Tomorrow is the day! After a crazy year of school, starting my business and a big career change, my husband and I are finally taking some down time and going on vacation. Tomorrow we catch our flight and head to Las Vegas for a week of sunshine, cold drinks and good times!
As I recently shared on my social media accounts, we are flying with Spirit airlines. Sure, their flights are DIRT CHEAP – but are they really? The price of the flight alone is great, but they make up for it with the additional fees associated with everything else. There is one ‘personal item’ included with the cost of your flight (restricted to 18” x 14” x 8” including handles and wheels), but beyond that there is a charge associated, and not a small one! For me to bring one bag along with me the cheapest option was going to cost me $40 each way!
Now I’m the kind of person that is always up for a challenge. This is no different. Spirit is challenging me to fly with them without paying a ton of additional fees, and I quickly became hellbent determined I was going to make it work so that the only bag I needed for a full week in Las Vegas was something that qualified as a ‘personal’ item.
I posted the following image on all my social media accounts, and promised I would update all of you on my blog either to share my success and how I made it work, or to discuss why I couldn’t pull it off.
Well here’s the update: I did it! My bag is packed, and I am ready to fly out. One week worth of luggage including anything that I would have otherwise carried in my purse for that time, all packed into a bag that measured 15”x11”x5.5”. I thought that this was going to be a challenge, but it actually worked out easier than I was expecting!
I started with a list – everything in my life starts with a list! I don’t know if there are any ‘list people’ out there reading this, but I know you exist! I can’t be alone on this one! I have an old-school paper organizer/planner where I literally write a to do list for each individual day to keep myself organized with school, housework, my business and my extra curricular activities. I fully believe I would quickly become overwhelmed without it!
I gathered up everything I thought I would need, every item on the list, and sorted it all out on my dining room table. Once I had it all in one place (I am a visual person) I then took the time to re-sort it. Its funny, on paper it looked like I was including the pare minimum, but in person with it all in front of me I could see I had enough outfits to stay an extra couple days if I had wanted to! This was the biggest struggle of it all – after I finally got it whittled down to what I actually needed I was ready to start packing.
Quick Tip: When you are trying to pack for a flight like this, even what you choose to wear on the flight itself is important! With the plan to go hiking one day I knew that a good pair of running shoes was important, and I wanted to ensure I had at least one sweater. Even if I didn’t need it the entire time I was there thanks to the warm Las Vegas weather, I was still returning to Detroit in the early hours of the morning and would want to keep warm when I stepped off the plane! With that in mind I pulled the one and only sweater I was bringing, along with my jeans (bulk and heavy compared to the other clothing options) and running shoes and sat them aside to wear on the flight.
Here are a few small tricks I discovered while whittling down the items for packing:
- Dollar stores are your friend! I did a ‘Vegas shopping trip’ to our local Dollarama where I found the small sized items for mouthwash, sunscreen and aloe, as well as the travel containers for my toothbrush, soap, shampoo and conditioner!
- Choose items that serve more than one purpose. I know that I want to spend some time by the pool, but I also want the freedom to go for a walk down the strip, or hit a restaurant for dinner. Rather than just packing a standard swimsuit cover I packed a really light sundress that doubles as both a dress to go out, and a swimsuit cover.
- Lighter weight options can make a huge difference! When I was out shopping I found a pair of khaki style capris which were made of a much lighter weight material than the pairs of capris that I already owned. These fold up into half the size of my usual pairs!
- Know what is already available when you get there. While we think ‘poolside’ and immediately our biggest, fluffiest beach towel comes to mind, that’s one item that doesn’t need to be packed! The hotel will provide us with towels. They may not be quite as soft and fluffy, but a towel takes up a lot of space in your suitcase, space I couldn’t spare!
Once it was all put together, and into the bag, I even had space to spare! Tomorrow my husband and I are off to the library to grab some light reading – Something I can kick back and enjoy instead of the textbooks that have been occupying all my time.
Are you ready to start your next light packing attempt? There are even more tips over on my previous blog post 3 Keys to Packing Light.
What are your best packing tips and tricks? Are you planning any big getaways in the coming months?