Travel Fuels Life Podcast and Show Notes
How to Pack a Bag to Avoid Baggage Fees (Ep. 30)
A couple of years ago, I was at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris when I struck up a conversation with two travelers from North Carolina. The conversations came around to our trips and I said I was going to be in Europe for 16 days with my one bag. The woman said, "holy crap, I need to see how you got all of that stuff into one bag!"
Proud papa that I was, I realized I was doing something many other people hadn't thought about. And so many times we see prices for baggage that rival the price for these economy flights.
When I told my sister, she took on the challenge and bought the bag off of my Amazon store. On our trip to Texas to go see my mother and brother, she had done it - in fact, better than me!
So, while we are talking Miles and Points and Cheap Flights, it only makes sense to talk about avoiding baggage fees. Check out this week's episode where my sister Colleen and I unpack our bags.
The Miracle Bag
KonMari Folding Method
- Charger for phone and Garmin.
- Inside front pocket
Side mesh pocket
- Clear makeup bag
Top layer of clothes not neatly folded
- Light robe
- Workout tank and leggings
- Bike shorts
- Sandwich sized ziplock with six pair of underpants
- Another small ziplock with two bras
Tucked in the sidewalls of the suitcase
Tucked in the top
- Small see through toiletry bag
Folded in the bottom of the bag Marie Kondo style
- Nice jean leggings
- Nice black slacks
- Two jersey skirts
- Three dresses (wrinkle free nylon for two)
- Three tops
- One jacket
- One pair of socks
- Forgot my minimalist running shoes
I tend to choose if I'm going casual or dressy, but I found shoes that could work with anything but shorts and sandals
- Jeans (or dress pants), t-shirt, over shirt, shoes, socks, belt
- Business cards
- Selfie stick / phone stand
- Lenovo Yoga Laptop
- Clear package (see my Amazon store)
- Suntan lotion
- Razor and shaving cream
- Toothpaste and toothbrush with cover
- Laptop charger
- Whisky distillery sample glass (not those kinds of samples sis!)
- Grocery bag for dirty clothes
- USB / Car radio broadcaster (see my Amazon store)
- Tide pods
- 6 days of boxers / underwear
- 4 t-shirts
- One extra over-shirt (casual or dress)
- Second set of jeans (or dress pants if a clean)
- Sweat pants
Packing Tips for One Bag
- Build your wardrobe around your pair of shoes
- Remember you also have a pair of clothes you're wearing and you can bring all your coats and sweaters on your person.
- You can buy your toiletries when you get to your location if you have to.
- A carry on and a laptop bag for overseas trips is an advantage because you can keep your important documents in the personal (laptop) bag so it never is taken from you. Items that could go in your main bag, but when going overseas I find the extra bag helpful and a safety feature.
- International Driver's Permit
- Local transportation cards like Metro, Oyster, T, etc.
- Hotel Reservations, Car Rental Agreement
- A spare debit card (I use Ally Bank due to their AllPoints ATM locations that could save you a fee)
- Ear buds
- On extended trips plan on enough clothes for a certain amount of days (6 or 7) then have a laundry day.
- If you take really cheap t-shirts, you can always leave them at your hotel if you need room for trinkets on the flight home.
TWITTER PEEPS TO FOLLOW
Hello everybody, and welcome to Travel Fuel's Life Show. We share stories, tips and inspiration to help you live a travel lifestyle. I'm your host, drew Hennish. A couple years ago, I was sitting at Charles Dugal airport waiting for a connecting flight to Prague when I bumped into a couple from North Carolina and we started talking about baggage, and I was talking about baggage fees and how I was trying to avoid them, and they were talking about the dangers of losing baggage along the way. And that's when I pointed out that I always just took one carry on for wherever I was going. And we had been talking about how long we were both going to be over in Prague, which was going to be over two weeks. And the woman looked at my bag and she said, you're kidding me. You survive for two weeks out of that little carryon bag, I got to see what's in there.
So it wasn't long after that. I mentioned my packing techniques to my sister Colleen, who you might remember from episode number two. She's the one that interviewed me to get the show kicked off, and she took on this packing challenge. She was right into it. She bought the same bag that I used, and she took things one step further by utilizing some folding techniques that she had learned from a Netflix star. And believe me, my sister does some amazing packing now, even better than me. So I thought it's time to get her on the show and start showing you guys how you can save on baggage fees by packing your bags the right way. So by the way, there is a video version of this. We did record it on video, only got half the show, but you can check that email@example.com slash podcasts on our show notes page.
And the YouTube channel is where that is hosted, and we'll have links for that out there on the show notes page. So that'll give you a chance to see what we are unpacking. But anyway, more details on that coming up at the end of the show. But right now, let's head to the living room of my home in Greenville, South Carolina. We got a couple of scotch whiskeys waiting for us, and we're ready to give you the lowdown on some great travel packing hacks. So let's give the listen. So today we are, and I actually had requests for this from a couple of people, did you, about how I pack. And I think it's important to show, because when I tell people that I travel with one bag, they go, well, yeah, you're a man, you can do that. But what they don't realize is that I have a sister who saw what I was doing and said, oh, I wonder, maybe I can do that too. Bought the same bag and is successful at traveling. We had a little trial run to Texas earlier this year, right?
We did. And I was actually amazed I could do it. I was a little frightened, but my house, I did the Maria condo method on my house and reduced all of my clutter. And I think that this is Maria condo packing.
Yeah. It's reduced clutter. It's minimalist. And I actually found it to be very freeing to do it, so I'm excited about it. Good.
So the idea here is, and for you people listening in the podcast, we're actually videoing this at the same time. So if it works, we'll put it up there on YouTube, but also put some pictures up on the show notes page. And I think it's only fair that we draw out a list of the things that each of us has.
I like that idea
In our bag and then that way, because we'll talk about them as we do this, but I'm sure we'll probably miss something here or there. Yes. And the other thing that I wanted to do going through this is I've evolved a little bit in the way that I do this. I always try to get everything in one bag, which worked great going to Philadelphia. However, going overseas, I found that it was probably better for me to have a second bag if I could get away with it.
I can imagine.
