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Episode summary

Unpack the secret to hassle-free travel with us as we reflect on our own packing strategies and share how we've perfected the art of packing light. Embrace the mindset of minimalism, inspired by Marie Kondo, and discover how being selective with your travel gear can maximize your space and minimize your stress. We'll also let you in on when it's advantageous to check a bag, especially when you're traveling with loads of camera gear or a four-legged friend.

Pack smart and travel easy as we guide you through tailoring your packing list to different types of trips. We'll divulge our top tips for city trips, from sporting the perfect pair of comfy shoes to selecting versatile outfits that take you from day to night. Moreover, we can't stress enough on the significance of digital readiness - so we'll walk you through must-have travel apps that should be on your phone before you jet off.

Lastly, learn to multiply your outfit options without adding bulk to your luggage. Hear us out as we talk about the magic of layering and investing in quality pieces that offer versatility. We'll also share our pro tips on keeping your toiletry bags leak-free and making sure you're well-equipped without overpacking. For the outdoor enthusiasts, we discuss the benefits of buying used gear and the importance of having a battery bank for your devices when you're on the go. So, plug in, and let's make your next packing experience a breeze.

Mentioned in this episode

⁠Packing cubes⁠

⁠Peak Design backpack⁠

⁠Boundary backpack⁠

⁠Peak Design tech pouch⁠

⁠Away carryon luggage⁠

⁠Away checked luggage

Follow Chris and Sara

Youtube: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.youtube.com/chrisandsara

⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.instagram.com/chrisandsara_⁠⁠⁠⁠ | @chrisandsara_

Website: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.chrisandsara.com⁠⁠⁠⁠

📞 Have a question or comment about the podcast?

Call or text us a question or comment: +1 (423) 825-9572


🎙What No One Tells You

Get inspired by world travelers Chris and Sara with "What No One Tells You," their conversational podcast. Each episode is a fun chat with friends sharing personal experiences, insider tips, and riveting stories. The show is elevated by amazing guests from Youtubers, ultra marathoners, bloggers, and adventurers who bring their unique energy and perspectives to the table. With Chris and Sara, you're sure to feel a part of the group, ready to embark on a new adventure. Explore the world one story at a time and join the conversation today.


👫🏼 Who are Chris and Sara?

Hey y'all! We're Chris + Sara (or as you know us, Let’s Be Us), a husband and wife digital nomad travel duo currently working and traveling full time with our pup, Kramer. We've always dreamed of traveling full time, and in May of 2018 we took the leap and made it happen! Today we're balancing work and fun everywhere between the Pacific and Atlantic. From hiking and cycling to tacos and coffee, we're trying to see and experience as much of this world as we can! While our home is currently on wheels in our DIY Sprinter van, our travels take us all around the world.Be sure to hit subscribe here on Youtube and follow along on Instagram for more daily fun! Oh, and be sure to say hi while you're here. :)


📝 Transcript

NOTE: There were 2 speakers identified in this transcript. Speaker separation errors can arise when multiple speakers speak simultaneously.

0:00:00 - Chris

Let's just jump in. We are finally back in our truck. 

0:00:04 - Sara

I feel like every episode, the last I don't know month or two has just been. We're somewhere new every single time, but maybe that's just our lives. 

0:00:11 - Chris

Maybe I'll just get used to it, because we are I think that is our lives, and if you don't know who we are, I'm Chris, I'm Sara and we travel the world. Well, we travel quite a bit, but right now we are in our truck camper and we finally got our electric all figured out and we'll make a whole YouTube video about this on our on our YouTube channel. But we're just excited because now we're in the beginning processes of shipping our truck international. But that's for another time and another place. 

0:00:38 - Sara

That's another story, you're right. But we should say this leave them on a little cliffhanger, because I think that these episodes, while they are their own little topics, there is that little story of you know where we're going, from one to the other, to the other, because it is chronological. So I kind of want to put this in there and say that we may or may not have gotten our good shipping quote to where we're going this week. So, if you're new around here, we've been in the process for over a year now to ship a vehicle overseas to overland internationally, which is just a fancy word for saying traveling by vehicle internationally. So instead of flying from country to country, we're going to drive, and we finally picked where we're going first. 

And we got the good shipping quote, which is not cheap, but it's a lot cheaper than what we were expecting, actually. 

0:01:21 - Chris

Yeah, and so if you've never looked at shipping your vehicle across the ocean, it can get quite expensive, quite fast, quite Quite, and so we're learning a whole lot and we'll talk about this probably in a future episode. Oh yeah, but personally, that's where we're at today. But if somebody is tuning into this podcast, they probably saw the title and they're like why are they talking about the shipping? What are we talking about today, Sara? 

0:01:45 - Sara

All right, today's episode two in a mini series called Wanderlust 101. I really don't like that name. We sort of just threw that out there and then it stuck. So I guess we're going with it now, because this is episode two and I think we called it that in the first episode, so Wanderlust 101. Last week, if you missed that episode, it was all about picking your first destination, whether it's international or domestic, whether you're going solo, with your family as a honeymoon, whatever it is that you're doing. It was our tips of how we find flights, where we book hotels and just like the basic logistics of helping you narrow down that first destination. You know, taking into consideration safety, time of year cost, all those kinds of things. So that's a. I thought it was a pretty good episode, with little tidbits here and there, and then today we're talking all about packing. 

