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March 5, 2018

3 weeks in a gym bag

You guys didn't think you'd get away without another long-ass packing post from me did you? As some of you might know, I have this bizarre love of packing as lightly as possible for trips. So here is the latest edition, with even more detail than usual.

Image sources at Polyvore. Note that these aren't the exact items I own.

This time will be a (relatively) uncomplicated trip. I'm going to be flying into London and staying for a few days to do a work related course, then heading to Morocco for 2 weeks on a tour, then back to London for another two days before flying home. I've been anxiously following the weather happenings in London but it looks like by the time I get there later this week it should be a bit more reasonable (phew). The weather in Morocco looks like it'll still be pretty mild, about low to mid 20s, and my activities there will be mostly walking around medinas and a few short hikes (hence the sneakers).

I'm going carry-on only again, and swapping my beloved backpack for a gym bag. My backpack is really good for trips where I will be carrying a fair weight and making lots of transfers on public transport, e.g. city hopping in Europe. But if that doesn't apply, it's actually a bit more trouble than it's worth. The harness system is bulky and adds quite a bit of weight. It's technically slightly too big for a carry on, so I always stress that airlines will make me check it at the gate. My day bag is another backpack, which means I have to wear it in front when I've got my main backpack on, so I look like a total dork and a walking target. So this time I thought I'd trial a gym bag, which I picked up for $15 from Kmart. It's about 30L (my backpack is 45L), and I'm quite pleased with it - it's very light, not structured (so it collapses when it's not filled) and seems to be well made. I'm not the biggest fan of the colours, but I guess it'll be easy to differentiate from other bags.

Here's how I'm packing everything - packing cubes. I never saw the light until my last trip, when I picked up a packing cube from Daiso and it changed my life. They have a little bit of a compressive effect and just keep everything so organised. I have one packing cube for my outside clothes and one for my underwear and PJs (which will be a t-shirt and leggings that I could wear out and about if in a pinch). The orange drawstring bag is for my sneakers and flip flops. The pink case you might recognise if you were an Australian girl coming of age in the 00s - I'm staying true to its original purpose and using it for my menstrual products (I wouldn't bother if I were just going to London, but I'm not sure if they would stock what I like in rural Morocco). The other zippered case is my first aid kit, which this time includes antibiotics for traveller's diarrhoea (I learned the hard way). I'm putting my toiletry-related things, like my razor and toothbrush, in a net bag this time, so everything can dry after use.

Here's it all packed, with room to spare. The gym bag only has one extra pocket, so I'm stowing my small things in that one and everything else into the main compartment - which is okay, because it's all in the packing cubes. I'll be wearing my jeans, cardigan and scarf on the plane, and in my Kanken I'll have my parka, camera, liquids and documents.

Now that I've had a week and a half off work to relax and have my packing situation sorted, I'm ready and excited to go! I'm flying out on Wednesday. I probably won't post again before that, so see you guys when I get back!

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