Thursday, December 26, 2013

How To: Pack for a Two-Week Excess

So this Saturday afternoon I will be catching a flight home for two weeks! And like any good procrastinator, I have waited until less than 24 hours before I leave for Madrid (where I will be flying from) to begin packing. Which is why it is now past 3am, and I am just now almost half-way done putting the things I'm taking into my suitcase.

Oh yeah, did I mention I'm getting up at 6am to do some yoga before I have to leave for work at 7:30? Hmm.. hashtag "questionable decisions part one." In a way, it's kind of all part of my plan though. I am taking the bus at 1 o'clock in the morning tomorrow night, and it's a six hour ride, so I figure if I don't sleep a lot tonight, then I will on the bus. And then Saturday I have about 16 and a half hours of traveling to do, so if I'm tired for all that, great, I'd love to sleep on the 11 1/2 hour flight I have from Madrid to Texas!

Update (added 26/12/2013): that was, of course, a horrible plan. The first half of the bus ride I barely slept due to discomfort and the large man snoring just in front of me. Also, because I was flying all day long, I wasn't mentally tired, and therefore slept for a total of maybe 20 minutes during the 15 hours I spent in planes. I did however arrive in SF at 22h, and by the time I got home, was so tired, that I slept perfectly through the night. 

Going all the way to California for two weeks is definitely going to be worth it, but man is it a long way to go for a period of time that is destined to fly by! And since I already have figured out which part of the state I will be in on each day, it makes it much easier to know what I need to bring with me.

For example: I will be spending an entire week in Stockton. This time will be heavy in appointments (teeth cleaning, haircut, lady doc appointment, dermatologist, and x-rays for the tailbone I most certainly broke back in early October -- yeah, can't wait to travel more on it, really) and family time. For this week, I don't need many clothes, and that's great.

Following that, I will spend about four or five days in Lake Tahoe, where I will attend Snow Globe music and art festival (SG) for New Year's and just have a generally awesome-but-frozen time. For this, I need lots of layers. Easy enough.

All-in-all, I don't need to take a whole lot of clothes. That said, I have decided to take the key things from my wardrobe that I usually always wear, and add a couple other items, since it is going to be Christmas, and I will be spending three days/nights at a music festival. For the two weeks that I will be in California, I have packed the following:

  • One "good dress" to wear for Christmas with my family
  • One dress for layering
  • One high-waisted skirt
  • One maxi skirt 
  • Two 3/4 length layering shirts
  • One 3/4 length top
  • Three basic tank tops
  • One "going out shirt"
  • One top
  • One t-shirt
  • One flannel 
  • Three sweaters 
  • One denim button-up
  • One pleather jacket
  • One festival craft jacket
  • One pair of super-stretch skinnys
  • One pair of skinnys
  • One pair of shorts
  • Three pairs of leggings
  • Five pairs of tights
  • One pair of yoga pants
  • Two sports bras
  • Four scarves
  • One swimsuit
  • Six pairs of underwear
  • Fourteen pairs of socks
  • A beanie
  • A pair of gloves
  • Ankle boots
  • Combat boots
  • Knee-length boots

And then some oils that I use to wash and moisturize my face, a toothbrush, my computer, Kindle, a Spanish activity book, coloring book, colored pencils, devotional book, and chargers for everything. As well as a bunch of typical Spanish Christmas cookies to give to my family. Oh, I guess one more sweater than I said above, if you include the one I am taking for my sister's Christmas gift. 

Now that I've actually gotten it all written out like that, it seems like quite a lot for just two weeks. And it would be far less, but at the festival it's going to be freezing and in the snow, and I will need a lot of layers. This is also why I have so many socks included, because I'll be wearing about three at one time. And also the reason for so many boots... because one pair I'll likely wear everyday, and the other two are to alternate and test out in the wet festival conditions (I could have wet feet the entire time, we'll see). 

I am allowed to have one checked bag of 50lbs/23kilos, a personal item carry-on and a carry-on bag. I'm only going to take a rolling backpack with me on the way, and then likely come back with more carry-on weight than I went with. I plan to bring back a lot of health food items that are expensive or unavailable here, and I'll want to have space for it all. :)

In order to get all this packed, I am using my preferred method..

#1 Roll the thinner items (tank tops, tops, skirts, etc) and then put then in the cracks of the suitcase on the bottom

#2 Pack stuff on top of it, and put all socks, underwear, tights and leggings together in those plastic zip bags that tend to come with a suitcase.

#3 Shove anything that might be remaining into the gaps and cracks. Which I'm pleased to say was unnecessary since I didn't try to pack in more than I should have.

And there you have it! A bag that could hold about 30 kilos of stuff, is allowed to hold 23, that appears to be holding 25, but really only holds 16.7 when placed upon the scale at the airport! (Clearly this sentence was added after this post was originally written before.)

Usually for a two week trip, I would just pack stuff into my backpack and hit it, but for this, going home and crossing countries, states, continents, and bodies of water, I decided to treat myself with a big suitcase loaded with a semi-excessive amount of stuff! How you pack your bags for travel depends entirely on what kind of trip you're taking. For this trip, where I'm traveling by car everywhere I go, I wasn't concerned about having a handicapped suitcase to lug around. But when I am traveling around Greece for 10 days in April, I will only have a backpack. 

Stay tuned for more travel posts, life posts, inspiration, and love, love, love! 

Happy holidays to everyone! Safest travels to you all, and infinite blessings, love & light!


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