First thing is, I can't go to Bolivia without leaving behind a proper binder full of every imaginable detail--complete with color coded tabs, of course!
I got a special thrill out of labeling each and every section. Yes, I know. It's weird. But still. How can a mother not thrill to a typed up master schedule, meal plan, emergency contact information, children's insurance cards, my flight itinerary...you know, just the basics.
And then I set about packing my own things. First, I like to lay everything out to get a bird's eye view of what I'm taking on the trip.
Then I started creating my "Clothing Bundles." I really despise digging through a suitcase each day, so instead I put together one complete outfit for each day. I rolled it up tight and individually labeled it. I put together each bundle based on our agenda for that particular day; ie. on days we're traveling I made bundles with knit skirts and comfy tops, on days we're visiting developments I bundled longer skirts and blouses, on days we'll be in town I packed jeans and tops.
In a separate section of my suitcase, I created "layerables"---pieces that can be added to each clothing bundle based on that day's weather or activity (in Bolivia it's winter right now!). Here's how my entire wardrobe for the trip looks inside my suitcase (there's still plenty of room for the gifts I have for the Bolivian kids):
Believe it or not, I'm thinking about re-doing the whole thing to see if I can fit it inside one carry-on suitcase. I think I can do it. My carry-on holds my toiletries, medications and protein bars. I just might be able to fit my Clothing Bundles if I cut back on a couple things. Here's the carry-on right now:
The benefits of packing everything in a carry-on would be:
- No lost luggage
- Less wieldy (especially since I'm responsible for hauling my own luggage)
- Nothing leaves my personal oversight
Then again, I don't want to get stopped at the gate because my bag is overstuffed. Ha.
What do you think? Should I try to do it all in a carry-on? Or just stick with my original plan of 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on?