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Help Me Pack

psychmommapsychmomma Registered User Posts: 2,957 Senior Member
edited January 29 in Parent Cafe
For fun, recommend what I should pack for a 6 day trip to San Francisco. How many and what types of pants, tops, shoes, accessories, makeup, toiletries, etc. should I take? Can I fit it in a carryon suitcase and personal item bag/backpack? Flying on Alaska airlines and first time flying in 25 plus years, so any additional packing advice for air travel is welcome.
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Replies to: Help Me Pack

  • fendrockfendrock Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    I am curious to see what is advised here, as I hope to travel with a carry on alone for a 9 day trip to Germany.

    Just bought a new carry on from LL Bean for this purpose.
  • yourmommayourmomma Registered User Posts: 1,285 Senior Member
    You'll need something for almost all types of weather -- cold, warm, sunny and rain. You never know what you'll get out there. I usually pay for the bag check as I hate lugging that crap around.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 29,329 Senior Member
    edited January 29
    What will you be doing there? That will determine the kinds of clothes you need.

    Will you have laundry facilities? That will determine how much underware (and possibly how much outerware) you will need.

    Where are you staying, and how picky are you about your soap and shampoo? That will tell you if you need to bring your own with you.

    Are you a big shopper? That will tell you if you need to pack a collapsible bag inside your carry-on to bring your loot home, and that maybe you will need to plan to check a piece of luggage for the return flight.

    Yes you can do it with just the carry-ons, but if you are thinking of that, get a 1 qt. ziplock type baggie out of your kitchen, check that any toiletries you contemplate taking are in containers of 3 oz. or less, and see just how many you can cram into that ziplock. If the toiletries you need won't cram, you will need to check a bag.
  • conmamaconmama Registered User Posts: 4,262 Senior Member
    edited January 29
    When are you going? I would go buy packing cubes, eagle creek are my favorite. I use all sizes. Don’t fold your clothing, roll your clothing. There are YouTube videos showing you how. I started doing this 3 years ago when I took a 19” suitcase to Italy for 10 nights. Rolling is amazing!

    If you want to take a carryon, you’ll need to pare down, and it also depends on how you like to dress and where you’ll be going.

    I tend to look at my intenarary, then decide. But I typically take twice as many tops as bottoms. I would at least one pair of comfy walking shoes and one fancier to wear at night.

    Makeup and toiletries are fairly easy with carryon. Just get the travel sizes. I take just 2 lipstick colors and one eyeshadow look, maybe throw in another shade for evening. I don’t take a blow drier as those are in hotels. I pack all my undies, bras, etc. in a small packing cube.

  • MaterSMaterS Registered User Posts: 1,822 Senior Member
    I was a chaperone on a seven day east coast history trip. One mother brought a smart outfit with matching shoes for every day of the trip. Another wardrobe change with matching shoes for dinner. The kicker was when we were delayed overnight by weather and she had packed another day outfit with an additional pair of shoes.

    The older I get the less I pack. Toiletries at a high end hotel are fine. Mix and match outfits for me. I would kick it up a notch for dinner at a 5 star restaurant. SF and NYC seem keen on that.

    Yes to packing cubes.

    Rick Steves has good ideas for packing for Europe. Pack light because rolling suitcases aren't much help on cobblestone streets.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 57,251 Senior Member
    Funny- I asked a question in the “random questions” thread about how to pack with carry-on only for a 12 day trip overseas (Israel). Packing cubes were also suggested. I bought compression cubes (should arrive in the next few days). We also use xtra large ziploc bags and sit on them to compress them!

    As for San Francisco, remember that they have microclimates, so if you go from one neighborhood to another, the climate/temperature/weather can change. Foggy and cool in one area, warm and sunny in another. So check the weather patterns for the areas you will be going to. I always pack layers, and pack one of those down puff jackets that scrunches down into a little sack. I have never regretted having that with me.
  • mom60mom60 Registered User Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    When my D lived in San Francisco I would get the most wear out of a pair of black thick leggings. I would wear them with longer tops, sweater dresses. The look can be athletic, casual or dressy depending on what you wear on top and what shoes. I also always brought both a down vest and a down jacket. The hotel we stayed at most trips was downhill from my D’s apartment. For the most part I wore nicer low profile athletic shoes. I would change into a pair of low heeled booties to go out to dinner. We always did a lot of walking so never wore anything that I couldn’t walk blocks in.
  • MaterSMaterS Registered User Posts: 1,822 Senior Member
    FYI if you need more than 3.4 oz of sunscreen have your dermatologist write a note that it is medically necessary and you can take it through TSA without regard to the 3-1-1 rule. Just declare it according to current TSA rules. I did this as recently as two weeks ago.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 5,503 Senior Member
    You can definitely do this in a carry on bag. The key is to wear your bulkiest items on the plane.

    What to pack totally depends on what you are doing.

    Don't know if you like Chico but they have a mix and match traveler's collection that is wrinkle free and super easy to pack. I've been collecting pieces from them over the years and always take their stuff for dinners out.

    I also tend to pack dark colored clothes so I can easily re-wear and mix and match.

