Tammy’s Month in a Carry On! I am also incredibly jealous of her bag. It’s beautiful and on my shopping list for my next trip. Bonus for packing early is changing your mind dozens of times, with the added comfort of sleeping at night knowing you’ve gone through hundreds of scenarios, and you’ll be dressed and clean no matter how you shake it.
This trip for me is full of a lot of unknowns. I’ve decided to only book four nights in Edinburgh for my 10 days solo, and leave the other six without plans. This is a ginormous step for me as I am usually an avid planner. However, after a roadtrip through California with nothing booked more than 10 hours in advance and the rush of freedom, I figured I’d give it a shot. After that, I meet my cousin in London to begin an adventure of a lifetime – Rugby World Cup and Oktoberfest 2016. With so many adventures are just around the corner, the only thing I can do now is pack, re-pack again, and stay awake at night dreaming of what could happen (I missed the Hogwarts express, so that’s one less thing to plan for).
To document this excursion, I’m starting with what I’ve packed. At the end I’ll let you know what I missed, what I could have brought, or left behind.
And you’ll have lots of bad photos in between.
Point and case:
I really do apologize, but there’s only so much you can do when you’re cramped inside of an 8’x10’ room with the bed taking up half of it (not to mention bad lighting). I’m just glad I had a white bed-sheet instead of a green one like I usually do, and a phone with picture editing apps. Trust me, that green is not a pretty forest green – it’s the green that makes you wonder what.. things.. are hidden amongst the putrid colour..
On to the packing!
So with the expectation that I will follow my usual regime of Dingy Pubs and back-alley food carts, I have no heels or extravagant dresses to speak of. My loyal DocMartens are the only pair of shoes I have (wouldn’t you know it, the heel ripped a soon as I was far enough away from home to not change it).
But I digress.
My airplane outfit will consist of sweat pants, baggy t-shirt, and hoodie. The hoodie is going to be the bulkiest part of my assemble, so wearing it on the plane is my favourite option. It also doubles as a pillow, blanket, or teddy bear depending on the mood (and how many mini wines you can sneak out of the flight attendants!). I have five shirts, one pair of leggings, two sweat pants (one travel, one PJs), one pair of jeans, three nicer shirts to change it up, and one dress. Currently, I plan to do laundry before I meet with my cousin to wash pants and shirts. I strongly recommend (think: beg) you to never pack less socks and underwear than a pair a day of each – seriously, that’s the one thing you want to overpack. I have enough to go without doing laundry for my entire trip stuffed into the top pouch of my carry on.
Don’t forget perfume and deodorant in case you’re a little far from the laundromat.
Ooops. The “Fuck! I forgot _____” list begins early this time.
Anyone see a jacket in there?
Yup. Me either.
Luckily for me, I brought an umbrella, hat, and scarf to look fashionable while shivering my butt off. I’ll just have to hope this Canadian skin of mine can take a bit of damp chill, otherwise my good ol’ boots’ll be walkin’ me to a market.
Okay! On to the rest of the junk.
Whenever I travel, I always have my liquids in a zip-lock bag pre-packed at the top of the bag so it is easily pulled out for security screening (triple check that it’s closed – shampoo, despite being for washing, doesn’t readily wash out of clothes). The little gadgets fit in the makeup bag in the back, and the tea tin is also being removed with the first aid kit going in the makeup bag (bye bye q-tips!). I have a towel that I don’t mind throwing out in case I need room for something else – a beer Stein, maybe? – soap, shampoo, face cream in the contact holders, camera, plug converter, and my tablet and notebook.
There is a lot of wonderful tips for packing your nick-nacks. But with me relying on my carry-on to carry most of my stuff, I won’t be bringing a lot on my backpack/purse bag. Hence, I forfeit a nice big black blouse and the tea tin for a towel and a bit more space. I also found a razor, a little zippered laundry bag to separate dirty laundry from clean – trust me, nothing is more embarrassing than having them go through dirty laundry at the airport (keep that shit separate!) – an empty, re-usable water bottle, and a padlock for hostels.
For those of you who like a list or would like a quick reference, here’s a list:
- 5 Regular Shirts – black/dark colours to keep warm and hide dirt
- 1 Cardigan
- 3 Fancy Shirts to play it up
- 1 Hoodie
- 1 Sweater (thin)
- 2 Bras – one regular, one sports bra
- 2 Sweat Pants
- 1 Jeans
- 1 Leggings
- 1 dress
- 21 pairs of socks
- 21 pairs of underwear
- Scarf, hat, gloves
- 50mL Toothpaste
- Makeup Essentials (Mascara, Eyeliner, Liquid Eyeliner, Eye Shadow is all I ever use)
- Hair Brush
- Face Cream in Contact Cases
- 100mL Shampoo & Conditioner bottles
- Mini soaps
- Mini Perfumes
- Empty Re-Usable Water Bottle
- Chargers in glasses case
- Voltage Converter
- Notebook & Pen
And that’s it! I’m packed and looking forward to my 12 hours of travelling.. or is it more? Time change always messes me up.
I look forward to letting you in on the adventures and secret hangouts I find along the way. I’m not sure yet, but I reckon that my schedule will be a post every week or ten days – that way I’ll have lots of time to fully edit them and give them the attention they will deserve. But be sure to follow my Instagram – that’ll have play-by-play updates because I’m shamelessly in love with Instagram.
See you on the flip side!
*Disclaimer: Do not attempt to pack last minute unless you are prepared to be missing something and lie awake at night worrying that you’ve left something even more important than socks…