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  1. #1
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    Boston to UK for a week of work in March

    Usually my trips are only 1 or 2 nights, but this one's 7 nights. I'm taking a three-hour train ride to Manchester straight from Heathrow, then 2 hours back to central London the next day, where I'll stay the rest of the week. So I've been planning this packing list for quite a while, winnowing it down as much as possible. I have some work-specific packing needs like a big bag of make-up and hair products for stage, and some bulky clothes that are performance attire, so I can't pack as lightly for work as I do when I travel for fun.

    I underlined the stuff that's specifically for work and therefore absolutely mandatory.

    TOPS:
    • 2 tank tops
    • 1 sassy printed t-shirt
    • 1 modal tunic
    • 1 merino cardigan
    • Wool blazer
    • Silk blazer



    BOTTOMS:
    • Black travel jeans
    • Bamboo leggings
    • Fancy trousers



    UNDERTHINGS
    • 6 prs underwear
    • 3 bras
    • 4 prs socks



    ACCESSORIES
    • Ankle boots
    • Sandals/slippers
    • Stage shoes
    • Super long/wide neck scarf
    • Head scarf
    • Gloves
    • Nau long, waterproof jacket with many pockets




    The clothes are the easy part for me. It's this other random crap that adds up fast and is hard to reduce:

    RANDOM CRAP
    • Make-up bag (about twice the size of a 3DOC)
    • Clear 3DOC (non-liquid toiletries and to use in the shared hotel room)
    • 3-1-1 plastic bag of liquids for Heathrow rules (mostly hair products)
    • Gifts for crew/team (about 1.5x the size of a 3DOC)
    • L15 w/ small (pen/pencil) GWOP
    • small ZTSB
    • Side Effect for in-flight stuff




    ELECTRONICS
    • Laptop & accessories (power cable, HDMI adapter, PPT remote)
    • US/UK plug adapters
    • Bluetooth earbuds & charging cable
    • iPod nano



    PACKING STRATEGY
    The A30's central compartment has a Dawn PCSB packed with the clothes I need for Manchester, a separate cube for the rest of my clothes that I won't need until London, make-up/toiletries, and gifts.

    Small black ZTSB is self-pocketed and stowed in the lid pocket of the A30. I'll move it to the L15 when I get to London.

    I was planning to take my Pop Tote as my day bag, but I've been convinced that the L15 will be better, so I've sacrificed an entire end pocket to pack it. The other end pocket has shoes stuffed with socks and the annoyingly bulky plug adapters.

    The things I want fast access to, that I would ordinarily put in an end pocket, are going in a PCSB in shoulder bag mode: in-flight Side Effect, 3-1-1 bag, laptop cables, travel mug. I divided the liquids into two baggies so they fit in the PCSB better, but if security requires it, I can put the smaller baggie into the bigger one quickly. After I give away gifts, I hope to be able to fit these things in the A30 on my way home, though for ease of access I may carry the PCSB separately at least through security.



    SE in PCSB:
    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-img_20190309_110552-jpg

    Travel mug on top:
    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-img_20190309_110645-jpg

    Cozy socks & SE strap in the front pocket. The front pocket might be my favorite thing about the PCSB. Also pictured is a cotton tote I was considering taking b/c it packs down much smaller than the ZTSB, but I changed my mind b/c I'm definitely going to need to carry groceries, and packability is nothing compared to the versatility of the ZTSB.
    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-img_20190309_110846-jpg
    Last edited by Lia; 03-11-2019 at 11:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hmmmm... I'm a big fan of bag-in-bag and packing cubes, but you may save some space if you cut back a tad on how many you're using.

    Is there any reason why you couldn't use the ZTSB instead (size constraint from your tix) of the PCSB for the seat bag? You would have a ton more space, even if you didn't use it all on the outbound.
    If you have a large, you could put the L15 inside with your random flight stuff & SE on top of the L15 - freeing up even more room in the A30.
    The L15 may fit in the small ZTSB too...I'm imagining it would curve up the ends... I don't have one at work to check.

    Put the A30 on your back and hand carry the ZTSB... I do this all the time, works well.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  3. #3
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    Greetings,
    To be honest, your clothing and gear looks very minimal. Your strategy for packing looks like it is organized and well thought out.

