22 x 16 x 9: Tales of a disgruntled over-packer.

Hello, I'm Adrienne and I'm a chronic over-packer. I carry snacks, gum, water and Aleve on a daily basis. I usually have my camera and an extra layer to ward off the evening chill. I like to have all my things with me. I don't travel light, I travel prepared.

Now, here I am, deciding that I that SE Asia will be easier to navigate if I succumb to the airline's tiny 22x16x9 carry-on size. Le sigh.

I have been trolling the interwebs, looking for inspirational packing posts like this one- (theartofsimpletravel) where Tsh will be traveling for a whole year with less clothes than I've planned on taking for 3 months. A whole YEAR! Impressive. Maybe I can do this… maaybe.

So far, this is what fits in my carry on. I'll also have a shoulder bag.



1 rainjacket & my tiny Patagonia windbreaker that I wore all over Europe last fall.

1 jog bra/ 2 other bras

2 pairs of socks / 7 undies

1 pair of pants

1 pair of capris

1 pair of shorts

1 skort

1 over-the-knee length skirt (for visiting temples)

2 tank tops / 2 T-shirts

1 long sleeve shirt (for cool mt. towns)

Chaco sandals (newly resoled in Rockford, Mi!)

Lightweight running shoes

1 hat / 3 headbands

I am planning on buying a scarf (or 4) on my travels


Deodorant, sunscreen, tooth brush & paste, razor, soap, hotel-size shampoo & conditioner, Tweezers & small mirror (gotta keep these eyebrows in check!) Q-tips!

First aid kit

Bandaids: assorted.

Moleskin for blisters

Hydrocortisone cream (for itching)

Triple antibiotic ointment

Digital themometer

1 pair of disposable gloves

Tiny scissors

Duct tape

Electrolyte packets



Traveler insurance info: I'm using World Nomads.

Proof of Vaccinations

Contact Card: Family at home, people in country and places I've reserved to stay in each country

Passport (valid for at least 6 months!), Color copies of my passport, copies of my credit cards

Printed travel itinerary with confirmation #s for flights, etc.


Electronics and Randomness

Travel journal & colored pencils

Gum, granola bars & fruit leather

Little gifts like stickers & Michigan-edition quarters

IPad, charger and a ton of really helpful travel apps (listed in this blog post.)

A book to read and trade at a hostel when I'm done.

My tiny new camera the Panasonic Lumix Lx7! It has a Leica lens & full manual controls. Since I'm a Canon girl, this has taken some getting used to- but the photos are coming out lovely! It's SO much smaller!

70 GB of SD cards, Apple card reader (to load photos onto my iPad), extra camera battery and charger

Adapters! (Since all my electronics have voltage ranges from 120-240 I don't need a converter!)


I am certain to amend this list, there are a few things that I've neglected to put in the photos because I'm not sure if they'll fit now that I've decided to go carry-on!

10 days til wheels-up!


4 thoughts on “22 x 16 x 9: Tales of a disgruntled over-packer.

  1. Karie September 13, 2014 / 7:26 pm

    Kudos to your admirable packing efforts!! I’ll try to learn from you. With love from a fellow, chronic overpacker.
    (It doesn’t help minimize your supplies, but a few other ideas: I always carry an anti-chafing stick (e.g., from Playmakers) for blisters, safety pins, maybe gauze pads in place of some of the bandaids, Benedryl, water bottle–maybe a collapsible one or bladder. if you haven’t done so already, I’d store copies of your important documents/contacts (embassy contacts) in your e-mail account for back up.)

    • adriennesip September 18, 2014 / 1:26 pm

      Great ideas, Karie! I have added (or forgot to list) many of the things on your list. Off to locate the embassy contacts now! Thanks, Adrienne

  2. robinshliakhau September 18, 2014 / 5:14 am

    I used to be an over-packer as well! Last year I was fed up with excess and stress and started becoming a minimalist. one of the best side effects has been the reduction in my packing! I love that trips are easier. No one cares what I’m wearing. I take things I love and are comfy and it’s easy to choose what I wear. I’m currently in Eastern Europe with my two kids for a month. I stressed a little because of the length of our stay, but over half way through our trip now, there’s not one thing I wish I would have brought that I didn’t and I could have packed less for all three of us! I think your list looks good and doesn’t seen to be overpacking. I read Tsh’s post as well. Happy Travels!!

    • adriennesip September 18, 2014 / 1:25 pm

      Thank you Robin!
      I’m still struggling with what to leave at home… my list doesn’t include all the little things I intend on shoving in my shoulder bag AND it doesn’t leave room for what I will buy along the way. I may have to send a box home from Vietnam! Good on ya, Robin! I am so impressed with people who are able to travel int’l with their kiddos, I’m still scrambling to get all my ducks in a row… car insurance, phone, pay my bills, etc. and I only have to worry about little ol’ me! Maybe that means I’ll have my overpacking under control by the time I have kids to travel with! I hope so! Thanks for your note and enjoy Europe! -Adrienne

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