How to Pack for 2 Months

Apr 20, 2009 | Blog, Travel

I started writing about this before in: How to Pack for 2 Months of Life.

I’ve been thinking about how to pack for my Round The World trip with Josh for a long time… it’s been on my mind for months, actually. I’ve never gone on a trip of such length before and that intimidated me. I know that when I went to El Salvador for a week and only packed my one carry-on sized bag, it was incredible to the other guys on my crew.

This is a lot longer trip, yet I still want to fit all my stuff in that same carry-on sized bag + my electronics bag. Josh is doing a similar packing scheme. We did a packing run-through the other day in order to see what we needed but didn’t have, and how much our bags weighed. Josh is bringing his carry-on sized bag and a backpack as well. He was going to bring his enormous backpacking bag, to check with liquids and other things that didn’t fit in our carry-on bags… but he may change that because in the end we fit almost everything in our suitcases. The things that were left over were our liquids (shampoo/conditioner, contact lens solution, sunscreen) and some books that I’d like to read on flights (I’m going with the Chronicles of Narnia series, since I haven’t read them since I was a kid and they are short and easy to carry).

I have had some friends ask me how to pack lightly, and I always point them to onebag.com. Today though, I’m going to go through it and show you the awesomeness of packing in one small carry-on sized bag. I now hate checking bags. It’s so easy to travel without checking a bag, why bother with the checking? We are only checking one for this trip because of the length… we really don’t want to have to try to find contact lens solution in South Africa or anywhere else, especially if we can’t read the language that the bottles are printed in. And since we’re bringing full-sized bottles of that, we might as well bring the other bottles that we’d like to be large as well.

1. Make a Packing List

This is my most vital piece of advice. It’s really easy to forget something (I usually forget pajamas) if you don’t make a list. Also, by planning your list in advance, you can think through your trip and see if you really logically need 4 different pairs of shoes, or your entire sock drawer.

Our packing list for this trip: Packing List (PDF)

2. Don’t Bring Unnecessary Items

This is part of the planning stages, too. Josh and I work together here… I made a longer packing list initially, but Josh put his foot down and nixed some of my items on the list. Here is some helpful advice: if you can use one item for two purposes (i.e. a bandana for a hair-band and a washcloth), then only bring that one item instead of two seperate items. Another helpful hint is found in thinking through what clothing you can pack. You only need a few shirts/pants/sweaters/etc. It’s really easy to pack a LOT and then you have a variety to choose from. Instead, pack a smaller number, but make sure that they can be worn in different combinations! If it all matches, you will have less clothes and still a variety of outfit options. You really need less clothes than you think you need. The key is to take clothes that can also be worn in a variety of situations. One thing I never pack is my hair-dryer. I don’t use it a lot at home either, but you can find a built in one in most hotels, or just air-dry your hair.

3. Know the Airline Rules.

With checked bags costing extra money, it’s a lot easier to not check a bag. In the USA, carry only 3.4 oz or less liquids in a quart sized ziplock bag. For ease, leave this bag packed between trips, so that you have your essentials at all times. You can buy travel sized bottles of all the items you need. It’s very convenient. You can also use trial sized samples as well.

4. Learn the Art of Bundle-Wrapping.

This is one of the biggest things I learned from onebag.com. It has really worked for me. I am able to take all the clothes I need, and they all fit in my bag and remain less-wrinkled than if I folded them normally. If you go to this page of the onebag site, it is the explanation of how to bundle-wrap, along with a handy diagram it illustrate. I promise, it really does work. The only problem I have had is that you have to unpack your bag to find everything afterwards… but I think I had to do that with my old packing method as well.

I have some pictures of how much stuff I’m taking, as well as my suitcase that I packed it in.

packing stuff

packing stuff

suitcase

KATA KT-DR-467

My backpack is a KATA DR467 Digital Rucksack. It has room for my laptop, camera, a book to carry-on, and other miscellaneous items.

2 Comments

  1. Janeth Siddique

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

    Reply
  2. ALASKA BAKER

    thank you this as really helped me with my packing and repacking for my trip (ps I also find checking bags obnoxious)

    Reply

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Charlotte Glaze

Hi, I’m Charlotte!

As a mom, writer, and illustrator with a background in preschool education, I’m dedicated to creating picture books that inspire and empower young children. Join me on an unforgettable adventure where imagination knows no bounds, as we journey together through the pages of storytelling magic!