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Packing report: just back from 2 weeks in Puerto Vallarta

What a fun trip! Spent two weeks with my husband, mother, and two of our adult children in three condos. We were there from 12/16 to 12/30. I have always enjoyed reading other people's packing reports, so I thought I would post my own.

On the plane, I wore or carried:

  • long yoga pants
  • compression socks
  • Adidas terrex shoes
  • wicking sports bra and panties
  • tank top
  • lightweight hoodie
    • lightweight puffer (it was cold when we left and returned to SeaTac) This had gum, glasses, my hydroflask, phone, and passport in the zipper pockets.

My carryon is relatively standard. Packed to the gills, it measured 21.5" x 10" x 14.25 " and weighed 23.0 lbs on the way home.

In it:
Shoes plastic bag:

  • 1 pair sandals (on my first full day, 12/17, I got a blister on the bottom of my foot that formed and popped on a short walk to the store). I did not wear these again until dinner 12/28)

  • 1 pair flip flops (I wore these to the roof top pool multiple times). I ended up wearing them in our condo most of the time because our floors got so dirty with the sliding doors open all the time. The doors opened onto the malecon and ocean. It was breathtaking and I could not bear to close them, so dirty floors were had.

Verdict: I probably did not need the cute dressy sandals.

Small unders packing cube:

  • 6 pairs lightweight panties
  • 1 bra
  • 2 pairs socks
  • bathing suit top with matching bikini bottoms and boy short bottoms.

Verdict: Only need 1 bathing suit bottom. But, I DID need a couple more pairs of socks. Since blistergate on day 1, I wore my Adidas Terrex everyday when we went out. (I may have "borrowed" a pair of my husband's sports socks) Also, I could have used a lightweight bralet to wear when I was lounging around.

Medium tops packing cube:

  • 3 lightweight cotton t-shirts
  • 1 mediumweight cotton shirt
  • 2 lightweight cotton sleeveless shirts
  • 1 cami with built-in bra
  • 1 jammie shirt (nightmare before christmas - we took a group picture, lol)

I wore all of the above a lot! I also had 2 dressier sleeveless tops that I did not wear once.

Verdict: Did not need the dressier tops with the style of this trip. I would swap out the mediumweight cotton shirt for another lightweight, wicking shirt instead.

Large bottoms packing cube:

  • 1 32 degree lightweight dress (perfect for lounging around and as bathingsuit cover up)
  • 1 sleeveless dress (wore it to dinner at Cafe des Artistes)
  • 1 maxi dress (wore it to Rythm of the Night)
  • 1 jammie bottom (nightmare before Christmas)
  • 3 yoga style capris
  • 2 Eddie Bauer capris

Verdict: I wore the yoga capris almost every day and mostly just the black and gray, not the patterned. I only wore one pair of the EB capris. Also, I could have left either the sleeveless dress or maxi dress at home.

Stuffed in the odd spaces:

  • my "Jeep" baseball hat for days I don't want to deal with my hair
  • a string bag
  • 3 souvenir t-shirts for family/friends

Front pocket "pharmacy":
immodium, pepto, bandaids, nailclippers, file, ibuprofen, cold medicine tablets, moleskin, benadryl tablets, cough drops (I know it's ridiculous, but everyone in the family needs different things and I'm the pack mule for them.) Most used were immodium, pepto, and ibuprofen.

So, for the carryon bag,

  • I would ditch the cute sandals, one bathing suit bottom, 2 pairs capris, 2 dressier tops, 1 dress.
  • I would swap out 1 mediumweight shirt for a lightweight wicking shirt.
  • The "pharmacy" could be pared down.
  • I would add a couple of pairs of socks and a bralet.

Next up....the personal item

Posted by
22 posts

So for my personal item, I have a matching case that slips over the handle of the carryon. It's 11" h x 14.25" w x 6" d. Both are ugly burnt orange and black - cheap. Inside:

  • little tiny cross body bag
  • Laptop & charger
  • tablet & charger
  • a book
  • 311 bag
  • makeup bag with all the non-liquid stuff
  • bag with tea & stevia (I like chai tea and it can be hard to find)
  • 5 bags microwave popcorn for family game nights (we ended finding more easily)
  • small notebook with trip info that was important. Also used as score pad for games.
  • pens
  • wireless earbuds, case, & charger
  • kleenex
  • masks
  • clorox wipes
  • individually wrapped candy
  • sunglasses

Verdict: I need to download a few things to the tablet so I don't need my laptop or a book. Also, I didn't need that many masks. I only wore them on the way down and home. I was happy to mask due to the way people were coughing, sneezing, and on one flight, a lady was violently vomiting in the back bathroom. I felt bad for these sick people and I know how miserable it is to be unexpectedly ill on vacation. That said, masks are readily available now and if you are sick, you should be masking - I DON'T WANT YOUR GERMS! Sorry, rant over.

Anyway, we all did carryon only and it was nice not to have to wait at baggage claim.

Posted by
7243 posts

Thanks for sharing your packing report! I always enjoy seeing what other people decide for their space & suitcase weight.

Your list reminded me of something that I should consider packing for our next trip, going in the winter. Not planning to bring my normal couple of dresses for the day or for going out, but it would be nice to have my black comfortable short sleeve cotton t-shirt midi dress to relax in our apartments.

Posted by
2710 posts

Thanks for posting your packing list. I always pick up ideas from others’ experiences, what worked and what didn’t.

Posted by
206 posts

Thanks for the report. Sorry you had blister issue, that sucks-and right out of the gate, too. I’ve been there. Not nice!

Did you do sink laundry or just bring it home?

Were you glad to have your hydroflask or would you get bottled water next time?

Posted by
5580 posts

At Jean, one of the times we've been in Europe in January, I bought a short sleeved black swing dress. I brought it because it packs small and intended it with cardigans and leggings. I ended up putting a off white or gray LS top under it and then a cardigan. It looked cute even without the cardigan. The dress ended up being one of my most used items.

Posted by
22 posts

Did you do sink laundry or just bring it home?

Were you glad to have your hydroflask or would you get bottled water next time?

I did laundry once in a machine, balcony dried it. I was glad to have the hydroflask since we had 5 gallon water jugs in the condo. I could just fill and go. That said, I probably won't take it with me to Budapest in 3 months due to the weight restrictions on Lufthansa and Condor. Plus, I'm not worried about potable water there.

Posted by
405 posts

Thanks for the packing report, sciencegrrl. I always think clothes and shoes are the easy part. But the odds and ends of electronics and what-if meds always have me feeling like I need to cut something back, but what!?! I also travel with bag of tea bags. It’s always good to hear how others handle it.