And so I'll demonstrate the way the second bag works as well. But the thought here is by the end of this episode, you should have a good idea of not only how you fill out this small little bag that should be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you on an airline, but also how you might make some adjustments to that plan so that you can be prepared for colder weather if it's going to be colder weather, because that's going to cause you to pack a little bit differently. Or you're going to want to know, how do I handle my passport and all that stuff. And maybe that's a little bit easier with the second bag or a little bit more secure with second bag. So we'll walk through these. Well,
I think we could probably talk about different contingencies with any of it. So Yep. I've, I've been trying to plan a trip to Prague or thinking about planning a trip trip to Prague. I haven't even gotten that far, but thinking about going in the winter and how much would you have to carry for that? That would be an interesting thing to work through.
Yeah, it's tough because I've taken, when I took my trip to Philadelphia, even being in the same country and trying to, the weather can change. You might have warmer days than you expected.
Do you remember how cold it was in Denver when we landed going to Texas?
How cold was it in Denver?
We, oh my gosh. We walked through the plant. It was freezing. We didn't go out in Denver, but you
Did. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. How cold was it? It was freezing.
It was snowing. Was cold. That's interesting. It was cold. Cold. I have a high time and went from Texas to Colorado. That's
True. That's true. I'll tell
You. And I went to Louisville.
The places where it's really hit me the most was when I flew in the middle of winter from North Carolina or from South Carolina to Las Vegas and in Las Vegas. It was cooler. It was in the fifties, I think, while I was there. And I was all packed with stuff to bundle up. And then I got to Hawaii and I stepped off the plane in Hawaii, and it was 86 degrees and I had a jacket on. Yeah,
Yeah, it was. So it doesn't, and I've had situations where I flew to Las Vegas, flew back through Minnesota, and it was the middle of winter in Minnesota, and just walking through the airport, you were freezing.
Yeah. Well, that's what Denver was for me. It was like, whoa, I can't get off this plane. Yeah.
Yeah. So yeah, there's times when you really can't prepare. I think one of the toughest for me is, and this is where I develop, my idea of what I'm going to pack is by what shoes I'm taking, because I'm only going to wear a pair of shoes. I wear size 15, 14 shoes. Even my flip flops are too big to put in a bag. So I have to decide, am I going to be going casual? Am I going to be going more dressy? Is this a business trip? Is this a,
I wear hiking trip, 11 shoes too. So shoes is a big deal, and I'm sort of a little bit bohemian, so I don't have to have fancy high heels or anything. So it makes it easier.
You actually are Bohemian.
I actually am, which is why I want to go to Prague.
Right? There you go. Right?
Yeah. But having a couple pair of shoes is important to me because you get blisters from one pair and you need to wear a different pair, or you've got a dress and you want to wear something with the dress, but you don't want to, I again, don't wear heels, but I imagine there are going to be people who wear more makeup than I do, have heels carry more hair dryer. So for women, I might be a little bit more a or less feminine in some areas that packing is important for them. It's
Going to be interesting to see what's in your bag then. It is, isn't it? That comes up with the question of the shoes and is there a hair dryer in there? And all of those sorts of, because I have my theories on how those things can be solved, but it'll be interesting to see because it's about priorities.
Well, look at my hair. It's short. It was not short before. Part of the shortness is for travel, so I don't have to carry a blow dryer. Same
But although I don't blow dry, but I don't have to put stuff in my hair to make it look Okay, so it doesn't go all over the place. Yes. So it is just easier. That's one less thing I have to
Take with me, and that's why I cut my hair and quit coloring it and all that good stuff. So yeah, there's some things that other people might need that they need a bag for. And it depends on your priorities
Exactly mean. And
For men too,
Sometimes when you're taking a trip, for instance, flying Delta Airlines, you can have a cabin bag. Well, a cabin bag's going to allow you to take something that's bigger than this. I mean, this is the size of our bags.
Well, that's how I got to Europe. When I went to England, I had a regular overhead bag and a undereat bag. So I had both. And I got there when I came home because I was bringing things home with me. I bought this great big bag and had it checked. So when I went out, I went out minimal. When I came back, I was not minimal.
It was a bit more. Yeah. Yeah. I almost did the same thing in Scotland because I was like, I want to bring home some whiskey.
I have that lovely bag that I bought in London. Yeah. Yeah.
So the one thing I do know is that I don't want to be that person that is lugging around a bag. Yay. Big. And because I don't even want to take it out of the airport. I don't care if it has wheels or not. I just don't want to be lugging around something that big.
I don't want to be that person who gets on Facebook and says, my luggage is lost.
Right, right. And I've had that happen before.
I've never had that happen, and I will never have that happen. I don't want that to happen. Yeah.
Okay. So there is one contingency, something that could happen when you get on a plane, and this will happen if you're trying to fly budget and you get the economy, you are always the last person on the plane. The problem with being the last person on the plane is if they have filled all the overhead bins, they
Will check your
Bag. They may tell you, even though you say, oh, I can put this under my seat. They'll say, we got to tag it. We'll tag it for free, but we got to tag it and we're going to have to put it on the plane. So this will be where I come in with my idea of traveling overseas and making sure you have a second bag. Yeah. Okay. And so I'll get to that in a little bit, but this is Christmas. Let's unveil it is like
Let's unveil our surprises and should we take it ladies first? Usually. But in this case, I wonder if I should start a little bit because they expect me to be able to do this. And the surprises are going to come when they see what you have. Maybe,
I don't know.
Or we could maybe
We can unpack 'em at the same time. Maybe
I want to show off. Okay, go. All
For it. Because here's the thing, Andrew put this bag. I call him Andrew, he goes by Drew.
I go by both.
He does put this bag online, and I ordered it just from his website. Loved it. So I got it and I was really excited. But when I went to Texas and started using it, right, that's when I got excited. Ah, all right. Yep. So number one, there's this little teeny pocket at the top. So while I'm in the airplane, I can pull out a thing of gum or I've got my charger.
So she's pulling out a little tube of gum there.
And well, this is different, but that's representative of gum. Okay.
