How to Pack Light for a Long Trip | Liz Erhartic | Skillshare

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How to Pack Light for a Long Trip

teacher avatar Liz Erhartic, Poet / Traveler

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Bags

    • 3. Outfits and Accessories

    • 4. Toiletries

    • 5. Extra Necessities

    • 6. Packing

    • 7. Ending Tips and Project

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About This Class

There are many ways to travel, but are you interested in traveling without a suitcase and fitting everything into a carry on bag? It can be done for long trips as well as short tips - I'll show you how, using my recent 2.5 week backpacking trip as an example.

I will go over recommended items as well as strategies and tips for travel and packing so you won't have to fear packing and traveling light.

Meet Your Teacher

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Liz Erhartic

Poet / Traveler


Hi, I'm Liz. I'm a new teacher on Skillshare. I have a couple classes up on Skillshare now, an am excited to grow my skills and trade some with you.

 My newest class, How to Pack for a Trip in Only a Carry On Bag, is available now!


Check out my first class, How to Create Blackout Poetry, as well.


Stay tuned for classes on traveling, writing, proofreading, aviation, food trucks, and civil rights programs.

See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, everyone. I'm lives. Thank you for clicking on this video. Wilson. I want to take the time today to show you how to pack and a carry on sized bag. Um, it could be for a shorter period. Or it could be for a trip that is extended to a longer period of time. I want help show you through my own. Re sent about 2.5 weeks backpacking Europe that you don't have to check a bag. You don't have to bring a big suitcase. You confess everything you need to carry on size and a personal item and still thrive still have everything you need and enjoy the trip experience. 2. Bags: So the first thing I want to talk about his bags, you need to pick a bag that's going to fit your travel needs. If you're doing a trip where you are doing a carry on and or personal items on Lee, you need to find a bag that has the right dimensions that will be allowed to be on the aircraft as a carry on bag. I did lots of research for my recent trip, and I personally chose this Osprey 40 leader bag some 40 leaders is the biggest you can get while still fitting in the overhead compartment. Um, this bag has a lot of different futures. Find whatever works for you. For me, this works because, um, it has a strap here, so get duffel, but also has a backpack strap. So I confused. It mostly carried on my back airports. I use this drop a lot, and then you can also pull this up and there's a handle that comes over and even zip this up for a duffel. Um, it has one major compartment. Pretty simple. Um, has some straps for securing items. See, the side here has a pocket where you can keep things. We had a front pocket, and then here you have a Velcro. This is, I think, advertises a laptop area. But you have that you have in zipper here, Um, and then you have this room in front of it. And then lastly, you have this pocket up here, and then I used mostly just for easy to reach items have two pockets on the front. And for me, I added a carabiner so I could hook my water bottle, strap in for sound of mind, and, um, like a shot Ends also added a look. So in addition to your major back and most airplanes, you are allowed to bring a personal life way. Got a backpack, Besser does our day pack. We were able to keep our backpacks on our hostel or Airbnb or, um, a luggage check. Sometimes they have stores. We can just go and check in your luggage. So we were mostly able to just walk around with a day pack, so we just transferred what was important for us for the day. And this is the one. It's e l C M. I promise on Amazon and this one for me because it's a good size. It's pretty Sirti. It's water resistant, not waterproof or water resistant. Um, it has a front pocket here and then is over here. But the beauty of this bag is that you can fold it into it and it's basically a purse. It has hooks here, and it does come with the straps. You can carry it as a purse. You know, granted, there's no as much room in this big pocket because most of it a pack. We could still fit something in there. And then I'm mostly used the front pocket in this pocket here for my wallet, my medication, my passport, um, my phone chopstick. So when we didn't need much, this works and my strategy personally, Wa Since I knew I wanted to bring things home and I had such a limited space, I'd make sure this was empty and folded into a purse. And when I packed it, I put it in my bag. And that way I knew that I hadn't filled my bag to capacity. And then when I came home, I had a whole extra backpack worth of things that I could bring in addition to this. So I didn't even use a personal item I didn't carry on. And the last thing I want to say about bags is when I was researching this long trip, especially, I read a ton about the beauty of packing cubes, and I would definitely agree them