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England-Scotland_Ireland Spring Packing Report

I know packing posts are popular on here, and I spent a LOT of time reading all of the amazing advice and discussions about bags, shoes, and jackets. That said, I’m probably going to lose my ‘light packer’ sticker for this trip.

Baggage:

Eddie Bauer Expedition 22 Duffel 2.0 in Thyme

Large Travel Backpack for Women (Amazon)

Travelon cross-body purse

Although I could have taken my duffel on the plane, I chose to check it since my husband was checking his luggage anyway - he had a similar rolling duffel but larger.

Packing List:

Clothes:
4 short-sleeved tech t-shirts (Eddie Bauer)
2 long-sleeved tech t-shirts (Eddie Bauer)
2 cotton t-shirts (white/black) (Amazon basics)
1 ¾ sleeve black tech blouse (JJill)
4 prs tech hiking leggings (Eddie Bauer, Lulu)
1 pr jeans (Old Navy)
1 silk scarf
1 cotton scarf (Eddie Bauer)
6 prs underwear (ex officio/duluth trading)
4 prs socks (Old Navy)
3 bras (2 sport, 1 regular)
Pajamas
Raincoat (REI)
Tech jacket (Kohl’s)
Sweater (Athleta)
Fleece headband/ear cover, thin gloves
Small Coach cross-body bag
Silicon ring (I switch out my engagement/wedding ring for a silicon ring on travel. Not for safety - my rings aren’t flashy! Just because my hands will swell and we are usually being pretty active).

Review:

My color palette was mostly black and shades of blue, so I was able to mix and match easily
I could have reduced the long-sleeved tech shirts to 1 with no problem, even though I reviewed the weather before we left and thought I would need 2
I could have used another pair of socks
I could have skipped the cotton scarf
Definitely did not need the fleece headband or gloves!

I wore everything multiple times, and was always comfortable temperature-wise. My underwear washed out in the sink and dried like a dream, but my socks took a while. The raincoat was wonderful for rainy days and an extra layer when it was chilly or windy. I wore the tech jacket every day, often as a sweater or indoors as well. I worked for a week in the middle of the trip, so the two extra 2-shirts, scarf, and sweater were for that week to look a little bit more put-together. On a vacation-only trip I would leave the scarf and at least one of the extra t-shirts at home.

Shoes:
Brooks running shoes
Skechers slip-ons
Sanuk flip-flops

Review:

I wore all of the shoes multiple times. I took the Skechers for the week I worked, but I also wore them in the evenings and it was nice to switch out my footwear to give my feet a break. The flip-flops were great for the hotel room and much cushier than just wearing socks.

Tech/Entertainment:

5 books, 2 hardcover (I left these at hotel desks as I finished them. I know there have been discussions about leaving things at hotels, but this felt different than old or worn out clothes. Tell me if I’m wrong.)
Journal
16 inch Macbook, with charger and air pods (for work)
Iphone
Converter w/USB plugs
Phone charger (pink with a clip to hold it together - recommend getting one that is not white or black so it stands out in hotel rooms!)
Torn-out chapters from guidebooks (also thrown out as I finished them)
Hard copies of reservations, etc (thrown out as we used them)
4 pens
2 earphones for the plane

Review:

I loved all of the books, and it was easy to make room in my bag as I finished them (I finished them all and ‘had’ to buy 2 more!). The computer was the heaviest item and the most annoying, but I had no choice.

Continued Below!

