When I wrote up my packing list for my trip to MSP, I was surprised to find many others were also into minimalist packing. In 2014, either TheHusband and I or myself and a few girlfriends, are planning a trip to UK/EU for a few weeks. These packing run throughs are perfect practice to prep for those trip(s) as I never ever want to have a 67lb bag snapping at my ankles again.
Notes from MSP
When I flew to MSP on the morning of March 19th, Grand Rapids was being kissed by a blizzard. This changed my shoe options as originally I was going to go with a pair of wellies and pack my Docs in the carry on. Instead, I busted out the winter boots I had just bought for next year and wore those instead. The catch with the winter boots is they require me to sit down and untie several rows to slip off whereas I could just slip the wellies off while standing with little trouble. I walked around in my socks quite a bit for this trips.
However, getting through TSA was awesome! Flying through GRR has the big advantage of short TSA lines and easy drop off/pick up. Even with the swapping of wellies to snow boots, I merely used five bins to unpack my laptop, iPad, boots, belt, coat, and bags to push through the scanner. From drop off to gate was completed in under 10 minutes. The bag fit perfectly in the overhead compartment and the messenger slide with ease under the seat before takeoff and could be easily reachable after.
Upon arrival to MSP, not having to pick up luggage at the luggage carousel when we landed was startling at first because this is what I was so used to doing. After getting over myself in a few seconds, I was out of the airport and into a cab in short order.
Here are additional thoughts on the process:
- The 3D Organizer Cube was not quite big enough to host all the items that fit into a quart plastic bag. TheHusband kept insisting that as the cube is wider and has more depth (plus it was designed with TSA in mind for the 3-1-1 purpose), it should hold the exact same amount as the quart plastic bag I grabbed from our kitchen and measured. He was wrong. I opted then to use the 3D Organizer Cube to hold random toiletries such as tissue, wipes, and eyebrow scissors and kept the quart bag for the pure liquids, such as shampoo, body soap, conditioner and etc.
- Make up bag was carried in my messenger bag, such as it was my purse for the trip and there was no qualms either in MSP or GRR going through TSA. But I’ve heard make up is hit or miss depending on what airport and TSA agent you get. Your mileage may vary.
- What to put in the quart bag became the question of the ages and didn’t leave me with a lot of options for mixing, primarily with the fact I use three separate lotions (face, hand, body) and could only take one. I opted for body, which didn’t work well for my face. I need to reconfigure this bag.
- Pete unrecommended the often told recommendation of scouting out local places to go to buy toiletries when you arrive rather than packing them up. And I have to say, I agree. In the US, hotels typically have shampoo, conditioner, body soap, and lotion in the rooms easily available.
- The Packing Cube Shoulder Bag was a great idea to use as a smaller purse, while doubling as a packing cube, but I never got around to using it as a bag. I did like the idea of using it for unmentionables for packing which then the cube could be re-used to store dirty laundry.
- I left my wallet behind and put my cards and cash in the teal clutch, which worked great and was less bulky (and streamlined two items into one). This was also helpful when going out in the evening, I only had to grab the clutch and go. I also left behind the sunglasses, since it was not going to be particularly sunny in MSP and this saved space as well.
- I packed two journals (one for personal, one for work) and my pencil-case. I <3 my pencil-case but I only needed a few pens, pencils, and my good fountain pen and sharpie or two and a flash drive. Leaving the case behind would free up more space. I could also leave one of the journals behind.
- I like the messenger bag quite a bit and some of the smaller pockets on the outside were perfect for packing up small cords, ear buds, and other small items. For some reason, I really miss the fact there is a giant zipped inside pocket. Now granted, this area would be where I would put the smaller things just mentioned but I like having a large zipped pocket to keep things safe(r).
- Should have brought a paper book with me, which I’ll do next time. While the flight is short, much of the time was spent with no electronics in effect for take off and landing, and I should have brought a book with me. I picked one up at MSP airport on my way out-of-town and now will be packing a book with me with all travel.
It took a single flight for me to fall in love with the new to me concept of traveling minimally. Overall, I feel this was super successful experiment.