Carry On Luggage

While I am returning home, why don’t I show you what I packed in my carry on?

co8

Here is my carry on bag which involves Swarovski crystals on the front – I have taken this for 3 trips now. It nearly did not make it to this last trip as the inside zipper pocket was broken, but the other half fixed it for me and installed a safety pin so it will not break again as a surprise. Now I am sure it will last many more trips. Let us call this one “my Leopard Print bag”

Here also is my new handbag – it is a lot smaller than my previous one and will be perfect for this trip. I am hoping to pick up at least one Kipling handbag during the trip for future use, they look very light, I hope they turn out to be what I expect when I get to experience them in person. We will call this handbag “my black bag”.

co7

My Leopard Print bag has a zipper section on the back where I can put stuff I easily need to access. My black bag has a front section where phones can go. Both these bags will go under the seat in front of me. I usually put a bottle of water into the seat back area and loop my handbag strap around it so it is easy to pull up and access if I need to.

co5

Most likely this is what you will find in the front zip section of my Leopard Print bag – the camera, my iPhone, a packet of tissues, probably headphones for the iPhone.

co1

Here is what will be living in my handbag during the flight – the iPhone and the camera will be added to it for every day use on Oahu.

co6

Here you see the bag packed. This is pretty roomy for this bag because I am taking a suitcase this trip so there is plenty of spare space in here.

co2

So what is that gold thing? That is my Pashmina, which is wrapped around my Samsung Tablet which contains all my books, and also movies and tv. It will also contain the other half’s tablet which would not fit in his carry on – he has a massive camera bag backpack. The Pashmina will come in handy for the trip to the Mauna Kea Summit where there has already been snow this year. I can use it as a scarf/wrap.

co3

Here are some of the items packed in the bag. The long purple item is a washcloth wrapped around our brand new never used toothbrushes. I always pack them like this when travelling so when you use them in the morning and then pack them, they will not wet anything in the luggage – the washcloth soaks up any water left on the toothbrushes.

Next to the purple thing you see some more tissue packs – these are super gorgeous, not bulky like a regular travel tissue pack, they contain 8x 3 ply tissues – I am all about the ply. 🙂 I found them when grocery shopping and I plan to get more of these for the handbag when I get back, so much nicer than the ugly packs I usually get plus with more ply!

The round purple container has my jewellery which I am taking in there. Mostly earrings, brooches, and a hair clip. There is room for more jewellery to be added if l buy any during the trip.

Next to that, the blue item rolled up and secured with a hair tie is my Ecosilk carrier bag. It is very pretty, and I love it. It once had a carrier bag but I lost that, so now I just use a hairband to wrap it in, handy in case I need a hairband!

Then you see a box of Olbas Pastilles which I swear by to travel on a plane – these babies will clear out your sinus and ear passages in no time.

Behind that is a small purse which contains a couple of necklaces with large pendants.

Next to that is my new comb which I bought especially for the trip, it is small and convenient.

The final row has another batch of tissues, mints & the travel light medical kit.

co4

Here you see some of my items which are in ziploc bags. My toiletries are there, a Hawaiian dress – the purple and black print – an outfit change for the first day in the bag with the green and gold top and the brown shorts, that also contains a full underwear change in case I get too sweaty and yucky on the plane, headphones in a small purse, my Pashmina with the tablet again.

What do you carry on?

Bring A Towel?

So, if you are wondering, should you pack a beach towel.. have a look at these gorgeous beach towels available at the ABC stores.

abctowel4
abctowel3
abctowel2
abctowel1

And my personal favourite –

abctowel5

These can be found starting at $13.99 at the ABC store. You can see more designs and other beach items available by clicking here.

My advice – save the space, and bring home one of these gorgeous and beautiful towels.

Pre-Packing

So. You want all the “fun” of packing without the actual reward of a trip?

Then pre-packing is for you! 🙂

We purchased the very small Ricardo Superlight Carry On Spinner. Here is a similar suitcase on Costco.com – Here is a post re that suitcase from a new blog I just discovered – Costco Couple. Ours is slightly lighter at 6.4 pounds or 2.9kg.

This is probably the smallest suitcase we have ever travelled with. So we wanted to make sure we would be able to fit in everything we needed to. In particular running shoes needed to fit in because we want to wear boots on the plane – we are going to the Mauna Kea summit on the Big Island, where it has just begun to snow – as seen in this post on A Darker View.

