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  1. Craig and Linda says:

    Welcome to Indie Travel Podcast, Stephanie. It’s great to have you here.

    I think it’s amazing you can fit everything into 15kgs. I’ve downsized to a 45+8 litre bag but struggle to get smaller. I am carrying too much electronic equipment though.

    1. Thanks for the list! These days, 10kg is the airline carry-on limit, so I’d definitely get rid of 1 pair of jeans.

      For an 8-day Ireland trip (mid-Sept), I packed 2 pairs of Prana Meme hiking pants, 1 pair of jeans, 3 long sleeve t-shirts, 1 fleece, 2 camis, 2 fleece-lined leggings (one I wore flying over), 5 pairs of panties, 4 bras (I’m a very large size, all of mine are underwire, plus one was my sports bra for my running/hiking – no space saving there unfortunately), 2 crew socks, 2 ankle socks (one for running), 1 long sleeve t-shirt dress, 1 pair of hiking shoes, 1 pair of walking flats (Clark’s penny loafers), 1 pair of sneakers. All underwear type items packed in a small packing cubes, rest packed in a medium packing cube.

      Toiletries were travel size shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, face wash, face moisturizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, q-tips, Tums, couple Band-Aids, packet of disinfecting wipes, antibacterial hand cleaner, all packed in a travel size zippered bag (purchased at Target for $7).

      In addition I had a very small zippered change purse with my jewelery, and a small make-up bag, but that was because I knew I was going out for a couple evenings where I needed to be a bit more dressed up).

      The heavy stuff came from my hiking sticks, camera, laptop, chargers and accessories for laptop and camera (shutter release, extra battery, lenses, travel tripod, external USB/SD card reader), flat iron, brush and comb, travel umbrella, plus Osprey Daypack and Travelon Purse. My Daypack was my airline travel purse and held the laptop, camera and accessories (minus the tripod), and wallet.

      I’m definitely going to figure out ways to pair down but still have what I need and not feel grimy after a couple days. I was luckily there was a washer and dryer where I stayed for 5 days, though there were coin operated washer/dryer in town, and I hear the launderers will do your laundry fast and cheap.

      I think the hard part about packing lists is the bigger you are as a person, the harder it may be to pack lighter, since there’s just more material, no matter how you slice it. But I love this list and will definitely keep it handy when I’m putting together my bag. (Btw, I have the Osprey Porter too, love it. Just wish it had wheels. ?)

  2. This is informative. Although I am not sure about carrying the Swiss knife in the cabin, I had mine confiscated.

  3. Craig and Linda says:

    Good call Chaia — the scissors and liquids over 100ml would have to go too. At 15kg, your bag would be too heavy to take in the cabin of most airlines anyway; you’d still have to check it in.

  4. I’ve found one of my most useful travel clothing is my shawl. It’s my towel, my scarf, and my dress-up clothing (as a wrap-around skirt). It takes up 0 space in my bag because I’m always traveling with it tied around my waist since it works as a light pillow or blanket on the train/plane. If I tie up the corners together I have a grocery bag.

    And of course, it works as a shawl as well.

    As an added bonus, I bought it for a few euros in Italy, so it’s also a souvenir.

    Some other thoughts for those trying to pair down the weight. I love my jeans, but rarely take them with me, and never two pairs. They just take up too much room, and often are too hot after full day of walking. Also, they’re harder to wash in a sink and take forever to dry.

    For two months in Hawaii I used the following 4 pieces to keep my bottom half clothed:

    1. A pair of light cotton pants with the same cut/style as jeans
    2. A pair of what are technically yoga/workout pants (at least that’s what they were labeled at the store). Lightweight and loose fitting, but with pockets.
    3. Drawstring sleep pants. These are black polyester and look nice enough that they good enough for for a fancy-ish restaurant and double as my dressy slacks. Only drawback is they have no pockets.
    4. Board shorts for daily wear and swimming.

    Oh, and of course, my shawl used as a skirt as well.

    Both the workout pants and sleep pants are comfortable enough to sleep in, and the workout pants can be worn over the sleep pants. I suppose if it were really cold I could wear all three pants though it would look funny. All 4 are comfortable enough for a full day of walking, hiking or bike-riding. I’m always doing laundry in the shower, (partly because I don’t want to carry so much and partly because I don’t want to take the time to find a laundromat), so I want things that will dry quickly and the material of what I take with is really important to me.

    By the time I get back home I can’t wait to get back in my favorite jeans though. Any trip longer than two months and I probably would take a pair, but it’s nice not to be carrying the weight or bulk and they really don’t work well for sink-washing. (Even the cotton pants can push it as far as drying in a reasonable time, but Hawaii is pretty damp/humid).

    Anyway, that’s what has worked for me in the past. Great article. I’m so often surprised at what people carry around with them, (though I carry about 12 pounds of camera equipment that others might think of as overkill). Still, I’m always amazed when I unpack from a trip and look at the stuff I took and never needed.

  5. I agree 15kg is the perfect weight. I only took a fraction of the clothes mentioned but I did haul around a ridiculous amount of books that weighed me down. Now that I got an e-reader I might be able to fit the blowdryer 🙂

  6. Having traveled and worked with many people across the globe, I must add that instead of denim I have carried a range of tights, that suit the climate I am traveling in. Tights can be worn under dresses, under shorts and can be light weight and or suitable for winter seasons. Denim clothing is heavy and bulky. Tights come in any color and are also suitable for men!

  7. Wow, thanks for this. I rarely find a detailed list of something. Usually the number of items are vague, which means it would be even more unclear for myself. But this helps a lot. Hmm.. I always though 4 pairs of underwear would be enough 😀

  8. thanks for such an informative post.. you got all travel essentials packed in 15 kgs.. will keep the post handy while on my next travel expedition.

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