One of the absolute hardest things I’ve had to think about in the last few months, since I’ve receive my visa and got my job in America, has been to figure out what I am, or am not taking with me. Honestly it sounds silly, but its been one of the hardest things to figure out. We were given a very basic list, however I’ve constantly been told that tis unless and to not listen to it. So thats been super helpful. So a couple of weeks before I left, I sat down and figured out a list of everything I need. So today Im writing it for you guys. This is me attempting to pack for 97 days in America.Okay, so first things first. Clothes. Now some may say that I can be a chronic over packer after this but I am traveling for 23 days after my time at the camp and I don’t know what kind of washing or laundry I’ll be able to do during that period, so well… Maybe I went a little over board. But I know it will get me through. So firstly I’be got here a collection of around 15 tops, including a nice purple tank (as I will apparently be on the purple team during colour war?). They’re a mixture of vest tops, tank tops and basic t-shirts. Likewise, some are plain and some are full out Disney themed. Now I must admit, I’ve only take photos of a small collection of them as some of the tops I’m taking with me are either in the wash or already packed, so really sorry that you cant see all of the tops I’m taking. Don’t worry though, if you really want to see the rest, you guys can keep an eye out on our 21 buttons page. Our username is: lifeaccordingtous18. Ill be uploading whenever I can over my entire trip on there.The majority of these tops are new from Primark – mostly because, though I wanted to get a few new things for the trip, I’m still a student and well… I knew if I got them from here, because of their cheap price I wouldn’t mind if I had to throw a few away because they got wrecked. Since their so cheap I though this was a reasonable port of call. So I’ve made sure to pick up loads of different colours, shapes and patterns. This stitch one is actually one of my all time favourites; I got it from Primark, although you can hear more about in my Primark haul here. I have a real thing for Stitch at the moment actually, which may or may not become super obvious by the end of this post (whoops). If anyones curious it started when I bought a giant stitch from Disneyland Paris last summer – so that may have cause more questions… Oh well. Okay so anyway… I usually try to pack my tops by rolling them, as you can see above. Sometimes this is difficult with certain tops, but generally their folded and then rolled. They usually go into the case first on the far side. I dont lay them across the whole case, as I like to create compartments and sections so I know where everything is.Once i have my tops in, I next go to my bottoms; such as my shorts, trousers and skirts. That kind of thing. So for this trip I was told that I will live in fabric shorts and that they will be my saviour. So as I literally own 2 pairs of fabric shorts, both of which are a little short for laborious work around children…. So when I toddled (totally a word) off to Primark, I also got loads of fabric shorts. Like I think I bought something like 8 pairs? Yeah maybe way over board, but I’m expecting some to get lost, damaged or have to be thrown away by the end of it. Ironically, I think the cheaper ‘running shorts’ which are literally £2.50 each, will be the most used pairs. These are the ones pictured above – Yep stitch is there again. You can see a lot of my other ones in my Greece Lookbook (here) but I did pick up a few more since then as they are so useful – oh and so, so, sooooo comfortable.
I should say actually, that any form of bottoms, dont get rolled. I just fold them and flatten them as much as I can, and thats because I feel like they look neater and less crumpled when packed like that. Goodness knows Im no professional, so just do what works for you.Other bottoms include some things I didn’t have to buy . Two pairs of jeans, a pair of leggings and 3 pairs of hippie trousers (I bought these and talked about these for my Greece trip which you can read about here). For jeans I’m taking my comfortable Jonie Jeans from Topshop, a pale blue or bleached pair and my trusty dark blue pair. These are just my go to for trips like these. You know, for those colder nights or traveling days. My pair of leggings are also from Top Shop and I got them ages ago on a shopping trip with Jen. They’re super comfy and they were so cheap too for Top Shop – as in £12? I love these leggings and seriously love them so much. They’ll be perfect for traveling in. I also have two jumpers and two hoodies for the same purpose as the jeans. Just in case of those cooler evenings and mornings, or for those journeys on a plane. These are super important, especially since Im going to be up rather early on quite a few mornings. Next in, I like to think about my all in one outfits and no I do not mean onesies (I wish…). No I mean those things that make life a little easier to get dressed in the morning. Those clothes you can throw on, be lazy with and still look pretty good. And that is the dresses and play suits. I love Playsuits, I think their super comfy and so convenient for the summer holidays. So picked up a few for this trip from different places. Most are from Hollister, because they have such amazing stock in right now! Seriously lovely sets. Again have a look at our 21 buttons, as I’ve uploaded a few outfits on there. As for the dresses, I got most of them years ago, but I still love them and their super comfy for a day out. I tend to pack these all together in a a pile, again probably no rolling. It kind of depends on the piece of clothing, but usually I just (usually badly for the dresses) attempt to fold it. They either go onto of the tops or next to them, depending on the case and how much room there is in the case.
I might as well mention now that I also made sure I pack plenty of underwear, socks and bras. Also sports bras, I’ve packed two as Im been told that its often hot enough at camp for the girls to walk around in just a sports bra, which I’m oddly okay with. Ive also packed 3 pairs of short Pyjamas, again most of which I got from Primark. I was so happy when I walked into one of their shops in London, and finding this pair of Ravenclaw Pj’s for £6! Their going to be perfect for the hot weather over their and I cant wait show my other Ravenclaw friends my find. Pyjamas and underwear of all kinds are folded and packed into my last remaining packing cube – I bought a small set in October off Amazon, but the zips kept breaking, so now only one remains. This kind of separates them all off in their own little section, making it super easy to get hold off. Plus, its like having your own little underwear draw wherever you go!