very helpful. I have to, um, this one fits to medium Eagle Creek, packing cubes in beautifully and there are different sizes. You can choose whatever you like, but for me, it's pretty simple. Hasn't mess. You can see what's in here and for me. I packed all my hands on one and all my shirts and bathing suit and another and then I just stopped them, vote in the bottom here, hooked them in and impact everything else around them. So that was the bulk of my my things in this packing cube because those were my office. So my bags are not waterproof, the pretty water resistant, but not waterproof. So another thing that I got was this which is the backpack cover? Um, I ordered I think the 50 leader size just because I knew I was gonna end up stuffing my backpack eventually So comes in that packet. But it's just a cover has a reflector on and you put it on the outside of your backpack. If it's raining, we definitely use this even on our smaller day pack. We put this on and I got the kind that have straps so that you strap it up, strap it across over your back to secure it. That could definitely be an issue. 3. Outfits and Accessories: so I want to cover outfits quickly. Um, you really need to look out where you're going, what the weather is going to be like. We're activity levels. Like how often you wanna wash clothes if you want to. It all. And of course, if you're doing this for an extended time, I highly recommend packing minimal amount of clothes. Um, versatile. She could make the match with your pants or your shirt's and do laundry because it's it's not too hard, and it saves a ton of room, and that's why you're able to fit everything else into your back. So for my trip, it waas. I'm beginning to mid March, and I've had, UH, three T shirts to 3/4 lings and one long sleeve T shirt. I also planned in advance to buy a shirt to you. That's pajama top, Um, and then for pants. I packed two pairs of jeans, one pair of black kind of comfortable Yobo material type pants on and a pair of leggings. And, of course, make sure that you plan not before and set out the pants Underwear. Um brought applicable shirt, jacket, shoes and socks that you're unaware on the trip there. So you really are packing everything but your travel outfit. So for me, I mentioned that I did all shirts plus a bathing suit and one and I did, um, all pants, including my socks and belts. And the other one. I want to show you, um, how to roll the clothes. I'm rolling. It really does. It really does depend if you want a fool or role for me personally, I found that ruling saved me a ton. More room. So for pants, very simple. Start from the bottom of the top. Um, and you just make a fold at the waistline with the bottom enrolled tightly until you just have it rolled up. Very simple. Then you place it and here and I had, what, £3 in here and my socks as well for a shirt. I'm taking a 3/4 length sleeve shirt that I bought. Um, put it upside down, unfold the arms and a little bit of the side just to have a nice straight edge. And then whatever side, you want to just pull it down in the exact same way. And then that goes protecting cute very easily. And then you just photo like that. Okay? Extra things that I had to have as well. A bathing suit that I also ruled I brought more socks than I needed to in terms of planning laundry. So if I had about six outfits six, I think we have six shirts and then three pairs of pants. I wore each pan twice and something my likings and T shirt I bought. So I think I brought about 10 pairs of socks. That is through those on top of the genes because they're pretty easy to fit in there. Another pants for underwear. I also do the same thing where I brought more than I need. I rolled them up and I put them in this little drawstring back, and I packed that around. I rolled up a small belt for my pants, and I put that in with my pants pants packing cube. I brought a pair of foot pops for showers and any quick run out so I might need, and I packed that and separately as well. And then, as a girl I brought to bras and a sports bra course. I wore one of them I with sports bra and I packed together around but no, really, with what you're working with was a pen don type of clothes. You bring the style, the size, the bulk and anything like that. I we were just exploring and we didn't have any fancy plans, so I really were just doing exploring clothes, and I didn't need to worry about dresses or anything like that. But do whatever fits your itinerary Also, just like everything else being up to your discussion? Um, I only brought one pair of shoes besides the foot flops I brought on these Nike shoes and they were perfect. I didn't get any blisters. I had more than previously and broken them, and they were easy to walk in which waas my priority not looking cute or having to match every single surely war. So, um, these do not get packed because I was wearing them, and the only times I carried them instead of wearing them waas when I got rained on and my socks and shoes were wet. In that case, I just put them in a plastic bag. If I needed to be own train or something and drive them out on Bond carried them in my day bag 4. Toiletries: