Monday, January 28, 2013

Packing For a Month Using Only Carry On Luggage - Part 3

This week we will be discussing multipurpose products and what I have found to shrink our packing list tremendously.

I have found that using products that can serve more than one purpose is the ultimate way to save space in our luggage. Whether that be a sunscreen with built-in bug repellant or a scarf that can double as a blanket on the plane and a shaw over your little black dress.

The ways I am saving space for our trip are as easy as asking myself "what other function can this item serve?" Now I know that not all items can be duel purpose. Your underwear will not be able to double as anything else, but that oversized ring can double as a brooch when you pull your scarf through it.

I am limiting all of my cosmetics and personal hygiene items into one quart sized bag. Yes, you heard me right. One bag. No separate toiletry bags for hair, makeup, hygiene, and other miscellaneous things you think you might need. There is no need for it and definitely no space. If you are traveling like we are to mostly theme parks with a few nice dinners and a couple weddings, there are guaranteed to be soap and shampoo that you can use at your destinations. No need to pack up your entire makeup collection. Come up with a simple everyday look you can wear to the parks and a snazzier version of your everyday look for the nicer dinners and weddings. There is no reason to bring 5 different eyeliners when you only use 2 even when you are home.

Now, I will be bringing those sample conditioner packets with me since I have very very damaged hair (that's what you get for dying your hair every month for over a decade.). Although once those are used up, I don't have to worry about transporting them anymore. Try to bring as many disposable things as you can. The further into your trip the lighter your luggage gets.

These are some of the multipurpose items we are bringing with us:
The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. With 5 matte colors and 1 highlighter shade, there are dozens of looks I can come up with for any occasion. Plus it is half the size of most palettes. Mine was $27 from You can pick up your own here.

Black Convertible Dress. Instead of bringing multiple dresses, I am bringing one convertible knee length dress made of a jersey material that won't wrinkle and can be worn over a hundred different ways for any occasion. I got mine from this Etsy shop for $87. With over a hundred styles, that breaks down to less than $.87 per dress! You can't beat that!

Blue Dress

Simple One Color Dress. I like the ability to take one dress and transform it to be a pool or beach cover up during the day and then transform it into a dress for dinner with just a few accessory changes and change of shoes. I have this one from that I got for $44.99. I am going to dress it up with a  simple brown belt and my tan flats.
Rebecca's "Dress" Shoes

Simple Black and Tan Flats. Wearing flats with no embellishments means you open up the ability to wear your shoes to an afternoon lunch or to a more formal event. These are more practical for me especially since I am not very comfortable in heels. These pack a lot nicer too and take up virtually no space. I got mine from for $39.99 a pair. So much better than $250 a pair for the Tory Burch ones.


Sunscreen with Anti-Bug. I know that some people might just buy the Banana Boat, Coppertone, or other well-know brands, but with my husband's allergy to Aloe Vera, my allergy to Coconut, and our goal of using less chemicals in our lives plus saving room in our suitcases, I have found that the Badger brand sunscreen with built in anti-bug to be our best bet. It combines two products into one and does doesn't contain anything that could ruin our vacation. It may be a bit on the expensive side, but our safety and the dual functionality make it worth the cost for our family. It retails for about $17 per bottle and I purchase ours at Whole Foods Market or

David's Dress Shirts

Plain Dress Shirts for My Husband. Dress shirts do not have to be expensive for them to look nice. The dress shirts my husband is bringing are in three solids colors from They are very reasonably priced at $22.99 and can be worn with different ties to change up the look. We are bringing white, gray, and blue shirts with 5 ties that will be rolled up and put in his dress shoes.

Some items we are bring that will save us space in our luggage are mesh shorts for the parks, soap nuts and reusable dryer balls for laundry, and Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes to corral all our unmentionables! I am also planning on having my nails done before we leave so I don't have to bring all the things that go with painting your nails.

Next time we will be discussing the condensed packing list David and I are using for our trip.

Well, until next time - Toodles!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Packing For a Month Using Only Carry On Luggage - Part 2

**WARNING!! This is another long post!!**

Okay, for this part of my series I am going to talk about the importance of quality luggage as well as TSA regulations.

Now from personal experience I know that it is EXTREMELY important to do the proper research on what type of luggage you are considering investing in. That's right, investing. Luggage should be something that will last you many, many years. Not something that you have to replace after every trip because of a broken wheel, torn zipper, or any other possible malfunction. Trust me, I have been that person who had to have their bag taped shut because the zipper broke at check in.

This is why you do not want to buy the cheapest luggage on the market. There are many options to consider though when deciding on your luggage.

-Do you want a carry on bag with a telescoping handle or do you prefer to a shoulder strap?
-Do you want a hard sided or soft sided bag?
-Do you want a bag with 4 wheels or 2?
-What color will stand out from the rest, but not make you feel like a 12-year-old, unless of course, you are a 12-year-old?

You need to take all these options into consideration well in advance of your trip. Personally, I like soft sides luggage with a telescoping handle in a dark color and I use a fun, bright luggage tag (yes, even on your carry-on, people are crazy these days) to set my bag apart from the crowd. This is important when you are leaving your plane so it is easier to locate your bag in the overhead bins.

Also, don't forget that current airline regulations state that your carry-on must be no larger than: 22" x 14" x 9".

Since most garment bags do not meet these criteria, they will either be considered your carry-on item or you will be required to check it. So try at all possible not to bring one if you are planning on using the carry-on only method. Oftentimes having that dress laundered at your destination is less expensive than the cost to check your garment bag round trip.

As far as the TSA regulations go, this is by far the most important part of flying. The last the you want to be subject to is having your prized possessions confiscated by security for violating the rules. These are what the website lists as their rules to date.

-3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.

Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience for both you and all other passengers.

3-1-1 is typically for shorter flight, but by using loopholes this rule can be used for any length of trip.

Make sure you declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag.

Now here is the list of items that are most likely to end up in your carry-on as a traditional traveler. By the way, you cannot bring an airbag, nun chucks, or cattle prod in your bag. :)

- Razor-Type Blades - such as box cutters, utility knives, and safety razor blades (disposable razors and their cartridges are permitted)

- Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed, but blades longer than 4 inches are prohibited

-Aerosol (any except for personal care or toiletries in limited quantities)

By minimizing the amount of products you bring with you on your trip, especially liquids/gels/aerosols, and doing a few trial runs of your quart size bag items, you will speed through security like a true pro.

Have your spouse, friend, or even your kids check all your products for sizes and make it a game for the little ones.

I also suggest keeping your quart size bag either in an outside pocket of your carry-on bag or in your purse or backpack for easy access.

Don't forget to take out your laptop too. When we travel on our big trip I will be placing a contact information label on the bottom of the cover just in case anything were to happen.

Next time, we will be discussing multipurpose products and what I have found to shrink our packing list tremendously.

Do you have any tips for picking luggage or getting through security quickly?

Until next time - Toodles!