Practice Packing

I did a practice packing session the other day.

Sounds weird, right?

Let me explain.

I’m going to Vegas in 2 weeks to celebrate my 40th birthday.  This has been planned and we’ve been saving for 2 years and our goal was to find the least expensive transportation so that we had more fun money.

I think we met that goal – the air line has a very reasonable price tag – and you only pay for the bags you bring.  Okay, so to avoid a bag fee, I have to not pack a bag.  Now, a “carry-on” is a bag and would be subject to the fee.  But, a purse, a briefcase or a backpack, well, that’s personal and not considered a bag.

So, I bought a back pack!

Vegas backpack

Thank you Amazon for my Vegas Backpack!

We are going for 3 days and 2 nights.  And we aren’t doing anything fancy, so this should be easy, right?  Well, first off, my clothes are big girl clothes, so they take up more room.  And, I’m an over-packer.  There I’ve admitted it.  I always, always over pack.  But, since it has saved me on more than one occasion, I have never curbed that tendency.

I have to curb it now.  I have to fit 3 days into that bag.

You know I went camping the other day – a 3 day and 2 night trip.  That was a perfect time to practice packing for Vegas.  Now, the wardrobe isn’t the same, but close.  And I could take a travel bag full of toiletries which I can’t take on a plane, but I didn’t take my straightener, so I think it was a good trade off in terms of practice!

I had to fit all of this:

Vegas packing

Into this:

vegas packing 3

Let me repeat – ALL OF THIS!! Into that little backpack!!!

Vegas packing 2

I have (2) shoes, underwear, socks, (1) pj’s, (2) shorts, (4) shirts, swimsuit and cover and my toiletry bag.  Now, this doesn’t include the items that live in my camping trunk, but I really think it is a close representation of a three day trip for me.  For Vegas I’ll have less toiletries, but will have makeup and hair care, but again, seems like a fair trade off.

And guess what?

I did it!

It all fit!

vegas packing 4

My flip flops are out because I was wearing them that day 🙂

So, I think I’m ready, I think I can do this!

Of course, I’m going to totally practice pack one more time with my actual wardrobe, but that’s neither here nor there!

And I really hope that someone tells me they’ve done this too! Don’t let me be the only weirdo!

**PS: My birthday isn’t really until July 2nd (I’ll wait while you go make a note of that), so we are going early to celebrate because it’s the only time I could get free.  🙂

**P.P.S. I made it back from Vegas!  You can read all about the adventures here: Vegas Baby! 

75 thoughts on “Practice Packing

  1. You can totally do this ! Back when I was a little more foot loose and fancy, I could get 10 days worth of clothes in a carry-on. That included shampoo, conditioner, a brush, toothbrush and toothpaste! Now, in my older ‘prepare for all possible circumstances’ mode… I can’t do it.

    PS – When in Vegas, do not accept the business cards people are handing out on the street unless you are shopping for a call girl.

    PPS- If the Titanic Museum and the Body Museum is still there… they are super awesome. You will be picked on for visiting museums while in Vegas… but they are well worth the teasing you’ll receive from your friends.

    • Lol, we almost had time to do the museums!! It was on my list… But just not enough time in the days!
      And, now that Mr. T is older, I think I’ll be able to become one of those “pack a bag and go” people, I won’t have to pack everything and then some… You know, just in case! 🙂

  2. I used to travel with my dad a lot in the transport (that’s how I’ve been to California twice, Texas 3 times and all the states in between) and we were only aloud one duffel bag of clothes and one small bag for books (thank God for e-readers). I learned to pack tight and only bring what was really necessary. When the kids were little I would pack their clothes with mine in a one large suitcase and then they were each allowed a backpack for books and toys.
    I think you did a great packing job, btw!

    • Thanks! I want to be the type of person that can do it! My problem is, and always has been, my toiletries… I plan is to make time to take a picture of all I’m taking and post the actual packing! But, you’ll laugh, I have more toiletries than anything else!! 🙂

  3. *StrongNewMe* says:

    When I was in college and had to ride the bus to go home for weekends, I packed in my backpack. It can be done, with some planning! 🙂

    • Thanks!! I’m really excited! My parents and 8 of my friends are going with me – it’s just the perfect way to celebrate!
      Oh – and the West Coast is amazing! I highly recommend San Francisco and the wharf be part of your Calif tour!

  4. Happy Birthday in advance though I am going to wish you that in July 🙂 I tend to overpack too especially with young kids. I pack enough to stay for 3 more nights LOL! I seriously think that rolling the clothes save much much more space and it keeps the clothes neat too. I hope you enjoy your trip! 🙂

    • Thanks Christy! I’m really excited, and I think later this week I’m going to start picking out my outfits and do a practice pack with my actual stuff!

      It sounds funny, but Mr. T is gone this week at church camp, and he gets back Saturday and we have to wash and repack him for cheer camp on the following Tuesday and then I leave on Wednesday, and as a mom, you know our priority is our kids – so I have to be all but done before he gets back so I can focus on him!

