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  1. #1
    Forum Member
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    Jul 2014
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    Work Travel in the A30 (5 days)

    I recently traveled to LA for a 4-day work conference, 1-day beach trip, and was thrilled because I was able to fit everything into my A30 and a tote bag. Being able to do this was due in no small part to these forums, which have provided so many fantastic tips over the years - so - thanks, everyone! This is a very long post, but hopefully it will be useful to people who are thinking about professional travel and/or cutting down the size of their toiletries. (Note re: clothing size - I am 5í4Ē and wear a size small. It also helps, of course, that it was LA, even if it was February.)

    Because it was a work trip, I was especially concerned about wrinkling and decided to bundle wrap, which I used to do but had never tried in the A30. I put my sleep and workout clothes in a small A30 Aether cube and wrapped around it. My bundle was a little long for the main compartment space, but I unzipped one of the sides (under the pocket where I packed my shoes) and was able to tuck the bundle in before securing it with the straps. There was then room for loose things above and around the bundle. I was really surprised by how much room - I had worked hard to minimize the number of clothing items, but I could have added another jacket or a dress.

    (I did have an iron in the hotel room, but itís nice to minimize prep and since my flight ended up being delayed by seven(!) hours it was indescribably nice to shake everything out at the other end and just fall into bed knowing that I was set for the next dayís presentation.)

    Because I find conferences rather stressful, there are a *lot* of little and not-so-little luxuries included in this list - a more restrained traveler could pack even more clothes or what-not. I more or less refuse to travel without my pillow, for example, but without it you could get two more pairs of shoes in, or a bulky sweater, etc.


    WORE ON PLANE
    • 1 scarf
    • 1 casual-nice jacket
    • 1 pullover sweater
    • 1 long-sleeve tee
    • 1 midi skirt
    • 1 pair wool leggings (which were also my sleep leggings)
    • 1 pair low heels (walking-friendly but still suitable for conference)



    A30 MAIN COMPARTMENT

    Core (everything rolled and prodded into a small A30 cube)
    • 1 long-sleeve tee (for lounging/sleeping)
    • 1 camisole
    • 1 pair heattech leggings
    • 1 pair leggings (yoga)
    • 1 sports bra
    • 1 tank top
    • 3 pairs unmentionables
    • 2 bras
    • 1 pair tights

    Bundle (in order from outside to in)
    • 1 nice jacket
    • 1 square scarf (very thin)
    • 2 nice tops - one long sleeve, one short sleeve
    • 2 pairs slacks
    • 1 cashmere pullover (thin)
    • 1 casual linen top

    Mesh Pocket (on top flap):
    • 7 or so packets of Emergen-c
    • 4 self-steaming eye masks (I had some leftover from a Japan trip last year - unfortunately they are really expensive in the States, but they feel so good after a long day of travel or meetings)

    Tools/Dry Toiletries (in a small Montbell cube, about 3/4 the size of a 3dorg - I wish TB would make a mini Spiff kit!)
    • toothbrush (full-size electric one)
    • travel powder brush (retractable)
    • barebones travel razor
    • full-size pressed powder
    • eyelash curler
    • sample-size mascara
    • mini Widu hairbrush
    • dental floss
    • tweezers
    • small nail clippers (from Muji)
    • small travel mirror, also from Muji
    • 2 sample sachets of cleanser (I find I can get 2-3 uses out of one - Iím careful to make just a small tear and then prop it up against a bottle or wall in the bathroom)
    • 2 sample sachets of exfoliant (similar)
    • facial serum in a tiny, tiny bottle (something like this - they come in lots of sizes: I have 20ml ones and 20ml lasts a surprisingly long time - at least ten days)

    *I realize there are some liquids in this list, but I think they are in such small quantities that they donít register on the security screen? And/or TSA is getting looser about liquids, as long as they are in small containers?

    Loose in main compartment
    • clothing brush
    • small OP with three necklaces and a pair of earrings
    • small crossbody purse
    • eyeglass case (hard-sided and slim)
    • sandwich-sized tupperware with about 10 no-bake energy bites, a few handfuls of toasted pecans and almonds, and 4-5 Medjool dates - these came in super handy when my flight was delayed and were also a lifesaver during hectic conference days. I put a snackís worth in a 4oz. tupperware in my purse.
    • a 4oz. tin of loose tea - would like to find something smaller for this.
    • down vest

    *I didnít bring one this time, but I think I could fit a hair straightener in here, too



    A30 POCKETS

    Side Pocket 1
    • 1 pair heels with 2 pairs thin socks stuffed inside
    • swimsuit (two-piece)

    Side Pocket 2
    • cylindrical buckwheat pillow
    • eye mask

    Back pocket (where the backpack straps go)
    travel yoga mat(!)



