Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wait, HOW many pairs of underwear can I take?

Let's first get it out of the way by acknowledging that yes, I have pink luggage.

It was a phase. Now let's move on.

So here's the predicament.

I am allowed to bring A) My backpack up there on the right and B) One of the two suitcases. 
Either the small one on the left or the big mama on the right.

Clearly, all you can see here is that there are a shit ton of toiletries and they're basically bombarding that smaller suitcase of mine.

So, I think I have some rearranging to do.

I got these space saver bags to hopefully make more room with my clothes (thanks for the tip Kristen & Rachel!), but I'm just slightly confused on what I need to take and what can be left behind or purchased abroad.

I'm only used to packing for "X" amount of days and knowing exactly what I need.
{Though, let's be honest, always over-packing more than I ever need.}

But now, things are different. 
I have to pack for what could be 80 days...6 months...a year?!

And I just have so many questions that I'm not sure how to answer.

Questions like:

Should I just get travel size bottles for shampoo/conditioner/body wash even though we may be gone for 6 months+?

How many pairs of underwear should I bring? What if I only bring a handful and then can't find a washer and then I have to go commando?! 
{Something tells me that won't be so comfortable when we're trotting around Europe.}

Should I even bother bringing a purse or should I just stick to my overly touristy looking backpack?

Can I bring my Hunters? Should I bring my Hunters? Please tell me I have to bring my Hunters.

The Dizzle wants us to lay everything we think we need out on the floor and practice packing and then we can reassess as needed.

But I'm stumped as to what I even need to put on the floor in the first place!

So, dear friends and family, strangers, fellow travelers, blog stalkers....anyone have any packing tips?
Will that giant pink suitcase on the right be too much to handle trekking around the world?
Is it a waste of space to bring any bathroom items when we can probably purchase them abroad?


Please and thank you.



  1. so you take like 5 pairs, lets me honest, we know they are tiny, then after you wear 3 you try to find somewhere to wash them, because even if it takes you a day you still have a pair or two left. unless you have an unsavory disaster :)

    and clearly you know that big suit case is too big.. but I say make him carry it and you take the tiny bag that you know he is about to pack! lol

  2. Another thought besides the bags is to roll your clothes. (see: It's what I do for trips when I only want to take a carry-on sized bag.

  3. Now I'm not a very good packer - I take everything and often overpack but I really like having my own toiletries and lots of clothing options. I have no idea how to survive for more than 3 weeks out of ONE suitcase. In fact, I'd probably box up care packages and have people mail them to me in different locations...hehehe... ok, maybe not.

    But, here's my 2 tips --- buy any electronic things (hair straightener) abroad. Converters don't work. Second, take toiletries you can't live without and you know you can't find elsewhere (razors will be easy to pick up along the way but your favourite moisturizer might not be so easy.)

    Good luck!

  4. I am of the philosophy that you can never have too many pairs of underwear. And I'm also a compulsive over-packer so maybe you shouldn't listen to me! :)

  5. I say bring 7 pairs, one for each day of the week and then search for a washer.

  6. I went on a trip and one of the people with me had the smallest suitcase ever and she traveled all of the time. Her trick? bring a small laundry detergent and wash things like underwear and undershirts, etc. in the sink and hang them to dry over night.

  7. I would definitely recommend taking some individual laundry detergent packs :) Then if you ever get in a bind with stuff like underwear, bras, and socks you can always wash them yourself!

  8. Girl, this is nuts. I would be freaking out too! I'd say probably you will be able to buy whatever toiletries you'll need when you're there, and to only bring tiny travel size bottles (since you can only check in a certain size anyway) and if you're planning on buying any types of souvenirs or whatever, I'd have to say take the larger suitcase! That small one looks TINY!! But I am an excessive shopper, so don't listen to me on that, haha. As for underwear, I'd say bring like 7?? And you can always wash them in any sink you find with some soap! You don't need to find a proper washer for them! And we all know they take up NO room!

  9. I'd also be aware of when you'll be in which countries, just because certain things like tampons and deodorant might not be available everywhere. I would think in big cities though, you'd be able to find that stuff :P It might be something to check into though :) I am so excited for you guys! I can't wait to follow along :P

  10. Here's what I'd bring:

    4-5 undies and just wash them by hand if there's no washer available. bring small containers of detergent!

    maybe a really small purse that can fit just your wallet, passport, and camera. that way you don't have to haul your backpack around just to get some dinner.

    i'd probably pack 1 travel sized toothpaste for both of you to share, and maybe two shampoo/conditioners for each of you. and then just replace them as needed. also travel sized facewash and moisturizers. but then limit the rest of your toiletries

    I see A LOT of disposable razors. Have you considered a safety razor with disposable blades? They can be expensive but then you'd only have one razor to pack that you both can share and the replacement blade containers are itty bitty!