Gum. Imagine gum, just the little things that you need the
Quick and get to them quickly. Like your earbuds for your
Yeah. Stuff you're going to need to grab. Okay. And
Then there's this water bottle holder over here, which somebody could maybe help me figure out what kind of water bottle I can take on a plane, because I haven't tried that yet. And then my phone's in here and in my phone are my credit cards, my id, all that. It's not got a passport holder, but,
So this is a really cool, from a standpoint of it's a little stretchy side pocket. It's netting. And so I've put my passport in there before or something like that, but I need to be able to
Grab it quickly, so quick to grab it.
And it expands.
So if I put water bottles in there, I might miss that part. And then my iPad goes right in the front so I can read a book on the plane.
So there, just describe this bag, if you're not looking at it at the moment, it's kind of,
It's a duffle bag.
I mean, this is really not duffle a larger, it's a little larger than a backpack would be, just in that it's square. Yeah. It's a little more, so it's got a little pocket on the front, and that pocket, if you've got this thing stuffed, you're only going to be able to put some flat stuff in there. So electronics are definitely good for that.
And your passport could go up there too, right? Yes. And it's zip unzip, and there you go. And you put it in and check it separate when the electronics have to be separate. So again, I haven't traveled international with that yet, inside of that front flap. And the cool part is the front flap is just on one side. It's not centered.
Yeah. It's like a dog flap. It's like a tongue flaps
Back. And I love that feature, and I'll show you in a minute why, but in the flap of that is another pocket. And I have this little of goodies, and this is just out of my briefcase. It's got pens and stuff and tea and different things, some little chocolates and candies and whatever in it. But I could put whatever I need to travel in there with
That. I don't have all of those pens and markers.
Those are pens and markers, because that's what goes in my briefcase at work. I just grabbed it out of there, so you could see that I could fit more in there.
I was thinking it's not eyeliner and stuff like that, although you could do
That Well, but it could be. Yeah, exactly. It could be. It could it to me, this is, you can see through it, it's clear and it's handy to find exactly what you need.
So I mean, this is the other thing that you find when you fly a lot, is that they want everything in a clear package. So if you can provide them with a way to view everything that makes things go a whole lot faster.
Exactly. Yeah. Now I'm going to set that out for a minute. Yeah. All right. So that was in the front pack there. So that's just the flap. And I think I could fit a computer in here if I needed to, but I don't carry my computer for much. I think the iPad does most everything I need.
So this is interesting because it's, it's bulging a bit. It's funny when you unzipped, it's bulging it the front, like everything was resting in there nicely, but now it's like, I want out. No,
Hang on though. Okay. Cause I'm going to explain that. Okay. So this is my journal, and when I travel, I journal and I write down my events and what I've done and what I enjoyed about it. And
By the way, there's another flap in here, another little tongue there
That, and this is above that tongue.
So all of this that's just stuffed in here is my nightwear.
You don't have to fold your nightwear.
Unless you're, yeah. Anyway, so this is a night mask to keep. I fold the
Dark, I fold, I folded. My nightwear
Mom would be so proud.
So yeah, this is a
Thin robe. So I can walk around if there's company around and be in a robe. And then here's that inner flap, and it has little tie downs there. So
The cool thing about this inner flap is that it's got netting on both sides of it and a zipper on both sides of it. So you could actually slide something in the top that's flat and something that's in the bottom flat. So yes. And have visual on both.
So that's a nice little a
Touch. Yeah. I mean, you could have your iPad, your passport, your, and know where everything is right
Away. When I first started traveling, I used that as the protective layer between my laptop, so it wouldn't get scratched up. Although the drawback is it does have the little zippers on it, which could scratch something up that way, but depends on how you lay it in there. Yeah.
So yeah, it gives you some choices. Yep. Okay. So I see
Shoes. I see now.
Yes. It's getting neater. Okay. All right. So the shoes I'm wearing right now are my go-to shoes.
Well, and let's talk, well, let's talk about this too, because you're going to be wearing shoes of your clothes when you get on the plane, hopefully. And when you are doing that, kind of describe, in addition to this bag, what kind of clothing are you wearing to?
Am I still on? Okay. Yeah.
But remember, they can't see you, so,
Okay. Yeah. So I have a jacket on. Okay. And it's summer right now, and my trip right now is to South Carolina, so I'm not going to wear anything heavy. But if I were traveling to Prague in the winter, which is something I would like to try, I would be wearing something heavy. Actually, when I went to Texas, it was cold in North Carolina, and we went through Colorado, and then I was going to Louisville, and it could have been cold. So I actually had a wool wrap on that I could wear in the airplane. And if the air conditioning was too high, I could warm up and go to sleep, and I could take it off and sit on it while I was waiting for the flight to finish, and then put it back on and go out and take it off again. So it's flexible that way, what you wear. So you could add layers. And so these shoes are awesome because they're just little Mary. They have a strap in the back. I can kick 'em on and kick 'em off to throw 'em in their little bucket and go through t s A. Okay.
Very easy. And the jacket is something that you can do light or warm, wherever you're going to go. What else? What else could you add to your wear?
Well, if it was wintertime, you could throw a winter coat over the top, or
A couple coats, or a big sweater and a coat,
Right? Yeah. And I'll kind of demonstrate that when I go through on my stuff too. Okay, sure. How I do it.
But because this is summer and you invited me for a bicycle ride. Yes. I brought some bicycle shorts.
Okay. So they're right in the top here, and in the very top of my bag is a makeup bag, or not makeup necessarily, but toiletries. Yep. So
Do you carry everything in there that you would need from soap and shampoo to
This goes in the bathroom? Yeah. Okay. This is the little bag that I throw in the bathroom and leave it in the bathroom if I'm going to stay in a hotel for more than one day. Okay. Conditioner, shampoo, deodorant, a razor, some hair product for keeping my hair from becoming hugely frizzy toothpaste, which oh my gosh, I discovered this new toothpaste
You showed me. Yeah.
I have not tried it yet. Where did I put the thing?
It was that tube at the beginning that I said was gum.
It is. And it's called Bite. And what it is is it's a tablet, and so I put some in here for my travel, and it's one tablet. You bite it and you brush. It came from Amazon in the mail today, so I have not tried it. I cannot recommend it yet. Okay. But for traveling, could you put that in the Ziploc bag, and then as you travel and go down the day, all you have left is a Ziploc bag at the end of the day.