  5. Well, I’m impressed! First of all that you have your clothes ready to pack so far in advance and secondly that you’re able to fit so much in that one backpack. I’d be looking for the bag while the clothes are still in the dryer thirty minutes before time to leave for the airport! Way to go, Kate!

    • Oh, I couldn’t wait that long! Now that I’ve done the practice pack with the clothes I took to camp, I’m ready to finally decide on what I’m taking to Vegas and then again my work trip a week later! LOL. There is a lot of packing for me this month!

  6. I practice-packed for our trip out west. We were gone two weeks and had to fit enough clothes for both of us in a motorcycle saddlebag! HA! Try rolling your clothes up instead of folding them . . . works wonders! May even be able to fit in an extra outfit! (Devilish laugh) 😉

  7. Practice pack – you are funny. I don’t blame you for wanting to avoid the fee. Airlines do all kinds of odd things these days to tack on costs.
    P.S. Maybe, you should leave the stuff packed till the trip.

  8. Saving My Belly Button Ring says:

    Viva Las Vegas & Happy Birthday!!!! Oh and you are weird, but hey, we all are. Just kidding! I’d practice packing too. I just don’t have any place to go. hahaha Hope you have a blast, and I loved your post with pics. :):)

    • Thanks and thanks!

      Everyone laughs at me, but I love pulling out my phone and taking pictures to add to the blog (or FB, or Twitter!), I like the personal touch and I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

      And, I was hesitant to show my panties, not gonna lie I considered removing them – but then I figured I could be a grown up and show them. And I was afraid someone would notice if they weren’t there, and then what would they think… So, yeah, sometimes the pictures cause headaches!!

      • Saving My Belly Button Ring says:

        I didn’t even notice the panties. hahaha But I get where you are coming from. 🙂

  9. Oh how I wish I was a practice packer! I’m not. I’m a last minute evening before kind of packer and it’s awful. And I overpack too. So I loved your post and gave me a great idea to try for our next outing. Have fun in Vegas!

  10. i’m impressed. no, I don’t practice pack but instead tend to start packing one week prior to any trip, laying things out and organizing. Of course, this past Disney trip was not that way and was actually pretty liberating! haha
    Nice job on your packing though, really impressive for a self-proclaimed overpacker 🙂 And, I did make note of the bday by the way. xo

    • LOL, I’m normally a really good packer, I start a few days in advance and get it all in there – but this whole backpack thing has me freaked out!

      And I love that the Disney trip was totally not your perfection packing! I bet that was liberating!

  11. I have never even thought about practice packing! Oh, my! It makes perfect sense! It sounds like you are all set on the packing and the tons of fun you’re going to have! I would say try to slip into Serendipity 3 for a Frozen Hot Chocolate…but that’s just me!

    Sending you good thoughts for a great trip! I can’t wait to read all about it!

    I may go practice pack…even though I don’t have any trips planned.

    • LOL! With as much as you travel, I figured you’d be an expert packer!

      I really, really want to be the person that can take off for a week with nothing but a backpack. I can’t, I’m not that way, but I can be more like that – I think that Simplify will be my new motto. Soon. I’m still working on other stuff first! LOL

      Thanks so much Katherine! 🙂

      • LOL! I can’t take off for 3 days with anything less than a large suitcase, my computer bag, and a makeup bag (which is really a small suitcase aka carryon)! I like the idea of Simplifying, but don’t think it will work in reality. It could be I just don’t want it to … I’m fine either way!

        Ah, and I am an expert packer. I’m great at rolling and know what I can and cannot take on airplanes. I have never been so limited on space that I couldn’t fit everything in that I need or wanted to take. Oh, and when we were in Ireland the first time we had to buy extra luggage to fit our souvenirs in to bring home.

  12. Oh I absolutely do this– though I have to confess, I just love packing. I’m a big fan of taking the absolute bare minimum– I went to Kenya for 3 weeks in a tiny little duffle bag and I did Guatemala with a backpack about the size of yours. Take only what you can carry <— an Aussa motto 😉

    • Okay – I’ve been reading blogs and travel tips about taking only what you can carry – and man, some of these people are genius! You could totally write a post like that and have us all set to take a 3 week tour of Kenya with nothing but 3 pairs of shoes, 7 tank tops, 1 sweatshirt, a swim skirt that doubles as a real skirt, 3 shorts and one pair of pants!

      Just typing that freaks me out!! You’re adventures have freaked me out!! I don’t know how you do that – my purse with my everyday crap is bigger than that backpack some months!!

      Less is more. Simplify. Take only what you can carry. I see these as my motto for 2015! 🙂

  13. Yay! Happy Birthday, Kate. Hope you have a fantastic time in Vegas. Looks like Nancy has given you some great ideas.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve flown ~ so, yes, I would practice pack. It’s so different from throwing everything into the car.

    • It is so very different!! And, a back pack no less!! I think that it actually is about the same size as a carry on – but it sure doesn’t look like it!!

      and thank goodness for Nancy! I honestly assumed she would be there and I’d meet her! I’m bummed that I’m missing her just by a week or so!