0:02:27 - Chris

Packing Like suitcases? Oh yeah, Because we I mean, like we said, we travel on our trucks. So this is a giant suitcase to us. There's all of our stuff in it. 

0:02:37 - Sara

We get to say that we live pretty much. We don't live full time in it, but in seasons past we have lived full time in a van. We can travel light. 

0:02:45 - Chris

We can. We've got some tips, we've got some tricks, we've got some really great resources and bags that I think that you're going to love and what we use, and how we pack, and not just gear, but strategizing what do I take and what do I not? Yeah, all right. So without further ado, let's just jump right into it. 

0:03:08 - Sara

What is your mindset when you pack Chris? What's that, lady? Maria Marie Kondo. 

0:03:12 - Chris

Oh yeah, simplicity, get rid of it. 

0:03:15 - Sara

Does a spark joy? What does it? She said yeah, this is bring joy to you. 

0:03:18 - Chris

This is bring joy to you, so I actually never have watched that show. 

0:03:20 - Sara

I feel like I should. I need to do another purge, yeah, probably that. 

0:03:24 - Chris

That is probably the mindset of packing internationally or domestic is minimal, Having don't have a lot, because the worst thing in the world is being in the airport or being that guy going into the hotel and your care and your arms are full. You remember as a kid like you're going to the grocery store and you have all those bags, you're trying to impress your mom and you've got, like you know wearing your dad shoes, yeah, yeah. 

You don't want to look like that while you're traveling, and that's kind of our mindset is be minimal be as minimal as you can. 

0:03:54 - Sara

But I also think that there are a lot of people other who say I only pack, carry on and I have for five years traveling full time and like at some award truthfully yes, while that is easy, like when you're lugging things around say you don't want to have to carry a massive suitcase up three or four flights of stairs in Europe or New York or wherever you are when they don't have elevators. 

I also don't want to say that it's a terrible idea to pack a checked bag, because we almost always have to, because we carry a lot of camera gear. It's our job, we love doing it. We carry laptops and we carry a dog which counts as my personal item in cabin because he goes under the seat in front of me. 

0:04:28 - Chris

Yeah, surprisingly, he hasn't figured out how to carry something for him, right. 

0:04:34 - Sara

So we are saying a lot to say we have gotten pretty used to having to check a bag. Could we do carry on only if it weren't for Kramer and all the camera gear? Absolutely Like we, 100% could. But checking a bag is not always bad because our doing so will allow us to carry less through the airport. So when we get there, yes, we have a big bag that we're taking with us from hotel to hotel or wherever we're moving around to. It keeps us lighter while actually in the traveling position going through airports. 

So it's not all bad and most airlines will give you maybe not most, but many airlines will give you your first checked bag free if you're going international Like we always fly Delta or not always, but often fly Delta and they do give you your first international bag free. So it's not like it's all that more expensive. It just can be inconvenient. So, depending on what kind of trip you're having, depending on how often you're moving around maybe you're moving around every night, we don't. We usually are in a hotel for at least a week before we move on to the next place. So it's not a big deal to us. But consider how often you're moving around and how many bags is too many bags, but wouldn't end up at less. 

0:05:38 - Chris

So I guess it comes down to what is necessary or essential and what is kind of glamorous. How do you decide that? 

0:05:46 - Sara

It depends on what season you're traveling in, so you'll have to take into consideration like whether or not you need a coat or whether you need five different pairs of shoes Shoes are always the thing we overpack and whether or not, you? 

need a computer at all. Are you working? If you aren't working, you probably don't need to bring your laptop. We have to bring a lot of stuff like work gear essential to camera gear essential and then we have to bring clothes. But as far as packing 20 mini toiletries, like three things of shampoo and three things of toothpaste, like you just don't need it. You will find those things in every corner of the earth. 

0:06:17 - Chris

Yeah, and worst case scenario, you're staying at a hotel. They'll have the toothpaste, and sure you're going to pay three or four extra dollars for that there, but it's not the end of the world. 

0:06:27 - Sara

Yeah, I'd say save the space, don't stress, don't buy 20 of everything, buy one of everything. I always carry one little mini shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, those kind of things to get me through, and then if we need more, I'll just get it when we're there. Yeah, doesn't make sense to haul it all around the world. 

0:06:41 - Chris

Okay, let's get into the nitty gritty. Okay, how many pieces of underwear do you take? 

0:06:46 - Sara

I think I always overpack that. 

0:06:49 - Chris

Everybody does, it doesn't take out that much. 

0:06:50 - Sara

You're like might as well take 20 pairs. 

0:06:52 - Chris

I mean, yeah, you may have an accident, like I mean like let's talk about this, Like how, so my role of them? I like to try to take it. If I'm going somewhere a week, I like to do a week's worth of underwear plus two. 

0:07:06 - Sara

Just for those two days. You just can't hold it. 

