An Empowering Packing List for Sweaty, Sad People

As I mentioned, I was in Annapolis last week. I didn’t go anywhere on The Map. I was busy decompressing, re-compressing, and decompressing again. Somewhere in there I shipped all my shit back to SE Michigan.

I flew to Baltimore on Spirit Airlines. This was my first time flying Spirit, and, as everyone knows, Spirit only allows each passenger to fly with one carry-on item of a certain size. Everyone knows this. I personally view this as a challenge and blessed opportunity to pack as lightly as possible and free my soul. Don’t check a bag, just don’t bring stuff.

I based my packing list off of this “Minimalist Summer Basics” packing list from the site Travel Fashion Girl. It’s all cute and summery and stuff. Anyway, I brought two pairs of pants (jeans and nicer pants), one cute floral dress, one ratty Chastity Belt band t-shirt, one blouse-thing, one camisole, one sports bra, one regular bra, four pairs of undies, one sweatshirt, and my omnipresent vegan Doc Martens. Plus, two pairs of regular socks and my compression socks that I religiously wear on airplanes. That was for a four-day trip, and it all fit in my Spirit-regulation backpack.

I didn’t wear half of those clothes. Yes, I was a disgusting human re-wearing t-shirts and pants, but it rained for most of the trip. I wanted to be a cute and floral “minimalista”, but in reality I’m a depressive, smelly person who likes to be comfortable. You probably are too. So here is what you actually need to bring for a four-day budget airline adventure:

  • One jacket or sweatshirt
  • One pair of jeans
  • 2 shirts – I like spaghetti strap tank tops and band shirts with small holes in them
  • Socks – However many you want, but please bring compression socks for the airplane or train or bus
  • 4 pairs of Undies
  • Bras of a certain number (if you wear bras)
  • Sweatpants – I wish I had brought sweatpants
  • Shoes

If you want to be really professional about things, you could also bring some concentrated soap to wash your shirts and stuff to prevent re-use, but then why are you even reading this?

Other gear that I brought with me:

  • Compact umbrella – made waiting for the bus in the rain bearable
  • Hand sanitizer & tissues
  • Sunglasses
  • The usual toiletries –  you probably want to bring soap and deodorant so as to avoid being literally smelly as opposed to being emotionally smelly
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Power bank for charging phone + phone & charger
  • Cheap packing organizers from Ikea – I put clothes in the medium-sized one and odds and ends in the little one
  • Notebook & pen
  • Compact reusable shopping bag from Ikea – never know when you’re going to the grocery store. Plus, whenever you need an extra bag, you have one
  • Looking for Alaska, by John Green & Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Eyemask that I rarely use
  • Snacks – because Spirit won’t give them to you. I personally brought oversized protein cookies
  • Wallet, ID, relevant tickets, Metrocard, etc.

I packed all of this into a 20L packable backpack that I typically use as a daypack. I’m a big fan of that backpack. Anyway, there was plenty of extra room, and you should resist filling that extra space. It’s so nice to not be weighed down as you walk through the airport, hop onto a train, or run to catch the bus. It’s so empowering to have a portable “home” that fits on your back. You can go anywhere! It doesn’t matter what happens to you – you only own the ratty shirt on your back!

Even if you’re going on a longer trip, packing light is still possible. I’ve never done it, but other people have, so use their experience to your benefit.


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