Friday, March 22, 2013

before the all-packed bliss

Don't be fooled by the all-packed enthusiasm of this of-dots-&-things post. Getting there was not easy...

First of all, 5 weeks is our longest vacation ever (Hehe, perks of not having a job to rush back to.)! 5 weeks worth of outfits is not easy to plan for! Especially since this grows exponentially when multiplied by the number of people in the family that I also have to pack for as you might recall from this married with children math!

Preparing for the 16C weather in California AND the 7C temp in New York meant slightly different sets of clothes. It doesn't help that I get cold easily and experienced getting a nosebleed from the cold air atop the Empire State Building in the middle of Spring a few years back. Because of this low tolerance for cold, I have accumulated thick & bulky wool knits & coats from previous Fall & Winter trips to the States. But I couldn't bring myself to pack them because I didn't like the idea of wearing Winter clothes in the Spring (Eep! I know, how shallow! But on that Spring trip of mine years ago, I was in a turtleneck sweater with layers and a trench coat beside a woman working on her tan in a bikini at Washington Square Park!) Plus, there's no free baggage check-in on United flights. So we had to pack light for NYC (hehe, cheapskate) and do away with my bulky wool.

It was overwhelming at first, planning which bags (and contents) would stay in California and which ones get brought to New York. Eventually though, I decided to divide our stuff into 3: the California-only stuff, the NYC-only stuff and the cross-country stuff. I stuffed as much NYC-only contents into one big suitcase - our only bag to be checked in (Woot woot! Success!).

The cross-country stuff got packed into a carry-on bag. And those that didn't fit into the big check-in bag were packed in a giant Le Sport Sac bag because I noticed from previous trips that they're more lenient with duffel bags versus carrry-on trolleys. Passengers with standard trolleys get asked to slip their bags into the allowable-dimensions-frame while a duffel so big, they could fit a person, gets through without so much as a glance from the airport folks.

I also decided to assume we will do laundry once during our 2-week West Coast stay and once during our 3-week East Coast stay. So instead of 5 weeks worth of outfits, we just needed to bring 7 days worth of clothes for California and 10 to 11 for New York. 

Eventually, I moved on from packing clothes (including pajamas, jackets, undies, hats, socks, slippers, shoes, belts & other accessories -- all x 3) to essentials like toiletries, gadget chargers, vitamins & emergency medicines, toys for Noah on the plane and pasalubong for US-based friends & family.

Yes, it was quite a challenge getting to the blissful all-packed state here. But now that we're done, I can hardly wait to land and start our fun 5-week adventure!

Photos from annnniegirl & deliciouslyorganized.

Click here for the of-dots-&-things version of this post.


  1. Hi Juni!
    Hope you're having a blast! Thank you for this post! I will need it for our East and West Coasts trip in December. Just thinking of what to pack already stresses me! =) So, I'll keep this post in mind. Take care and enjoy!!!

    1. Hi Frances! Gained a few more travel tips from our vake. Hope to get to post about them soon. Thanks for reading! :)