      • It’s great fun to meet up with our blogging buddies in “real time” ~ hope that you and Nancy will have a chance to clink glasses somewhere down the cyber highway.

        The best I’ve ever done (for a week’s vacation by air) is a rolling carry-on AND a day-pack. So you’re way ahead of me.

  14. I’m cracking up about the practice. I have heard good things about the rolling process. I just know practicing and planing would totally freak me out but I so very much admire it in others, one of those qualities I wish I had naturally. I also LOVE to see little bits of tie dye in your blog stream. When I see it, it makes me smile.

    • I was cracking up reading your blog the other day about how you can’t plan ahead – and I knew that I was writing this blog soon – and it was all about planning ahead!!!

      It is rare to see me without some form of tie dye on – I even have silk shirt in tie dye so I can wear it to church and meetings 😀

  15. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    I haven’t done it, but I know others who have. Also? You and A appear to be turning 40 within no more than a week or two of each other, if your trip is actually occurring on your birthday!

    • That would have been cool – but my actual birthday isn’t until July 2nd. This was the only time that I actually had free to make the trip!

      I normally don’t practice pack – but I’m a bit freaked out over fitting it all in the back pack! My only consolation is that I can always mail me a package home if I buy too many items 🙂

  16. You know what we did on our girl trip to Munich with only carry on bags each? One brought a straightener, another one a small lotion etc. And then when we arrived we bought a small hair spray, toothpaste and shampoo to share between the four of us. Worked well (especially because we could take a carry on luggage 😉 ) Have a great time in Vegas, sounds like a you are heading for a fun birthday!

  17. This has organization skills written all over it. That’s great! Plus, if it saves money in the process, even better. I don’t practice packing, but after numerous flights over the past couple years, packing has basically become second nature for me. You have to pay for your carry on? Remind me not to fly with that airline. 🙂

    • Yes, a lot of the airlines do the free carry on – but it was $75 more at a min.

      When I traveled a lot, I become a great packer – but when I don’t, well, I’m not! 🙂

      But, it has been fun forcing myself to travel light! And I think it should totally be a life lesson for me – something about travelling lighter… It’ll come to me!

  18. Practice pack? Nope. I am the one who throws stuff into her bag 10 minutes before heading to the airport. Too much travel, I guess. If I practice packed before each flight… well, I’d be doing more practicing than flying. Or something like that. 🙂

    But what if you want to buy stuff??? Where will you put it?
    Also, you *might* want to pack one fancy thing in case you want to eat at one of the fabulous restaurants! it’s a milestone birthday after all!! 🙂

    Happy Birthday Kate!!

    • Thanks!!!
      I know that I can always ship myself a flat rate box for $5, so I’m okay with that!

      And, I am not spending my fun money on dinner at a nice restaurant!! I love food, but hate the pomp and circumstance that goes with a fancy place to eat. It takes forever and the food is weird!

      I’m doing the Slotsilla zip line as that is a bucket list, my friend is doing the Big Apple coaster. And I want to hit the Mandalay aquarium, see the Fall of Atlantis at Caesars and then the M&M store and the new Hershey store at NY NY. Oh, and the fountains! Can you think of anything else touristy that I should put on my list? Several of my friends have never been!

      • I was going to say definitely get to Fremont. It’s amazing to me how many people never get down there. You’ll be there for the zipline – so that’s good. They’ve been refurbishing a lot of downtown, including a couple of Fremont area hotels. Check out The Grand, a block off Fremont. They have redone that one nicely. There are some great places to eat downtown/Fremont too that aren’t pricey but offer a cooler vibe than the chains. Try Park on Fremont or Le Thai (across the street and up a block from Park). Also, since you’re in the area, go check out the new Container Park. It just opened in December – it’s a collection of art stuffs and retail + food all housed in shipping containers (sounds weird but it’s totally awesome). It’s across the street from El Cortez (east Fremont).

        After checking out the Bellagio fountains, go inside and check out the Conservatory. It’s the crazy flower extravaganza that they change up every 6 weeks in terms of theme. We just visited a few days ago. The current theme is spring time – and it’s very pretty. It might switch up before you arrive – although I’ve gotta think it’ll be the same til they switch it for a 4th of July themed thing.

        So much to see and do, Kate…hard for me to pick just a handful – especially not knowing if you’ll have a rental car or how much time you want to spend poolside at your hotel versus out doing stuff.

  19. Practice packing is a must!! I am a huge fan. I call it planning for ease 🙂
    Also – I’d really recommend you get space saver plastic bags. You can get twice as much clothes in.

  20. You’re not the only weirdo! I like to practice packing too, especially when going on long trips. My dad taught me how to roll folded clothes. They (the rolled clothes) pack really well and gives more room for other stuff, less creases too! 🙂 Las Vegas always sounds so exciting and forbidden! Perfect place to celebrate your 40th! 😉

    • I rolled my clothes! I haven’t really decided if it really does take up less space or not… but my goal is to make this work and then work on packing less in the future!

      And I’m so glad I’m not the only practice packer!!

      We’re so excited about Vegas – we are too the point that at least once a day one of us will text each other with the day count! 13 days!!! 😉

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