33 days, 9 countries, 1 carry-on…

33 days, 9 countries, 1 carry-on…


For anyone that knows me, one of the first things they learn is my affinity for efficiency and optimization.  I can’t help it, my brain is wired to maximize value in everything and anything – packing is no exception. So how does one pack for a 5 week adventure across 9 countries, well if they are me, the answer is carefully and methodically LOL

So what did I pack? I’m so glad you asked! My adventure begins in early October and ends in early November, crossing several cold-weather places like northern Finland, Siberia, and Mongolia. Woo hoo! Ok, so maybe not everyone had that same response ; )  The key for me on traveling light is bringing the bare minimum of what I need.  Some people recommend buying stuff there, but with 9 countries, buying there still means lugging it across thousands of miles… ugh, no go.  The catch with this method – you have to be comfortable washing your clothes and re-wearing stuff, for weeks.

So what might you ask is in my bag of tricks, um, I mean suitcase?

PacSafe duffel bag 45L – secure for my overnight buses and trains
Lewis & Clark luggage lock – to secure duffel to overhead bus or train racks (hello sleep!!)
Eagle Creek small packing cubes (6) – perfect fit for the duffel, space compression, plus organization

Packing cube #1 “warm gear”fashion scarf w/passport pocket, down vest (in blue compression pouch), Lonely Planet language books, 2 reusable rain ponchos, fur lined bomber hat, and gloves


Packing cube #2 “tops” – silk base layer, travel button down, green cashmere sweater, white tank w/passport pocket, navy wool turtleneck, purple t-shirt, pink t-shirt, and cotton turtle neck (goal was for comfortable clothes with a couple that could dress up if needed) – note, on the plane I’ll wear a t-shirt and grey cashmere cardigan


Packing cube #3 “bottoms” – wool grey skinny pants, black skirt, black leggings, bikini (you never know!), and teal sweater (so many tops!) (goal was to bring few bottoms and ‘make the outfit’ with tops, keepin’ it simple) – note, on the plane I’ll wear black cotton metro pants and boots


Packing cube #4 “train items” – travel toilet paper, travel Febreeze, travel soap, travel pot (for the Transiberian Railway!), sugar and creamer packets, electrolyte packets, travel bowl, travel pot scrubber, quick dry wash cloth, travel sleeping bag, small travel towel, laundry soap, laundry clips and cord, and sink stopper


Packing cube #5 “unders” – PJ capris, PJ t-shirt, wool socks (6), quick dry underwear (2), laundry bag, and wool turtleneck


Packing cube #6 “bath gear” – hair brush, make-up, toiletries, medicine, soap, make-up remover, extra baggies just in case, kleenex


Random things packed into the duffel – a pair of flats, a fleece hoodie, down coat, cashmere scarf (doubles as a blanket!), sunglasses, purse, water bottle, sleeping mask, hand wipes, and an airplane pillow

Random electronic things – cord for Apple device, cord for Android device, ear buds, selfie stick (oh ya!), converter w/USB plugs, extension cord w/USB plugs, and camera battery charger (plus camera which isn’t shown oops!)


That’s about it LOL yes it’s a lot! But fits in a little space ; ) I’m hopeful it will cover me thru Germany, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Russia, Mongolia, and China – wee!!  As with all travel, everyone has different needs so customizing to fit how you travel and what you’ll need is a must, but hopefully this is helpful to think of some of the items.  Feel free to comment if you have a beloved travel item or any thoughts on best ways to pack, would love to hear your tips.  In a few weeks, we’ll start to see this plan in action – wish me luck!




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