  11. Okay, I love you, but I can't even imagine doing what you're about to do. My thoughts are always pack a couple extra. So, no less than 7 pairs. Sorry Dizzle, no sexy underpants fo you. Finding laundry places in Europe isn't hard, but it's often time consuming. You can always wash in the sink? But Idk, that kind of freaks me out. Also, take the big suitcase and have Dizzle carry it. He gets bigger guns, you have more room to pack. WIN WIN.

  12. There is NO way I could do what you're doing. Now, understand this: I WANT to be able to do what you're doing but there is simply no way... We were staying in Lake George one year and hubby wanted to take a drive to New Hampshire and "just find a place to stay overnight" and I freaked out! What if there's no room (at the inn?!?)? What if we can't find a hotel? We already paid for the Lake George room!... It wasn't pretty. So much for spontaneous...
    But OMG, 7 pairs of underwear, the large suitcase and aren't you renting a place for 30 days at a clip, at least for the first few months? I'd bring travel containers and buy refills there that you can keep in your room/apt/car... And I'd need a whole new hairstyle to travel like that: wash and wear all the way. (Which is SO not me now!)

  13. *If you plan to take the boots you want you will have to take the big suitcase. It has wheels so it won't be too hard to get around, plus it's a good seat for when you get tired!
    *Bring a purse for little outings to hold your camera and moola (you'll feel less touristy).
    *Take travel size bathroom items. You can buy anything you need over there.
    *Don't plan outfits. Take staple pieces that go with multiple things and can be used in all settings. You know you'll be buying clothes over there as well so pack less in anticipation of getting new things.
    *As you go from town to town ship souvenirs home.

    As others have said bring some travel size detergent to wash items you need in a bind.

    Have fun!!

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  15. I say bring a travel towel and wash cloth ... you can buy them at the travel store.. I stayed at a couple of places in Europe that did not have towels... Then again im sure the Europeans use towels.

    I would also bring a small over the shoulder purse a neutral color. IN case one night you decide to go out for a nice dinner , you don't want to be the weirdo with the big backpack .

    1. Face cloths aren't standard in European hotels - drives me nuts!

  16. In my experience while traveling abroad, any kind of american toiletries (like a certain kind of toothpaste or tampons) are SUPER expensive or not available. So I would suggest bringing those kind of things and knowing they will leave room when they are gone for additional things you can bring back!

  17. I am NOT a travel connoisseur (and for that I'm excited/jealous of your plans!! haha!), but I wonder if you could pack a box of "Things I Might Need But I'm Not Sure About", leave that behind and ask a best friend to mail it to you on a whim if you need them to. They could even throw in anything else you realize you'll need (like your Hunters if you choose not to take them). For the record, I'm in the you-totally-need-those-Hunters camp. HAHA!

  18. What if you got a really cute camera bag that doubles as a purse?:

  19. I would bring the same number of undies that I generally wear before doing laundry. If you go 2 weeks at home before washing your underbritches, then bring 2 weeks worth. Like others have said, they're tiny. And you can really wash them anywhere, anytime, with any soap product (even your shampoo).

    Toiletries is where you should cut way back. Bring your makeup, your fav/expensive face product, and travel size the rest. You're not going to Siberia (are you?!), you'll find toothpaste and shampoo abroad easily!

    P.S. I'm not reading through all the other comments before I write this, so my apologies for any redundancy.

  20. i say bring the hunters. especially if you can only take one pair of boots. since it may rain, snow or the streets just might be gross. much easier if you have boots that wash off. make sure to bring toothpaste, deodorant and tampons, many places will not have them. 7 pairs of underwear, and bring detergent (look for travel size one for cold water) and a small clothesline so you can wash things in the sink or tub if you need to. has some good tips on packing.

  21. Please, Tyler, trust me in Europe you can find tampons and deodorant even in small villages!! Buy everything here, globalization, you know...
    MarĂ­a from Spain.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I wasn't sure, good to know though, thanks :)

  22. I backpacked for six months in Southeast Asia and I just have to say - take the least amount possible! I completely over-packed and ended up throwing out a ton of stuff after about 2 weeks. It was sad. Toiletries are abundant pretty much everywhere you go, so I would just buy those things there. Most guesthouses will have laundry service as well. And unfortunately, I think for space saving reasons, you might want to pass on the Hunters (don't kill me!). Definitely bring a purse for nights out. Underwear is small so I would bring at least 7 pairs, but its also easy to buy along the way. I second the travel towel suggestion as well! If there are certain over the counter drugs you like (for me it was Nyquil) pack those as sometimes it's hard to find what you're used to abroad.

