So, every year, I go on this annual family road trip with my parents and my sister. It's probably my favourite thing ever . It's always about three or four days long, and it involves a lot of shopping in the U.S, so we try to minimize what we bring as best we can. Normally, I wind up bringing way more clothes than I need, and then I wind up buying a ton of clothes, so I'm always trying to challenge myself to bring less each year.
This year, I got it down to one backpack and my day bag. The cat in the background is not coming along, and he has turned his back on me in silent, furious protest.
I'm pretty proud of myself! There's still a ton of room in the backpack, not to mention that it expands about another four inches. For someone that is incredibly high maintenance when it comes to my routines and products, I think I did really well.
One of the first things I do once I know I've got a trip coming up is to make a packing list. I have a special notebook that is just for this purpose. I like to hand-write mine out and make little check-boxes, but that's just because I am one nerdy motherfucker. You can actually buy pads of packing lists now, at places like Indigo, but I find that I have to have my own customized list because shit like eczema cream is never on the pre-printed ones.
Packing itself is pretty enjoyable for me. I lay it all out on my bed first, so I can see exactly how big it is, and then decide what kind of bag/suitcase I'm bringing.
So this is everything from inside the backpack. Yes, that is Batgirl underwear. You're jealous.
The actual clothes I bring when I travel take up the least amount of space. Normally, I'd use packing cubes, but they don't really work for me if I'm taking a backpack. For this trip, I'm bringing pajamas, underwear, two bras, socks, three t-shirts, a couple of bandannas and one pair of comfy denim capris. I'm wearing my jeans as my one other pair of pants.
If I'm flying, then I bring about half as much liquid/cream stuff, so this pile would be even smaller.
The purple bag has all of my skincare and shower stuff. Sunblock, lip balm, floss and tooth-brushing stuff, skincare and haircare products in the little black pots, makeup remover, deodorant, my own washcloth gloves because did I mention I'm high maintenance?, conditioner (for three days, ain't nobody got time for shampoo), eczema medication, a billion kinds of body lotion and body oil, Q-Tips, a tiny Venus razor in a tiny case (JUST LOOK AT IT! IT IS FUCKING ADORABLE), my own face washcloth and special morning and evening routine cards just for travel.
The routine cards are part of my life-organization project thing I have going on. I should probably blog about that, but I haven't gotten that far yet. Essentially, every morning and evening, I have routines that help me keep my life and home in order, and because I'm a dork, I have them on laminated cards so I can check them off with dry-erase markers as I go along. Shut up. Anyway, so I have special ones for just when I travel, so I don't get an anxiety attack from being someplace where things aren't always predictable. THIS COULD HAPPEN.
I also bring stuff like migraine medication, allergy medication, vitamins and antacid tablets, but those go in my day bag so I can easily get to them.
I chose to bring the Urban Decay black palette this time.
My makeup and brushes! You'd think this pile would be bigger, but I've learned how to bring only the essentials. The black bag, which is new and something I haven't tried out before, is the Pull It Together travel bag from Sephora. It's really cool, all your stuff just gets tossed onto it, and then you pull the drawstring doodad and it becomes a tiny bag. You can spread it out on a counter when you get to your hotel and not have to worry about rummaging through a toiletry bag. GENIUS.
Onto the makeup. I always bring face primer, undereye primer, eyeshadow primer, a contact-lens case with foundation in one well and liquid highlighter in the other (genius idea that wasn't mine), concealer, one blush, one contour colour and one powder highlight, a nude lipstick palette and a red lipstick palette, matching lip liners, matching lip glosses, and one eyeshadow palette. I used to bring two eyeshadow palettes but then I found that not even my eyeshadow-loving ass would use two palettes in a week, so I quit that. Also, it doesn't matter where I go, I always seem to buy another eyeshadow palette, so why bring extra?
The brushes I bring aren't too crazy. As you can see, they all fit into that case at the top of the photo, along with my brush guards. The Sephora brush wipes are AMAZING for travel. I clean my brushes after each use, and while my foundation, concealer and other cream-or-liquid brushes get washed properly with either shampoo or the Beauty Blender solid cleanser, my brushes for powder products get spot cleaned. That's what I do at home each day, and then once a week the whole lot gets shampooed and conditioned, and THIS is why my brushes last me for years and years. I digress! I used to have to bring my Cinema Secrets brush cleanser in a tiny spray bottle, and now the individually-wrapped brush wipes are my homegirls. You just wipe your brush back and forth on them, and one wipe cleans like, ten brushes. Not as well as the Cinema Secrets cleanser, but well enough to get the job done for a week.
I forgot to take a picture of the contents of my day bag, so here's another shot of the Pull It Together bag. Look at this thing! It magically makes your makeup shrink three sizes! If you travel and you have makeup, you need one.
So, I'm all packed for three days of family fun and shopping! I'm so excited, I can't even sleep tonight. I'M READY FOR THE HOT MESS THAT IS OUR ANNUAL FAMILY ROAD TRIP.