    LARGE CANVAS TOTE
    (held my leather work tote and provided a bit more height so that everything felt secure. Iíd love to use the Pop Tote for this but I donít think itís big enough)

    Small Q-kit (tech)
    • MacBook charger + cord
    • iPhone charger + mini cord (12Ē)
    • TravelCard battery
    • a memory card reader (to use as a jump drive in case of sync failure)
    • USB/USB-C converter

    Small OP (EDC/first aid)
    • earplugs
    • earbuds
    • rosewater in a tiny muji spray bottle
    • band-aids
    • 4 Advil in a cutdown blister pack
    • a couple paper napkins
    • mini sewing kit (see here)
    • another 20ml bottle of almond oil for rubbing on the inside of nostrils (an ayurvedic technique for keeping well, esp. in dry environments like an airplane)
    • 5 bobby pins
    • 2 hair ties

    TSS#2 - liquids (I use a padded micro OP to stiffen the bottom and turn it into an ad-hoc travel tray once I get to my destination - a la eWalkerís post on the hacks thread) I also put things here that I might want to use on the plane - so if I were flying a red-eye I would put my toothbrush, eyeglasses, etc.
    • mini can of dry shampoo
    • contact lens solution / case
    • shampoo
    • toothpaste
    • tub of face cream (container re-used from a sample kit)
    • tiny tub of heavy-duty lip balm
    • ďFocusĒ essential oil

    Mini Q-kit (makeup), tucked in the stuff sack
    • tinted sunscreen decanted into a 1oz. bottle - lasts at least a week and maybe two.
    • tiny tubs of RMS concealer, luminizer (I received these as samples from RMS and refill them - again, they look tiny but last forever. Similar ones are here)
    • short eyeliner brush and gel eyeliner - the fact that this fits in the mini Q-kit is really satisfying.
    • brow gel

    Miscellaneous
    • wallet, phone
    • laptop in a padded sleeve
    • pocket-sized notebook, couple of pens
    • titanium fork/spoon
    • sunglasses
    • Kindle
    • slim thermos - for both water and hot drinks, dep. on time of day
    • stick of lip balm
    • Yube hand cream
    • another sandwich-sized tupperware with my travel lunch (two tupperwares was overkill, Iíll try to pack my lunch in a disposable container next time and maybe use the extra room for a camping mug and coil heater)

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Sep 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by caitirilt View Post
    [*]another sandwich-sized tupperware with my travel lunch (two tupperwares was overkill, Iíll try to pack my lunch in a disposable container next time and maybe use the extra room for a camping mug and coil heater)[/LIST]
    If your munchies don't need protection from squishing, there are a variety of brands of reusable washable food bags sized/shaped for sandwiches, snacks, etc. usually made of synthetic fabrics. There are also Etsy sellers of home made versions. So they start off a bit smaller than a rigid plastic or glass container and end up very flat/small when empty.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    If your munchies don't need protection from squishing, there are a variety of brands of reusable washable food bags sized/shaped for sandwiches, snacks, etc. usually made of synthetic fabrics. There are also Etsy sellers of home made versions. So they start off a bit smaller than a rigid plastic or glass container and end up very flat/small when empty.
    Yes, that would be ideal! The energy bites are somewhat prone to squishing, but I think that if they were fully wrapped and then tucked in amongst soft things they would be okay. I'll give it a try next time.

  4. #4
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    Nice post, thank you. I use my A30 for week long travel as well. It's always interesting to see what others carry. I too have gleaned tons of useful information from this forum.

  5. #5
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link to that DIY mini sewing kit! I actually just bought a really cute one from Daiso when I was in San Francisco, but when I use it up, I will know how to make my own. Smilie

    Packing list threads are my favorite, and I loved reading through yours--I also use sample sachets of skin care items when I travel. It's so convenient, and TSA scanners definitely don't read them as liquid IME.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  6. #6
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    Those little plastic tabs that hold bread in plastic bags, can be used to hold some thread. A great way to upcycle them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Those little plastic tabs that hold bread in plastic bags, can be used to hold some thread. A great way to upcycle them.
    Oh, that's an excellent use for them! I'll have to try that next time.

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