Packing & Starting the Adventure

As I write this, Shaun and I are sitting at the SFO International Airport, waiting to board our plane.  We smoothly sailed through security a full 2 hours before our boarding time – leaving us with a lot of free time on our hands!

Last weekend we started planning our travel wardrobes and even tried packing it into our backpacking packs.  We quickly realized that we were bringing too much stuff and would be straining ourselves with the backpacks.  So we weighed our options between the backpacks and roller carry-on bags:

  • Backpacks:
    • Positives: Large and roomy for added souvenirs, maneuverability and mobility
    • Negatives: Cannot lock the main compartment for personal security, hard on our bodies, low accessibility (we would need to dig all items out of the bag to get to the bottom), most likely need to check baggage.
  • Carry-on Rolling Luggage:
    • Positives: Lockable (when we leave hotel rooms for the day, we can lock our zippers together), interior is more organized and accessible, easy to roll around, can carry-on the flight to Paris, can expand the bags for added souvenirs, will look more professional compared to a backpack
    • Negatives: Less mobile getting on/off trains and a less romanticized idea of traveling…

So we decided that carry-on rollers was the more practical choice, and our belongings fit better in the rolling luggage anyways.  Here’s the rundown of our packing lists:


  • 5 pairs of shoes: 2 x flats (black & silver), 1 pair wedge heel sandals, 1 pair of nice flip flops, 1 pair of Ecco tennis shoes
  • An XL backpacking towel
  • Yoga Pants (for sleeping)
  • 1 bathing suit & a smocked cover-up
  • 3 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pair shorts
  • 1 lightweight blazer (black)
  • 3 button up sweaters (rust, black, and white)
  • 1 v-neck sweater (grey)
  • 8 short sleeve shirts (mix of tees, sweaters and collared shirts)
  • 5 dresses (mix of all black, mostly black, maxi, and colorful)
  • 5 tank tops
  • Teal trench coat
  • White scarf
  • 3 pairs socks
  • 2 bras
  • 6 undies
  • belt
  • umbrella
  • 2 sunglasses and a pair of glasses
  • hairbrush
  • Toiletries, band-aids, moleskin, tissues
  • 3 pairs earrings, 3 necklaces, 2 bracelets, and 1 watch
  • Small black clutch for evening outings


  • Light Blazer
  • 1 pair of nice jeans
  • 1 pair of khaki pants
  • 1 pair of grey dress pants
  • 1 pair khaki shorts
  • 4 long sleeve dress shirts
  • 5 undies
  • 5 socks
  • tee shirt & basketball shorts (pajamas)
  • M backpacking towel
  • Full zip-up argyle black sweater
  • Quarter zip wool sweater
  • 4 short sleeve collared shirts
  • 2 ties
  • watch
  • belt
  • Brown dressy Sperry’s
  • Black Aldo loafers
  • Navy Lacoste sneakers
  • Black Thunderbolt soft shell jeans
  • Ray Ban Clubmaster sunglasses
  • Grey cashmere scarf
  • Toiletries, shaving stuff & beard trimmer


  • 2 electric outlet converters!
  • laptop
  • headphones x2 (Plus splitter so we can share!)
  • small digi camera
  • large digi camera
  • film camera
  • Rick Steves France book
  • Lonely Planet France book
  • Snacks for plane
  • About 15 protein bars (breakfasts and snacks along the trip)
  • Organized itinerary information and notebooks

Now we wait to board and relax for the next 11 hours!  Bon Voyage, USA!


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