Unlike my preparation for previous holidays, this holiday I haven't really started packing as early. I'm definitely the sort of person who likes to take everything and the kitchen sink with me, certainly not a minimalist traveler, so packing can be problematic.
As a consequence, I usually start packing a week or two before and then whittle it down as the day of departure approaches. This year, I haven't actually got around to doing that. I did empty my wardrobe of all the things I wanted to take a few days ago and left them in this pile for several days before going back to them.
Anyway, Sunday afternoon I got serious about packing again. We'd been out and bought any last minute necessities and I had washed and ironed virtually everything I wanted to take, so I had no more excuses.
I sifted through the remaining drawers and cupboards and pulled out everything I thought I wanted to take with me and then started the process proper of whittling it down to essentials only. Quite a few things found their way back into the wardrobe, but even then, when I finally wrote out the list of what I had with me, it seemed pretty extensive.
Bearing in mind that my suitcase is slightly smaller and not expandable like the one I donated the other week, I had to be a little more selective. In addition, it was going to be pretty hot and humid in Florida, but with a chance of thunderstorms, so I had to make sure I was taking the most suitable things for the climate.
I'm really not a big fan of packing (who is?), but an hour or so later and I think I had the suitcase sorted at least. Here's picture of it packed and ready to go. Just my toiletry bag to add in and I'm there.
As usual, I'm wearing my heaviest clothes to travel in. Sweat pants, trainers, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt. I'm taking a set of work out gear (hence the trainers), as there is a small gym in our condo and in case I can catch a class somewhere. Alternatively, as they are plain black harem pants, sports vest and a t-shirt, I can wear them as normal day wear too.
Here's a list of what I eventually settled on for our two week stay. I've divided it into day wear, night wear, beach, other.
1 beach towel
4 pairs beach shorts
4 beach vests
2 beach dresses
2 beach cover up tops
1 pair beach shoes
2 pairs flip flops
1 bikini top and 2 bottoms
3 Swimming costumes
1 pair day shorts
2 pairs denim shorts - one long, one short
2 pairs of leggings, one cropped, one long
2 pairs of hareem pants
1 pac a mac
1 lightweight sweatshirt
2 pairs of skater shoes
1 pair of black skinny jeans
4 pairs of trousers
1 lightweight black kimono jacket
1 lightweight sweater
1 small handbag
1 pair of sandals
2 pairs of socks
6 pairs stud earrings
Our apartment does have a washing machine and dryer I can use, which will be helpful and I am taking some travel wash to wash out swimming wear and other small items if necessary, so I think I'm set. I could probably halve the things I'm taking, but I do like to have a bit of choice. I may remove a few more things before our day of departure, but for now I'm pretty happy with what is in there and it fits pretty well.
The case itself (please excuse the dust on it) has 6 pockets around the outside, 4 small ones on the sides (the top one in this photo has a broken zip, so can't be used) and two large ones on the front. As a consequence, it is pretty roomy and I can compartmentalise things a bit, so I can get my swimwear out easily without unpacking everything. This will be useful as we have one night in Miami before we head off to our apartment, where we'll be staying for a week.
Mine is the only large suitcase in our party, which is a little embarrassing, as it is filled with all my own stuff. I would dearly love to be able to get my holiday packing down to one carry on, but my carry on suitcase is very small (18") and just not big enough for a fortnight. I live in hope of reducing it down. I think that the next time I do buy a suitcase I will purposefully buy a slightly smaller one to force myself to cut down on what I take.
I'll post again before we go about my carry on luggage.