Packing for Palm Springs was a bit different that packing for my business trip last month. We were traveling for Christmas so the goal of our trip was simple: relaxation, family time and fun. While Palm Springs is much warmer than Idaho at this time of year, it went through a ‘cold streak’ over Christmas, which meant the temperatures were in the 50’s and 60’s. I also knew we’d be spending time in the hot tub in the evenings, would spend a day walking around the Premium Outlet Mall and be going to some nice restaurants, so I packed a bit more than normal to make sure I’d have clothes for all occasions. Oh, and I had a present or two in my bag.
My packing list for 6 days in Palm Springs:
- 2 pairs of jeans
- 1 pair of capris
- 1 black skirt
- 2 long sleeve shirts (for travel days)
- 4 short sleeve shirts
- PJ’s (tank top and yoga capris)
- Tank top and shorts (in lieu of a swimsuit as I don’t currently have one and wasn’t going to buy one in the middle of winter just for this trip)
- Black sweater (lightweight for if I needed a little extra layer)
Shoes: I’m a big fan of comfort and knew that we’d be walking a lot, even on our nights out, so I packed my comfy Keens
- 1 pair Keen sandals
- 1 pair closed toe Keens
- Extra duffel bag (in case I bought a lot while there or got a big Christmas present that wouldn’t fit in my bag on the way home
- Book to read on the plane
- Notebook for the memoir I’m writing
- Liquid toiletries-all travel size (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, contact solution, makeup, toothpaste, hair product, etc.)
- Non-liquid toiletries: toothbrush, deodorant
- Glasses case (I usually opt to wear my glasses on travel days and pack my contacts. I find it’s a bit more comfortable if I get stranded over night.)
A side note about my suitcase:
How I wound up with this Voyager suitcase is a funny story. I served in Madagascar with the Peace Corps and there was a political coup and we ended up being evacuated. We were told we could only take 1 bag with us, so I packed my backpack and went to my consolidation point ready for evacuation.
When I arrived, I was told that we could actually have 1 checked bag and a carry on. Since I lived close to our consolidation point I had a full day after I arrived before everyone else got there. The city was safe so I went to the bank, took out the last of my money and went and bought some souvenirs to carry on the plane as I hadn’t bought much during the year I’d been there. I also bought a cheap Malagasy duffel bag to put everything in.
Fast forward a week: I’d been evacuated from Madagascar to South Africa, had my Close of Service medical testing and was flying back to the United States. My cheap Malagasy duffel had barely made it to South Africa and was now wrapped in duct tape to keep it closed. I got to security at the airport where I was told that my carry on could only weigh a maximum of 10 lbs! My duffel was 12 and my purse was 8 so my total number was ok, but they wouldn’t let me through unless I transferred 2 pounds from my duffel to my purse. The only problem was, I was going through airport security, so I didn’t have anything sharp to cut through the massive amount of duct tape around my duffel bag. The security guard didn’t have anything to help me, and I think finally out of nothing more than irritation, he let me pass. At that point, I’d pried some of the duct tape off my bag and while it wasn’t totally open, there was no way it was going to make it back to the U.S. in its current state. With no other option, I had to do the one thing I generally refuse to do: shop at the airport.
I found a luggage store and bought this Voyager bag for about $40. It’s carry on size, but it also expands an additional 2-3 inches, which I find really convenient when traveling somewhere that you know you’re going to pick up extra items. While I carried it on going to Palm Springs, I did end up expanding it to accommodate Christmas presents and checking it on the return trip. While I generally prefer to travel with my backpack for any trips where I know I’m going to be schlepping my bag a lot, this is my go-to suitcase for most U.S. trips.
What do you think of my packing list? What are your must haves when traveling?
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