    You mention toiletries, makeup, and liquid hair products. Can you decant *just* the amount you need into smaller containers? I noticed that even travel size containers may hold more than a weeks worth of product. Perhaps you have already done this, as your PCSB photo only gives a peek of the liquids bags.

    Have fun! elisa

  4. #4
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    Chiming in to say I'm happy to see you've packed a long waterproof jacket and ankle boots as it is very windy, very wet and feeling rather cold in Manchester this week!

    Every time I've left the house this week it has dumped a load of rain on me (except for that one time with the horizontal hail...)

    Pack gloves too (unless you already did and I missed it)

    Hope you have a great trip!

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    If you have a large, you could put the L15 inside with your random flight stuff & SE on top of the L15 - freeing up even more room in the A30.
    The L15 may fit in the small ZTSB too...I'm imagining it would curve up the ends... I don't have one at work to check.

    Put the A30 on your back and hand carry the ZTSB... I do this all the time, works well.
    You've inspired me to experimentation I hadn't considered before. I don't have a large ZTSB, and the small ZTSB is no match for the L15.

    BUT! The L15 can sort of curve into the PT, and the PT can still hold its own, leaving a useful space inside where I can carry my in-flight SE. Then I have my PT in London, which eliminates the need for the ZTSB!


    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-l15-pt-jpg

    Then my liquids and socks go in the A30 end compartment... and that's it... Hm. I could redistribute the make-up and gifts into the end pocket, too, make more space for the damn silk blazer, which is a P.I.T.A. to pack... and this gives me a new thought.

    I know the L15 fits in the bottom of the A30 if I unzip the middle compartment. I wasn't planning on doing this because the PCSB is too tall to stand on top of the L15. But if I lay the PCSB flat and bundle the bullky stage clothes around the PCSB/makeup/gifts...

    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-win_20190311_20_02_25_pro-jpg


    The shoes in the bottom end compartment are too tightly packed, though. But now the top end pocket is available for in-flight SE, 3-1-1 bag, and laptop cables as usual. Barely. Cozy socks and ZTSB fit tucked into corners around that damn white silk jacket. Now the A30 is FULL. But it's one bag!

    Also, I remembered British hotels don't have wash cloths, so I stuffed one in the outside skinny pocket.


    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-win_20190311_20_04_42_pro-jpg


    Hm. I'm not happy with the shoe pocket situation. I'm gonna try something else.
    Last edited by Lia; 03-11-2019 at 06:30 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGirl View Post
    Greetings,
    To be honest, your clothing and gear looks very minimal. Your strategy for packing looks like it is organized and well thought out.

    You mention toiletries, makeup, and liquid hair products. Can you decant *just* the amount you need into smaller containers? I noticed that even travel size containers may hold more than a weeks worth of product. Perhaps you have already done this, as your PCSB photo only gives a peek of the liquids bags.

    Have fun! elisa
    Yep, already using the smallest containers I can find. Since I usually only need toiletries for a couple of days, tiny containers are my best friends.

    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-mini-toiletries-jpg

  7. #7
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    Okay, I usually pack the A30 with the bottom part of the main compartment unzipped, and packed my shoes in the bottom compartment on top of all the main compartment contents. So I tried starting with that: L15 stuffed in, then PCSB on top, shoved as far into the bottom compartment as possible.

    Attachment 22276

    Then fill the main compartment with stage clothes in the green/mesh cube, makeup/toiletries/gifts stuffed in what was the top compartment.
    Attachment 22277

    Then put stage shoes on the shelf created in the bottom compartment, added a layer on top of the main compartment contents, and just had room for 3-1-1 bag and ZTSB in the top compartment shelf.

    Attachment 22278

    It's amazing how flexible this bag is. You can pack in a new way, fit things totally differently. And, including my laptop in the backpackstrap compartment, the whole shebang weighs under 19 pounds.

    The only flaw in this system is that my in-flight SE and travel mug are in the main compartment, and I would generally prefer only to open the end pocket en route, not the main compartment. But WOW, I'll take it. One bag!
    Last edited by Lia; 03-12-2019 at 05:37 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gqb View Post
    Chiming in to say I'm happy to see you've packed a long waterproof jacket and ankle boots as it is very windy, very wet and feeling rather cold in Manchester this week!
    Funny! I've been feeling pretty excited to bring my spring jacket, and non-snow boots because the weather will be so mild there compared to the snow and sleet we've been getting here. Of course, as soon as I leave, it'll warm up here, too!

