Last 24 Hours

My last day in the states has come at last. My mom came over this morning to help me pack. As you can see I was a little overwhelmed:

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How to fit all of this into one bag?

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How am I going to fit my life into this one bag?!

Finally we narrowed down the pile to what I wanted to bring, plus my carry on and now I am ready to rumble tomorrow! I’ve checked into my first flight already with Delta, but since my second flight is later I won’t be able to check in until tonight. I don’t expect I will be sleeping much tonight anyway, so I am not too concerned. My family is treating me to Jackie’s Galaxy tonight, which is a somewhat trendy Asian cuisine place. They have fantastic sushi so I am very excited for that. Then tomorrow morning at 5 am we will all pile into the minivan to make the pilgrimage up to Boston. I want to arrive in plenty of time so there’s no rush with checking my bags and going through security. I will post more on that tomorrow.

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Feya wants to know “I see you’ve packed all of YOUR stuff, but you forgot to leave room for me and MY stuff!”

Now for those of you interested how to pack your life into one suitcase and one carry on, here are my recommendations:

  1. List!! Making a list helps minimize that “ooh, did I forget something important?” anxiety. Also I found I kept remembering something, running to find it, remembering something else on the way, and forgetting the first thing!
  2. Make outfits. Before my mom came over I laid all the clothes I could possibly want to bring out on the bed (minus undies and such). Things could only come if they fit into a few outfits.
  3. Space makes waste! My grandpa got me these great vacuum seal bags for Christmas, you just fill them up and zip them shut and then roll them and the air escapes. Your stuff is then extra flat and fits much more easily. I’ve also seen tips online about putting small items inside of your shoes to make use of that space.
  4. Think inside the box. Check with your airline about their size and weight limits and double check  so you aren’t stuck with a hefty oversize fine.
  5. Your carry-on is your lifeline. You should be able to survive out of it for a few days to a week if they lose your luggage. I’ve packed an extra toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, and changes of clothes in it. Also anything valuable (monetary or sentimental) should be in your carry-on so you can keep an eye on it. The TSA now has this nifty 3-1-1 system for liquids and gels, make sure you are aware of it.
  6. Leave room to bring things back. You will want to buy souvenirs and cool clothes and such abroad, so leave room in your suitcase to bring it back.
  7. You made a list, and now check it twice! You will be a sad puppy if you get there and find you’ve left your charger or god forbid your passport at home!

I’m going to post an itemized list of what I packed, and then when I’m abroad or when I get home I’ll post an update about what I might have left at home or brought instead.