    The bulkiest items are generally shoes so try to minimize to 2 -3 pairs max (and again, wear the largest on the plane).

    I tend to carry a small backup as my "personal item" and put toiletries and shoes in that bag, along with a smaller purse that I'll use while traveling.

    Have fun!

  • GourmetmomGourmetmom Registered User Posts: 2,820 Senior Member
    It really depends on the type of trip, but since it's San Francisco, I'll assume that it's a city tour type of trip.

    I'd wear on the plane:
    Cashmere sweater (or a nice fleece) in a neutral color with t shirt underneath
    All weather mid thigh length jacket (preferably in black)
    Heavier weight black leggings
    Comfortable walking shoe such as All Birds in black or dark charcoal
    Cashmere wrap that can double as a scarf

    I'd pack:
    Black pants
    Jeans (if you wear them - if not, another pant)
    2 short sleeve tops
    1 long sleeve top
    Knit dress (dark color) for going out to dinner
    Dark tights
    Low heeled booties that look good with the dress and pants
    One more pair of leggings
    Bag of lingerie and two sets of PJs or nightgowns
    Umbrella

    If you have room, throw in a few more tops and another pair of tights. This will give you a polished city look, but still be comfortable enough for walking up and down the hills.


  • MaterSMaterS Registered User Posts: 1,822 Senior Member
    For women you should take at least one universal scarf. It can be your friend during dinner mishaps then rinsed out in the sink.
  • MomofadultMomofadult Registered User Posts: 1,090 Senior Member
    I travel frequently for a couple weeks at a time. Carry-on 19" or 20" with large purse. It can be done, even when visiting two climates.

    Roll the clothes as advised above - even underwear. Minimize shoes - they are less forgiving when packing. Underwear and socks can be tucked in shoes and inflexible suitcase corners. I wear my heaviest (usually hiking) shoes on the plane and pack the lightest (usually ballet flats suitable for business or dressing up.) Dark(er) clothes with pants and skirts and skorts that coordinate with patterned tops. (Patterns hide a stray morning coffee dribble better than solids.) Remember many hotels have laundry service or do it yourself facilities if necessary. I also travel with double the number of tops to pants/skirts. Dresses are less flexible for changing "look" from day to day, but I often travel with one when going to cities. San Fran I probably wouldn't; I like the dress in very hot places.

    Liquid toiletries in plastic bag in purse ready to grab quickly if TSA demands that liquids be taken out of purse. Toothbrush, comb, other personal items in random areas of suitcase after large items are settled.

    I leave next week for 3 weeks in two Asian countries. One country will be 60 - 70, the next 90+. I will wear a puffy jacket that rolls into a pouch to my local airport where it will be below freezing. Takes care of any possible need for warmth in the 60 degree temp country.

    I am going to have to try the packing cubes again. I've not found them as helpful as tucking "stuff" into stray corners, but I am willing to learn a better technique that others seem to like!

    Have fun!!!
  • conmamaconmama Registered User Posts: 4,262 Senior Member
    The thing about packing cubes instead of large ziploc bags is that the cube is like a small suitcase in itself. I’ll roll all my pants and leave them in the parking cube. Just unzip and they are all displayed. Pull out the one you need, rezip and put back in the drawer. A few things I hang up, but most stay in the cubes. Keeps things nice and tidy.
  • maya54maya54 Registered User Posts: 2,023 Senior Member
    Im not sure if it will help but here’s what I packed on a recent trip. . I shop a lot at loft. Lol. Everything was 60 percent off which is a sale they have a lot for cc holders. 50 percent for others is common

    I pair skinny blue jeans

    1 pair lightweight black jeans/ leggings https://www.loft.com/denim-leggings-in-black/501166?skuId=27118146&defaultColor=2222&catid=catl000015

    1 pairs cotton leggings in black which I woukd wear on the plane with a t shirt like this https://www.target.com/p/women-s-long-sleeve-run-t-shirt-c9-champion-174/-/A-53606546?preselect=53471620#lnk=sametab

    and a fake moto leather jacket also worn on plane ( bulky so don’t want to pack but can be worn all the time amend a raincoat

    4 lightweight long sleeve shirts that can be dressed up or down like this one https://www.loft.com/floral-lacy-split-neck-tunic/490228?skuId=26502090&defaultColor=2222&catid=catl000011.


    2 cardigans like this https://www.loft.com/open-swing-cardigan/499502?skuId=27068090&defaultColor=6404&catid=catl000011 and https://www.loft.com/ribbed-pocket-open-cardigan/492849?skuId=26745435&defaultColor=8829&catid=catl000012

    1 dressy shirt. https://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/product/laceinset+embroidered+top/570254599?color=001&catId=cat210001

    I pair comfy booties that work for dressy like these which I have and are super comfy https://www.easyspirit.com/catalog/product/view/id/547060/s/dragon-booties/category/119/?web_style_color_name=800

    1 pair loafers worn on plane

    8 pairs underwear. They take up NO room and having to laundry is stupid.

    6 pairs socks. All the same. Black.
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