0:07:09 - Chris

Just in case you get some Thai tummy, whatever, just in case. 

0:07:14 - Sara

Just in case, is concerning Just in case. How often have you needed that just in? 

0:07:17 - Chris

case, surprisingly not a lot, but I think about that all the time. And then same goes for socks too. You're gonna say for Sara. I was like whoa speak for yourself. 

0:07:28 - Sara

Unless there's something super specialized. And this is where it comes down to necessities, Like if you have certain medicines, if you have a very specific need of I want this kind of cosmetic or something, go ahead and bring it, Because finding exact things abroad will be a little more difficult. Now, domestically, you're gonna be set, but just know that more often than not you're gonna be able to find what you need. 

0:07:50 - Chris

Yeah, all right, so we're getting ready to go on our trip. We should probably move on to the next segment, which is creating a packing list. What is this? Tell me about your ways. 

0:08:04 - Sara

My ways involve just a checklist in my phone or in Notion. I always use Notion, which actually, if you missed last episode, we talked about Notion there too but it's a project management software kind of idea and it's, I say, kind of a project management software. It does a lot of different things but you can use it for free. I'll link it down below. But we create our packing list, our itineraries and everything in Notion. So I'll come up with a checklist, I'll do it by category and I'll take into consideration that trip. 

But I start planning like long and advanced. I don't necessarily pack until like the day before, but as I think of something, I'll just pull up the app in my phone and be like oh, I really want to make sure I don't forget my swimsuit cover up for the trip to Mexico or something like that, Something I know I probably will forget because I don't take it on every trip. I'll go ahead and pull it out and just like mentally make a note of that. So usually the packing process starts long before I ever pull suitcase out of the closet, especially for a trip that's a little bit bigger or more exotic, and I really want to make sure I have everything I need. So make that packing list and then categorize it. Categorizing makes it so much easier so you can kind of work through the list and Chris and I work off a different list, but usually it kind of translates to the same person. 

0:09:14 - Chris

Yeah, yeah yeah, like well, I mean, Sara and I, we both kind of divide and conquer, and I do a lot of the electronics, or you know, I think we never really set out, we never really talked about that. It just kind of happens Like yeah, we're just like all right, I'll take care of all the batteries, or you know all that stuff. Yeah, sorry, I was just gonna say I was like agreeing it's yeah, yeah, yeah. 

0:09:36 - Sara

Yeah, we did sort of just stumble into that when years ago you did sort of take over the electronics stuff. You made sure all the batteries are charged, we had all of the memory cards and they were emptied off. 

And you got all that together. Make sure we had all the cables that we need, all those little things that I tend to forget. Chris takes over and does. We each have a little tech pouch that goes inside our backpack and that's where we keep, like our headphones. If you watched, like our gear video back over the summer, we actually dove into this little tech pouch that we absolutely love, by Peak Design. 

0:10:07 - Chris

It's so cool. 

0:10:07 - Sara

It's like Mary Poppins Bag. It holds so much. We put our little mini SSD hard drives in there. Our headphones I always take like a protein bar, Like all sorts of like little knickknack kinds of things. 

We each have one of those and we're each responsible for our own little tech pouch of the specific things that we need. And then you sort of divide and conquer. We sort of divide and conquer he takes, you know, charging and maintenance of the electronic gear, and then I handle Kramer, and then we each pack our own clothes. It may look different for you if you're traveling solo or you've got kids, but this is sort of how we've managed. We've each found like what works for us and we just roll with it. 

0:10:40 - Chris

Yeah, that Peak Design bag is very dangerous. Because you can fit so much Word, you can overstuff it pretty quick yeah. 

0:10:47 - Sara

And it gets heavy. 

0:10:48 - Chris

It does get heavy. It's like a brick it is. 

0:10:51 - Sara

But yeah, categorizing really helps us. That's not only does it help you make the list and dividing it up make sure you don't forget something, but it also helps us when we're actually doing the packing process. So we kind of divide and conquer. Like we said, destination specific items are always important. So if we're going to the beach, obviously you're gonna need swimsuits, flip-flops, sunscreen, all that kind of thing. So keeping in mind where you're going is going to affect what you're packing. 

So you're going to want to really get those kind of things rolling earlier, mentally making sure that you don't forget anything, because those specific things, while they may be available in whatever destination you're going to say you're going to Hawaii, sunscreen is probably gonna be more expensive when you get to Hawaii. Baiting suits are probably gonna be marked up in Hawaii or Mexico if you're in the touristy area. So forgetting that will cost you. So you're gonna want to make sure that you get those things that are essential to that trip packed early. 

0:11:44 - Chris

Yeah. So right now we've been traveling for quite a bit and most of our truck is full of our summer clothes, but we've stayed out here in the Pacific Northwest just a little longer and it's slowly, slowly becoming fall-like weather, a little cooler, and we are standing in our shorts and we're like, oh no, winter is coming Winter is coming and so all of our winter gear is back home. You just mentioned, like the destination type of trip like what we're packing for that specific type of trip. 

Let's go into, like what are the must-have items for different types of trips. 