Think you're there for seven days. You pack seven tablets, you're done, right?
Yeah. Well, as tablets, yes. If it was a powder or something like that, you probably wouldn't get away
With it. Right. But no, it's just tablets. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. So it is interesting.
Chew your toothpaste.
Stay tuned. I'll let you know how they go. All right. Face wash hair, product, toothbrush, shampoo. And I've got a pair of tweezers,
And it's in a nylon bag that you can see through. It's dark, but you can still see
Through it. You can see through it. So they won't get mad at me. I have run into going through TSA with a cork screw. Yep. Thank you. You're
Welcome. The Assist
And with protein powder, and I got caught for both of them. Oh my. So I'm learning as I go. Okay. Andrew's the expert. I'm not.
I'm trying, it's funny. I'm feeling like I'm having a George Carlin moment. I
Know. That's what I was thinking of.
Well, when I listen to George Carlin, sometimes he does sight jokes, and you're listening to it on an album and you're like, okay, that wasn't as funny as I thought. I'm just trying to think of when do we have these moments when, well,
You keep telling them what you see.
We have to describe this. Yes. So she still really hasn't even cracked the top of this.
I'm thinking of yet. Think the stuff routine that he did.
Oh, yeah. A place for my stuff.
Yeah. When you travel, you've got all your stuff, but it's just a part of your stuff. Yes. All the rest of your stuff. And you put it in somebody else's drawer where they took out their stuff so you could put your stuff in it.
We were having a bilateral non congruent George Carlin moment. Yes, we
Were. I think you might edit that part out. I
Think the only reason that I could say that is because we're drinking whiskey right now.
This is going to be edited. I know it is. All right. Got a pair of woo socks for running, and yet I did not fit my running shoes in here. I have minimalist running shoes. This
Is what I'm saying. Sometimes it's really hard to pack, because you will say, I can't take my white gym socks if I'm going to be wearing flip flops all the time. Right. I could, but I don't want to be that guy. So yeah. I mean, sometimes it's a little tough. You really have to, that's why I say start with the shoes.
I always pack a couple few days ahead because I'll walk through my day and go, oh, yeah, I'm going to need that. And then I'll pack that. Okay. So I would've remembered the running shoes. They're in the car, but so the socks are unnecessary. All of a sudden
Throw 'em away for those trinkets that you want to put in your bag on your return trip.
That's right. But I do have minimal minimalist running shoes, which really don't take up a lot of space, so I could trade out the sandals that I brought. All right. So I do have sandals packed in either side of this bag, and so I'm going to take those out because this is my nightgown. Okay. All right. Now in here, I have a couple things for workout. I have a pair of workout pants and a top, and the top has a built-in bra, so I don't have to have a,
Do you have a lot of stuff in there? I know.
Wait, hang on. It gets better. Okay. This is like a car commercial now. Yes. But yeah, this is my running stuff, and it has a built-in bra, so I don't have to have a sports bra with me. Okay. Right. All right. Some people do need the sports bra. I am not that well endowed, so it's okay. I have a Ziploc bag with six pair of underwear. I have a Ziploc bag with two bras. Yep. I have one, two pair of pants, one are denim leggings. Okay. Very nice denim leggings. One is a nice pair of black slacks. And then I have two skirts.
You are really good at this. You
Know what, I love this
Batch. Seriously, look on YouTube and see what she's done here, because that's, that's
Amazing. And this is what I did when I went to Texas, because what really freaked me out was everything's visible. When I take the nightgown out and the running stuff out, everything is visible. So I'm going to have to repack this so you can take pictures of it later, but okay, two skirts. These skirts are just t-shirt material, so the wrinkles will hang out pretty quickly out of those. And the way I fold them is in thirds, and then I just sort of roll them like this, and then they stand up very neatly. My slacks are the same way.
This is what's impressing me, because mine, I just fold. I like a man folds.
My slacks are the same way. They're folded in half. And then one fold over. One more fold over. This is Maria condo. I, okay. I know it's hokey, but it works. So here you go. And they slide right down in there. You want to know what's cool about this? What's that? You get a plastic bag and you put it in here, and all the dirty stuff goes at this end and the clean stuff at this end, and you can just line it all up, eh?
All right. This is the folded pajamas. Yes. This is my folded pajamas moment. Okay. So I have one.
You are embarrassing me. See one. She's really good at this, folks two. You ever think about doing this professionally?
I actually kind of want to be a hoarder therapist, someone who helps people clean out their homes. Okay. But whole different podcast. I've got three tops. Okay. All right. Three shirts to go with, two pair of pants and two skirts.
Perfect. So you're counting what you're wearing as day one. 1, 2, 3.
There's four bottoms. Okay. And 1, 2, 3. Wait a minute. Is that four tops? Yeah, four tops.
Standing in the shadows of the, oh, sorry. That's the other four tops.
Speaker 3 (00:27:18):
We're going to reshoot this tomorrow. Right?
Speaker 3 (00:27:21):
Four bottoms, four tops. And now the piece, still resist stalls. Forgive my
Accents. I wish, I wish I had a drum roll. Hold
I feel like Vanna White. Yes.
These dresses yes, are amazing.
They do not wrinkle.
That's always good.
They are comfy. So you fold them in thirds. You roll them up. And I have two of those. Right. Okay. You can squish those in there as bad as you want to. And then, oh, this is another jacket. I forgot I put that in there. Yeah. So I have two jackets. Okay. This has got a nice little drape to it, and doesn't wrinkle too bad. So I have two jackets. One,
It's like a shawl,
One black dress a little bit, but it's got sleeves. Okay. One black dress, two brightly colored dresses, and then four other outfits.
So you could go, how many days before you needed to go to a laundromat?
4, 5, 6, 7.
In one teeny tiny bag.
One little bag.
But again, the thing I love the most about it is I can see everything every day without digging through my bag to try to find anything,
Which I can't do
Yeah. One of these days I need to learn some lessons. Okay.
You will be able to do this, but you can't do it yet.