Okay, so with my basic clothes in the case now next is what I call the ‘wet/water’ stuff. This is the stuff I either wear to go into water or avoid it. So first is my water proof. This is a convent and efficient little coat which is perfect because it folds up into a tiny little pocket. I find it super useful for these trips and the best thing is, its long enough to over my shorts so apparently I look naked underneath… Thank you random shop owner for pointing it out… Anyway, I’m aware that the heat of America, doesn’t mean that it never rains there. So that gets popped in nice and easy, since its already nice and neat.Next in, as I said, is the swim suits. They used to also be in a smaller cube, but now they just get folded and placed on top of the underwear one. In this case I’ve packed 3 swimming costumes and 2 bikinis – I think that should get me through. My white suit is from New Look and though it looks amazing and is great for photos, its not the best material for swimming int. So I usually only put this one on for when Im not actually planning on swimming. You guys have seen my black suit before, in my last packing post here. Its my absolute favourite and I got it from Abercrombie and Fitch. Its perfect for basically everything, so thats always my go too. Bikini wise, one is from Primark and one is from Animal, and I love them both, their super comfy for me. Honestly the worse thing is bikinis that tickle and make me itch! Is this a real issue with others too? That the top’s itchy? No. Just me? okay…
Oh actually one thing I usually pack well before all of this is my towel. Now I know that some people pack this rolled up or something, but I always fold mine and lay it on the bottom of the case. In my mind I think it provides a bit more padding around the bits where the handle tucks in, but it probably does nothing.
Next is the shoes! Now I got asked last time that I didn’t seem to take many shoes with me, and really thats because I’m not really a shoe person. I don’t tend to take many pairs of shoes with me at all. In fact, I rarely wear more than one or two pairs of shoes in an entire trip usually. This time however, because of the nature of my trip, I am taking not just two pairs but, five. The first part of my trip, in the amp, will require me to wear shoes that I’m not too worried about ruining. The second part will require comfy she’s to wear while walking all day, but I won’t want the same shoes for both. So, I’m taking with me first off my trusty Sketchers. I’ve had these shoes since backpacking last year – which you can read about here – and they were perfect for the entire trip. But now, their pretty destroyed. They have holes inside in the sole and to be really honest, no matter how much I wash them, they really really smell! I’m not expecting them to come home, but they’ve served me so well and if they survive the entire time at camp, I’ll be happy. I also have an old pair of Nikes that are equally as loved, but a little less destroyed, however they will be my back up throw-aways. Also I love in my flip-flops, their from Hollister and honestly the most comfy things in existence.
I’ve also put in at this point two new pairs of shoes. For my birthday, I got given two gorgeous pairs of Nike trainers which Im in love with but Ill do a post on them in more details when I get back from my trip. They’ll be perfect for the second part of my trip, when I’ll be traveling around the sites and parks.
Next in goes my toiletries and cosmetics. At this point Im almost done so I like to use a three set of wash bags for this stuff. I separate everything into three categories; make up, medication or medical, and Wash stuff. So first I made up my medical kit. In here went the important stuff, my daily medication, pain killers (paracetamol and ibuprofen), plasters, tissues, cotton ear buds, tweeters, nail clippers and Savalon. I rarely actually take painkillers or anything like that, and my general plan is to stock up on anything else while im in America since I know that im going on a few trips in my first week. I also have health insurance and access to an onsite nurse for most of my stay, so Im really not worried about hurting myself.
My next bag holds in my make up. I really dont wear makeup up that much anymore, but I do like to make sure I have something with me for those just in case days. So I’ve just packed the basics; a small foundation, concealer, blusher, eyeliner and mascara. Honestly that the most ill use and I probably won’t even use all that. I also keep my hair bands and clips in this pouch along with anything else I feel that I need but cant fit in anywhere else.
My last, and largest, bag holds everything else. Literally. I’ve been super careful to only take minis for the start of my trip, as theres no point in me carrying full sized items all the way to america when Im going to Walmart on one of the first days. So I’ve packed in here; my toothbrush, toothpaste, Shampoo, Conditioner, Bodywash, Deodorant, a face cloth and my hairbrushes – one which is a tangle teaser and the other a full toothed brush. I also have face wash/Cleanser, Toner, Moisturiser, my trusty Blistex lip cream, a razer and hand cream. Tother these take up quiet a lot of space, but thats really the extent of it. I slot these rectangular bags in where ever they fit best to be honest, but their pure size is really handy and works well in the size and space of the bag.
Finally, I fit in the last items wherever they work best. These are king of the bits and bobs that dont really belong in any other section, but that dont really get a section for themselves (aw that sounds kinda sad). So in gos things like my chargers, notebooks, pens and adaptors (although I always keep one on me at all times). I also have a money belt and a small leather backpack, that I put in on top at this point. I take these for the parks or day outs where the last thing I want is to travel around with a huge backpack. And I believe thats it.Thank you so much for reading. If you think I may have missed something off please let me know in the comments below. I love to hear from you guys! I hope I may have helped anyone whose planning a long holiday (or vacation) or maybe is off to camp themselves.