Boots are not usually something I would take to Hawaii but in this instance I feel justified. In every day life, I am a huge boots person, even in summer when it is 39 degrees I will sometimes wear them because I have many outfits which go with my boots. Mine are super comfortable, leather, worn in and I can walk many miles in them, and I am happy to wear them on the plane because they do not smell, yay!

So here is a fascinating fact about myself and my partner. We have the same size feet. I am a 10-11 womens and he is an 8-9 mens. I can wear his shoes, he could wear mine but given what I choose it is unlikely, lol. Currently I have a pair of hot pink Skechers, he has a pair of blue and black ones. They fit pretty neatly into the suitcase.

Can you believe I have been wearing these sneakers pretty much every day for over a year now and they still look like I just took them out of the box? I do not wear them for workouts – I have a specific pair of Adidas which I got for $29.99 last trip for that – but I do wear them to work and out running errands.

prepak

Shoes go in first. Then we needed to work out a list of what we needed to take. It will be 3 nights (4 days) before we can get to a shopping centre. I’ll put the list up as a separate post when I get a chance. However here is what we ended up with.

prepak1

I’ll be taking all the clothes out and giving them a final wash and they will be packed into ziploc bags before we go. The shoes are currently needed, so they were taken out after we finished. The day before we leave, they will be cleaned, pretty much sanitised, wiped over with anti bacterial wipes and a few drops of essential oils (peppermint & sweet orange) dropped inside.

We still have some space in there even with all the stuff we are taking and while this bag probably looks big in the photos it is *tiny* in real life. I am flat out shocked we managed to fit all our stuff in there. Plus, when we weighed it, it was a mere 10.7kg – that is including the 2.9kg that the bag weighs!

So, if you want to spend a couple of hours having fun “discussions” with your other half about the virtues of one pair of shorts VS a different pair of shorts, and why one needs so many pairs of underwear, and other fun topics weeks ahead of your trip so that you can avoid having these discussions the day before you leave, might I suggest you have a crack at pre-packing. 🙂

Don’t worry, you will still have the fun of packing your carry on the night before. Though you could mostly pre-pack that too – with the exception of your electronics and money wallet. I’ll have a try at pre-packing the carryon this week.

Ziploc Bags Are Awesome

Here is something you did not know about me, until now.

wears1

A lot of my underwear is sparkly. Plus, it is in pretty amazing condition seeing as these have been my wears since 2011 now. This is by no means the full extent of my underwear – what you are seeing is 7 pairs, plus one bra that snuck into my underwear drawer as an accident – I was trying to get a good range of colours.

The ones I wear the most of these you see here are the ones that look like a watercolor painting with grey lace edging – that is by Maidenform which is one brand you should become familiar with if you plan to visit the US – we do not have it here in Australia as far as I know.

The sparkly ones are Vanity Fair Illumination. Both of these brands are available at Macys and often found on the clearance rack.

All of the underwear you see here cost me less than $5 per pair US, in most cases it was on the clearance rack for $2-3.

So why am I showing you my underwear? It is to show you that you can use a Ziploc bag to pack it into a smaller space. You can squeeze a lot of air out of the ziploc bag – you can even use a vacuum to suck more air out of it, if you wanted to.

zip1

This is a standard quart sized Ziploc bag. This is the one you use to carry on your liquids. To help you work out what size you need if you can only get a glad bag, here are the measurements of the Ziploc in centimetres.

zip2

So, you roll your underwears up all pretty like, and place them inside the ziploc. Then you seal most of the top, and squeeze out as much of the air as you can.

wearsfinal

Sitting on the bag seems to do the most good if you do not have a vacuum handy. I do not tend to vacuum pack because I never know if I will have access to one on the other end.

wearsfinal2

Why would you want to do this?

Here are a couple of quick and good reasons –

1. So that you have more space in your carryon.

2. So you can easily find your underwear.

3. So when you unpack your bag, you can keep the underwear in the ziploc in your drawer – keeps them neat and tidy.

4. If you label the clean ziploc clean, take a spare ziploc and label it worn, you can put your worn underwear together in there – for ease of taking to the laundromat, or for packing to take home and knowing which ones are dirty and need washing.

5. You can take this concept and run with it, through all your packing. You might want to get some larger ziplocs if you are going to do this – I have the extra big “gallon” sized ones for this purpose.