    Hope this helps!

  23. 1. Yes, bring your Hunter's, duh! ;)

    2. I'm thinking all these people above me are cray cray for only saying to bring 7 pairs of undies! They're so tiny...I'd honestly pack like 2 weeks worth at least, lol.

    3. I would bring a small purse, like a cross body. You don't wanna carry around a large back pack just to get some dinner, do ya? I actually have a small cross body that I don't use anymore that I could mail to you. :) Perfect for ID, phone, and $.

    4. I'm definitely living vicariously through you! Lol

  24. Small suitcase, bring the purse, 10 undies.

    Bam bam thank you ma'am.

  25. Exactly the kind of stuff I would be asking! I don't have many answers but I'd say less is better! You do not want to be lugging a ton of stuff around the world. Like almost anything in the pic of the suitcases can be bought on the road I suspect. Good luck!

  26. I would definitely say take the smaller one--you'll probably be happy about it during the trip, even thought you won't have much. And I wouldn't both bringing any more than tiny bottles of toiletries because you can always buy more.
    And pink suitcases aren't bad--mine are a weird orange. My Dad picked them out--but I don't complain, because they are really easy to spot on the conveyor belt full of luggage in the midst of everyone else's black luggage!

  27. My thoughts after just returning from two weeks in Spain (you're going to LOVE it there!): I took a GIANT suitcase and used trains to travel. DO NOT take the big one. Roll your clothes rather than folding and they'll pack more compactly. Toiletries...I would think buy there unless you have super special stuff since you'll be gone for so long? Remember: you're not moving to the middle of the desert. They do have clothing (including underwear) in other parts of the world.
    -From the classic over-packer. :)

  28. Yes, space bags save space and allow you to take more, but it means that your suitcase will weigh more. So definitely make sure you are in accordance of weight limits.Have fun!

  29. Always take the smaller case. And since you'll be travelling in Autumn/Winter, I'd definitely bring the wellies, especially for here in Europe!
    And you can pick things up like toiletries along the way. I would recommend buying a set of plastic containers that you can keep re-filling with whatever you buy along the way.
    Don't forget to bring a sweater! (Something my Mom always says. She even said this to me before I went to Qatar...and so I brought a sweater and Damn if she wasn't right - I wore it in the evenings)

    And converters do work, if you use them properly, so if you're bringing electronic stuff, just double check to make sure you have the right adapters. - Jenna

  30. You can always wash your undies in a sink if needed lol.
    Man looking at the suitcase situation makes me nervous and I'm not even going! I would choose the small one though. It will make it mush easier to travel around. Bring a SMALL purse just large enough to hold the essentials while you're out sightseeing.

    Have you thought of what you might do with any purchases you make? OR are you not planning to buy any souvenirs? Just a thought =)

    My prayers are with you while you pack your luggage lol

  31. Take travel sizes of shampoo and stuff like that. You can buy larger bottles once you get there if you need to. Don't plan outfits-- choose things that can be versatile and can be layered. For undies, I'd go 5-7. That gives you enough to have a few extras just in case. If worse comes to worse and you can't make it to a laundromat, always remember you can hand-wash clothes and hang them up to dry. I did that a lot while traveling just because it was cheaper and easier sometimes. Even though you'll have places that you're able to stay for long periods of time, I'd still take the smaller suitcase. If you end up bouncing from place to place later on in your travels, you'll be happy not to have to carry the big one. Take a small purse. You'll be happy for it in the places that you're staying for longer periods. You may end up finding that it'll feel as if you're just living your daily life in a new country, and quite frankly, you'll want to be able to have just a purse when running to the market, the bakery, or what have you. And lastly, are the boots practical? Probably not, unfortunately. When packing, you have to throw all sense of fashion as you normally know it. You have to think outside the box to stay fashionable yet thinking practicality first.

  32. I always over pack so I have zero help on how to pack for being gone for a long time. Although, I would suggest some little travel detergent packs.

  33. The problem with the big suitcase is that it can be challenge to drag around places. I can't remember how much weekend travelling you are planning on doing, but places with cobble-stone streets are a b*tch when it comes to big rolling suitcases.

    I lived in England for a year and struggled with what to take/what to buy there. I say take a normal about of toiletries. When you use them up, just replace over there. But no need to pack for the entire time you will be gone.

