Month: November 2014

What's in my Carry – on

Hey Everyone!

I am working on a series about the travel gear I own, and use when I travel. Today’s Blog is going to be about what I usually pack in my carry on for trips.

I learned a lot about what to pack, and how to pack when I had gone to New York, as I was trying to fit as much as I could into two suitcases, a carry on and a personal item, to last for year (when ended up being only a week, but that is a story for another time.). Maximizing two suitcases plus a backpack and my laptop for a year, was hard, but I did it, and within the weight limits. After that trip I learned the power of packing light. Even having spent a week in Missouri, and seen what many of the other girls had brought, I had packed light.

In my main carry on, especially for longer trips, I try to take the following in my carry – on: A fleece blanket from old navy (planes get cold, and it comes in handy as a blanket or rolled up as a pillow. I also have a neck pillow that I had purchased at the Brookstone in LaGuardia when I was stuck there over night. It came in very useful the next morning as I slept on the plane. It was enough support, to avoid kinks in my neck, but is also easily packable. I also take my nook, Ipod, small book light, as well as a quart size bag with travel size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I take enough to get me by when I first get to my destination or am only going to be gone a week. If I am going to be gone longer than at some point while I am there I can go shopping and get more. I also pack my digital camera for photos and for vlogging. Now that I have to think about food intolerances, I also think about taking non liquid foods, such as crackers, cereal, cliff bars, pretzels, homemade trail mix, dried fruit and stuff, so that I can have food that I know I can eat, since airport and plane food isn’t that great.

Sherpani Verve LE Messenger Bag

I have to say I love this messenger bag. Especially when I travel with a backpack. I had picked this up about three years ago from REI. I had purchased it while I was leaning toward traveling somewhere to be a Nanny. While I didn’t end up taking it to New York, I wish I had.

Since I have purchased it, I have taken it with me pretty much every time I have gone somewhere, since having gone to New York.

Pros: it is cute, lightweight, there are plenty of pockets, many of them zip. I have an older style that has a bungee hook that secures the front compartments. There is plenty of room. There is a sleeve in the back for a small laptop computer or tablet, as well as other compartments that are the perfect size for a nook or kindle, as well as an Ipod touch. I usually also put my chargers in it as well, because electronics are only dead weight if they die and you don’t have your chargers.  I have also been able to fit in a neck pillow and a fleece blanket for when I fly. I also am able to put a quart size bag of liquids (like shampoo, conditioner and so on), in it as well as a small purse with the bare essentials (Keys, cellphone wallet, the like). It fits all the basics, and then a bit of entertainment to make traveling more bearable.

Cons: Once fully packed, it can get heavy on one shoulder over time. I usually put so the strap is on the opposite shoulder from the side I carry it on, so the strap is across my body.

All in all I love this messenger bag, and I would buy it again if I was in the market for another messenger bag for a carry on.

Marmot Aspen 35L Backpack

About four years ago, I was on the hunt for a backpack. At the time I was looking to travel overseas to be a nanny, and I did not want to hassle two rolling suitcases and my carry – on’s while trying to navigate my way through strange airports where English was not the native language. My plan was to take one rolling suitcase and a backpack. I didn’t want a super big backpack at the time, because of weight limits and the fact that I would have to haul it on my back for I don’t know have far and how long.

While I was out scouting backpacks, cost was also a factor. I was young, not even a year out of college. I decided to go with the Marmot Aspen 35L backpack. I had purchased the blue one, from Dick’s Sporting Goods.  I have used it several times over the last three years. I used it when I went on a ladies retreat, as well as the two most recent trips I have made to Canada.

For a mid size backpack that only has the main compartment and two zipper compartments in the top cover, it holds quite a bit. I was able to over pack for a week at my aunt and uncle’s house in Canada. I had packed an extra pair of jeans, a jean skirt, 5 or 6 shirts, underwear, pj’s, a couple of sweatshirts, socks and such.

The two trips I took to Canada, I did pack another small duffle bag with my toiletries and church clothes, that I would have packed differently if I had been flying rather than driving.

What I like about it, is that it does force me to pack lighter, especially if I am going somewhere where I can do laundry, or am going to be gone only for a short period of time. It does fit me well. with where the hip strap hits as well as where the shoulder straps hit once it is at full weight.

If you were to ask me now, if I would purchase it again, I would have to say no, on the basis of the fact that it doesn’t not have any external compartments on the main body of the bag, and there are larger backpacks that have more compartments and room that are just as comfortable, and fit just as well as this does.

I am looking at getting an REI Flash 58 Pack, and using that as my main traveling backpack.

Planning Spring Adventures

Now that fall is here in full force, and winter is around the corner, adventures for this year have pretty much come to an end. That doesn’t mean that my blog is dead, at times it may be hibernating, but it will be back in full force next spring.

Between now and then I am doing some research about where I want to go, what I want to do, and thus share with you all. I am wanting to go on some new adventures that I haven’t written about before, and share new places with all of you.

I am also looking into more gear, like a good pair of hiking boots, a day pack, as well as some other travel necessities because I would like to go to the UK at some point. The UK won’t likely be happening in 2015, but I am starting to plan for that.

I know I have been talking about it for a while, but I want to build up my endurance for hiking, because I really want to go on more hikes, and do more challenging trails, so I really need to start building up to it. Going for walks along city streets is good exercise, and will help me start getting into shape, it isn’t the same as going hiking on hiking trails, where the path is uneven, and there is ascents and descents mixed in there.