Rolling and Stuffing: Packing 101

A long time ago, when A Ticket for Two was Maravilha Kristina, I posted a lil’ picture tutorial on how to pack that I had found on the interwebs. In going through my media library, I was looking over the post and thought I’d expound upon what I’ve learned so far in my packing process. I’m a terrible packer, and I barely follow any of my own advice, but I have to pack for a trip coming up and I figured I’d try my best with it. So here’s some practical stuff I’ve used and learned when it comes to packing:

First up, this is Larry.

Larry is my tried and true IKEA UPPTÄCKA suitcase. He’s got four wheels, is collapsible, and he maintains an overall cheery disposition. When I bought Larry I was an IKEA retail worker, so I took a chance on him with my discount, but if you’re an IKEA Family member, he comes with a discounted price anyway of $70. Pretty good for a four wheeled suitcase that runs like butter. Larry and I have been friends since I went to Seattle in ’14, so I highly recommend it.

So now that we’ve got the suitcase, let’s fill it.

Last big trip I took, I used some packing cubes. Like these babes,

AmazonBasics 4-Piece Packing Cube Set – 2 Medium and 2 Large

These proved super useful because they forced me not to overpack – you can only stuff them so much. It also made me more mindful about what I was putting in them. You can delegate different items for different boxes- pants, dresses, and so on. They make packing simple, and in the end, that’s the best we can aim for!

Next up, electronics. I recently needed a little shell for my laptop that wasn’t as dense as my laptop bag but also cushiony enough that it would survive in my Alicia San Marcos bag. I ended up with a pretty little laptop sleeve like this:

CoolBell 15.6 Inch Laptop Sleeve Case With Colorful Leaves Pattern

Well actually I bought this exact same one. I’m a sucker for leaves and bright patterns.

In addition I needed an adapter for my out of country travel. I got a universal adapter, this one.

Travel Adapter, Worldwide All in One Universal Travel Adaptor Wall AC Power Plug Adapter Wall Charger with Dual USB Charging Ports for USA EU UK AUS Cell Phone Laptop

I might need to buy more than one soon, but this one is a good one to start with if you’re like me and have only one or two things that need energy, like a laptop or phone.

I also ended up buying a variety of plastic bags to pack all of my beauty products. This led me to a dark place where I kind of lost control…

I went to MochiThings. They’re a site that sells adorable accessories from backpacks to journals. I definitely got my plastic bags,

15 pcs Travel Bag Set from MochiThings

and from there I went to their section of luggage tags and bought a few Window Seat ones,

Plane Window Luggage Tag from MochiThings

They’ve got passport holders and travel pouches I’m super fond of, there’re so many cute designs to choose from. The one I own now I got from Target, but they don’t sell it anymore.

Similar ones can be found at MochiThings as well as Amazon,

MoKo RFID Blocking Passport Holder, Multi-purpose Passport Cover, PU Leather Bifold Travel Wallet for Men & Women

I’m a sucker for patterns and being that my last passport holder and pouch haven’t been working out completely (the zipper gets caught every time I try to zip it, which makes for embarrassing walk-aways from check-in counters), I’m on the hunt for a new one. I’ll keep you posted on what I end up with.

Here’s some miscellaneous stuff I suggest:

Compression socks for long flights! These can literally be a lifesaver if you’ve got any likelihood of blood clots, but they also are simply good for avoiding deep vein thrombosis on any flight that’s 4+ hours long. I purposely wear lose pants or dresses for flights so I can take the socks on and off during the flight. Yeah, I’m one of those people, I don’t play.

Athletic compression socks, multipurpose

Sleeping aids, but not the medicinal kinds. I’m talking about the basics, your pillows, your sleeping mask, your headphones or ear plugs.

Bedtime Bliss Eye Mask and Ear Plugs

I’m a headphone person, I can listen to rain sounds for days on end, and I’ve been a fan of Urbanears for …. going on 10 years now! I love them, lots of bang for your buck.

Urbanears Plattan on-ear headphones

Headwraps + Bonnets. If you didn’t already know this, I’m a black woman with natural hair, and travelin’ can do a number on my hair, if it isn’t already in a protective style. This is when I double-up and get comfortable with a good satin bonnet and a headwrap. Done and done. No worries!

Satin Bonnet
Wax Print Head Wrap

I know I’m forgetting a boatload of stuff, and it’ll probably come to me later. As I look at Larry across the room and consider that pretty soon, I’m going to need to get him a companion older brother, I’ll be revisiting this list for months to come.

Any tips to share? How do you pack?



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