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Tips and Tricks: Packing

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This week I wanted to talk about packing our bags. When you have a chronic illness, it is difficult to get all of the basic requirements plus your medical equipment in an easy to manage state. I have been able to do this on my weekend and week long trips while on trips in my country. I haven’t tried it during international travel since I’ve been diagnosed, however I did do two weeks in Europe with a carryon and a backpack. This is similar with the exception of needing my portable oxygen concentrator (POC) and extra meds/devices.

What I use

  • Packing list: you had to know this was going to be on the list. Can’t forget the important things when being away from home for several days.
  • Rolling suitcase: while I do need to invest in a new carry-on (mine is a legal adult in the US this year and is falling apart), I always use one with wheels and a handle. It saves energy and makes getting around easier.
  • Packing cubes: my feelings about these are wishy-washy. They do save space, if used correctly, but depending on the length of trip they aren’t necessary. I also like to use them to separate clean from dirty clothes.

Tips and Tricks

Pack an appropriate amount of clothing

You won’t need as many clothes as you think while out on adventures. I know having options is preferable, but most clothing items can be worn more than once and/or turned into multiple outfits. Lugging around a super heavy bag isn’t ideal, especially when you have to haul it yourself. However, I don’t do this when it comes to socks and undergarments. Bring enough to feel comfortable. For me, it’s one for each day, plus a few extra just in case accidents happen. I don’t know about you, but I loathe wet socks and while in the outdoors it happens.

Pack weather appropriate clothing

This may seem like a no brainer, however, not having the correct clothing happens more than you’d think. If you were here last season for my Bear Head Lake adventure, you know that I froze my butt off at night because I didn’t realize how cold it got further north in June. The stores weren’t carrying thermals, base layers, or anything of the like so I had to wear three pairs of leggings, three pair of socks, two undershirts, and a sweatshirt while under my under 30 degrees F sleeping bag. It was dumb. Learn from my mistakes. I have. I actually own a pair now!

Use your favorite method

I tend to use the rolling method when packing my bags, but there are so many variations so pick what works for your clothes and bag size the best. If you don’t know what I’m talking about or want to learn the others, the all knowing Google has several videos you can watch and go from there.

Utilize the “dead space”

Tuck your socks and underwear inside your shoes, the corners, or cram them in the tiny left over spaces. It saves so much space! Same goes for accessories, like belts, jewelry, etc.

Bag identifiers

If you’re traveling by plane, train, bus, etc. you may have your bag put in a cargo hold of sorts. You want to make sure you can identify yours easily when everything is off loaded. You could have a fun-colored bag, a luggage tag that stands out, a bright yellow pom (which I made and tied to my bag when I went to NY in high school), or a blaze orange luggage strap. However you want to make your bag easy for you to find (within acceptable parameters) is up to do and I strongly suggest doing it. Not being able to find it and having to stand around the carousel until the end sucks.

Did I miss anything you usually do that could make travelling easier? Share in the comments.


Be safe out there! REMEMBER YOUR MAPS AND PASSPORT STAMPS!! Seeyalaterbye <3

Do you see Currently Unnamed Cardybear? Put FOUND in the comments 🙂

Also, if you feel called to help a sista out with her travels, check this out!

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