Okay. I can't wear a dress like that. So yet it's my favorite work. It makes my thighs look big. Well,
You have to discover what the man thing is that you can do with that dress. Yeah. Although
I got to tell you right now, wrinkle free shirts let me down all the time. Really? They really are not wrinkle free. Yeah. My dryer seems to take it as a challenge to see how wrinkled it actually can make my shirts. I don't know what it's all about, but anyway. Yeah. All right. So I
Good, right? That's it. You did awesome. There you go. Okay. Okay. This is why I wanted to go first, because now I
Ashamed. All right. So here's my bag. I'm
Going to move mine
All, and the thing about my bag is you'll see it's the exact same bag. Mine doesn't probably feel quite as
Stuffed. Yes. But it does, actually,
You don't have bike shorts in there. That's why this
Could last me six days before I need to go. So this is exactly the bag that I took with me to Philadelphia, but I've taken the exact same bag to Scotland, and I was in Scotland for, and Ireland for
Three weeks. This is all you took to Scotland?
This is, well, I took this and I took my laptop bag, but the idea being that I'm going to live out of this bag for six days and then I got to find a laundromat. The danger is when you can't find the laundromat, or something happened to me in Edinburgh where I, it's Friday afternoon, I'm going down to the laundromat. I walk 10 blocks with this thing, get there, and they're closed.
And now I got to walk all the way back, and I got to figure out the next day I'm going to be in the middle of nowhere. How do I wash these clothes? Now I got to go hunting for a laundromat, and I have to figure out how to survive one more day when I didn't have enough clothes for that extra day. So that kind of thing does happen. However, for a man, not too difficult. You can always flip the underwear inside out if you have to. Sometimes you can survive with the shirt one more day.
Some people go commando.
Yeah. I mean, so I dunno, it's, there's some ways you kick it around that, but you'll find that I utilize less of my bag than
You. I have to say, wearing something two days in a row is not the end of the world.
Well, that's true. However, when I describe how I wear my shirts, you might say, okay, that's actually technically more than one day. So I don't have anything in my little, it looks like it has a little USB thing on the top. I don't put anything in there.
I like that because that's easy access. When you're sitting in the plane and you're under your seat in front of you, you just go zip. There it is, and pull it out. Okay.
So this may be where my other bag comes in handy. Well,
That's true. Front.
Front has nothing in it. I'm just not utilizing, but I just don't need that much stuff. And maybe this is the difference between men and women is that I don't,
I don't, well, but I only had one bag. You have two bags, or
I've got room here to be able to put a Kindle in if I wanted to. But I have, when I open this up, the first thing you see is my laptop.
Well, and I didn't need the the robe and workout gear necessarily either. Right. So
The first thing I have when I open my flap here is I don't have anything in this little front pocket either. This is why I say you, your demonstration is just blowing me away at the moment. So then inside of that, I got my little laptop inside of a bag just to protect it, but I bought the lightest little laptop I could buy, and it's works almost as a tablet. You can, it's called a yoga, so you can flip it over. It's got a touchscreen on it. It's a very powerful computer. It's amazing. It does better than any computer I own in my house.
Does have a lot of storage or is it all on the cloud? Has tons
Of cloud. Yeah. It's got two terabytes of serious,
Yes. Yeah. My Mac
Socks, and it's a solid state drive, so it's like a MacBook. It's just as
Fast as it can. I have no storage on mine, so everything's on the cloud. I don't trust the cloud,
So I got plenty there. And so this is, my business is all on this little laptop that I take with me wherever I
Go. And your phone.
And my phone. I have my business cards because I'm going to be on a business trip, and so I'm going to take a few business cards with me, and that's what I use my interior tongue for
Good. You do not have your tongue clasped either. I was wondering why would you cla? Oh,
Okay. That, yeah. I don't know. It has a little clasp on it, but
It has a clasp. But I can't figure out why you need to.
However, inside of this, because I take pictures and sometimes we'll want to have a little stand to put my cell phone on. I do have my little convertible phone stand. Okay. So I can put this up and I can take pictures. I can be the Instagram boyfriend and the Instagram. Well, I'll be the person taking a picture of myself basically.
Let's put that up. Yeah. It's your selfie stick.
Yes. It's my selfie stick. It is actually, because this thing is really handy. It pops out and huh? You can do all of that, but I can also use it as a little stand. So it's, it's very handy for
Us to, is that on Amazon? Take
Pictures? Yes, of course. And it's very, very inexpensive. I think I paid $12 for that, something like that. So not too bad. Then as I open my flat, you see a little bit more disarray, but it's all here. I have my package that has my suntan lotion in it and my deodorant, and I've got my shaving cream, and I have a razor in there. The one thing that's in here that unfortunately, and
Did you run out of battery?
What does it say? Oh, okay. I'm not going to worry about it. For some reason, we're videoing this thing and my video camera's telling me something, but I don't care what it has to say. It is not the boss of me. So the one thing in this pack that kind of annoys me is that I would really like to have some mosquito repellent, but unfortunately, I only find this in aerosol and anything I've ever tried, that's not aerosol. The bees run after me. I'm their daily lunch. So I don't know how to handle that. But this is a good point to say that some people don't even pack this stuff. They just wait till they get wherever they're going, and then they buy this stuff.
Well, I mean, we have a family saying that it's not a vacate if you don't stop at Wally World
There's always something you forget. I think I had one camping trip where I actually had everything we needed on one trip. There's always something you forgotten, like you're running shoes, and then you go, oh, so I don't need the socks.
So I have the bag and I take the most important stuff with me, but I tend to sometimes buy stuff along the way, or I try not to use the stuff that they use in the hotels because single use plastic, and I don't know how much plastic you waste by using when of those little tinny bottles that they give you. And then I
Love when they put the pump things up in the shower.
Right. And you get that a lot in Airbnbs
That there's a place in DC and in New York called Pod. Yeah. It's a Japanese style hotel. You get a bunk bed or a double bed. No queens, no kings. Right. You get this teeny tiny room with a little sliding door to the bathroom. It is amazing. It's so much fun. Chinatown in dc Okay, I recommend it. All right.
I have my toothbrush with its little cover on it, handy dandy, little cover, fancy, so that doesn't get any little extra germs on it.
