Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to pack for a RTW trip

Or, maybe I will revise this a few days or weeks from now and call it "How NOT to pack!" Either way, since I'm writing this from the Nashville airport, what's in my bag is what made the final cut. We're flying standby on Delta for the first leg(s) of the trip so we really don't want to check our bags in case we end up routing one way and the bags accidentally go somewhere else. Also, since we'll be carrying them on our backs for the next 8 months, we should be able to carry them through multiple airports on Day 1!

I guess you could say that packing my day bag (above) was the easy part. My only dilemma was that my REI backpack came with a detachable daypack but it's a bit smaller than the Eagle Creek day bag that I've been carrying for the past 12 years. I also have a fairly large Pacsafe purse which I really like because of its adjustable over the shoulder/across the body strap and multiple security features. So today I'm carrying everything in the photo above plus my netbook & charger in the REI daypack (which will barely zip closed as a result) and I've stuffed the empty purse into the outer pocket on the main backpack. I weighed the daypack when we checked in at the airport this morning and it registered 11lbs.

The photo above is of what is actually inside my backpack. It weighed in at 29lbs this morning. I was hoping to keep it closer to 25lbs, but assume it will get lighter as we travel due to use of medications, toiletries & other dispensable items. Of course, some of you may be wondering where we plan to put all our souvenirs. Actually, Greg & I have vowed not to buy any souvenirs unless we are willing to pay to ship them home immediately or, as I half-jokingly say, unless it is something that doesn't take up any room (like jewelry) or can be worn 24/7 (like a tattoo)! Besides, our best "souvenirs" will be our overall shared experience and these blog posts and photos.

This is what the backpack looks like completely packed. It doesn't scream "there's lots of cash & expensive travel gear stashed in here." Plus I have locks on all the major compartments to deter prying fingers. Check with me in a few weeks/months to see if all my safety measures are working.

Here is my RTW Gear Inventory. Greg is carrying comparable men's clothing & toiletries and he will be using the Lumix DMC-TS1 camera listed below.

