Packing Light

Dan with 2 rolling bags, 2 backpacks, 2 fanny packs, and a tote bag. That’s about all we usually have!
Osprey Convertable Rolling Bag and Backpack (Photo courtesy of Osprey Packs)

I’ve had folks ask us how we can pack for such a long trip. We pack “light” which is a relative term. I have 2 pairs of long pants, one pair of capris, and one pair of shorts. I think Dan has only a couple of pairs of pants and one pair of shorts/bathing suit.

We each have a few shirts and underwear. Generally we run out of underwear and have to wash. We prefer not to wear them more than one day although our outer garments are often worn 2-4 days depending on if we get dirty or sweaty.

What takes up a lot of luggage space is supplements. I take a number of OTC items and two prescriptions. Dan takes a few supplements. It has been a challenge getting the supplements and I am running up against issues with the prescriptions that I hope to solve soon. So far I have enough of everything for the next few months.

We have one Sony digital camera with a couple of extra lenses and we each have a cell phone (number changes with each country) and a tablet, and we have one LG Gram laptop which is very lightweight. Even though it is brand new, the warranty is only valid in the US and it is getting hotter than I think it should. My advice if you buy electronics to travel to make sure you have an international warranty or know that you may have to pay repairs out of pocket AND repairs done at a non-authorized dealer may void your warranty. We are a little over half way through on a one year warranty so if I can find someone to look at it I will have it repaired and the warranty voided. Also be careful if you purchase an electronic from a store, the warranty may be limited to that store. We looked at getting a second laptop (we both want to work on this one at the same time) and talked with Dell about a laptop the PriceMart had. The warranty would only be covered at a PriceMart.

We carry about 7 items each time we travel: each of us has a rolling Osprey bag which fits in the overhead of a regular jet, a matching backpack that can be zipped onto the rolling bag, a fanny pack, and a tote for miscellaneous. We sometimes have something extra like this time we have a box of gluten free crackers, gluten free cereal, and a big jar of peanut butter in another bag.

(Bring several charging devices since you may have a problem finding where you packed them. We are thinking about getting a lightweight extension cord since there aren’t always enough plugs, or convenient plugs.)

All in all  it isn’t too hard to pack and move from place to place. We can take the bus if we need to. This time we took a taxi because it was only an hour away and Dan is under the weather with allergies. Hopefully the higher altitude of Boquete Panama will help him.

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