Mine has a cover.
I have my charger for my, it's my plug and all for my laptop is in there. I have a nice little box for my soap so that I can put this up. And one of the things that annoys me is when you go someplace and they just have a sill for you to put your soap on, and of course it slides right off as soon as you put it on there. So
I just think the liquid soaps are the way to go. Yeah. Dr. Brammer does everything all at once.
I learned this in Scotland, which is to bring the little bottle with you in case you need to get a sample at the whiskey distillery. And
I work in medical care, so sample has a different meaning.
I love the look you gave me as soon as I said sample. It's just like don't be holding the bottle up at me and asking for a sample. All right. This is something you didn't have in your bag that I think would be a nice addition, which is a nice little bag where you can put your dirty clothes,
Dirty clothes. I said an Ingels. Well, a Ingels, but a grocery bag. Grocery store bag. Just a plastic grocery store bag. So
That's very handy. I take that, excuse
Me. That the smell will go through. You want plastic? Yeah. Okay. Okay.
As long as I don't smell, I'm good
For your rental car.
This is for the rental car? Yeah. This is a little thing I found on Amazon that has two little USBs in it, and it allows you to broadcast to your car stereo because you don't know.
Is that on your website? Yeah. Awesome.
Because you don't know what your rental car is going to have. And this will allow you to plug this into the cigarette lighter, and then it will broadcast whatever you've plugged in via USB or by,
So this thing is really cool
And not very expensive. So no expensive, I'm sure. Nope.
Yeah, that solves a lot of issues for me. When I do a rental car, have my little Tide pods just in case I got to wash the clothes.
I've never tried those.
They just drop 'em in and they dissolve and do the job. They're very handy.
I have never tried them. So yeah, they just dissolve in the wash. Yeah. Okay.
That's a great
Idea. They're handy to take,
And they don't get caught by tsa, just
Them. Well, I was going to say, TSA might be word. You're going to eat them.
All right. And then I could pull all of my undergarments out, but I basically have six days worth of,
So what you need to do is you need to get silk underwear that will save you so much space, get silk boxers, and they will fold up into my underwear six pair. Nice. Right. They're nylon. They're not silk. It'd be nice, but think about it. Yeah. It's like a third of the space. That's
True. Well, there you go.
So get you some travel boxers. All
Right. I don't usually pack unless I'm Get you. I'm hanging out with some people staying somewhere, but just a pair of exercise.
I brought pants or
Something. Yeah. Just so I got it. So I got something to wear around the house, because the only other stuff I'm bringing now, this would be for a trip where I am relaxing and I'm not meeting anybody for business or anything like that, but you can use the same strategy for both. It's basically stocking up on T-shirts and getting, if you get four pairs of T-shirts and you get two over shirts, you can wear two t-shirts with one over shirt and there's two days. And then just wear the over shirt without a T-shirt. That's three days. So you're getting three days out of
Right. And then you
Repeat, that's why it gets stinky.
Yeah, exactly. Because you've already worn that over shirt one day. Or if you do like me in Scotland and you spill coffee on your over shirt, then you go hunting to buy a new over
Shirt. That's your version of the stretchy dress. Yeah. Yeah.
And so I have four T-shirts and I have two one over shirt, and then I have my jeans second set of jeans because I'm wearing a set of jeans, I'm also wearing an over shirt with a t-shirt.
Do you have dress pants in there?
So if I was going to do, this is dress pants, I would still wear the T-shirts, but I would get a wrinkle free collared shirt, and then I'd, I'd basically wear one.
And you had all that room where you didn't have puffs, so you could add that to it, right? Yeah.
So this is where I'm talking about the idea of the shoes, because if I wear tennis shoes, then I'm not going to be packing for dress because that's not going to look right. Well, some people do it, and the opposite is true. If I have to pack all shorts and I'm not going to be wearing dress shoes and flip flops are going to be hard for me to fit in here. So it's like you sort of have to make a decision as to which direction do I want to go. Or if you're only going to be on the beach for a day or two, maybe you just go into the little five and dime and buy yourself the cheapest pair of flip flops you can for Of course, if you got feet. My
Sizes. Well, that's the thing, when I went to Mexico, I thought, oh, I'm going to buy clothes and bring them back. People in Mexico are not broad shouldered like I am. Yeah.
I found that in Italy. I was trying to buy a shirt in Italy, forget it.
When I went to England, I went to the Clark store. They don't make British shoes for women with size 11 feet, like size nine was big for them. So I was not able to buy clothes and bring them home. I got one shirt in Mexico to bring home, and I kind of think it was a men's shirt. It's very nice. But
I learned that with my Dwin shirt. My first question when I bought that in Scotland was what's the difference between extra large and large in Scotland versus the United States? So I had to get the digits, get that figured out. But anyway, so that's part of it. But now I had the laptop in here, but what I want to demonstrate is that now when I go overseas will take along with me an extra little friend, which may explain the empty pockets on this main bag.
When I take this little, I have basically a little flat laptop bag with two.
I have one of those at home. Do you?
Yeah. Okay. So there's a little Samsonite bag. It's got two zippers on the front, one with a short pocket, one with a longer pocket. The longer pocket is for my documents. So let's say that I need my car rental agreement. Then I'm going to print that off. I'm going to put it in the big pocket
Right where it's at.
And this is another thing that I do this around the house because I tend to forget things. I say everything has a place, everything has a place. And I look at the thing and I go, where is this thing's place?
This is not my skillset.
So because it frustrates me when I'm standing in line at tsa, digging through my bag, trying to find something.
I have been practicing it. That's why I've got that clear thing for my pens, yes. Where I can see everything. And it always goes in the same pocket of my briefcase always.
This is where I go completely O C D. Right? I'm going to open up this first little smaller
OCD is add D's best friend. All
Right? Yes. So here we go. When I open that up, what does it have in there? Little Ziploc bag that has my little classic malts journal in it so I can get my stamps when I'm overseas. It has my, and here's the fun of holding a microphone and doing this unzip it. It's got my international driver's permit in it.
Oh, wow. I didn't know you needed one.
