Travel Gear: For Those That Don't Like to Check a Bag

Last fall, I took a trip with a group of my friends to Kyoto. When I took my bag out of the car, a small carry-on, all of the ladies were shocked! They couldn't believe that I, the "biggest" girl going, was taking such a small bag. It's just how I pack and I strive to pack less every trip I take! For my most recent trip, to Cambodia and Vietnam with my sister, I tried to pack minimal clothing but also fashionable... not just t-shirts and jean shorts. Below are my newest items added to my packing list and what I thought about them!

This was where I slept during my 21+ hr layover in Hong Kong. You can basically see everything that I review in this photo by total coincidence!

Here's the link to the REI site, where I got the photo.

This is my new backpack, but mine is a pretty shade of blue! My mom and dad got it for me for Christmas. It's the Osprey Farpoint 55, meaning that it's 55 liters. I did a lot of research on the pack that I wanted and decided on this one for many reasons, but the most important are below.
  • It has a removable day pack, which is the perfect size to carry my camera, a scarf, a travel book, wallet, etc...
  • It fits into a overhead bin of an airplane - aka it's carry-on size! I just unzip the day pack and use them as my two allowed bags. This is pretty much my number one priority.
  • It unzips like a suitcase, which makes it easy to access anything no matter where it is in the bag.
  • The side handle makes it easy to carry around when you don't want to carry it on your back, which I did a lot when we were traveling by bus all over SE Asia. :)

Mine are black, but they offer a lot of colors at this link

These eBags are pretty amazing! I literally stored all of my clothes, including socks and undies, in 3 of these. They have a little stretch in them, making it easy to cram anything you want in them! In one of the bags, I had 3 maxi dresses and two regular dresses. That's pretty amazing considering they're only 5.0 x 2.75 x 14.0.

Santa got my sister and I Lush bar shampoo and shower scrub for our stockings. I have mixed reviews about these items, but overall they were pretty cool. It was nice to not have to have a big Ziploc bag full of toiletries.

  • The shampoo that we got, Godiva, was a shampoo/conditioner combo and, for once, I thought that it actually lived up to the standard of both.
  • They take place of the travel bottles that everyone has to carry around and they can be more than 4 oz with you having to worry about it.
  • They smell good!!
  • When you buy them they come without a container. Then, Lush conveniently offers travel containers. However, the tins (that are cute) are SO hard to open. Before I used them in the shower, they were difficult to open... but afterwards it was nearly impossible! 
  • The shower scrub was black, which isn't a huge deal but I didn't like it. It didn't lather very well either. Actually, I pretty much hated it by halfway through the trip (the shampoo lathered perfectly).
  • Both deteriorated pretty quickly. The soap was done very quickly... Honestly, my sister's didn't even make the trip because her boyfriend used it in the shower and it was gone in one use. Ha!

My mom got me this trifold bag from Thirty-One for Christmas, which was something I hadn't really thought of. It worked out great because I used one section for toiletries, one for jewelry, and the other for odds and ends. The buckle strap also kept it off the limited counter space in the bathrooms, which was a big plus. In my backpack, I laid it out flat on top of everything else. Easy!

The Kadee by Crocs

Okay, so don't judge! I searched and searched for a comfortable pair of travel shoes before this trip because my biggest issue about trips is my back. I get serious, make-you-want-to-cry lower back pain after a day or so of walking around and my feet hurt and bruise pretty quickly, too (these are my old "basketball injuries" that now haunt me). I think, at this point, Mark is used to me just walking around bent at the waist to relieve the pain and pressure from it all.

Anyway, many reviewers said, "Don't knock 'em 'til you try 'em." So, I tried them and, SERIOUSLY, they changed my life. I probably will only travel with Crocs from this day forward. I didn't have an OUNCE of back or feet pain. When I told Mark about this discovery he told met that I should only wear Crocs for the rest of my life. Ha! I told you it was serious...

I bought these Clarks off of Amazon when looking for a cute pair of sandals that would be comfy. Clarks, known for their comfort, seemed like a logical decision and they were affordable. However, they were not nearly as comfortable as I hoped! At first, I put them on and thought they'd be awesome but it didn't take long for me to realize that that was false. Ha! It wasn't long before my feet were screaming. They are definitely cute, but I only wore them when I knew we wouldn't be doing a lot of walking. I think I'd recommend them for day-to-day shoes, but not a travel trip... unless you're doing 5-star only type of trip.

If you have any questions about these items (or others - I've done a lot of research), please feel free to comment here! Also, I wasn't paid to review any of these - it's all my opinion based on my personal experiences! Where are you traveling next?


  1. This is a great post as usual! I have those packing bags and are absolutely in love with them, I use them for everything and just bought another set of 3 small ones.

    I won't laugh at you for the crocs, cause I use to own a pair of the bulky originals. I knew they looked ridiculous, but they were comfy and awesome for in-and-out-of-water activities, and the fact that I could hose them off was amazing. But these are much more feminine and cute...plus you can't really beat the price.

    I was a little bummed those Clark's didn't work out, cause they are actually cute. Aren't Clark's supposed to be the ultimate old lady comfy shoe? Boo!!!!

    Did you bring boots or other shoes for hiking/elephant type activities?

    1. Yeah, I thought going with Clarks was a good choice, but it just didn't work out! Ugh, the search continues...

      I brought tennis shoes, but didn't wear them once! My sister did the same thing. Such a waste of valuable backpack space! Between the clouds of red dust and the fact that my Crocs were so comfy, I really didn't need them.

      I actually wore the Crocs for elephants and my sister wore orthopedic sandals (we're super old sounding, haha). I should have worn something that covered the tops of my feet, but I didn't think of that until a bamboo stick lodged itself into my foot... more on that later. ;)

  2. Hello Kassie, sorry to hear you weren't completely satisfied with your Clarks! Check out our newest sandal collection, as you may find a few other options that fit the bill: http://www.clarksusa.com/eng/categories/womens/sandals

    1. Don't get me wrong, I love the appearance of them. However, the comfort expectations that I have for the Clarks brand just wasn't there. Maybe next time. Cheers!


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