Packing 101

A friend of mine is packing for a three month stay on the BC coast.

“Not my idea of fun,” she says. “Especially when there will be a season change and we don’t dare leave home without heavy winter gear.”

She posted on my Facebook page this morning, “How on earth do you pack to fly to places like Japan and China!!?? A province away is overwhelming me!!”

Yes, packing can definitely be overwhelming but I think it’s something I’m pretty good at. In fact, my sister recently suggested that I could write a book about it. I don’t think I’ll do that but over the next little while, as we continue to prepare for our stay in China, I’m going to share a few of my finer packing tips here.

Rule #1, of course, is travel light! My parents always taught me never to pack more than I could carry without assistance. Of course, the introduction of wheeled luggage made that a lot easier but less is still definitely better.

Packing is also all about using space effectively. China is a developing country. Many of the products that we are accustomed to using may not be available there. We have been advised to bring a sufficient supply of medications and other essentials to last for the duration of our stay. We did the same for our year in Japan. When crossing international borders, prescription and over-the-counter medications must travel in their original labelled containers but have you ever noticed how much empty space there is in most of the bottles on the drugstore shelf? And how much extra packaging is used?

By simply removing bottles and tubes from their boxes and filling pill bottles to the top, I was able to reduce this


to this


Of course, most of this will be used up before our return trip leaving a bit of extra suitcase space for purchases we might want to make while we’re there or for some of the bulky winter clothing that we’ll be wearing on our way to China. We, too, will have a seasonal change to deal with.

Perhaps my husband’s packing tip is the one most people would like to adhere to though: just let your wife do it! Yes, I do all the packing for both of us! Lucky man!


7 thoughts on “Packing 101

    • I’m seriously thinking about going to China with just 3 pairs… my walking/hiking Merrells, a pair of comfy black flats for school and my brand new sandals which are fairly dressy but also comfortable to walk in. If I can find enough space, I’ll take more though.

    • We always end up taking a lot of stuff when we take the vehicle. Packing for flight is a much greater challenge.

      Thanks again for inspiring me to write this packing series! The next instalment will be finished soon.

  1. Pingback: Packing 104: What else will I pack? « Following Augustine

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