0:12:21 - Sara

Yeah, okay, so say you're going to a city, I always take comfortable shoes. Comfortable shoes are my thing. I'm not the most fashionable person, so shoes have to be comfortable for me to wear them. But especially if you're gonna do a lot of walking, like in cities where you're going to be going from museum to museum or you're gonna be going on a food tour or whatever it is, having comfortable shoes in a city that's probably largely cement that can wear on you. 

We're traveling and we're doing something specific for a city, say New York or something, I will bring a couple of nicer outfits, which I wouldn't normally do if we're camping. Like I don't even have a single nice outfit in this truck right now, like if we were to get and buy it out to a nice dinner, I have nothing to wear right now. 

But if we're going to a city, more than likely I'll pack at least one decent outfit, which means an extra pair of shoes that are nice. I try to keep things pretty versatile anyway, so I'm not gonna wear like an evening gown, but, like I, black is key again because black can dress up or dress down really nicely. But cities will mean a couple of nicer outfits, but make them versatile. Make sure you can layer, put a nice sweater over it and then maybe add denim jacket over the next day or whatever. I'm just throwing out ideas right now. 

But the more you can mix and match, the better. But cities will mean more variety. You'll have the comfy clothes for going out walking. You'll have the going out to dinner clothes, the museum clothes, whatever that looks like for you, yeah, and going to cities. 

0:13:37 - Chris

If you have a smartphone, the best thing to do is try to download whatever apps the city uses for parking, for getting on the subway. I mean, Seoul and Korea has their own apps to use for their taxis and for their subway system. 

0:13:54 - Sara

Everything so specific to Korea, just because Korea doesn't use Google? 

0:13:57 - Chris


0:13:58 - Sara

They don't use Google Maps over there at all. Like they, google Maps does not have access to Korea. 

0:14:01 - Chris

Yeah, so there are some places that Google doesn't work and that would be it. 

0:14:06 - Sara

Most places it does. So if Google Maps is your go to, you're going to be okay, but always look ahead, do a little research, figure out what apps do they use in that place and see what other people have said they've used while they're there whether that's a parking app, like Chris said, for street parking, because those do change up from place to place. Transit apps a lot of places have specific transit apps so you can track the metro or the subway or whatever it is. Maybe it's like the Uber Eats of the area. If you are planning on staying somewhere and you do know you're going to want to order in a couple of times. If it's just been a busy day, having those already downloaded before you get there is so much easier. So instead you're not standing in the airport trying to download all these apps while connecting to the Wi-Fi, possibly in a foreign language. You know, just get everything on your phone now. Get it before you go. It saves so much time. 

0:14:50 - Chris

It saves so much time, so much time, and we have been those people in the airport trying to connect to the internet the download apps. So make sure that you do that wherever you're going. Let's go to like beach vacation. 

0:15:04 - Sara

Beach, vacation, swimsuit, sunglasses, sunscreen. Oh, here's an important one Reef safe sunscreen. That is a very big thing and it's better for you, too, it's. You're going to hear it a lot in places like Hawaii, even Bacalar, bacalar. You are not allowed to wear sunscreen in the lagoon where we went back in April in Mexico, because it actually, like normal sunscreen, will kill the. What are they called? Oh, it's like a living, it's like this living thing, that living organism. 

Yeah, and the water. But it kills it off. That's what makes part of the water so blue and all these different colors. But the chemicals kill off that living organism. But it also can kill the reef. So reef safe sunscreen I like thanks, for I think it's what's called. 

I'll look at that I've used that for a long time. It's zinc oxide. It does have a whitish tint to it. It's not the most beautiful, but when you are out in the sun all day it does a good job and it's safe for you and it's safe for water and anything else that you're in. 

0:16:06 - Chris

Yeah, I feel like beach trips are pretty easy to pack for a very minimal to pack for Flip flops, a good Hawaiian shirt and a swimsuit you know, just like. I mean, that's all you really need in sunglasses. 

0:16:17 - Sara


0:16:18 - Chris

Yeah, there's not a whole lot that I would say that you need for beaches. 

0:16:21 - Sara

Yeah, but we said that some of those items will get marked up pretty heavily, like in Mexico, and they will mark up the bug spring and the sunscreen. 

0:16:29 - Chris

That is true. 

0:16:30 - Sara

So always, always it may seem annoying to be packing a heavy bottle of sunscreen Just do it. Oh, and this is another reason why sometimes check bags are better than carry-on, because you can bring full-sized things of sunscreen. Yes, you can take it and put it in a little travel-sized thing, but sometimes that's just not enough. 

0:16:47 - Chris


0:16:47 - Sara

Because I use a lot of sunscreen on vacation. 

0:16:49 - Chris

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's a good point. 

0:16:50 - Sara

So sometimes check bags for us are about making sure that we can bring the right amount of liquids, because you know on carry-ons you can only bring was it 3.2 ounces of each thing? 

0:17:00 - Chris

Yeah, very small, you'll go through that pretty fast. 

0:17:02 - Sara

Yeah, you will. I mean shampoo and stuff. Yeah, you can always find more. But if you sunscreen that kind of thing, bring it with you. 

