Hey there! So I have been wanting to do a travel post for a while. I love to travel, and I am generally pretty great at packing a lot of things into a small bag. I had planned on doing a ‘pack with me’ type post when we were going to Disney, but I packed so far in advance for that trip, that I had forgotten to take pictures for the post until after we were on our way to Orlando. Needless to say, that post was never done. Therefore, I am writing about what I am taking with me to Michigan.

Ever since I have been married, 98% of my trips have been to Michigan, with the vast majority of those being for just long weekends – 4 days, 5 if I was lucky,which really is just a short week, no? And normally, when I went to Michigan, I flew on Spirit because you just cannot beat the flight prices. But, if you have ever flown with Spirit, you know that you have to pay for every additional thing. Like, say, your checked or CARRIED ON BAG. That was the only thing I didn’t like about Spirit – that I had to pay for a carry-on. So, to get around that, I would pack everything in my backpack from high school. Usually it worked out really well.

But now that Peter and I live in Pensacola, and Spirit doesn’t fly into our airport, I am flying Southwest this go-round. Which means that I get two checked bags, and my carry on for free! I love that. And because I am going by myself to Michigan, I have the entire suitcase to myself. That doesn’t happen terribly often.

So, what am I taking with me for a week, and how do I pack my bags, you ask? Well, I will just tell you.

I will start with my carry-on. Now, because I am taking a full sized suitcase that I am not sharing, and it is summer, I probably don’t need a carry-on. And if you have ever flown with Southwest, there is no guarantee that, if you use the overhead bins, your carry-on suitcase will be near you. For my carry-on, I am using my backpack because I know that it fits under the seat in front of me.

In my carry-on I will have a book (Once and For All by Sarah Dessen – one of my all  time favorite authors), my sunnies (Target), my Sony camera, along with my extra batteries and charger, my camera case (Dooney and Burkes Disney Collection), my wallet (Target), and my purse (also Target). I will also have my phone charger, my chromebook, my toothbrush, contacts and solution, my glasses and case, headphones (Phillips brand, bought on Amazon), and my makeup- the orange makeup case American Eagle from 2000 maybe? And the navy case is from Ipsy sometime last fall. I don’t remember which month. Normally, I wouldn’t take my computer because I would be putting all of my clothes in the bag, but because I have so much extra space, I am this time.

In the largest compartment, I put my purse at the bottom (leaving my wallet out), then put my makeup on top of that, and then my camera, with my book standing up in front of it all. In the middle pocket, I put my computer and the charger for that. I wanted to keep that safe and cushioned on top of my other things. In the very front compartment, I put my headphones, contacts and solution, sunnies, my glasses, toothbrush and wallet. These are all things I want to be able to grab at easily and not need to dig or hunt in my bag for them. Not shown is my phone charger which will go in the smallest pocket on top of this pocket in front. I will also have a couple of those rechargeable battery packs in my bag as well, that way I don’t need to hunt for an outlet at the airport, because as anyone who travels at all will tell you, it is next to impossible to get a chance to use an outlet.

PRO TOP: Make sure that all of your batteries are fully charged for all of your electronics before you leave. You don’t want to go to use something and have it half dead or completely dead when you need it!

Onto my main suitcase. Honestly, taking this large of a suitcase by myself for a summer trip is overkill. But I plan to bring some things home from my parent’s house that I left there. Normally, I would still probably just take a carry-on size or a smaller case because I don’t even know if I have enough clothes to fill this case if I tried, after all of that purging that I did. (I should make a check in post on how that has been going.)

Because it is summer in Michigan (which will be SO nice after summer in Florida), I will have 4 tee shirts with me (from left to right: Southern Couture, HomeT, Torrid, Torrid), two tank tops (from left to right: Target – Ava and Viv, Torrid), and two pairs of capri leggings (black – Torrid, grey – Walmart).

I will have a pair of denim capris (Torrid), a swim suit (Torrid), and I have a some PJs (pink polka dot pj pants – Walmart, grey tunic – Amazon (though honestly, this top is a dress on me)).

I will have two dresses from Torrid for parties I am going to, along with a denim jacket from Old Navy. The last things that will go in the main part of my suitcase will be my blow dryer, flat iron, and selfie-stick. I am taking my Detroit hat, but I’ll wear that on the plane.

This is what it looks like when I pack my suitcase:

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I put all of my clothes in the bottom part, as well as my hair tools, and not shown yet, my flip flops. It’s nowhere near full yet. If Peter were coming, he could still put all of his things in the main compartment. In the top mesh zipper, I have all of my socks, underwear, and my swimsuit.

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In the outer pocket, I put all of my toiletries – all of the things that are liquid that I don’t want exploding all over my clothes. Starting at the top left: I have scrubbing cotton rounds, cetaphil moisturizer, Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser, L’Oreal Micellular cleansing water, Clear Scalp an Hair Conditioner and Shampoo, Aussie 3-minute miracle conditioner, Secret deodorant, Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar body spray (Yes I have been wearing this since I was 16. So what?), Venus razor, Dior J’Adore perfume (which I have also been wearing since I was 16.), Vanity Planet Spin Brush, toothpaste and my night guard. If I was just taking a carry-on only, I wouldn’t take any of this. Usually I just stay with my parents, so I would use my mom’s shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste, borrow a razor if I needed it, and would just not use any perfumes. Again, I am only taking all of this because I have the space. It’s overkill, really.

When packing any liquids, I put everything into zip top gallon bags so that if it does come open or explode, the mess is mostly contained. Then I put them in the pocket away from my clothes. You can’t be too safe.

When I am planning on a trip, I try to be very organized. I did laundry over the weekend and packed everything that I knew I won’t need before tomorrow. I always shower the night before, and then dry and flat iron my hair, that way in the morning I don’t need to worry about that. Wearing my hair straight is always easiest for me, because it stays detangled and is easiest to manage that way. I never wear my hair up when I travel, because I like to sleep on planes or in the car, and having a ponytail at the back of my head is not comfortable. I save my toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and makeup for last, as I will use those the morning of my flight.

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When I travel, I try to wear super comfy clothes, and shoes that are super easy to get on and off. So I make sure to plan that ahead as well. I generally will avoid wearing any shoes with laces, and I will avoid wearing anything that I need a belt with. Comfort and ease are the keys when traveling. I also try to dress in layers. Airports and airplanes can be cold, so I like to have something to combat that, but nothing too heavy or bulky, because you’re never promised much space on a plane. Tomorrow, I have a 7am flight, with a layover. I really want to be comfortable. So I am wearing a chambray shirt (from Torrid), a black tank top (from Target) and a pair of black leggings (also Torrid). I will have on my boat shoes (which probably don’t really match, but I don’t care that much), and a hat. The shoes are great because they are slip on, but not flip flops. I don’t like walking through security barefoot, so I have some little no-no show socks I will wear with them. There are no belts or metal in this outfit, so there is nothing to trigger the x-ray scanners. And everything is easy to put on and take off. That is the key for me.

Most of this could easily be pared down to fit into my carry-on suitcase or my backpack if I needed it to. I’d ditch my hair tools, and just use my mom’s, as well as my shower toiletries,and I’d only bring one dress. I’d leave my computer at home and carry my purse on it’s own with most of those things currently in my backpack in there. If I did that, I would really only need one small case. Things would be rolled up and come out a little more wrinkled than they will in the larger case, but that is what an iron is for, right?

Next time I take a short trip, I will show how I pack for short trips. If you have any tips, leave them in the comments below.

I’ll try to update my blog when I am in Michigan as well. Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Sam

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