  9. #9
    Forum Member sujo's Avatar
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    I just love threads like this. It is very comforting to know I'm not the only one who packs, repacks,and repacks again - determined to make it work. For my last work trip, I repacked five times using three different bags before finally reaching a solution that satisfied me.

    Good luck on your trip!

  10. #10
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    Boston to UK for a week of work in March

    Quote Originally Posted by sujo View Post
    I just love threads like this. It is very comforting to know I'm not the only one who packs, repacks,and repacks again - determined to make it work. For my last work trip, I repacked five times using three different bags before finally reaching a solution that satisfied me.

    Good luck on your trip!
    Same, same, same. I love re-packing and I love that I have finally found my people!
    Last edited by Cristina; 03-13-2019 at 05:36 AM.

  11. #11
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    Best laid plans: I ended up not able to wear my boots on the second day because I had walked too far in them on the first day, so I had to squeeze them into the A30. Plus, I received a package from a colleague, so I had even more to carry! Thank goodness for my ZTSB.

  12. #12
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    The ZTSB deserves some kind of medal. It saved my bacon when I needed more room for stuff I acquired within 24 hours of landing in the UK, and then it carried bacon and nuts and cheese and fruit and veggies when I went grocery shopping for the weekend. Everything pictured fit in the small ZTSB!


    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-ztsb-london-jpg


    Not pictured: 15 with a big box of tissues, little boxes of pills/cough drops, and two bottles of wine.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lia View Post
    Yep, already using the smallest containers I can find. Since I usually only need toiletries for a couple of days, tiny containers are my best friends.

    Boston to UK for a week of work in March-mini-toiletries-jpg
    I'd suggest screw-top contact lens cases. They can hold anything. I cut them in half so they fill voids between larger items more efficiently (recall the parable of the jar "full" of golf balls). For spray items, I snag sample bottles from places like Nordstrom, they're much smaller and perform well.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    I'd suggest screw-top contact lens cases.
    Seconding this! I use mine for liquids and solids--the trip I'm on now, they're holding "emergency" meds (ibuprofen, benadryl, ranitidine) and another with 2 face products (sleeping mask and benzoyl peroxide).

    There's one in my EDC at home with those same meds. It's actually pretty perfect.



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    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  15. #15
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    Today's my last day in London, and the list worked out pretty close to perfectly. Items that proved even more valuable than I anticipated, and are definitely being added to my pack-every-time list:
    • Side Effect with in-flight necessities (hand wipes, phone charger, headphones, medication, lip balm, etc.) turned out to be the perfect compact bag I carried everywhere to be prepared for anything.
    • Zip-top Small Shop Bag was perfect for carrying gifts received from colleagues, picking up groceries
    • Skinny travel mug was really inexpensive, but spill-proof, and after I drank the tea, I filled it with water and never had to stop and buy a bottle while I was out all day.



    What I learned not to pack:[*]waterproof eye makeup remover -- not necessary in the short term b/c my other products combine to do that job adequately.
    That's it, really. Nothing else was extra or unnecessary or unused.

    Things I wish I had packed:
    • An additional soft cozy sweater or sweatshirt just for lounging in the hotel, that I don't have to worry about spilling tea on.
    • Mucinex. I generally follow the rule of only packing what will save me until I can get to a drug store. But it turns out the UK doesn't sell guaifenesin pills without other medications combined, so I should have brought my own Mucinex.
    • Melatonin. Turns out you can't get melatonin without a prescription in the UK. Didn't occur to me to even ask ahead of time.



    Verdict on the L15 as a travel day bag: it ROCKS. It carried my bare minimum stuff, including the ZTSB, SE, and small GWOP with pens/pencils, and then it easily fit further groceries (bottles of wine) and heavy gifts (books) that didn't fit or weren't as comfortable to carry in the ZTSB. If I were going really, really minimal, I might prefer to take JUST the PT to serve the function of both the ZTSB and L15 combined, but it would be a compromise.

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