The packing list

I’m leaving home in 26 days. I’m leaving the country in 28 days, in a crazy, dream-come-true kind of holiday. It’s not that I’m stressed, not really. I’m breathing okay, see? In. Out. In. Out. Where was I up to?

Oh yes. I’ve got nearly all the accommodation sorted, which is a big relief. I’m slowly going through and putting all the details into a spreadsheet that we can share with family and friends, and so we’ve got a record of all our addresses/contact phone numbers/flight times/etc in one place. Sixteen cities. Two months. Sheesh! I ordered USA sim cards for our phones today, and the extra travel bed we ordered a fortnight ago should be shipped soon. I’ve started packing.

It’s okay. It is. It really is.

The shoes bother me a little bit. I am a woman, yes, but I’m not a “shoe girl”. Or, at least, I never used to be. I used to wear my Doc Marten boots with everything, and that was fine. Trouble is, I grew up, and I no longer truly believe I can get away with Docs and an evening dress at a gala dinner – even if the dress is floor-length. So I’m traveling with strappy heels, summer walking shoes, winter walking shoes (may be snowing in the Canadian Rockies), looking-nice-because-I-need-to-look-a-little-dressed-up boots and my everyday regular wear-everywhere Docs.

Swimming gear. Thermal underwear. Parka. Sunscreen. Woolly socks. Warm hat. Sun hat. Did I mention swimming gear? Vegemite. Milo. Enough underwear to survive ten days in the Canadian Rockies possibly without a washing machine. Possibly in the snow.

Remind me again why I’m driving through the Canadian Rockies with a floor-length evening gown and strappy heels?

Not that I’m stressed. Not really. Not that it bothers ME that I’ve been so busy that I haven’t done any laundry all weekend, nosireeeeee. Oh no. Clean socks are completely overrated.

I think I need to go buy a tumble drier today. I’m sorry environmentalists: I’ve tried, and I’ve failed. I wonder if I can buy a portable one that fits in my suitcase?

I wonder if I can buy one that washes and dries my Doc Martens?

So tell me friends, seasoned travelers, any great tips on what to pack, what not to pack, what to buy? I’m trying to keep it down to one suitcase, but I am allowed to take two. Thermal-lined formal-wear with detachable hood, perhaps? 

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13 thoughts on “The packing list

  1. Just remember that there are stores in the US and Canada – but they don’t carry Vegemite so be sure to pack two. I don’t think I’m being helpful. 😀 Leave two pairs of shoes at home and pack three jars.

    • Haha! Yeah, there are stores, for which i’m extremely grateful. There are already a number of things I’ve decided to buy over there. Gosh, I can’t imagine having to bring EVERYTHING for two months. Eeek!

  2. First, I pick what books I’ll want to read.

    If there’s space left over, clothes. I used to go to conferences with black jeans, an orange t-shirt, and a white sport coat. Oh, and black high-tops. And my Oakley shades, of course!

    Never got kicked out.

    • Haha! We’re travelling with two Kindles and two iPads (with Kindle apps). We’d go mental trying to bring enough books otherwise.
      I like the sound of your conference outfit. Somewhere between Miami Vice and Dr Who. Good combination there mate.

    • You’re a legend Marcia, thank you!! Considering we’ll have just come off a ten-day drive over the Rockies I may spend an awful lot of time in your laundry room 🙂

  3. Be bold Megan and take 2 suitcases! It is a once in a life time opportunity. If you need strappy heels, summer shoes, winter boots etc. take them! No point getting there and being miffed you haven’t got something. Pack one suit case to the brim and the overflow can go in the other. The spare space in the other suitcase will be ideal to pack all the goodies you are going to bring back from your FAMILY OVERSEAS HOLIDAY!!!! Stop being stingy girl and LIVE!

    (All this from someone who went to New Zealand for 17 days with only her walking boots and wished she had taken some dress shoes!)

    • Thanks Son. I’m thinking exactly that. My one-suitcase rule was partly because of the three kids, and the youngest who may or may not need help with his, and partly because we have to pile all these said suitcases in the back of a rental car from time to time. But the conclusion I have come to is Who CARES! There are trolleys at airports, there are porters in hotels. There are two hands on each of us, and hey, if we need to strap a kid to the roofracks, then so be it 🙂

  4. Pack an empty backpack that you can fill and bring on as your carry on on the way back. Pack panty liners so you can wear your undies longer- also its something you won’t be coming back with. Pack clothes that you don’t care about and leave them behind if you need to. Maybe if you are going somewhere really cold you pack a sweatshirt that you would be happy to give away afterwards thus creating more space in your bags. Think of it as an ebb and flow.

  5. Hand-washing is one of my secrets. Pack a dryer if you must, but a shower or sink doubles as a washer, in a pinch. 🙂 I hand-washed my way through Albania and Italy and lived to tell the story, with no obvious body odor victims left along the way.

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