REI Women's Grand Tour backpack + daypack 4050 cu in/25x14x9 (mallard)
Safe Skies luggage locks x2
Pacsafe Wrapsafe Model 2500 adjustable cable lock
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover (Med Green 50-70ltrs)
ebags packing cubes 3pc set (red, gray, green)
Eagle Creek Pack-It Wallaby (black)
PacSafe Citysafe 200 purse (black)
Pacsafe Coversafe travel waist wallet (tan)
Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp (tan)
REI Multi Towel Lite XL (green)
Bucky eye shades (blue)
Eagle Creek inflatable pillow (blue)
Salt silk sleep sack (aqua)
Katadyn My Bottle
ExOfficio Buzz Off bandannas (blue, red)
Sun Cloud Edition 10 sunglasses (black)
Fat Cat 3 way eyewear retainer
SunCloud sunglasses case
Timex Expedition watch
HighGear Adventure Plus compass/multi-tool
Aloksak waterproof ziplock bags (4pk asst large)
EMS polyester trifold/snap wallet (camo)
rubber clothes line
sink stopper
Light My Fire sporks x2
Progressive International collapsible bowl w/lid x2
Sure Strap 1.5" x 80"
PMI utility cord black 50m
Panasonic DMC-FZ28K camera + spare battery
Tiffen 46mm UV Protector filter
Hoya 46mm Circular Polarizer filter
Transcend 16GB Class 6 SDHC card x2
SanDisk 4GB Class 2 SDHC card x2
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 camera + spare battery
Acer Aspire One AOD250-1706 netbook
Nikon Trailblazer 10x25 Waterproof All Terrain Binoculars
Targus World Power travel adapter
USB 1GB flash drive
Nokia E75 with GoSim international sim card
Shure E4c sound isolating earphones
VOIP headset
Sanyo Travel alarm
Marmot Minimalist Goretex Paclite rain jacket (black)
Sierra Designs rain pants (black)
Seirus Hyperlite all weather gloves (black)
Eddie Bauer waterproof safari hat (green)
Sea to Summit mosquito headnet
DueNorth fleece beanie (black)
REI Windbrake Thermal (green)
ExOfficio knee-length skirt (black)
Royal Robbins Discovery ankle-length skirt (black)
ExOfficio DryFlyLite convertible shirts (mint green, bone, acorn)
REI Rendezvous convertible pants (navy blue)
Columbia Sportswear Mumbai Mover pants (black, gray, army green)
REI lightweight l/s zip top (black)
Uniqlo l/s top (gray)
REI Traverse Tech s/s tops (orange, aqua)
ExOfficio s/s top (black)
EMS tank (black)
REI lightweight long underwear top & bottom (black)
underwear: Gordini boy short (black); Soma Amazing Lace thongs x6
Lily of France sports bras (white x2)
Soma bra (black)
SmartWool Light Hiking socks (black)
SmartWool Saturnsphere socks (multi-stripe)
SmartWool PhD Outdoor light crew socks (gray)
REI organic merino lightweight hiking quarter socks (blue green)
SmartWool Potpourri socks (light blue, cream)
2 pc swimsuit
Teva Open Toachi sandals (turquoise blue)
Merrell Arabesque (taupe)
Hilo Hattie rubber flip flops (black)
Toiletries/First Aid
Proclear Toric x8; Proclear Sphere x8 (contacts)
DKNY prescription glasses
LowOgestrel 28s x8 (birth control)
Ciprofloxacin 500mg x10 (multipurpose antibiotic)
Doxycycline Hyclate 100mg x150 (anti-malarial)
Ventolin HFA inhalation aerosol (asthma inhaler)
Zomig 5mg x15 (migraine relief)
Relpax 40mg (migraine relief)
Ketotifen Fumarate ophthalmic solution 5ml (eye allergy relief)
Equate lubricating & rewetting drops (dry contacts)
Rite Aid acetaminophen 500mg 100ct (pain reliever)
Walgreens acetaminophen PM (sleep aid)
Excedrin Migraine 24ct
Rite Aid Loratadine 10mg 120ct (allergy relief)
Phenylephrine Hcl 10mg (decongestant)
London Drug decongest nasal spray 20ml
GasX Prevention
Nature’s Way activated charcoal 280mg (digestive aid)
Rite Aid hydrocortisone cream 2oz (anti-itch)
Go Girl female urination device
Rite Aid anti-bacterial moist towelettes
Mentisan 15g (menthol balm - to open airways or block odors)
Olay Regenerist UV lotion 2.5oz (face cream)
Avon Clearskin 15ml (acne treatment)
Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard w/sunblock 2.5oz
Banana Boat Sport sunblock 3oz
Neutrogena UltraSheer sunblock 3oz
Ben’s 30 DEET 1.25oz
Go Toob 3oz 3pack $24.95(filled with hand sanitizer, lotion, multipurpose body shampoo)
Adventure Medical Kits Ceralyte 70, 10 gram, 12 packs each (oral rehydration)
Flents Quiet Please foam ear plugs 10pr
Soft bristle toothbrush in plastic travel container
Crest Glide mint floss 54.7yd
Colgate toothpaste 3oz
Equate multipurpose contacts solution 4oz
Sure antiperspirant/deodorant
Gin-gins ginger candy (anti-nausea)
Alterna hemp hair sculpting putty 2oz
Chapstick lip balm
Trader Joe’s facial tissue pocket packs x3
mini first aid kit containing assorted bandaids, sterile gauze, alcohol wipes
Schick disposable razors
Tampons/panty liners
Cough drops: Boots Nirolex lozenges, Halls
Po Chai pills
Scissors, tweezers, nail clippers, nail file
Sewing kit (needles, thread)
Rite Aid moleskin (blister relief)
Sea-Bands (anti- motion sickness)

Here we are at the Nashville airport at 4:30 this morning. We had hoped to get seats on the first flight to Atlanta at 5:30AM but there were other more senior employee standbys on the list ahead of us so some of them got on and the flight went out full (without us). Ditto for the next flight at 6:30AM. We re-listed to go through Salt Lake City instead of Atlanta at that point and tried for the one & only flight at 7:45AM. Close, but not quite! After spending a couple of hours regrouping in the SkyClub (special thanks to my mom for giving us day passes and all the other Delta employees who tried their best to find alternate routes for us), we decided to purchase one-way tickets on American Airlines from Nashville to Dallas Ft Worth to Los Angeles that cost only $225 for Greg and I used 25,000 AA miles and booked a last minute award ticket for $105. So we now have confirmed seats all the way to Los Angeles and are listed for the Delta flight to Sydney tonight at 10:35PM. It's hard to say what our odds are for getting on. There are other standbys who will get cleared before us due to their Delta employee seniority and/or active status, not to mention the flight is technically oversold by about 13 seats. But apparently there is a high no-show frequency for this flight, so we might have a chance. If we do get on tonight, we'll actually get to Sydney a day earlier than previously planned. If not, we'll have to overnight in Los Angeles and try again tomorrow night (and Monday, and Tuesday) and decide at what point we give up on flying standby and just purchase the one-way ticket (currently pricing from $750 and up. Thank goodness we bought tickets for all the other major legs of the trip with the exception of our flights home next year!


  1. Looks like you've had a lot of organising to do - the effective measures you have taken to keep your stuff safe is something that all to many people don't take into serious-enough consideration. Also, you will be thankful of your your limited but practical list of women's clothing. You seem like a very organised and prepared person - enjoy your travels :)

  2. Yeah! I do agreed with you holly. I really appreciate on how prepared you are in your trip. Just wanna share with you that I also used my smartwool socks during hiking.