0:17:07 - Chris

Yeah, so, all right, we did cities, beaches, and next is the adventure, the outside, the rural. Like you're going, hiking mountains, whatever happens, what do you bring? 

0:17:18 - Sara

Sturdy footwear. 

0:17:19 - Chris

Footwear is very important to me. Sturdy footwear. 

0:17:22 - Sara

That's what I have written down. Sturdy footwear whatever that looks like to you, I mean, make sure that you have layers. Layers are so important, especially when you're putting yourself out there, and when I say adventure vacation, I'm going to say that means like hiking cycling running somewhere where you're going to be a little bit more off the grid, away from society, and you need to be emergency prepared. 

0:17:42 - Chris

So maybe not flip flops. 

0:17:44 - Sara

Probably not flip flops. 

0:17:46 - Chris

We've seen people hiking flip flops. I wouldn't recommend that. No, we can't. We're asking for a problem. 

0:17:50 - Sara

I would say we like to wear trail running shoes versus hiking boots. Hiking boots always feel really hard on my knees. I understand the ankle support. That hasn't really been a problem for me but I like my feet to be really soft and not be carrying a lot of weight on them. So I like to wear I have brooks trail running shoes right now and I've also used altars in the past but carrying some sort of sturdy footwear close toe. For if you're going and doing something like hiking or hiking, I'm trying to think of another activity. Whatever the activity is, you need to make sure you have that specific gear. So whatever gear you're taking for whatever sport or activity you're doing, sometimes that means it can't be put in carry on, whether that's a you know. Say you're going. This is really extreme, but like you're going to walk on a glacier or climbing ice and you have to bring that little pick thing that's probably going to be considered a weapon. 

So, like some of these things, you're going to have to pack check bag. But I know that seems extreme, but it really is true that some of the stuff is really bulky. It can be kind of used as a weapon. So you will, for a lot of that gear, need to check it and some of that will be considered oversized, like skis, bikes. You can check those things on a plane. They're going to cost more. 

0:19:01 - Chris

Don't be the guy trying to get your skis inside the cabin of the airplane. It just it won't go well. Have you witnessed? 

0:19:06 - Sara


0:19:07 - Chris

No, but I'm sure somebody has? 

0:19:09 - Sara

I'm sure somebody has. I'm going to wear them through the airport so they don't have to pay. Yeah, there's nothing to see here. 

Oh, all right. So I was just going to wrap that up and say whatever your trip plan, and if it's specific to you and your person I hate that term, your person, what does it even mean? Whatever have it with you, so, like my bike helmets, my cycling shorts, my running shoes, like all those are things I don't want to replace when I get there. I've broken them in. I love them. They're known and tried and true. 

0:19:39 - Chris

Pack them with you and make sure you don't forget it All right, we've decided the trip, we've got all our necessary Items, we've got the bags. What are some techniques and tips that we can do for packing? 

0:19:54 - Sara

How can we? 

0:19:54 - Chris

fit all of our goodies inside these bags packing cubes. 

0:19:59 - Sara

They're the those are so big, but they are so important. 

0:20:02 - Chris

Packing cubes packing cubes are the best kept secret. 

0:20:05 - Sara

I don't know if they're a secret even they're great. 

I love them, but if you so we don't know what packing cubes are. They are just these little cubes that zip up and they expand sometimes and they just make everything fit so much cleaner in your Sukey's. Coming of already different sizes and they just kind of stack and mix and match. So instead of having random objects of different sizes you can put like I have one, for I use them in the truck too. Actually they're right above me, but they I'll do one for pants, one for shorts, one for underwear and then one is usually Like random extra things, like a swimsuit, swimsuit cover up, maybe a couple hats, and I just kind of stuff them all in. But because they zip up, you can kind of stuff and stuff and stuff and then zip it all up and you can get way more in your suitcase. 

Now it will be heavy so you got to consider weight more but you can get a lot of things into, say, a carry-on bag. 

0:20:54 - Chris

Yeah, so where can you get those? 

0:20:56 - Sara

You can get them on Amazon. You can have a RI. I got mine at RI and I like them a lot. I don't know if they still make the exact same ones they probably something very similar still but I got them on clearance and they have been great quality. I love them. I actually went back and bought more for you. So packing cubes are great. They're a good investment. 

0:21:14 - Chris

All right, so we've got packing cubes, we've shoved all. We have shoved all of our clothes in there. I think talking about clothes and we hit on it earlier, but I want to make I want to make sure we hit it on again layering using clothes. Sara's wearing a Patagonia shirt right now, and so a lot of outdoor companies do this well, they Layer very well, so you can go buy an entire outfit but then have three different outfits or four different outfits from just buying there's one set of clothes. 

0:21:41 - Sara

Yeah, we like to mix a match a lot and we we're not very expensive people. We always work on a budget but I feel like clothes are one of those things that we have invested in over time, especially brands like Patagonia, like they are expensive, no doubt, but you can Work up to it and kind of build a kit over you over the years, and that's what we've done. So we have all these different pieces that we mix and match. And if you're not sure about how to mix and match say you're going Somewhere cold, like Iceland, and you're not really sure how to layer you're new to this when in doubt ask, I always say go to REI, because the people at REI know how to layer, find somebody. 

