I’m flying to Chicago tomorrow, for two and a half days. I was determined not to check a suitcase, because two days! How much stuff could I possibly need?
Yeah, I’m totally checking my bag. I can’t figure out how to make it all work otherwise.
I am a minimalist traveler. I wholeheartedly believe that “one carry-on bag” should mean one bag, not one bag plus your handbag (you know who you are). If you can’t get it all in one bag, you do not need it on the plane. Period. We flew to China a couple of years ago and I carried one bag on the plane with me, and had everything I needed for the entire flight.
Somehow, though, I cannot manage to apply that approach to my actual suitcase.
This was probably not the best week to decide to go carry-on only; my husband is also traveling right now, and he took the smaller of our two rolling suitcases with him, leaving me with the big one, which may — or may not — be carry-on size. And I do not want to be that idiot trying to jam a too-big bag into the overhead compartment. So I’ve already got that going against me.
In addition, I am five weeks away from my first half marathon (eee!) and will need to run while I’m in Chicago, so I don’t die on the day of the race. Which means that I’ll be taking my running shoes and two sets of workout clothes. (And before you even think about suggesting it, no, I cannot repeat workout clothes; I sweat too much. You’re welcome.) Before I’ve even started to think about what to take for the actual conference, my bag is already filling up with things I cannot wear to speak on a panel. Excellent.
But it’s not like I’m planning to toss my whole closet in the bag. I’m trying to only take one other pair of shoes, something that I can wear on the plane and to the conference. Of course, that means curating three days worth of outfits that all work with the same shoes, which is doable but is also a gigantic pain. And of course, those shoes have to be comfortable enough to walk in, because I’ll be wearing them to travel and because I’m not taking a cab the four blocks from my hotel to the conference center (or the .9 miles to the Zara store).
Additionally, I need three days of business casual attire, which in theory is easy — except that we’ve been warned by the conference organizers that the mics for our panel need to hook to the waistband of our clothes, which rules out the dress I was planning to wear that day (no waistband! woo!).
I’m already exhausted and I haven’t even gotten to the toiletries yet (but the idea of three days without my razor makes me itchy — seriously).
So dish, people — how do you get organized to travel with only a carry-on bag? What am I missing here? Or do I just need to acknowledge that I’m someone who always checks her bag? Because that seems kind of lame, really.
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