Okay, the next single talk about his toiletries. You are 100% you're going to hear playing. Going to need a clear bag for your liquids. Um, I personally have a reasonable one from an airport convention. I went Teoh, but, um, you need you want a court size, It could be a positive value. That's what you have. They're not that picky about it. They just need to be able to see your liquids in a clear rack. So when I was traveling on airplane there and back and a couple of points in the middle, all my liquids had to be in here, so I actually packed. Besides having the packing cubes with multiple other repurposed makeup bags, Andi, they're used for different things. So this one was my toothbrush contact solution, things that I needed to get ready for bed. I had my makeup one here and shower one here. So after getting off the plane, any time I wasn't flying, my toothpaste went in here. My contact solution went in here on my liquid, uh, concealer when here as well. And they got redistributed. But everything is gonna need to fit in this bag first. so personally. Whenever, as I mentioned, I wear contacts. So I had contact solution. I actually brought two of these and I used one while I was there. Which was the plan for? On the way back, I brought a miniature about modern works lotion. Um, because I didn't mess with bringing a fragrance. So I just like a spray fragrance. So I brought pollution. I have a spray deodorant. That's what I just That's just what I use. If you bring a solid dude, right, it's fine. Compact. Normally, Um, I just do spray I. This is smoothing cream for my hair is anti for his cream. This is just a product that I personally need to be able to look, he said It isn't clear bottle. You can go to the store like target or more more and by travel sized bottles that you can fill with your own products. So that's for me. Um, I have miss and I have some texture spray as well. Um, I have a travel size toothpaste and I had three of these. I think one was new and two weren't so I used up the ones that weren't used. I have a facial cleanser, and I have a official mod exfoliator. This is something that I typically switch to my shower pack because I would use this one at night to wash my face and this one force my face when I was in the shower. I have some Cem, uh uh, face cream just for daily maintenance and skin care. And I have liquid concealer. It's the only makeup I hard that was liquid. And I had anything of hand sanitizer thought he used very often. So just make sure that you probably times what you need and you can fit in your back. Um, for makeup, I'm just generally really easy going about it. I don't worry too much. So I have my designated makeup bag. And for me personally, that meant, um, a beauty wonder or my concealer. See, I have a brush flavor, a smaller palette of eyeshadow that I didn't actually use. A small organ, eyeliner, a brow pencil of hair. Brandon here. And it's a mascara. And that's very, very small. Very compact. Two fresh and etcetera. I put my Coleman here. I picked a bag that was wide enough. That is that my toothbrush in my column. My home here. I have a toothbrush with AM travel protector on it. I brought to disposal raises like this. Got rid of one wall is over there. I brought floss. I think I use, like once, and I have a contact case for my process. Then why was traveling my contact solution and always based splitting here for shower? Um, if you notice I didn't pack any shampoo or conditioner or body wash and my liquids, Um, the reason I did this is because I was privatizing other liquids and to do so. What I did was I went on Amazon and I bought a solid bar, shampoo and conditioner, and I also used a bar soap that I got from a hotel before my body. So, um, I love thes. The brand that I got is sweet and sassy. I got the coconut smiles. It smells like lime mostly. And my friend got the Citrus one, and we both loved them. And what they did your hair. It's really simple. I'll show you the condition of our, um no one's that used, So it's going to be smaller than original, but you really just put you know, went eight. Rub it in your hair, this one at the bottom, and then the shampoo bar just off for your hair. And this way, you 100% avoid needing to have the space to pack liquid soaps. And these do last a while longer as you air them out on dry them right And they're easy, portable, Just a little messy. So here I also brought a miniature loofa that I used instead of a washcloth. Because I love the type of girl and my razor should be in here to base camp and then because it goes along with shower, I also wanted Teoh put my towel in here the time traveling that we did. We weren't staying in hotels on some of our Airbnb. He's had towels, but 11 did all the hostels did, So we bought micro fiber towels to bring pretty small. This is a regular sized bath towel. Um, it's thinner. Micro fiber dries quicker. Um, the brand that I got is euphoria outdoors. It worked really well just to show you, it just rolls up just like he rolled your clothes on roll the same way it has a snap hook that you can hang it on your show. Iraq pulled out its full size and everything. Um, I'm and it's a full size towel. Definitely did the job, and it's very travel friendly because it rolls up and compacts just like that and dry super quick. So I did most of my showers at night. But even if you're doing them in the morning, um, your towel is not gonna be a sweat as a normal cotton. 