Thursday, July 19, 2012

Born to...pack?

Oh what a crazy week it has been.  I've been going nonstop.  Attempting to plan for the school year, working out, and getting things together for my vacation.  I am heading out on a road trip with my brother and his family to California.  There are lots of things that are unknown to me about the trip, but I think that's what makes it more exciting.  I know I'm definitely going to be in Los Angeles and San Francisco and maybe a little bit in between.  This will be my second time in California, I was in the Bay Area the last time I was there and fell in love.  I plan to try some new beers, experience new things, feel like a kid again, and not let the cooler weather get to me (I'm not packing a sweater).

Some things I hope I don't forget:
  • SLR Camera 
  • Phone Charger
  • adding music to my phone
  • To eat healthy when I can
  • To have a good time and learn new things
I am insanely good at packing, whether it's for a weekend trip, a month trip, or a week-long trip.  I am good at it, I remember the details, and it doesn't stress me out.  However, I absolutely DESPISE unpacking.  I'll share some of my secret tips with y'all in a hot minute.  I packed a total of one duffel bag (carryon size), one tote bag, and my purse.  Well, technically I also have my camera bag, but that doesn't count.  I have at least eight different outfits, a denim shirt that will suffice as a layer when I get chilly, two bathing suits, seven pairs of shoes (three flat sandals in silver/brown/black, Rainbows, Toms, tennis shoes, and wedges), two summer scarves (for layers and/or hair turbans), three belts, flat iron, jewelry box, pajamas, and undergarments. While, I didn't pack lightly persé, I did pack compactly.  I am very proud of the final product.
Hello, my name is Laura and I am addicted to Vera Bradley
Yes, my dears that is a carryon size duffel bag you see.  CARRYON SIZE! <-- Did ya hear that?! The only things in the purple tote bag are: sunblock, road trip games, toiletries, makeup bag, and snacks.  It is definitely possible to fit it all in there.  This means, that if I was traveling by plane (considering there were not liquids greater than 3oz.) I would be able to bring it all with me without checking in bags.  I can't seem to believe how much I managed to pack.
Here's how...
  • Put all your shoes on the bottom
  • Take advantage of shoe space, place socks, belts, scarves or other small items in there
  • Once shoes are all organized on the bottom, add any other heavy/bulky items such as flat irons, blow dryers, purses, jewelry boxes, etc. Other than shoes I included my flat iron and jewelry box on the bottom of my duffel.
Notice how I rolled up scarves & socks and put them inside my toms in the right hand corner-- Space Saver!
  • Roll up all of your bottoms, non-delicate dresses, and non-delicate tops.  By rolling you not only save space, but you also prevent wrinkling
  • Lay out any denim first (above the shoe layer)
  • Make sure you separate your clothes into bottoms, tops, etc.  
  • I like to reserve items that I want easy access to for the end (pajamas, undergarments, toiletries)
  • Start stacking your rolls of clothing making sure to keep it organized (bottoms, tops, etc.)
  • If you have any delicate clothing items that cannot be rolled make sure you give it a soft fold and place it on the very top
  • Add your easy access items like undergarments or pajamas to the corners (or a side pouch in my case)
Everything that went inside of my duffel (except toiletries & makeup bag)
The duffle all filled up with easy access items in the corner & side bag (Can you spy them?)
Just enough space in there for my snacks! 
I have my other easy access items like my makeup bag, toiletries, games, sunblock, and snacks that went into my tote bag.
Have you noticed how difficult and tricky it can be to eat healthy on road trips, or trips in general?  I am determined to eat as wholesome as possible on the way to California and on the return.  I also have emergency foods for when I can't get a good breakfast at a hotel or on the road.  Here are some of the items I am bringing with me and why:
  • Chia Seeds.  Read more about them here and why they're awesome. I can add them to basically anything, and get great nutritional benefits out of it. 
  • Lara Bars. These are my favorite snack bars, pretty much because they are so wholesome.  I love that they are made with like three to five ingredients.  Their flavors are super creative, I'm trying three new ones for the trip: Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Blueberry Muffin.  They are filling and a great snack.
  • Luna Bars.  From the makers of Clif bars, these are advertised for the female audience, but I think anyone can eat them.  They taste great, are 70% organic, and are awesome for emergency meal replacement. 
  • Clif Mojo bars.  The perfect energy boosters.  These bars are sweet and salty and have a great texture.  
  • Justin's Almond Butter Packets are a yummy source of a good fat and protein to add to road trip food.  If I pick up an apple on the road, to add to rice cakes, etc.
  • Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds in 100 calorie packs to curb my apetite 
  • Kashi Go Lean Crunch for emergency hotel breakfasts, road trip breakfast, road trip dinner, etc. Pick up some milk and a paper cup at a convenience store and voila
  • Not Pictured: Green Tea, I plan to take bags to brew in the hotel to keep me full of antioxidants.
I'm not crazy, I just like to be safe.
These will go in individual serving sized baggies for my tote bag
 Are you good at packing?
What are some of your tips?
How do you stay healthy when you travel?


  1. Laura. you are a packing goddess.

    I hate unpacking too!!! When i get home from trips my bags stay packed for days, until I run out of clothing and have to force myself to unpack, sort, and do laundry.

    Why is it that some little tasks are SO much harder to get done than others??

    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean. Don't feel bad, I am the same way. Sometimes my packed bag will stay in the corner of my room for weeks (not kidding). I am also like this with laundry, love doing it, hate folding.

      I seriously need some unpacking fairies to help me do this when I return. Now, wouldn't that be lovely?