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Monday, December 10, 2012

Last Minute Packing List

Are you going home for the holidays? Did you save all of your packing for the last minute?  If you stress out about packing like I do, this list is for you.

My husband and I in Yellowstone, WY
I created this packing list to use for my last minute travels and I hope it comes in handy for you as well. I am a big believer in planning ahead and being organized enough to allow for creative thought (just because I believe in this does not in any way mean that I am any good at it). When my mind, desk, studio, closet or other workspace is cluttered I am forced to focus on the mess rather than what I really care about which is being creative (and to get back on topic, packing).

This past summer I had several fantastic opportunities to travel and every time I stressed over what to pack and how to pack all of my art supplies.

So here is my last minute packing list to allow stress free packing.

1. Pashmina scarf or other large warm scarf - No matter what time of year or where I am going I have either used my scaves or regretted not taking one. I have used one for everything from cute fashion accessory (they really do spiff up an simple tank top and jeans) to a blanket in the airport on the way to Haiti. If camping or in another rustic climate you can use an older scarf as a towel, skirt, bag, pillow, or table cloth.

2. Snacks – I have some pretty annoying allergies that could ruin any trip so it is nice to be prepared if I cant find food. I also get hungry in cars and like to take some healthy snacks so I am not forced to eat gas station food.  Dehydrated foods are great.  A water bottle is a must for me as well.

3. Phone and/or camera – Other electronics are included here.

4. Books or kindle – I feel like most people's phones would work here too.

5. Ink and watercolor supplies – Whatever it is that you do, be sure to take that. This could be knitting, scrapbook, photography, or other supplies

6. Clothes - When I went of regular ski trips I made a habbit of going though a "body check." You go through each body part starting at the top and going down. Head (hat, makeup, jewelry), neck (scarf, neck warner), chest (clothes appropriate for the weather), arms, etc. Here is a basic list just in case.
      a. Shorts
      b. Pants
      c. Tank tops (Don't forget to layer)
      d. T shirt
      e. Jacket, sweatshirt, or coat
      f. Skirt – cooler and more comfortable than pants in hot climates and required or strongly advised for some regions.
      g. Sleep wear
      h. Fun lightweight accessories depending on the trip.

7. Personal items – This can be included in the "body check."
      a. Teeth, face, and skin
      b. Undies
      c. Hair 
      d. ID's and other important documents
      e. Medicaitons

An upcycled T-shirt scarf is a perfect accessory.
8. Don’t forget why and where you are traveling. Remember anything specific to the occasion.  
      a. Presents
      b. Camping gear
      c. Money 
      d. Passport 
      e. First aid or insect repellent

9. Swimsuit if appropriate (could be nice for showering even if swimming in not an option).

10. Shoes – flip flops, walking shoes (hiking sandals) and nice flats that I can walk in are typically my go to combination.
Some other miscelanous tips I follow.

1. Pack light (1 pair pants, 1 pair shorts, 1 t shirt) especially if flying. Though I do take several extra tank tops and under garments.  If you pack light you have an excuse to purchase new clothes or gifts for friends back home and it is always less of a pain to repack.  Make traveling easy on yourself.

Upcycled T-shirt necklace
2. Pack one style or even one color. If all of you clothes are black and white or black and grey you can pack less and match every day. If you can’t handle one color you can easily add colored jewelry, a bold scarf, shoes, or a colored shirt/tank top for the extra pop. The photos above are perfect accessories for traveling. Fine similar scarves on ETSY.

3. Only take a carry-on when flying if possible.  If leaving the country it is often best to not check luggage.  There are some airports that you don't want to mess with baggage claims in.  Port-au-Prince being one of them.  If you can travel with a carry-on and a purse or small backpack you will be better off.  My backpacking pack works just fine if I keep it at it's smallest size.  It is also great for caring on long hikes thorough the airport and no one tries to take it from you when you get off the plane. (In Haiti men will grab your bags, carry them to your vehicle and not give them back until you tip. Even being a female I never had to worry when using a backpack.)
      a. Wear your flats. They slip off on the plane and are probably the largest (Keens are rough and smell when they come off in the plane
      b. Roll your clothes and use stuff sacks.
      c. Pack clothes you can wash in the sink.
      d. Pack a canvas bag. It can be used for a beach bag and you may be able to sneak it back on the plane with souvenirs (I attach extra stuff like this to my pack).
      e.  More Tips

***I will add to this list if anything changes, though I probably wont subtract.


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