    Underwear? I'd bring like 10 pairs. Then you can do laundry like once a week and not have to constantly live at the laundromat. Or you could pack as many pairs as outfits you will likely have because then theoretically you will be doing laundry anyway when you have to wash the rest of your clothes. That was horrible explanation. Like I wear tank tops every day, so I'd bring the same number of tanks as undies.

    Do you have a travel towel? They are SO much smaller than regular towels.

    Pack small amounts of meds, like tylenol, tums, and immodium. You don't need to be searching for those things when you need them.

    Pack a small purse for when you want to go out.

  34. So don't freak out if you'll pack enough underwear or not b/c they're the far most easiest thing to wash! In the shower... or in the washer... they're totes do-able more than the rest of your clothing. And depending on the weather you'll be coming across, if you need to take your Hunters, wear them on the plane so they don't take up too much room in your luggage! And... I opt for the bigger suitcase!! You can pack your purse inside of it (not a hobo type of purse but maybe a shoulder bag). And YES... pack toiletries but only the ones that you feel are absolutely necessary every day... all others can come secondary and you can buy em there if need be!

    ROLL your clothes... easier for me to search through them and to pack more!

    Good luck with the beginning of your new adventure!

    xxo, Bev

  35. I'd also say the smaller one since you will be walking a bit from airport/train/bus to your next destination. And heavy suitcase on cobblestone prolly isn't fun or pretty. Next, double-up on uses for things. Soap for bathing and for doing laundry. Conditioner to shave your legs. And I'd say pack a week's worth, and then restock as needed. As for your Hunters..maybe Fasha can keep them for you until you get back :D

  36. 7 pairs because they roll up to nothing and you just never know what could happen in that department!

    Pack packets of laundry detergent also - you can hand wash in little sinks etc and also, you'll know the brand and won't have to worry about developing sensitive skin or allergies to new washing products. Lesson learned the hard way my friend.

    The whole suitcase thing is hard. If you reeeally care how you look or are worried about stressing about not bringing enough stuff, just take the big one and deal with the consequences later. If you can, maybe take the small one because if you really need more room on the journey, you can buy a bigger one or just buy like a duffel bag which can always be rolled up and stored if it's not needed?

    Good luck! X

  37. I think you can buy those shampoo or body wash anywhere around the world.Maybe just bring little amounts and purchase when you arrive at the new place.I truly understand your feeling.Last month we went traveling to Taiwan for 5 days only,and I was confused what to bring.At the end,I brought bottles of shampoo and bosy wash which cost me some weight..when I arrived,I felt stupid because Taiwan got lotsa of those things!! By the way,I wore 1 jean only for 5 days.Terrible smell,I knew!

  38. A couple of years ago I spent 8 weeks traveling, by myself and by train, around the U.S. I lived out of one carry-one backpack. Here are my tips for you:

    -Pick a color scheme for your clothes (I went with black). Using a scheme means that nearly all of your wardrobe pieces work with each other. I added color with accessories (mainly scarves and necklaces). Really think through how all your clothes work with each other. This will allow you to have the maximum number of outfits with the least amount of clothing items. Minimize bulky clothes and consider lightweight ones (ex: jeans v. lightweight dress)

    -Washing your underwear in the sink is not a big deal. I brought along the little detergent packets that others have suggested. I also brought along some quick drying underwear (mostly from Patagonia). So I could wash and dry quickly in a pinch.

    -I really recommend bringing a small purse. I have lived in Europe twice now. You will stand out with your backpack, plus you will get sick of carrying it around. This is the purse that I used ( I actually bought it in Europe, where it was much cheaper. Perfect size to fit everything I needed for the day (including a sweater, water bottle, camera, etc). It actually even fit my laptop! I could role this purse up when I wasn't using it. Something similar will work, but make sure that is zips at the top (to avoid theft)

    -Take less stuff than you think you will need and do NOT start your trip with your suitcase packed to the brim. Half the fun of traveling is picking up souvenirs along the way. These items will remind you of your trip when you eventually return. Unless you are traveling to Antarctica, you shouldn't have trouble buying most things. Do try to bring some small translation book (with multiple languages) or getting an app on your phone. I did make the mistake of buying body wash instead of shampoo (annoying at the time, but a funny story for later) in Switzerland.

    -HAVE FUN! Some of my favorite parts of my trips were the things that I didn't (and couldn't have) planned for!

