It’s often a big tripper’s dilema – what to pack for many places on a big trip in something we carry on our backs? What goes in that pack has to accomodate a large variety of places in terms of weather, activities, and culture. Tomorrow, I’m going on my fourth big trip and today I just finished packing. However, the act of packing was the only thing that happened in a day. I’ve been considering this dilema and my list for several weeks now as I shopped and planned my trip for two weeks in Italy and two weeks in Africa – one week for a cultural tour in Ethiopia and a week of safari in Kenya. I really wanted all of what I was buying to fit in carry-on luggage too, which limits me to a small bag no more than 22 inches in length.
In Italy, I’m going to be in Milan and Florence – two very fashionable cities. Then, I am visiting Tuscany and staying at an working farm agriturismo and finally hitting up the beach in Sardinia. This means I need clothes that are comfortable and look a little on the chicer side. In Africa, I’m visiting the cities of Addis Abba and Nairobi, going on walks through mountains and bush, and visiting religious archeological sites. I need rugged and durable clothing that covers the majority of my body and can be layered. The weather in both places for May range from moderate (50/60s F) to warm (70s/80s F) but not jungle-hot or monsoon-rainy. I’m also a bit of a klutz so need to bring my big bad hiking shoes, which are about half my suitcase in size. Packing felt like quite the challenge.
I decided on an Osprey Porter 46L pack because it’s a carry on size, is a neat line – meaning not a lot of straps all over the place, and very light (3lbs).
The Packing List
Here’s my packing list, I did a dry run with everything to make sure it fit, and used 3 Eagle Creek packing cubes to fit all in. I’m also bringing my regular purse, which is a medium-sized purse that can fit my iPad and books for the plane. I did the majority of my shopping at Old Navy, REI, and Macy’s.
Clothing & Shoes
- Two lightweight, long sleeve button down shirts – one Old Navy brand and one REI’s Larch shirt (unfortunate name, but great shirt!)
- Four short sleeve shirts – mix of brands, but all cotton
- 2 tank tops – mix of brands, but all cotton
- 2 dresses that don’t wrinkle (Italy)
- 1 lightweight waterproof, windproof jacket with fleece lining from REI
- 2 pairs hiking pants – one from Northface and one from REI
- 1 pair cotton leggings
- 8 pairs of underwear, 3 bras
- 3 pairs of socks, mix of cotton and marino wool
- 1 pair Merrel hiking shoes
- 1 pair comfortable and stylish walking shoes (am giving these Arcopedico’s a try)
- 1 pair Chacos flip-flops
- 1 pair stylish wedges (they take up so much space, but are so cute and go with the dressses)
- 1 light swimsuit cover up
- 1 sarong and 1 swimsuit
- iPad + Logitech keyboard + case
- Canon 110s Point and Shoot camer + case
- iPhone to be used as iPod and only when there’s wifi
- Nikon D5000 DSLR camera
- Amazon Kindle- Paperwhite + cover
- All chargers and two converters
- 1 DK Florence and Tuscany Guidebook (this is the only book!)
- Travel wallet by Sherpani
- Secure wallet by Rick Steves
- Bandana (with first-aid instructions compliments of my Dad)
- World map and postcards of California
- Toiletries (too many to list, but it’s all around daily care and then first aid). Definitely getting bug spray with deet for Africa.
- Hat and sunglasses
How it will go? We shall see. I’ve traveled with more for weekend trips. The good news, I can (and do!) always buy stuff in country and I can ship souvenirs home. Either way, I’ve packed a pack full of items that will work for two types of trips in one jaunt and that I can carry and possibly run to catch a train with. We’ll see on that last one, but here’s hoping.
How did it go?
- For the gear: It was perfect! I did ship home the nice shoes and dress from Italy because they were not needed in Africa. The jeans and black REI pants were perfect.
- For the pack: read my review on Her Packing List – a summary. The bag was not ergonomically designed to carry all of this.