Monthly Archives: May 2017

Travel test run number two

We are heading to California today for my brother’s wedding. I am using it as a way to test packing.

The kids and I are all using our new bags.  I am planning on checking two bags and using one as a carry on. So, the ones that are being checked I tried to pack as much as I could into them. Originally I had started out with the three bags and a travel tote bag but then I had a realization that I could fit everything that I had in the carry on into one of the other bags, and move some of the stuff that I did not need in a carry on from that bag into another bag. That seemed to work perfect and it is one less bag to keep track of.

I packed stuff I wanted to test out. I bought two large size travel towels. They really don’t take up much space in the bag. I am also planning to use one as a blanket on the plane since I get cold.  I also packed the camera and mini-tripod to see how that works. I packed my daughter’s binoculars as I plan to bring them to the big trip and wanted to make sure they would fit. The only thing I did not pack that I wanted to pack was my daughter’s camera…it is slightly on the large side but I am confident I have enough space.

I am trying out a new black fleece that I bought two months ago. I wanted a jacket that I could wear under a shell, but I also wanted something that was dressier than my normal fleece. So I will see if I like it. Hopefully I do as it will be my essential piece for my luggage this summer.

One thing I realized while I was packing for this trip is that I need more packing cubes. I love those things. They are so convenient and I recommend them especially for little items. Granted you could use ziplock bags but the cubes are so convenient.

I am also NOT going to be packing our snow pants. You can rent them at ski resorts in New Zealand and we will only ski once. They will take up too much space in our bags to only wear once. When I pack in a couple of months I will have to reread this post and remind myself NOT to pack them.

So, we shall see how the next five days go and what my thoughts are after that.

Categories: Luggage, Packing Light | Tags: | Leave a comment

Paralysis by Analysis

I am reconsidering our North Island itinerary – again 🙂

Right now we fly into Wellington, then spend two nights in Tongariro National Park. Then two nights in Whakatane and then three nights in Auckland before we return home.

Now I am considering revising that so we spend three nights at Taupo and four nights in Auckland. With our current three nights in Auckland it actually only leaves us two days to sight see in that area. I would love to visit some of the islands close to Auckland via ferry, and also “see” Auckland. But with our current itinerary we only have one day to do each of those things.

Second, if we cut out Whakatane, that is one less check-in and check-out that we need to do.

Third, we could stay at an apartment instead of a hotel like we are currently booked in. I was checking out the cafe prices at the hotel we are booked and and they are taking advantage of guests with their prices – $20 for a burger….so if we were in an apartment in a town we could either cook or get a reasonably priced meal.

Fourth – with an apartment it means the most nights we will be without having access to a laundry machine is two…where as right now there are potentially four nights where we have no laundry facilities in our place.

Downside is if we switch to Taupo we have more driving to do our first day on the North Island, but we are closer to other places the days after. It would be our longest driving day of the whole trip (around five hours, not including stops).

So, I will most likely change the itinerary around – I am just waiting to find out about an apartment in Taupo that I am interested in.

*** UPDATE: I did switch our itinerary around and now I feel good about it. I just wasn’t getting a warm fuzzy feeling before, but now I am. I also went to TripAdvisor to look up Taupo and there seem to be a whole lot of things to do in that area. ***

Categories: New Zealand, Taupo | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Travel test run number one

I headed to California this weekend for a bridal shower. I used it as an opportunity to figure out what I am bringing to Australia and New Zealand.

The “I am leaving at home” items:

One thing that I am not bringing is my water bottle. I love it because it fits 16 ounces but the water bottle I have is just a little too big to be convenient. I also have a water bottle that is collapsible and I think I may stick to bringing that one instead, if I decide to bring one. 

Another item I am no longer bringing are my travel pillows. They are ok, but not worth the valuable space in my bag when I am trying to pack light. 

I am not going to bring my travel blanket. It is not functional enough for me to carry around on our big trip. However I am always cold and I also use it as a pillow sometimes. I think instead of bringing the blanket I am investing in a sarong swim cover up. Someone suggested I look into that as I need one for Australia and I could also use it as a blanket or pillow.

I have decided to leave my running shoes behind as well. I have been thinking this past month about what shoes to pack that are comfortable and can be worn with shorts and jeans. I already know I am bringing my hiking shoes and kept thinking about bringing my running shoes. But I felt they are too similar to both need to come with me. Finally when I was shopping for a dress shoe this weekend I saw low profile casual sneakers. I am going to look for a pair that is comfortable to walk in and that goes well with the shorts and jeans I plan to bring on the trip.

The “I am thinking about it” items:

An item I am debating about bringing is a set of portable luggage wheels. On one hand, it makes it easy to carry my bag, but on the other hand it is a pain to take the suitcase off of it. The problem is the kids are not strong enough to carry their bags which do not have wheels. However, I prefer bags without wheels as it gives you more luggage space.

The “Coming for sure” items:

The new suitcase I bought worked GREAT. I love it. I love that there is a separate section for my laptop. I know when we fly out West that I am not going to check my suitcase, but will check the kids. I plan to mix our clothes between the three suitcases in case something happens to our baggage. Then we are not stuck with no change of clothes for a few days. But I need to figure out how I will carry my work laptop for our shorter flights. Those flights we will need to check bags as the planes will be smaller. 

I bought a travel cooler for Christmas as my daughter and I have a severe wheat allergy. I tested this out on my quick trip. It was ok…it is something I will need for sure on our 15 hour flight, but on our smaller flights I think I will be checking it. 

I also used my travel purse. I wanted a travel purse that would be big enough to hold my daughter’s iPad mini and this one can fit it. The only problem I had with the purse was it had too many pockets! I guess that is a good thing. I need to start figureing out where I will put everything.

I am debating purchasing a book bag for myself that would fit my computer. When we travel my husband always steels my backpack and uses it for his laptop. My son also has a book bag and I am trying to keep our bag count down, so I may just use his book bag instead of purchasing one for myself. Perhaps that way I can tell him that he and his sister can bring a carry on but it needs to fit in that bag AND I need to be able to put my work computer in it on the smaller flights. The work computer is something I cannot and will not check.

A pair of super warm and comfortable socks for the flight. I only had my low ankle socks on my trip. I really could have used some larger socks for the flights. 

I am heading out to California again in 16 days for the wedding, so I will have a chance to refine my packing again 🙂 This time the kids are coming so I can see how much of a pain it will be if I don’t bring a set of luggage wheels. Stay tuned for more updates!

Categories: Airplanes, Packing Light | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.