Houston, One bag only – how did I do?

You might remember that due to a loss of luggage on my US trip in 2014, I decided to go carry-on only this time around (at least on my way to the US 😉 ).

I got all my shit, sorry stuff, all tucked into one carry-on + a handbag, and onwards to Houston I went.

How did I do with the stuff I packed? To much? To little? Just enough?

I have this dream to one day travel with so little that it will all go into a small bag/backpack. I dream of being able to just saunter over to catch that bus/train/flight, having people wonder where my luggage is, because it couldn’t possible be just that small backpack I’m carrying…

With this unrealistic goal in mind, I was sure I had packed way too much. Well! Guess, what.. I’m obviously so far away from that goal, that it’s not even funny, as I used almost everything I had packed!

So why don’t we just get to it, the good, the bad and the… 😉


Never used – the grey stuff ! 
Turns out the weather was a bit colder than I had anticipated, and I never really got to use the summer clothing that I thought I would live in 😦 That left my thin long sleeved shirt and tank tops firmly tucked away.

For some reason or another, I ever opened my book or used my packable shopping bag.

Will I keep them on my list for future trips? Well, yeah, duh… I live in tank-tops and thin shirts when the temperature is right. Book(s)… off course, I can’t travel without a book or two.. that is just not done 😉 And that tiny packable shopping bag, will come in handy someday, I’m sure! (I use it all the time when I’m at home! )

The used stuff – The rest of the list I used, but there are room for adjustments! this is when I need to explain the yellow stuff!

1 nice top – used once – not because I needed to, but because I wanted to, since I had packed it after all. Could have done without, as I had a nice t-shirt I could have used instead.

Shorts – used once – really too cold, could have just as easily stayed in jeans that day – but will off course, always be part of my summer list of things to bring.

Swimwear – I brought a pair of swim shorts in addition to my bikini, I did use it for three minutes the one day I was hanging around a friends pool, but I could have very well done without it. Will I bring it in the future? I think it depends where I’m going, for how long and how much I’ll be in the water.

Fleece – used only once or twice – turns out I used my “nice fleece” most of the time, and my “nice fleece” would probably have been enough – even though it was great not having to worry about my clothing when I was climbing a tree at Brazos bend 😉

Rain jacket – never used – but I could have needed it, on my trip to the beach, if I would only have remembered to toss it in the car – it was freaking freezing 😦

Thin outer jacket – only used on my travel days, to and from Houston – could probably have managed without, as I could have used my super thin rain jacket instead.

Shoes – I brought 2 pairs, one pair of Eccos that I’m testing to see if I can use, as my one pair only, for travel + I brought a pair of light runnings shoes, as I thought I would be doing a lot of walking due to me not having a car. Turns out, my Eccos would have been enough, which was great to find out, as this has been my ultimate goal. One pair of shoes + sandals/flip flops will be my staple going forward.

Sunglasses – I alway bring two pairs, one for light sun, one for heavy sun – I think I really should consider getting a pair that adjust according to light, as it’s a pain carrying two, especially since I only used one of the pairs 😉

A note regarding Ipad/Laptop – I know a few of you wondered about me bringing both laptop and Ipad on my trip, and I want to clarify! Most of the time I bring only my Ipad and Iphone, but this time around I had intentions on spending time on my blog and some other computer stuff.

Yes, but still..  (you might say) – you can do a lot of blog stuff on the Ipad! And to that I say, yes, I agree.. but as my ipad is a mini and it’s nice to have a proper screen for serious work, you can see why I choose to bring my super thin and light laptop that weighs only 2,5lbs. 🙂

You’re wondering if I needed to do a lot of laundry to get by? Not really, I had my t-shirts washed once and had a couple of washes on undies and socks. The rest of the stuff lasted until I got home.

Coming home
So how did I do on my return trip? Did I manage to squeeze it all into my carry-on only? Well… no, I did not. Mostly because I had bought a few things on this trip. Some stuff for me (things I had ordered online, that was waiting for me at my friends place) and stuff for my friends. So returning from Houston I checked my small carry-on suitcase and a extra bag + carried a small backpack as my carry-on.

The stuff I bought?

Some jeans and t-shirts, margarita mix for me and my friends, beef jerky, Moleskine journals and some craft items (for a future project), some “flip flops/sandals” and bags for use on future travels (I will tell you all about these items shortly).. hm what else.. nope I think that was it 🙂

Future trips
I realise I still have ways to go, to get down to my backpack only luggage. I’m sure I will reduce my list as I move along, and I’ll most likely start moving into carrying less while washing more, somewhere along the line.

I know I will get there in the end, and can’t wait to test this out even more, on my next trips. A long weekend to Copenhagen in June and one to Italy in July.

And guess what, you’ll continue to be in my loop, as I whittle down my packing list 🙂

Any suggestions on what not to bring (beside PC) on my next trip?

13 thoughts on “Houston, One bag only – how did I do?

  1. Looks like you did pretty darn good. There is always a toss up between being prepared for the “just-in-case” incidents and only bringing things that will actually be used…
    If I were to cut down from your list, I would decrease the number of t-shirts, perhaps it is about bringing a total of 5 tops… including tank tops? So if it is going to be hot, you pick more tank tops, and if it is cooler, more t-shirts? And then limit the number of warm outer layers and jackets…
    I’ll do a similar post soon from my trip and you will see I probably packed more than you, so don’t think that I actually follow my own advice. Ha ha! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am working my way down to hopefully no more that 4 or max 5 “tops” including t-shirts, tanktops, shirts and sleep t-shirt. And when it comes to outer layers/outware I’m hoping to get down to one fleece and one wind/rain jacket, and that’s it (we’ll see if that works out 🙂 ) And hopefully on pants only one pair of jeans + shorts (weather depending)… not there yet, but…

      I’m already practising for my long weekend trips and did a pretend packing the other day.. guess what.. I got it all into a 16,5 litre backpack.. woohoo.. now we will just have to see if I manage to stay in that little one for my actual trip 😉


  2. Good job! I bought a Swiss Army backpack that fits into its own pocket at Walmart for less than $15 a few years ago. That is my optional shopping bag. I bring it empty and folded and use it on day trips and fill it up with extra souvenirs on my return trip. It then becomes my carry-on purse.


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