Posted by
75 posts

Continued:
Toiletries:

Shampoo and Conditioner (2 oz each, from previous hotel stay)
Hand cream x3 (0.5 oz Body Shop, 0.5 oz Cath Kitson, 1 oz Aveda. I live in the desert. I may have overestimated my moisturizing needs)
Small razor (Venus mini)
Body pouf
Shower gel (2 oz, body shop)
Toothbrush
Travel toothpaste (crest)
Sunscreen (Banana Boat, 1 oz)
Foot cream (0.5 oz, Burt’s Bees)
Eye drops (0.5 oz, Walmart brand)
2 emery boards
Tweezers
Nail clippers
Deodorant (Arm and Hammer, full size)
30 count facial wipes in grapefruit (Burt’s Bees, 5 oz)
Mario Bedescu facial spray (2 oz)
Dry shampoo (Not your mother’s, 2 oz)
All of the above fit in a Vera Bradley mid-size toiletries bag

Make up:

Neutrogena tinted moisturizer with SPF (1 oz)
Clinique moisturizer (0.5 oz)
Elf eyeshadow palette, small
Elf concealer (0.07 oz)
Cover Girl clean mascara
Nivea tinted lip balm x2
Cover Girl compact
Eyeshadow brush
Elf eye pencil
Small detangler brush
Large comb
Small perfume (Clinique Happy. 0.05 oz)
All of this fit in a small toiletry bag from Home Goods

Review:

I would have had plenty of shampoo, if my husband hadn’t secretly been using it! Otherwise, this worked out well. I wanted to run out of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and my facial wipes - and I did! I could have left the toothpaste (husband brought a larger tube), foot cream, and sunscreen at home, but I didn’t regret having them. These containers got significantly lighter as the trip went on!

Misc:

Collapsible water bottle
Sunglasses (GoodR)
1 pack Clorox wipes
1 pack WetWipes
1 pack flushable wipes
Foot relief roller ball
2 foldable grocery bags
Foldable laundry bag
Travel fan
Snacks (6 protein bars, 2 mini pringles cans, 2 breakfast bars)
10 packs of masks
Hand sanitizer (1 oz)
Mini flashlight

Review

My USB travel fan was the star of the show - it provided both white noise and air circulation in hotel rooms. Wipes of all kinds came in handy, whether I was wiping down tray tables and arm rests on planes and trains, the table at a picnic spot, or the hotel room remote control. Flushable wipes (which I would never flush in non-US plumbing!) were handy when I ran into a bathroom without paper or needed to wash my hands from something sticky. The roller ball was a huge relief after long walking days! And the foldable grocery bags were used almost daily (I had one and husband had one). I could have left the masks and water bottle at home.

Medicine:

1 small humangear tub w/ excedrin and advil for my purse
1 large humangear tub w/ my RX medications (note: my RX keep me comfortable, but don’t keep me alive. So if anything was confiscated I might get a few more headaches but it wouldn’t impact my life. I don’t recommend this approach if you have important RX)
1 large humangear tub w/ excedrin
6 Halls cough drops
3 doses of Advil cold + sinus
4 doses of Tylenol
4 bandaids
2 alcohol wipes
1 sheet of pre-cut moleskin
1 sheet of chewable pepto
2 doses of cold relief powder
RX migraine rescue meds in original packaging (they already come in a flat ziploc)

Review

I got an annoying cough while on our trip, so I needed to buy more cough drops and some cough medicine, but otherwise we, luckily, used very few medicines. All of these definitely fall into ‘better to have and not need than need and not have!’, so I didn’t mind carrying them around. I bought some rash cream (actually, diaper cream!) due to a bit of prickly heat and husband bought some additional Advil because he didn’t know I had some.

Posted by
75 posts

And finally:

Money/Documents:

I’m not a money belt person. I kept my single credit card in a pink cc holder (coach) in my purse (being pink, it was easy to spot). I had my backup credit cards in a separate cc zip (vera bradley) that had a key chain on it, so I clipped that into my bag. I had another change purse for pound and euro coins. We got cash 3 times, mostly because we needed cash for tours. Our credit cards both had the ability to tap to pay, so it was very easy and we never ran into any place where we couldn’t pay with a card (except previously stated tours).