  39. Buy toiletries in Europe. They sell them there, and lots of variety, too. Just perhaps make a cheat sheet on you ipod or phone about what each type of item is called in the countries you're going to- it'll help.
    Also, it's very common to see people boarding planes wearing their Hunters/other wellies in Europe- they take up too much suitcase space, but traveling with them is common. I'd buy a pair of Hunter fleece welly socks for cold weather wear.
    You can always buy cheap-o of what you're missing. H&M is everywhere in Europe and it's dirt cheap. Plus there's this chain in Southern Europe (we saw them in Greece and Portugal and I know they're elsewhere, too) called Jumbo- it's total shit quality, but a hilarious place to walk through, and if you needed an extra t-shirt or something in a pinch, theirs are just a euro or two.
    We've just (as in, got off the plane yesterday) moved back to the States after three years living in England. While we did fully live there, we also did A LOT of travel around Europe, and used A LOT of Ryanair/Easy Jet/Jet 2, plus trains, buses, and metros wherever we went- so feel free to ask any questions you have that I might be able to help with!
    I'm excited to hear all about your trip!!!

  40. So I wish I was in the states because I have suitcases that have backpack straps and I would totally give it to you. They have it at Kohls and Marhsalls if you are interested. But dont bother with travel sizes I say. You can buy them here and maybe just buy a new set at each place so you dont have to keep bringing them/wasting space. Im an underwear hoarder and have way too many pairs and continue buying new pairs. Ask me how many pairs still have tags. But dont because its ridiculous. Now Im just on a crazy underwear tangent. Bring them all.
    Wear those amazing boots on the plane.
    Dont worry too much about clothes, HM is a godsend over here/in Europe and Im there every other day and its so cheap. And they are one of the few places that take american debit/credit cards. Woop Woop.

  41. You didn´t explain where you are going on your trip, so I am going to generalize. I did an around the world trip through europe and asia for a year. I recommend taking a backpack, sometimes there will be lots of stairs or dirt roads and a suitcase will be very inconvenient. Make sure that whatever you take you can carry comfortably at least 6 blocks. I bought many things while I was traveling, even clothes. I took about 10 pairs of underwear and ended up buying new ones because they become very thin after multiple washings. I would buy travel size toiletries as you are traveling. I never had a problem finding them. Just remember to go shopping when you are in a big city. Bring essential items, if you need something specific for one area, you can usually buy it. If it is particularly cold somewhere you can buy mittens or a scarf. If it is extremely hot, you can buy a tanktop. Normally, you will want to buy things for souvenirs anyway, so clothing can be your souvenir. I actually bought a blanket in India because I got cold at night and I still use it.
    If you need to wash clothes yourself, you can either take small packets of detergent or just use regular soap, but normally the hostel will have laundry service for fairly cheap.
    One recommendation, I HATE the compact towels. I would splurge and find space for a thin but normal towel, or once again you may be able to buy it along the way.
    Hope this helps.

  42. Take the purse. Take the small suitcase. Lay out every article of clothing you think you may want/need. Then put back half of it. Seriously. You really won't need that much. Take about 10 pairs of undies. Take travel size toiletries, unless you require a special product for your hair/face/body that foreign countries might not have, like a certain hair styling spray or moisturizer. Actually taking more moisturizer/conditioner is good, because a lot of foreign countries have "hard water" or sometimes untreated water, that will dry out your skin and hair.

  43. When I travel, I always bring one of those hippie purses that is basically like a thin sack with a long shoulder strap with cute designs on it. They don't take up any more space than a t-shirt inside of luggage and are great and versatile...can be used as a purse, a beach bag, etc. Also you can take one carry on and one 'personal item' on a plane so I like to take the little hippie purse and fill it with things I might want during a flight or at the airport (book, iPod, passport, money, headphones, etc.) so I can just stow the big bulky backpack in the overhead compartment during the flight and just keep the little bag with all my stuff in it under the seat in front of me.

    Also I like to get some of those 'brush-ups' to take with me on long flights because your mouth always gets super nasty after hours and hours and it's nice to have something closely resembling a toothbrush (and they are really small, take up no space).

    Pack clothes that are versatile and make sure everything matches everything else so you can have the most variety in outfit combinations with less clothes.

  44. Ok, two biggest tips for when I went to Europe for 18 days.

    First, is clothes. Bring shirts (and or older jeans) that at then end of your trip you can just throw away...or even during your trip. When I went to Europe I ended up bringing a lot of 'souvenirs' back and I ended up throwing all my sandals, and tees and underwear. Smart freaking idea.

    Second, has to do with food. I had my breakfasts (per the hotel) and my dinners paid for, but we wanted to spend money or other things besides food, so a lot of times we would take extra muffins or what not from the hotel in the morning with baggies. So throw in a box of lunch baggies.

    And, i'm so freaking jealous!!!!



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