Speaking of neat and tidy, what if you have to rummage through your carryon at security? What if they ask you to take everything out of your bag because you have something that they want to take a closer look at? Have you ever seen those people with their underwear all over the counter? Pack it this way, that won’t be you. People won’t even know what is in that ziploc unless they get up close and personal with it.

More awesome uses for ziploc bags will be coming to you as a surprise over the next few weeks. 🙂

Liquids, Gels & Aerosols In Your Carry On.

20130930_162845

When travelling internationally, you need to obey the rules of the country you are leaving from *and* the country you are going to. Australia works on the Metric system – the USA works on a variation of the Imperial system. This can cause major confusion. Thankfully sanity prevailed, and the rules are the same for both the US and Australia now.

Here are the liquids, gels & aerosols in your carry on rules for Australia.

The TSA – basically the security people at the airport in the USA – requires liquids, gels and aerosols in your carry on luggage to be contained in a quart sized ziploc style bag. It can be a different brand – in Australia you are most likely to find Glad versions but there are also other versions available.

Items within the bag must be limited to 100 ml (3.4 ounces) – thus creating a whole new section of travel sized toiletries in the supermarkets and pharmacies.

There are many good reasons why this rule exists. Some people think it is due to 9-11 but it actually is due to series of events – an explosion that occurred on a plane in 1994 where liquid nitroglycerin was used, which was concealed in a contact lens bottle, and following that a foiled plot to explode 12 planes in 1995 – most importantly, the 2006 foiled plots. Liquid restrictions known as the 3-1-1 rule began across the USA on 26 September 2006.

If you want to read a bit more about this, the TSA blog has this great post about it. More on the liquid rules – why we do the things we do. Here is a great how to post from Wikihow – How to Pack Liquid and Gels on a Plane

People may be annoyed by it, and gripe and complain – that is their right. In many ways I believe this policy does us a favour – it is certainly better than the alternative which was not to allow liquids, gels or aerosols at all on planes and that did happen for a while after these foiled plots – and here are my reasons why.

1. Containers can leak. Inside your ziploc bag, as long as you have correctly zipped it, any liquids that leak out will remain inside the ziploc rather than spreading through your carryon.

2. Air inside containers with liquids in them can expand in flight, making your containers leak. I don’t want to get too technical about this, but here is a great thread on flyertalk for more info if you want to read up on it.

3. All your liquids and gels are now together in one convenient bag within your carryon, for ease of access during flight.

Items that are considered to be liquids, gels or aerosols include –

– all creams and lotions – bug sprays – bubble bath and bath oil including filled bath balls – gel deodorants – gel cap pills – hair styling gels – hair sprays of all kinds – hair straightener or detangler – lip gels, glosses, or liquids – liquid foundations – liquid soaps – make up remover or facial cleanser – mascara – mouthwash – nail polish and remover – perfume or cologne – shaving gel – toothpaste –

Food and Drinks –

ALL beverages – gel based sports supplements – jello – puddings – yoghurts or gel like substances

Also included as gels –

– baby teethers with gel inside – childrens toys with gel inside

For more information on what is and what is not allowed, I wish I could link you to a comprehensive list on the TSA site, however SeatGuru has a much better version and here is a link to that – click here.

I highlighted gel cap pills – please note these do need to be carried in your ziploc style bag, so if you have put any of those into your travel light medical kit, dig them out and put them into your ziploc. EG Nurofen liquid capsules, or any capsules with a gel outer coating, like some vitamins have.

What happens if you get it wrong?

You will possibly be pulled aside at  security, they may want to find the items they think are liquids which they saw on the security scan which are not in your ziploc, it will hold up the processing of passengers, and you might even end up in an office with some security people answering questions, if they think you were trying to conceal an item. This is Not.Good. So make sure you follow the instructions to the letter. 😉

If you are only taking carryon to Oahu Beedoo suggests –

Pack roll on deodorant, toothpaste, lip gloss, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, a Vicks Inhaler or an Olbas inhaler, a small roll on perfume – Avon makes a good range of these. If you need nasal spray for the plane, this goes in your ziploc bag too.

Do not worry about packing –

shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, larger bottles of perfume . These things are available very cheaply in the US and it is nice to have a change of shampoo and conditioner when you are travelling. The ABC store has a nice range of quite cheap toiletries, and they have a range of perfumes I like called Forever Florals – I like Pineapple Passion – they do stock several different perfumes.