Husband has a very small, RFID blocking card holder he kept in his front pocket. I carry my cross-body, well, across my body. I never worried about pick pockets. I did appreciate all of the different zips and holder in my purse, and used the bottle holder on the side. But I didn’t need a purse so large or heavy, and next time would take something smaller and lighter.

Overall:

My checked bag (again, could have been carry on) weighed about 22 pounds. I had no trouble slinging it into the top luggage rack on trains and walking for up to 1.25 miles with it. I was very happy with how the wheels held up and its ability to stay upright on 2 wheels. My backpack was great but dangerous - it was so big it made me want to overpack. I tried to keep the weight down on that.

I probably could have shaved off 1 pound by removing the items I listed above. Had I not had to work, I could have shaved off quite a bit of weight and room! But overall, I was happy with what I brought and the overall bulk of my luggage. All lessons learned for our trip to Iceland next summer!

I used packing cubes for organization. 1 med sized cube held all of my tops, 1 small cube held all of my underthings. A large compression packing cube held my bottoms, and 2 small compression cubes held pajamas and scarves. 2 plastic zippered airline-compliant liquids bags held my liquids/necessities for the plane (I kept one in the outside zipper of my backpack) and 1 just held miscellaneous items like pens, hair bands, chapsticks.

Bought along the way:

In addition to the medicines listed above (which I did not bring home), I also bought 2 books as I ran out of reading material. Otherwise, we kept souvenirs light and small. Husband picked up 2 t-shirts and a hat. I got two tea towels, 3 boxes of shortbread (for gifts), coasters, a pouring spoon, a small tin of fudge, a key chain, and postcards. My big purchase was a small picture of a bird painted on glass by a local Irish artist.

Posted by
198 posts

Thanks for sharing! I love learning from others' experiences. I do find it is harder to pack lightly when I am also packing for work. So glad you were pleased with your choices.

Posted by
1860 posts

I love the detail in your report. In fact, I am going to read it again to be sure I catch it all. I had never hear of Human Gear Tubbs, so thanks. I love to have plenty to read, too, but I just bring my kindle which is about the size of a paper back. I can't believe how light your main bag was with all the different outfits you managed to pack. I think maybe the leggings helped keep it light. Do you ever do laundry at a laundrette or have it done at a laundry service or do you just hand wash? Maybe I missed it, but how many days/weeks was your trip? I may print off your report and compare to what I have laid out to pack in September. I think it will help me cut some things out & remind me to pack other things. So, again, thank you.

Posted by
2857 posts

Thanks mdtraveler for your comprehensive packing list. It's always good to know what others pack and what works for them and what didn't. I always stress about packing and weight. Just when I think I have it right, I see a "shiny object" that I think I'll need. Those "just in case" items weigh me done.

Posted by
14159 posts

I love packing threads!

"I live in the desert. I may have overestimated my moisturizing needs)"

Yes, I burst out laughing when I got to this statement! And I underestimated mine! I wound up leaving out my hand cream because it would not fit in my 3-1-1 so had to buy some on the go. By the end I'd used enough of everything that I could fit the remainder in the ziplock!

I'll add that I wound up bringing 2 kinds of OTC eye drops. My regular ones and ones for allergy. Good thing because the 2nd day I managed to drop the cap to the allergy eye drops in the toilet so they were gone...ugh.... It's usually my toothbrush that I wind up knocking into the toilet but it survived this time, hahaha!

And yes, I agree with the kindle/kindle app on an iPad Mini. I like to have 4 or 5 books with me and this time I wound up checking out some from my local library on the go as well. I did buy one book from a cool bookstore in an old Victorian Railroad station in Alnwick, England but that's a Christmas gift for my brother.

Thanks for your run down!

Posted by
75 posts

Thank you all for your kind words!

I absolutely should have stated the length of our trip: 23 days. I mostly hand washed, although on Day 10 and Day 14 we (uh, and by we I mean my husband) were able to do laundry at our hotel. So that got everything clean 'for real'.