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One Bag Packing

For some trips I also carry a
small day pack, but that's it!
I'm a minimalist packer! I don't check my pack because I swear it's been lost 2 out of every 3 times I've checked it! I think it's the straps getting caught on the conveyor belt or something. Since I have to carry my bag on planes I've got to keep it small so it'll be allowed. I've also learned to keep it light because I have to carry everything on my back. I find that the rolly kind of luggage makes it easier for me to pack unnecessary things because I never feel the weight of what I'm holding.

My Pack:
Lowe Alpine Appalachian ND55+10 - I love it and hate it, but because it's foolish to buy another I'll love it for now (plus I'm a bit sentimental about it, it's the one thing that's been everywhere with me).

Rules to One Bag Packing:

3-1-1 Liquid Bags

The Carry-On Loophole:
Sometimes my pack, even when foolishly empty, won't fit into the overhead bin on a small plane (like the puddle jumpers you take from Boston to New York City or Houston to Baton Rouge). I know this in advance based on the distance of the flight and if I'm not sure then I definitely know it when I see the plane through the window prior to boarding. This changes nothing. I NEVER check my bag at the ticket desk because there is this wonderful loophole called gate-checking. Even when there is zero chance my already minimal luggage will fit in the overhead bin I carry it through the gate and right up to the door of the plane. Normally an airport employee is standing right at this spot "gate-checking" baby strollers and wheel chairs. They will take my bag right then and put it directly onto the plane. If this handy individual is not present tell a flight attendent on your plane that you thought it was going to be a bigger plane and they will become this handy individual or find one for you.

Here's the beautiful part: when I get off the plane my bag will be brought to me right there in the gate. No stress that my luggage won't make the connection in the random city I'm laying-over in. No stress about getting to baggage claim, struggling to get close enough, or praying that my bag will come out of the magical hole in the wall.

Things I don't travel without:
My Pack
Packing Cubes - I stuff these like crazy and then jam them in my pack
Duct Tape Passport Holder by Ducti - A gift from Adam
MSR PackTowl Personal Large Towel  (36" x 16.5")
Turbie Towel - Or some variation. They are small, absorbent and my thick, long hair doesn't drip everywhere after a shower. It is fantastic in combination with a PackTowl!
Sarong - This item is the swiss army knife of female (or even male) travel. I covers my bathing suit after swimming, covers my body after showering (because a PackTowl certainly isn't big enough), it works as a sheet, pillowcase, and can even be folded & tied into a bag (see here). I would not travel anywhere overnight without one or something like it!
Flash Drive - Has copies of all documents, itineraries, contact information, embassies, etc.
Digital Camera - I have a small cheap one I bought specifically for travel. I dropped it down the stairs of a double decker bus in London and now the batteries pop out, but it still works!!
iPod Mini
Water Bottle - At home I carry a metal Threadless bottle EVERYWHERE! When I travel I bring a large plastic wide-mouth Nalgene because I can store things in it when it's not busy hydrating me. I also bring a splash-guard, because this fancy doo-dad keeps the water in the bottle and off of me!
Sunscreen - I've recently taken to testing out bar shampoo as a means of saving more space in my 3-1-1 toiletry bag so I can bring several 3 oz bottles of sunscreen with me to Africa. I will post the shampoo results when I find them! I'm of Irish descent and need sunscreen to even sit near a window! I also always use baby sunscreen because it NEVER FAILS to get in my eyes and those kinds are tear-free. I don't use sunscreen wipes because I can't afford them!
Gold Bond Powder - I use it for any chafing that occurs during long hikes/walks. I can also use it to keep my shoes from stinking... I smell like old people but I am far more comfortable that I would be without it. According to its website there are loads more uses (see here)!
Brush/Mirror - This goofy piece of equipment makes me think of a doll brush or something I was given as a child to play with. I would not leave home without it though! For one, it's a brush instead of a comb, so it gets bonus points for that. Two, it's got a mirror. Three, in folded-form, it's small, sturdy, and won't fall apart in my pack. Therefore no sacrifices had to be made: I'm able to carry two products for the size & weight of one and I get to bring an actual brush for my long, thick hair instead of taking hours to sort through the snarls with a comb.
Spin Pins - I think these are just genius... and so tiny! They make my hair go up neater than my normal messy bun and handfuls of my hair stays attached to my head. They are also super small, light weight, and keep my hair up tightly all day!
Vibram FiveFingers - I bought them for rafting in Africa

One Bag/Minimalist Travel Advice:
In or Out: How to Pack for a Month-Long Trip
One Bag
Pack Light Budget Travel
Safari Packing
What to Pack
What to Wear Where
50 Backpacking Tips
28 Tips for Traveling with a Laptop & SLR Camera

Things I might buy:

Vapur Water Bottle
eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible
Osprey Waypoint 65 Women's (Medium)
Solio Classic Solar Charger
KEEN Balboa Sandals
Zilch Tevas

·         Shampoo Bar
      Universal Sink Stopper