Me personally I am not a great fan of the sunscreens available at the ABC stores, nor do they have an especially large range of shampoos and conditioners. For these items I would recommend you take a trip to either Walgreens near Ala Moana or Longs/CVS at Ala Moana as they will have a larger range at lower prices, and you will have a better chance of finding something reef safe sunscreen wise.

*Apologies for the not so optimal photo in this post – it gives you an idea of what I would take but this is not my actual pack for the next trip. I did not have a small sized toothpaste handy – added it to my shopping list.

Travel Light Aussies

IMG_0398

So. You want to shop. You have saved up your pennies for many months now, and you plan to buy up big when you get to Oahu. You want to take carry on only. Can it be done?

Absofreakinglutely.

I did it, on our last trip. I took 7kg of hand luggage. That was all. I had enough clothes for 3 days, plus the clothes I wore on the plane. I count arrival day as one day, by the way – you will want to change out of your plane clothes into something a lot more light and fresh for Hawaii as you will arrive early in the day after an all night flight.

I knew I would be heading to Ala Moana very early on to shop up a storm, and I knew I would be able to find enough clothes there to last me the 10 days we would be there, and then some.

Of course fate had another plan for us, and we ended up there for 21 days. There was only one thing about that which I regret and which caused me a bit of hassle and I will share that with you now to try and save you that same hassle. This tip applies whether you are travelling light, or travelling with more.

Beedoo Most Important Tip #1 – 

If you are taking any kind of prescribed medication, make sure you take more than you actually need for the time you will be there. To be on the safe side, take as much as you would need for one full month. Sure, the travel insurance people helped out and I got scripts sent over by my doctor and got them filled, but I could have saved myself this drama by just taking a little more medication. And it would not have taken up much space or added much weight.

Beedoo Most Important Tip #2 –

Pretty much everything else you could need, you can easily buy in the USA, and for a lot cheaper than you can buy it in Australia. Here are three quick examples of this –

Nail scissors for $3.99 from the ABC store, with cute Hawaiian patterns on them, vs $8.99 upwards for boring nail scissors here in Australia. They have cute tweezers too, same price!

Macys underwear section has a lot of fantastic underwear for $2-3US – this would cost you a minimum of $10 in Australia. I got some Jockey camisoles for less than $5 each there as well. I picked up Genie Bras 2 for $19.98 at Walmart. I got 4 packs of Fruit of the Loom sports bras for $9.98. Walmart is open 24/7 behind Ala Moana, so you can do your shopping whatever time suits you, and they have a lot of great stuff at much more reasonable prices than Australia.

My main pair of sports shoes that I have been wearing the last couple of years are some hot pink Skechers which I picked up for $50 bucks or so. Those shoes I did find here in Australia, at the Skechers DFO clearance outlet – priced at $160. No kidding. You can get a good pair of Adidas running shoes for $29.99. There are brand name shoes to be found from $5 upwards at Ross Dress For Less.

So What Does Beedoo Pack?

If landing on Oahu and not going to any other islands –

3x tops (usually light weight cotton long or 3/4 sleeve shirts to protect arms from the sun)

2x shorts (again light weight cotton cargo pants with plenty of pockets)

1x long pants

2x bra

2x camisole tops (for under the shirts, just how I roll)

5x underwear (3 for day, 2 for night)

1x night sleep wear

5x socks (3 for day, 2 for night – I like fresh very thin socks for wearing around the hotel room once you are done for the day, but thicker socks for daytime use)

1x tablet (for book reading) wrapped in pashmina

1x mobile phone

1x small camera

Charger for phone/tablet

Medications

Travel Light Medical Kit

Hair Comb (with hair bands wrapped around the base)

Small jewellery container

Slippahs (otherwise known as Thongs, to us Aussies, for feet, not underwear!)

On my next trip –

I am going to the Big Island for 3 days first, and shopping is not on the agenda for those days. So I do need to pack a bit more, and we have actually just done a practice pack. All the fun of packing without the reward of going on a trip? Fantastic idea. 🙂 But I did want to do it because we have such a small suitcase. I will write a post about this soon, I will also put together a post with everything I am putting in my carryon for this trip (and it is nearly identical to the list above) and also you can look forward to a post about what Ziploc bags can do for you.