5. Extra Necessities: I want to go over the rest of what I packed. And Teoh make up bags? Um, they're just extras, but still needed. So the 1st 1 is electron ICS. Hence, why don't you bring? Of course, but there are vital things that you will need with this out here and so obviously gonna bring a phone. So you have a charger? I brought my American charger as well, But when I was overseas, I ended up losing the plot that goes into my converter, my universal corner. So I went Teoh and I style store. I went to a text or an apple retailer. Basically, um and I bought a European converter and that worked with everywhere else. I went in Europe. Um, I also brought I brought my Amazon fire tablet four books for entertainment. I watched Netflix on this. We took a lot of frame, writes I'm so I have the time for that. And it also works with this governor because it's just how the U. S. B one. That's what I made. Sure I got I brought Teoh horrible power banks so as a charger to charge them. And these were really great. If you're out all day and you might not be back to where you're sleeping for a while, especially. You can't even check in yet. Just make sure that you bring these are great investments. When you're running out of juice on your phone, you do not want to be stranded in a place that's unfamiliar to you. We use it all the time and then just charge him about I'm raw headphones. And I also brought a flashlight, just small flashlight and for flying. I took the battery out as well. And so all of the use went to this Pausch Another necessity generally is medication. This is my medication with pill bag. Um, I basically transfer this to my day pack. I carry this room with me always, because for me, I just have my anxiety medicine in it. But I think this multiple times a day and my birth control what I need every day. And in addition to those two dailies, I have my daily vitamin. I don't eat meat. So that special begin vitamin that helps you get many friends. And I have told him I actually only use this once, but it really depends. Um, I took it to slept sleep on the plane because we were going to get there in the morning with the time difference. And if I don't sleep on the plane, I was dead. So I just carried all of these around with you also for things that weren't as important to me. I've had some basically day quill pills for cold and flu. And I also, um, packed some gas X pills, just in case I didn't if using it. But I also pack some ginger Candies on, and I did use all of those. Ginger just helps with your stomach. So they were a couple of times when my stomach was just a little unsettled because I did get sick during my trip. Um, and I used my ginger juice and then, um, I also have a kind of miscellaneous little bag, and this one for me had a lot of hair bands and bobby pins. It had a small pack of Q tips. It had a no strip for me just for self self care. An extra chapstick. I had a little some met kit items in here, um, like a towelette, some cream and I had a town of Band AIDS because you don't know if you're going to be supporting its not get blisters or for had to have something else happened. So that was also an extra. 6. Packing: So I want to start packing live actor. You just just show you. And after I pack in the major things, I will be able to show you the little extra miscellaneous items I brought along as well. To the bulk of what will go in your bag will probably be your clothes for me. I removed the straps. Okay, a pack. Those packing kids and I a couple of these in as well, then it's really, um, a Tetris game. How you want to put everything in? I used my tower. That aside, I didn't have it in the beginning, but I ended up by umbrella. That one on the sides. Well, um, see, I had my back underwear. My bras went up here. Um, foot flops generally varied, but for the most part, they were here a swell. And see, um, for me an extra with my glasses. Because, as I mentioned, I have contacts in there as well. Um, I actually ended up leaving this empty because I was bringing. Why? Didn't leave empty, But I was bringing souvenirs to a friend. So that was in there. Um, and here I first of foremost packed papers and this so that included things like getting a European SIM card. And I had that in a bag. So when I when I landed in Germany, I took Think depend. I popped my phone case, open my phone open, replaces some card, had my American SIM card in here and needed to make sure that I did not lose that because that's my life. That one in here, along with some other papers. I put Mum converted currency in here when I wasn't using it when I didn't need to take full amount or, um, I want multiple places. So, you know, if I was in Hungary and use my Florence and put my euros and everything else in my bag and , you know, lock it. I also also had some other port documents, like tickets for anything that we needed. Um, Murray Eurail