Living Out of a Suitcase

We are back in Mexico – spending a couple of weeks in Playa Del Carmen & Cancun. The move required us to pack up ALL our belongings once again.
Which is the question I am most frequently asked -“How did you pack for a 3 month trip?”
Not easily.
Our intent was that we would each have one suitcase and one carry-on bag. Sounded good, but didn’t work out. Neither of us could fit everything we thought we would need into one suitcase and keep within the airline weight limits. Going over that limit equals a stiff cash fine – about $50 US, and with the number of flights we have scheduled – we wouldn’t be able to afford to eat if we had pay that penalty for each leg of the journey. On past trips, we have been those people at check in who have to open their suitcases to redistribute belongings or take items out to meet the limit. So now, in addition to the suitcases, we each have a small rollarboard suitcase that we consider our carry-on, and a briefcase for John and a tote bag for me as our personal items.

You will notice that my suitcase is beige – good colour choice to be able to pick it out on the airport luggage carousel. It is not even close to being in mint condition – I had considered getting new luggage for this journey, but airport baggage handlers aren’t always the gentlest of people, and the thought of seeing my brand new suitcase being bag dragged across the tarmac wasn’t something I wanted to witness. This suitcase will owe me nothing when our trip is over, and being banged up and grungy guarantees that no one else wants to claim it.

What’s in the suitcases? To be honest, we packed a bare minimum of clothes. 2 weeks worth, as we knew we would have access to laundry. I had one rule when I was picking out my clothes – each item had to match with at least two other pieces or I didn’t bring it. That way I can mix and match. I use large zip-lock bags to pack my clothes in. They keep everything organized, and easy to sort through. Extra bags can be used to separate out dirty clothes until laundry day. Shoes take up the most space. The rollerboard bags carry our electronics and documents. John had to bring Tim Horton’s coffee with him.
Our strategy is now: Something In – Something Out. If either of us wants to purchase something, we have to be willing to leave something behind in its place. Really makes you question how much you need that tacky tourist T-shirt.

There are two items that I purchased before this adventure, that I could not do without:
1) Grid It Organizer: This is a solid mat covered with interwoven elastics. It allows you to manage all of your “stuff” that you want to carry with you. I use mine for my carry-on bag, and it keeps track of my iPad charger, earphones, cards, pens, etc. Everything that would otherwise end up at the bottom of my bag. The elastics hold everything securely in place. I bought mine on Amazon for less than $20. Well worth it. Will be buying more for our “mobile residence”.

2) Lazy Pants: I also purchased these on-line. They are the most comfortable sweatpants I have ever owned. I am not talking about the tummy-trimming, butt-shaping confines of your LuLuLemon yoga pants. These are Let It All Hang Out baggy gym pants. The motto of Lazy Pants is “Why Sweat When You Can Be Lazy.” Perfect for me. I wear these sweats almost everyday – around the condo in mornings or evenings when it is cool. They are perfect. The other benefit is that they are made of super comfy fleece material. So if I take them off and notice that I am covered with fuzz balls – it’s time to shave my legs again.

Lazy Pants can be ordered on-line at


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