Yes. It has my passport in it,
And it has my bank card that I can withdraw money. I don't want this in my pocket until I need to go get money out of the ATM because there's no fees. It's like an ally bank card. And there are some places called All Point ATMs overseas where you don't have to pay fees for withdrawing money. So I will keep this in this bag because if somebody stole my wallet, I would still have money. It's going to be with my bag back at the hotel. I have my metro pass in there. I got my oyster card for riding the subway in London. Whatever I need to take extra. That's a small piece I put inside this little bag. Nice. And when I get to the airport, I just pull the passport out of the little plastic bag and just slide it in that little pocket.
I have so much to learn.
Yes. So that's helpful. And then they're my earbuds. Yeah. They're right in the front pocket. Now, here's the reason why I love this bag versus putting everything in one bag. If they say to you, I'm sorry, there's no room on the plane for your bag, we're going to have to store it. I don't want my passport going down into get lost somewhere. I want all of the stuff that I know I critically need in case I get separated from my luggage in this little laptop bag.
So I know when I traveled once, I have much less experience traveling than you do. So forgive any ignorance, but I have a purse.
And you notice I don't have a purse with me today. Right, right. It's just the wallet with the phone, because I remember them saying, you have to have your purse in that undereat bag. So how are you allowed to carry that?
I can only carry this if I'm allowed a carry. So this
Bigger bag, which is actually personal item size. Yes. On most airlines, I'm taking on as a cabin bag, and I'm taking this flat laptop bag as my personal bag. Because usually when you go overseas, not on all airlines, but Delta will be flying on.
So spirits what? I was traveling. Yeah.
And those are domestic airlines. If you were overseas at and flying Ryan Air in Ireland, you're going to run into the same problem. You would have to pay extra for your cabin bag to
Take it on. Oh, okay. That makes sense.
But this just fits under, it fits under Ryan Air. It fits spirit in their spirit. Frontier, frontier, American Airlines, any of the ones that are doing a basic economy, you can get away with
This one. That makes sense. Yes. Thank you. I hope I'm the only one who didn't know that.
So you have to watch it though. And it's always changing. I got a little nervous last time I flew Frontier last time I was going to book a flight on Frontier, because their language has gotten a little bit more confusing, and their bag sizes are, they're giving new dimensions, but this still falls under Oh, good. What they do. Yeah. However, United seems to be the one I have the most issue with, trying to figure out whether, because their definition, I think of a personal bag is much smaller than this. So I think, I don't know. I, I'll post up on the show notes what the current information is, but it's good for you to check the dimensions on the bag
Before you travel. Always. Yeah.
Yeah. But this bag that we have that we're using fits on most airlines as something because it fits under the seat. Yeah, it, I've never had a problem fitting this under the seat. No, it was awesome. I mean, as small as the seats they say are on Frontier, I can still get this on there without any issue.
And you didn't show the neat part of that is that it expands. Yeah.
So what's really cool about this bag is that you can actually, when you're in the middle of your vacation and you're going from place to place and you're not trying to get on a plane, you can expand this bag and then everything can lay in there a little looser, which is much more friendly if you've got dirty clothes because those, you're probably not folding nicely, and they take up a little bit more room. But the other thing that I do on this, occasionally,
I fold everything back up and put it behind the plastic. And so it all fits in. And I can see everything including my dirty clothes. I know. It's great, isn't it?
So I cheat every once in a while, and my cheating is that I will actually leave this half undone. So I will take the expander and I'll loosen it. Kind of like when you're
Cheating like an inch.
Yeah. It's like you're cheating on your waistline and you're trying to tighten your belt. Well, this is kind of the opposite. I'm kind of loosening the belt a little bit and saying, okay, I'm going to make this still look on the top. It's this small bag. And maybe I can get through without them stopping me. If they stopped me, I would probably have to run over to the trash bin and throw something away. I don't know.
And I think that's another thing to think about is have some things that are disposable that you can give to a thrift shop when you're in Scotland.
Well, this is the thing that I love about T-shirts is that they're the easiest thing to get rid of. Don't buy nice quality. I
T-shirts. Just get something
Cheap. Okay. So one other thought I had. You've got stuff up there for winter.
Yes. So one of the thing I say, an over shirt, another thing you can wear as a sweater. One thing to do in wintertime is make sure that you have layers. And I tend to try to wear the layers onto the plane, which can be torture. If you're leaving a hot area to go to a cold area. That's the only drawback to it. But I'm telling you, sweat it out. Carry the coat.
You'll look a little ridiculous. But in the 40 degree.
But I can tell you when I went to Scotland, or
80 degree or whatever, going to a 40 degree,
I was thankful to have the coat because one day it's cold. The next day it's not cold. The next day it's cold, the next day it's not cold. So
Women can wear wool wraps. They can have wool sweaters. There's lots of variety. How about guys?
Like I say, just doing the sweater, doing a collared kind of layover shirt. I mean, there's a variety of things that you can do there, but the sweater is probably the best for warmth.
The other thing is that I take with me gloves and a ski hat, and I just put 'em in the pockets of the Oh,
That'ss a good idea. Yeah.
So you've got 'em.
I had not thought of that.
So you 'em when you need them.
So I'm picturing myself as I was packing, I was thinking, okay, what would you do different for Prague? Well, I would wear the same clothes. I'd wear the same skirts, the same. I would just put on tights and I would on the plane wear some wool socks over the tights maybe. And my boots. So the pair of boots that I want to wear to go there. And what I would plan on doing is buying some really cool clothes if they had them, and bringing them home and expanding my suitcase or checking a bag or whatever. Right. To come home. Because in North Carolina, we don't sell really great winter clothes. So going somewhere where you could buy some really great winter clothes is actually kind of a cool thought. The
Best winter coat I ever bought, I bought for I think $25 in Canada
In Newfoundland or somewhere. Somewhere. Were they? No cold weather. Right? Right. Yeah. So that's what I was expecting to do. But the sizing might be wrong, and I may come home with my small little suitcase with nothing new. So I don't know.