map and pass My passport. Um, I did not carry this around with me and left. I needed to. That was in here, along with copies of my passport and my driver's license. I had some instructions for some chiropractor exercises to do, and I also went ahead and at the strategy, I packed four things an instant oatmeal. And I did have those for breakfast one day. Um, so the rest I mostly filled with my smaller bags. I did, um, personally in bringing a set of resistance bands for exercise. Since I was being, I was gone for so long, and I was away for my gym. Um, I use those few times they don't take up much room. All those just went in there. Um, and then in terms of all of the bags you have left, its however you can play around and fill them up are generally, like, you know, like wasn't here. My shoes. One in here is a little more full for me because I have a close in there. Have you make up, um, extras Medication, shower, man, our rain cover medications, Telectronics. And then I also brought a journal for my own personal use here. I brought a couple of pens. Um, since we're pointing to laundry, have off entire, she I brought one packet of white that I used, and we also had some detergent included, and hospital did laundry at Another thing I did was I granola bars, fires and impact number one bars. He's in here. This for snacks, in case we weren't gonna eat. Didn't get chance, Teoh. Um, it's hungry in the middle of something. I also packed my tablet in here when I wasn't using it. Um, trainer plane. Um, another strategy I did was I packed for me a reasonable snack bag. Um, just, uh I got this from thrive Market. I'm sure you could get somewhere else as well. It's called Chico Bag, and it's just reusable for things that plastic. But I also brought some plastic things in case I needed to take something that I couldn't been here. I was thinking if I did a, you know, buffet breakfast, I could put an extra course on here. Something it later. Um, there was also one point where I didn't finishing my lunch and I put in a plastic bag and eat it later. So those are some other strategies as well? Um, mostly, um, I did. And here my easy grab. I had my mask. I also got an extra one. I have a pen in here. I have some chargers in here for me. Um, just, um, penny liners. A couple of tampons. You need them um, air plugs in case anything was too loud. First Aid kit. And here then I would also, if it wasn't in my day bag packed my shop sitting and I have an inflatable neck travel pillow as well. And so I blew that up when I was on the plane on a train. Put that in here for easy access. And, um, the only thing else I'm forgetting is my wallet, which would generally go in my day bag. And like I mentioned, I decided to pack my my data that I have a shrew. The last thing I added Waas ah, water bottle minds pretty big. It's 32 ounces. It is M Brava brand has a strap here that I loved has a kind of walking mechanism cover pops don't need a straw. And I put that in a pocket in my bag, strapped the water bottle into my carabiner. That way I wouldn't lose it because it is pretty big. But you just don't really know when you're gonna get water or quality. It's gonna be. And then the last thing was, we have these straps as well. So you're losing them first and then pull them to tighten them and compress everything in your bag to make it smaller, which is very important if you are traveling light and it starts filling up and you need to fill and you and overhead space. 7. Ending Tips and Project: Well, thank you so much, guys, for taking the time to watch this video and learn how to pack for an extended period of time, an extended trip and carry on Onley bag. It gives you honestly, so much freedom as well as the time you save waiting for baggage. And even though it might be a challenge to have less often options, um, it really isn't the primary focus of a trip. It's the experiences and packing light. Being able to carry everything that you have on your back, especially, um, potentially over a rolling suitcase is very freeing and makes life so much easier, especially if you're doing a trip on the go. So I hope you learned something from this. These are my personal tips and what I prioritize. So take it as you will, maybe as a guide, and figure out what your priorities are, what you need to pack and just remembered. Teoh, keep it light. You can always get something while you're over there for me. I didn't pack pajamas because I knew I was gonna buy a shirt over there. So, um, I ended up doing that in things happen as well. So I lost my poke to my converter, and I ended up having to buy a European one. Um, no big deal. I ended up getting sick, so I went to a store and buy. It's a medicine for that, um, you don't need to have everything to begin with. So again, thank you so much for watching. And, um, as a project, go ahead. If you're planning a trip, think about what you want to bring and go ahead and make that packing list. And if you are ready to pack, go ahead and take pictures of everything and, um, go ahead and post it on a project. I'm sure what your priorities are and any tips that you might have for other people to learn from a swell.