Or they say I'm going to so and so and I want to make sure that I am protected from the rain and the cold. How do I layer appropriately to where it'll dry quickly and they will help you. Obviously it might be expensive, but they will at least show you how to do it like start with a long underwear and then the layers. Like you don't want to put Cotton at the bottom. Yeah, all this kind of things. You want things to breathe and dry, and getting dressed while traveling is actually its own technique. But yeah, layering is very important in keeping things versatile and I think quality over quantity for sure. 

0:22:43 - Chris

You know what? The worst thing is? What when you have packed your toiletry bag and it is leaked. 

0:22:50 - Sara

Oh yes. 

0:22:50 - Chris

I had that happen. I do, I've had it happen like a couple weeks ago actually, yeah it was disgusting Last year in our last van. 

0:23:02 - Sara

I got so lazy last year living in the van that I was like you know what I am done, having shampoo and conditioner. I went out and I got one shampoo and conditioner combined which is terrible for my hair. 

0:23:14 - Chris

Mega bottle, mega. 

0:23:16 - Sara

Fruits or whatever it was in one. It was so over as you know what. I don't have time for this in the van. I don't want to use so much water. We have a small water tank and I went out and I bought this. Well, they only had one size of the two-in-one shampoo and conditioner and it leaked all in my bag and I had to wash it and wash. It was just bubbles upon bubbles, bubbles washing it. So don't do that. Get specific travel. Containers. 

0:23:39 - Chris

That was a stupid move on my part and I, I just did that for the first time. You've been doing it for a long time. You're smarter than me. But I went into Walmart and I'm like, oh hey, I need these. And they're just these little silicone travel containers. And then I squirted my shampoo in there. It's nice shampoo and it hasn't leaked. Yeah, great, I did that after my bag, after the last shampoo bottle leaked. 

0:24:02 - Sara

So yeah, they've gotten a lot better. I like yeah, they used to be this like really dinky plastic ones and those would leak. Yeah the ones I just bought recently on Amazon. I've used them lots of times that they have not leaked on me once, and I am that person who's funny about face wash Like I like to bring my specific face face wash and moisturizer, and so I will always buy the regular size and squeeze it Into the little one, the little travel sizing, before we leave. 

0:24:28 - Chris

I'm picky like that it's the worst thing sticking your hand in your toilet, your bag and everything's just so, be, well, just nasty. 

0:24:34 - Sara

I never use self tanner but I did pack it for one trip one time. And when was it? It was Iceland, of all places. I was like I have to be in a swimsuit for the hot springs, I'm gonna pack self tanner. I had been out the sun at all. I don't know why I was thinking I should pack tanner. It's one of those things I definitely excess packed. I don't know what I was thinking. I mean, I'm not tan, I put it in. I put it in a little travel size container, but I put it in one of my cheap ones that leaked. And it was the first night in Iceland. It had leaked in my checked bag and I reached into my bag to get it or to get out something else and I knew it was a saltaner, but it was worse. I didn't realize it in time. And so my whole hand, like do you remember that my palm in my hand was like straight, dark, brown. For days I had this and it was the last one I've ever packed self-tanner. 

0:25:23 - Chris

Nobody wanted to shake your hand. 

0:25:24 - Sara

No, I looked diseased. But Anyway, don't just be careful with how you pack and what you pack. Don't pack self-tanner, I don't know what I was thinking. 

0:25:32 - Chris

Yeah, and you know, if you're asking, I mean we'll link our toiletry bags down to that we use. I mean they're just basic REI toiletry bags. I love them. It's just a big bucket that we put our stuff in and all fits. 

0:25:43 - Sara

They're great. I have one for makeup and one for toiletry and they just. They're kind of like packing cubes too, where they just line up straight, in this case. 

0:25:49 - Chris

Yep, yep. So let's talk about trying to pack light, and I think that would. We'll. Probably this will be the last really big section. But how do we pack light? 

0:25:59 - Sara

because Don't pack self-tanner. 

0:26:01 - Chris

Yeah, that. And then, because the worst thing is being at the airport, and then you packed everything. I mean maybe you jumped on the suitcase, you know, like you, like I sit on it, you zip it. Done that, been there, done that, and we go to the airport and then they're like oh, that's 54 pounds, sorry, like, and then you either have to pay more or you have to take it out of your bag and redistribute, which is the worst feeling. So any tips on how to like pack light? 

0:26:27 - Sara

I always wear my heaviest shoes on the plane. Partially I like to be comfortable, which means and I get cold on planes, so it always means lots of layers. I'll wear my chunkiest sweater. I'll wear my tennis shoes that take up too much room in the suitcase. I look awful when I fly. 

0:26:42 - Chris

There's a there's a non-spoken rule about travel day is you can look any way you want in the airport and if somebody grabs a photo of you, I mean that's on their end like they shouldn't do that, but it's just like this unspoken rule. It'll be like we're traveling today and be like oh, I get it. I get it why you look like that. 