Well, and the point to all of this light packing and figuring out how to get your bag small is not to just struggle and make traveling all that much harder. It's
Not for bragging rights, and
It's not for bragging rights. It's to avoid baggage fees because it's scary. I mean, we just got an airplane flight to Barcelona for $270 round trip. That's awesome. Until you pack too big a bag and you have to end up paying $60 for that bag each way. So now you spend $120 more than you anticipated. So if the airline is going to give you a great deal, don't screw it up by overpacking for a trip. When if you plan it, you can either find laundromats to get stuff, don't ever get it washed at the hotel. If you've ever seen those prices, those are a shirt for $5. Why don't I just go buy a new shirt instead of having you wash my shirt for $5? Yeah. I don't know. So I mean, there's just smart ways to travel.
Well, and you want to spend your money on what you really enjoy. I, we've got money to spend. That's okay. But why spend it on something like that? Yeah. When you can spend it on something you really want to enjoy. When I went to Scotland, it was during festival, and I walked the royal mile looking for a souvenir. You know what I home with? What? An umbrella from a thrift shop and a silver necklace with an opal in it. Everything was something I could buy here.
Yeah. So think about what you're spending your money on. Enjoy your purchases,
Right? Yeah. And what's funny is I don't buy stuff.
You do too.
I didn't. No, I didn't buy those.
But you came home
With glasses. She's holding up one of my Glen Karen glasses. They give those to you for free when you go on the tour. But
You brought them, you. Yeah. You brought them back. They were important.
Yeah. Well, what I did was, because I had all those T-shirts in there, I just threw the T-shirts. I put the T-shirts out, and I didn't go look for a thrift shop. Maybe I should have, but by brought them leav, leaving them at the hotel, I figured somebody might take them to the, he
Brought the boxes home. I'm going to pick on you. He brought the boxes home with the glasses, so the glasses didn't break in through the T-shirts away. He could have rolled them up in the T-shirts and stuffed some in the middle of them, and they would've been fine. And he would've brought his T-shirts back.
I know, but I paid what, three to $5 for those t-shirts. I
Know. But you could have taken your sister and saved three to $5.
There you go. Well, so hopefully everybody gets a little inspired to pack a little lighter, save on some baggage fees
And that was a lot of fun.
And yeah, it was interesting seeing all the stuff that you packed into the bag because I mean, I, I'm embarrassed now.
No, but the cool part is if you pack them vertically, again, that's Maria Condo. I don't watch her TV show, but I read her book. If you pack everything vertically, you can see everything you have all at once. It is amazing. Yeah. You don't have to unpack your bag to find anything Nice. I love it. I have to work on it. And that's your bag. I, I've got a bigger bag and I'm always digging through it, trying to find things. So this is the way to go.
Yep. This is my bag from here on out. I have other ones upstairs, but I just don't feel the need to.
And I got the one this size with the wheelies on it and it's not worth it.
It's, it's light enough. You don't need wheelies.
It'd be tough for me because I need a really long handle. I find the bags with the wheels to be really annoying for me anyway, because I'm tall most of the time. The wheels are starting to come the ground every time I take a step. So it's just annoying. So that's part of the reason why this was an easy sell for me. But I have links up on the website. If you go under shop on the website, you'll see my Amazon shop and it's got all of the stuff that I pack
Into your back. And I'm not trying to prevent the bag necessarily. It just really is cool. Yeah. And you can get another brand, a bag, the same size and whatever, but
I did a lot of searching on Amazon and after doing all of that searching, this was about the only bag I found that was a good size for all the airlines. And you could kind of get away with it. You could do a backpack and it would work. Yeah. A backpack though to me, I mean, backpacks have a lot of pockets and stuff in them, but it's the pockets I think that really make this thing. You
Don't have the shoulder strap on yours, but it comes with the shoulder strap.
Yeah. I don't think I attached it
Actually. Yeah. And the shoulder strap helped me get through the airport better, was worth it. Nice.
Yeah. Thanks for joining me for way back episode two, and here we are, episode like 28, 29, somewhere in there. Yeah.
Yeah. And then you mentioned we're going to Barcelona. So yes, we're going to find out if we can travel well together.
Well, we already know we can travel well together because we've done that. But we've never traveled
Overseas. Not overseas. And not for two weeks. Yeah.
Me and my high energy. Go, go, go. And your
Irritability and need to, you were supposed see things. You were
Supposed to tell me about the irritability thing before
We paid for the tickets. You stopped. We
Bought the tickets. Now she tells me about the irritability.
You grew up with me. I have irritability.
I know, I know. I just kind of hoped you grew out of that, but
Just let me sleep and I'm good.
All right. Well thank you for being on the show. I appreciate
It. Oh, it's fun. It's fun. Thanks.
Well, I hope you enjoyed that conversation. And I, I'm telling you, these packing techniques will save you a lot of headaches when you travel. And I'm so proud of my sister for the great packing that she does there. And I mean, it's great to travel with somebody who packs lightly as well as a packing lightly yourself. So very cool. Head out to the show notesPage@travelfuelslife.com slash podcasts. Look for episode number 30. And you're going to find photos of what we had in our bags as well as bullet lists for his and her packing. And you'll also find a link to where you can purchase the berry bag that we travel with. And I am amazed at how many trips I have taken with this bag to Europe multiple times and on shorter jots. But I mean, I keep waiting for the straps to give out and they have not yet.
And I put all my podcasting equipment in there and stuff, and it just does a fantastic job. So check out that link on the show notes page. If you purchase through there, Amazon will give me a little bit of a referral fee, and I would really appreciate if I could make a little income off of that. You're going to pay the same price whether you buy it through Amazon through my link, or you just buy it and search through Amazon yourself. So that would be fantastic and I would really appreciate that. And we've also got the Marie Condo video embedded in that page. And you'll also find a link to the Travel fuels life.com Amazon store, where I put all the stuff that I use to pack lightly myself, some space saving items. So check that out. And happy packing. And I've got a couple of Twitter shoutouts I'd like to do this week thanks to Kara Adida Miso and also Odette Dunn and Julia Dun photo for tweeting about the show this week. And if you guys are on Twitter, make sure that you follow these awesome travelers. And all you have to do is just go out to the show notes page and I've put the links in there and you can just follow them and you can follow us also at twitter.com/travel fuels life. And until next week, have a fantastic week at safe travels and thanks for listening to Travel Fuel's Life.