Packing for a long trip

The time has now come where this adventure begins and I set off to join my partner in Narita, Japan for the first leg of our journey. The thought of travelling has now become a realization and the excitement is so tremendous I cannot wait to get started! One thing is first though, the packing for a long trip has to be well thought out and calculated so I don’t take too much – which is quite something for me. I really have battled in the past to pack light!

After some extensive research on “How to pack light” from some very helpful bloggers and the wonderful Pinterest, I managed to pack rather well actually! Advice from traveled friends and assistance from bloggers’ posts and videos has been such wonderful training that I am proud to say I made it way under the legal travel allowance! Because I am staying longer in Narita, Japan than the average holiday, I packed to check a bag in. Although this bag was substantially under the required weight for check in bags, I was quite content with the job I did as I know that I will be taking a bunch of gifts back home to family and friends!

So first thing is first, you will need a bag! Luggage can be super expensive in South Africa and especially if you are looking at getting the very light weight luggage, the prices tend to get more expensive! I stuck to my old material bag (so old I can’t the brand label anymore unfortunately!). It is a lovely blue colour though, which it is easy to identify when on the baggage carousel!

bag, travel
My Travel Bag

Then you will need to lay your clothes out to make sure you have the right amount of clothes for the time you will be in your destination. A big tip I was given was to coordinate the clothes to a minimum and to very neutral colours so that pants and tops can be mixed and matched throughout the stay. As I am going into Winter in Japan, warm clothes are obviously a must!

Lay out your clothes to ensure nothing is missing

I packed one really good feather down jacket from First Ascent with a great hoodie and little thumb loops / cuffs so that no cold air sneaks up the sleeves. Quite an expensive purchase but so worth it! Some of the bomber / puffer jackets can make us ladies rather large looking and bulky but this particular one is so nicely tailored which makes it very feminine looking.

I then packed tights and jeans, long sleeved tops, some spaghetti strapped tops, two dresses in case there is a smarter dinner out and lots of socks! You’ll see some gym gear in the picture as well, we are lucky enough to be staying in a hotel with a gym so I will be keeping up with the fitness whilst on holiday to keep off the kilos 🙂

I also packed my underwear into two pretty little underwear bags so that they don’t get ruined.

Start by laying down the longer clothes at the bottom of the bag

There are a few options to packing your bag. You can vacuum the clothes into Tevo Vac Bags which lie nicely in your bag – follow the instructions on the bag by folding your clothes nicely and layer quite low in height, zip the seal and vacuum through the hole as shown.

vacuum, travel, bag
Vacuumed bag, thin and neat for packing

I tried this once and then repacked my bag by rolling up all my clothes and surprisingly found that there was more space in my bag by rolling the clothes. Although in the end, both ways are up to your preference and both will be the same weight. After rolling all my bags I had plenty space for my toiletries and of course, all the gifts to bring back!

packed, bag, travel
All packed and ready!!

With regards to toiletries and liquids, I decanted all my large bottles into smaller ones to limit the space taken up. If you can, take the lid off and cover the opening with some clingfilm and then tighten the lid back on. This will prevent the liquid from overflowing in the plane. I then put these bottles into another zipped up plastic bag or Ziploc bags just in case.

Liquids, shampoo, face wash, body wash
Liquids – shampoo, face wash, body wash

All other toiletries I packed into zip up transparent bags so I could see what was in the bag. This would be filled with things like vitamins, hair brush and anything else.

These bags can be found at Dischem
Make use of space – I put my Japanese plugs into my running shoes

I hope for those of you that aren’t professionals at packing, found this post interesting and helpful! I found all the posts I read about packing lightly were SO helpful! Especially for someone like me that over packs every time!

Just remember that you are visiting a new place so you will inevitably find items that you’d like to buy, gifts you’d like to take home and that you have to carry around your luggage so you don’t want it too heavy! By the end of the trip, you will most likely have a very full bag but at least keep it simple for the way there 🙂

Please comment below if you have any other tips I should know about or if this was helpful to you, I’d love to hear from you!





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