0:26:57 - Sara

I look like death when. I travel, it doesn't matter how many times I fly, I just look like death is like somebody saw you, somebody slapped me in the face. 

0:27:02 - Chris

Well, somebody saw you come out of the Delta Lounge shower one time. 

0:27:06 - Sara

Yeah, that was right, that was between that was flying over from Iceland or Korea. 

0:27:10 - Chris

Yeah, and thankfully you had just cleaned up. You looked very nice. But somebody later commented on our YouTube channel. I think I saw Sara in the Delta Lounge shower. Like leaving the shower. 

0:27:21 - Sara

I forgot about that. I don't know, maybe they're listening, maybe they're not, but yeah, that was funny, in case you don't know, like, some of the lounges have showers and we get the lounges with our credit card, which is really convenient and that's sort of a new thing for us. But yeah, getting off a long hall flight and being able to shower is amazing but, yeah, somebody saw me and I guess I look better. I'm sure I looked happier. 

0:27:42 - Chris

You always look good, Sara, Don't die. 

0:27:45 - Sara

Yeah, you always look good, but layering up okay so I'm gonna go back to this one, because I put a lot of thought into this one trip last year and we didn't take it. But we had wanted to go to Iceland in the winter to see the Northern Lights and to experience snow and to do all this kind of thing. We didn't get to do it, but I did put a lot of thought into planning it and one of the things was we have parkas, we have really thick jackets and I knew that I had to wear that one on the airplane. So, say, you have a really thick jacket or you have really bulky hiking boots, consider wearing those on the plane. You may look ridiculous, but it's gonna save a lot of room in your suitcase. 

0:28:23 - Chris

Yeah and try to pack things that have dual purposes. Not only can you use it for this one specific event that you're going for, but maybe you can use it for traveling, for travel days, or you can wear the same shoes every day, or maybe you wear the same blue jeans for a couple days in a row. Whatever that is, try to use things that have dual purposes. That way you're not overpacking. 

0:28:45 - Sara

I think that goes with shopping too, and that's kind of how you and I have. We're not perfect, but we have definitely cultivated a wardrobe of things that are very versatile. That's very important to us, that we buy, like I said, quality over quantity, and so these pieces will last years and years and years, and they have. I mean, I still have clothes I've worn for six or seven years now, because they're such good quality and they just work well with one another, so I think that's really important and one thing we haven't touched on at all, oh is, we've talked about packing and making sure that we have all the clothes, we have all the shoes, blah, blah, blah. 

0:29:19 - Chris

We haven't talked about laundry. 

0:29:21 - Sara

Oh, my goodness laundry. 

0:29:22 - Chris

Yeah, so I mean that's a good thing. 

0:29:24 - Sara

That's actually something I always bring with me, like people. 

0:29:26 - Chris

I mean bring laundry detergent. If you're staying in a hotel, a lot of times They'll have the laundry detergent there too, but I would bring your own, whatever you want. But a lot of hotels, a lot of places. There's laundry all over the world. Everybody has to wash their clothes. 

0:29:39 - Sara

Yeah, I see a lot of people washing them in the bathroom, saying I'm not gonna say I've never done that. I certainly have. But it doesn't take that much extra time to go seek out a laundry machine, whether that's in an Airbnb, whether that's in a hotel. Yeah, laundry is all over the world. We have used laundry mats in Mexico and who knows where else. I mean you can find laundry. And so we like to always pack a couple of little pods. Those are the easiest. Yeah, laundry pods. Bring those. A couple dryer sheets if you want to. 

I don't know that I've ever actually cared enough to pack dryer sheets, but you can bring them if you'd like. And then I always pack like my 99 cent or $2 laundry bag from Target. I mean, it's just like those netted bags, but I always bring one of my suitcase. It takes no extra room. But what we do is we, as we start having dirty clothes, we put the dirty clothes in the laundry bag so it keeps them separate from all the other clothes in the suitcase, keeps them consolidated, and then, when we're ready to go to the laundry mat, take that giant bag and we go. I think a lot of people forget a laundry bag and that's one of my things, of every time I feel so together. 

0:30:35 - Chris

Yeah, it's super easy so, and sometimes places have laundry services that. Are not expensive, which that's the key, because some hotels they'll be like oh yeah, we'll watch it for you dollars a pair. Yeah, $10 for your underwear. I'm like no, no, no, no, that's not $10 underwear, we don't need that. 

0:30:52 - Sara

We've only paid for that one time, and that was Thailand. But, they came and picked up our laundry and then brought it back to us the next day, and I think it was that we did not pay $10 per underwear. 

0:30:59 - Chris

I want to make sure that we did not. 

0:31:01 - Sara

I don't remember how much it was to have the entire service, but it was so cheap. It was cheaper than what we would have paid in time to go wash it somewhere. And that was a day my life changed. Yeah, realizing somebody could do my laundry for me it was really nice. 

