Let’s go…But first, packing…

Are you ready to hit the road?

There’s a plane, train, or boat seat with your name on it!

Cash out your points from your deals and savings and prepare to hit the road. I have cashed out 109 from befrugal and 13 bucks from ebates (came into my paypal this last quarter, automatically). If you want to learn more about those sites, check out my post from 9/11/2017, here. Will make for some decent tip money.

Currently, I am packing for the first part of a two leg trip!

First stop: Oahu, Hawaii. Second stop: Brisbane, Australia! 

But first, Packing…


Before this party gets started, I have to pack. Over the years, I have paired my packing down. I used to have my own entire full sized suitcase (the mere thought of doing this today makes me cringe). The more trips I took, the less luggage I took. Now, it’s just me and another adult. If you have little people, I would expect a full sized suitcase for most trips.

I can always tell an unseasoned traveler by the amount of luggage. Do you really need 6 pairs of shoes? I’ve been to the airport and swear some folks think they’re the next Mariah Carey with 5 huge stored bags.

For me, its a matter of simplicity.

  1. I do not like waiting to get my luggage, once I’ve arrived I want to get into full vaca mode.
  2. The thought of losing luggage or having something stolen is now gone. ~My husband once had a pair of Nike’s stolen from his bag that was checked!
  3.  Some airlines will charge you for checking even 1 bag! ~When I did have bulkier carry on’s I saved the checked bag money, by letting the flight attendants check it at the gate for free! 

So, after 12 years of international travel, I am today down to a backpack! My husband also has one (orange). This will be our first time traveling with the backpacks, so I will post an update after the trip as well. Mine (Grey), we found at Walmart for a sweet 29.99! It also comes with a free lifetime warranty, no registration necessary. His, we ordered on the millennial Walmart, aka Amazon (see disclaimer below). With free prime shipping, and double dipping with cashback and miles (i’ll post on that later, under Recoup), no brainer. He chose the same brand, size, and style as mine. It was actually cheaper for him on Amazon by a dollar and change (you know I liked that!).


Back to the shoes…

In general, I would say most people should not need more than 3 pairs of shoes, 4 if you are a shoe-a-holic.  Yes, that does include the pair you wear to the airport.

For this trip I have:

  1. Flip flops- one pair. I use them around the resort/condo, in the shower, pool, beach.
  2. Tennis shoes, again practical for hikes, excursions, airport travel, etc.
  3. The bonus shoe. For this trip, it’s a dress sandal since it will be warm. Other times for cold weather trips, this shoe has been a closed toe low calf boot.

The key is finding shoes that are universal to your outfits. Speaking of…


This will vary depending where you are going. For this trip, I know it will be warm weather most of the time. The exception is Brisbane evenings or early mornings which will be cool by a Southern Cali gal standards (low 50’s). Ha!

I prefer choosing hotels or condos with a laundry unit inside, or at the very least on premises! This allows me to wash clothes and not carry so much stuff! I have a washer and dryer in both places I’ve booked for this trip. This is also great with time differences when you can’t sleep- be productive and do a load!

  1. Two pairs of jeans
  2. Two Sweat pant/ or yoga style pant
  3. 2 pairs of shorts (1 for the pool/beach, 1 for pajamas)
  4. 2 swimsuits (I prefer two, in case one doesn’t dry all the way).
  5. 3 dresses (light), for the pool, dinner, etc
  6.  Shirts, 6 shirts (3 t-shirt style, 2 long sleeve/sweater style for cool evenings, 1 dress)
  7. Underwear! Always pack 1 more than half the time of your longest stay (because you have a washer and dry, and the pair you wear there!). This includes socks, etc.
  8. 2 pjs.

Accessories: I’m minimal with them

  1.  Hat- we all have hat hair days.
  2. 1 scarf
  3. Jewelry: I only travel with the cheap stuff. I used to work in fine jewelry many moons ago and saw many a repair and crying wife over lost diamonds.
  4. DO NOT WEAR DIAMONDS IN THE OCEAN, POOL, ETC (they can and will become loose, you shouldn’t even wear them to bed or shower-FYI). I recommend you don’t take them at all. Especially engagement rings. If you want to flash, buy a fake ring. However, for safety and practical reasons I recommend a plain band.
  5. If you do take your engagement ring, CALL AND GET IT INSURED BEFORE. That way if it’s lost, stolen, etc., you will be covered.

Bed & Bath products

Only take what you need, this can be hard for some. If your stay is really long (like a month or more) then, buy essentials there. Only take deodorant and toothpaste (and specialty items you are particular about).

Short stays: I refill my 3 oz bottles and keep a mega stash of mini products from hotel stays, etc.

  1. Shampoo/Conditioner (I’m brand picky), and hairband/brushes, etc
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Mini mouthwashes
  4. Deodorant
  5. Sunscreen- Biodegradable, and Reef/Ocean Safe.
  6. chapstick
  7. bug repellent- I refuse to be a buffet
  8. unscented lotion- again, I refuse to be a buffet (I recommend no scented Items)
  9. Vitamins and/or medications as needed.

I know when you saw “bed” in the subheading you were like: bed? Yes, bed! I like to take my own pillow cases. Again, we all have our own particulars. –I see you judging .

Passports, Visas, and Paperwork


Australia requires a visitor visa. I have a print out of all that paper work.

Passports: Not getting very far without it!

All my activities and a full “type A” personality folder of all excursions in order, with an excel sheet calendar on top (yes, I said that in one breath).

If you are a U.S. citizen register with the state department when traveling out of the country. If something happens, they know you are there and where to find you! They’ll also email you alerts about the area: See here

I think that’ it! My husband carries most of the tech stuff, so he has a portable charger and his kindle. I have my laptop: It’s a small laptop and weighs 2 pounds (and has a universal charger already)!

Now, I can hurry up and wait for these few days to pass by.

What do you pack for warm trips? Do you think you could ‘survive’ on a backpack alone for luggage? What are some of your travel must haves?

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2 thoughts on “Let’s go…But first, packing…

  1. Pingback: I’m too scared to travel… – Recoup and Conquer

  2. Pingback: Recoup and Conquer list – Recoup and Conquer

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