I often get asked what I pack when I travel on these awkwardly-kind-of-long-but-not-completely-permanent trips. I often reply that I’m a horrible packer, and that my discretion should not be used as a bible on packing. While this and this are great travel packing links, you can see here things I’m packing that I probably should leave behind. Consider this a “My Favorite Things” post too, as I’ve linked several of my current obsessions…


1 fluffy bath towel, 1 beach towel (Vera Bradley, of course), and 1 hand towel.

Justification: I forgot a bath towel in Milan and had to spend almost $20 to get a new basic towel. Never again will I be stranded like that, my poor heart can’t take it again.

1 pillow, 2 pillowcases, 1 throw blanket (Vera Bradley, of course), and 1 woobie.

Justification: I get to take a pillow in addition to two carry-ons. So basically, in my head, this makes three carry-ons as I fully intend to stuff my pillowcase to the max with things I don’t need. ALSO a woobie is what we call a blanket around these parts. My grandma made mine. No way in heck I’m leaving it behind..

1 full sized shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, body wash, body lotion, and hair stuffs.

Justification: They don’t have (cheap) Garnier or BBW (at all) in Europe, so of course I’m indulging. I have no excuse for this extra ten pounds of goo in my suitcase. And it will be empty on the way back anyway, so I’ll have all the more room for souvenirs!

1 Cards Against Humanity, 1 deck of Monopoly Deal, 1 deck of cards

Justification: No easier way to make friends and show everyone your raw talent than a good ole’ fashioned butt whippin’ at games.

1 collapsible cube (Vera Bradley, naturally), 1 Chick-Fil-A Calendar, and 1 May Books Agenda.

Justification: These are all practical. Plus, you need to take things to remind you of home so that your strange new room becomes more inviting! Taking things that don’t take up a ton of space in your suitcase work terrifically. {And if you haven’t heard of May Books (based in Austin!), get cha some! Now that I’m post-grad, I don’t have an intensive schedule (aka requiring an agenda that has lots of space), so their agendas work perfect! Today they’re having a half off sale- check it out here!}.

4 boxes of mac and cheese, 1 case of Ramen, and 6 Lipton Family size tea bags.

Justification: I’m going to job search right away, but there will be a brief period of time where I will be jobless upon arrival. Since that makes me super nervous, I’m taking back-up food so I won’t be having to waste money on expensive meals (food is way cheaper here- and hello, Ramen is like ten cents). Also, nothing cures up homesickness quite like indulging in your favorite foods! Too bad I can’t take a bag of Cheesecake Factory bread.

Also, can I mention that British Airways only allows you one free suitcase? ONE SUITCASE. I call bull. Turkish Airlines (highly recommend, flew them to Istanbul!) lets you have two suitcases, two big ole carry-ons, AND you also get a cute little Turkish Delight dessert when the plane takes off! British Airways better have something good up their sleeve or I will not be happy.

And even I have standards.

Please for the love of all things holy do not take clothes that you would not wear in your new home. Do not take the blouse that only goes with one pair of jeans. Do not take the dress you’ve never worn, but would wear for the right occasion. Do not take a tan trench coat because you saw Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen wear one in Winning London and you want to be like them during the ONE weekend you spend in England.




6 thoughts on “Packing

  1. OMG Kik… now you have me shopping the May books site to customize my planner & Amazon trying to figure out what the Cards Against Humanity game is about.

  2. It brings me to a rare pause pondering what things I could not leave behind if I ventured out to a new country on a long stay. Toothpaste for sure. I always missed American tv shows when I traveled. Oh yes, can you take motrin? That comes in handy. Do you need converter plugs? Wow, I don’t think I could do what you’re doing. I have too many needs.

    1. You’d be surprised how little your needs actually are when you’re forced to fit your life into one suitcase! It’s also a little easier the second time around 🙂

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