0:31:13 - Chris

Look, you're about to take a trip and you know packing is just one headache on this entire like trip. You know adventure and hopefully that this, hopefully this episode helped kind of get you in the right mindset what we think about how we do it. But just in case we didn't hit on anything, I want to just ask you this Is there any resources, is there any Equipment that you love that we didn't mention or we need to mention again? 

0:31:41 - Sara

having quality clothes is important. We mentioned that quality shoes, quality clothes and then quality bags. That makes a difference and obviously don't go out and buy everything all at once. Actually, we should mention this because this is Relevant today, because just yesterday we went to REI's new resupply store. We don't know what that is. It's only the second location ever. 

0:32:01 - Chris

We need to make sure this episode isn't sponsored by our REI. We just like our, yeah, we really do they. 

0:32:06 - Sara

Whenever they get a 20% out, they do 20% off discount coupons for members All the time. It's like $30 to join for lifetime, but it'll save you the money, trust me. I've saved it time and time again. But yeah, rei resupply store Is there, second of its kind. There was one in California and now there is one in the suburbs of Portland, oregon, and it is where they send all of their used and returned gear. Some of it's like the surplus of Overstocked items that didn't sell and they all it was awesome. 

It is a fraction of the cost. I mean, I was walking through and I saw one of my favorite pairs of shorts by Topo. I think I paid like $60 for yeah, and I saw them for $25 in like new condition. 

0:32:47 - Chris

Yeah, I think they had ever been more speed. Most people are returning these items to this REI store and like they're all new. 

0:32:52 - Sara

They're all new but so if you are Someone who shopped at REI for a long time, they used to do the garage sales which they would literally be in the garage and some of these REI locations, but it would be all the returned items because REI is really great and that they Believe in like recycling kind of thing. So don't just throw it away and making waste, but maybe give it a second life. Maybe buy used. I like to buy. I really do like to buy used if I can. Yeah, maybe not for everything, but like a nice outerwear jacket I'm not gonna wear all the time but I still need to do a good one of. I am totally fine buying it used. 

They had a really cool motto in their story yesterday. Actually that was. It wasn't a motto, but it was the tagline on the back of the wall and it's like it's gonna get dirty anyway or something like that. I was like you know what you're right, like good gear. If you're using it what it's for, it's gonna be used in abuse. So buy it in good shape to where it has a lot of life left in it, but you don't have to buy it brand new. Give something somebody else is a second life, so are you. You can actually shop on their website used gear, which is a great place to save money, but also if you're in the Portland area or in Southern California. I'm not exactly sure we're in Southern California. 

I'm sure the LA area probably, but they do have those two locations and we heard they're gonna be adding that to different regions of the country. Yeah but shopping used is really a great way, especially for something like a duffel bag. Yeah, get something. Return packing cubes you can maybe get. Yeah, just need to consider to save some money. 

0:34:11 - Chris

Yeah, so, and just to go over some of the things that we own ourselves the luggage, like we own away bags for our suitcases rolling and checked yeah and our packing cubes are from REI or Amazon, like we've kind of mixed and matched on there Some clothing brands that we love, or Patagonia. I've actually fallen in love with a pair of pants by Teran. They're really nice. I like those pants a lot. 

0:34:36 - Sara

You can good pants yeah. 

0:34:39 - Chris

The. There's a lot of different clothing option dropped out there for you guys. 

0:34:43 - Sara

Oh, one of the random thing I haven't mentioned to bring is a battery bank. You can always find outlets and airports, or even if you're traveling by road, like having a little battery bank to charge that phone in a pinch. 

0:34:55 - Chris

That's actually one of the reasons why we bought the away bag at first, because it had a battery bank in it. 

0:35:00 - Sara

I think they stopped doing that though they may have because I always get told, take the battery out of the bag, and I I mean, I know that's a lithium battery, but so that's sort of useless on a suitcase now because they will make you remove it but having, I still use the battery, yeah. I can't that came with it, as I just charge it, probably home, and I always get at least one phone charge out of it. Super nice. 

0:35:18 - Chris

So no matter what trip you are taking, I hope it's a good one and I hope that you are packing well. We'll have all the links, every good thing that we've talked about, and probably more in the description down below, whether that's in all the show notes, whether it's on YouTube or on that, our website, but yeah. 

0:35:35 - Sara

I think that wraps it up, that was. I'm just still thinking about how can you? Always makes me anxious, and I don't not, I shouldn't say always makes you anxious. It used to make me anxious. Now I'm pretty confident in how I pack, but it does take a little practice, like making sure you know what you don't need. So just yeah, I think start early is a good piece of tip, a good piece of ice to leave them on. Start early. 

Get that list running Well, even if you don't use notion whatever, use notepad in your phone, whatever. Just Start writing things down mentally so you don't forget. It'll take a lot of stress off you. You're, like me, very type a, just help yourself. 

0:36:08 - Chris

All right, that was it for this episode. We'll see you in the next one. 

0:36:12 - Sara

Yeah, thanks for listening to What No One Tells You with Chris and Sara. You have a comment or question that you want answered on the air? Be sure to send us a message to hello at christen Sara calm, or you can call or text our phone number at 423 825 9572. Thanks for listening. 

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