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packing in one bag for a mixed transit trip

Posted in Travel by

Last weekend, Evan and I headed out on a quick two-night trip to the northeast. We were flying in to Newark, Lyfting to Jersey City, using the PATH train to head into NYC, then taking a bus from New York City to Boston the next day, and flying home from Logan. (I’m exhausted just recounting all that!) Originally, I was packing into my small (but roomy) packable tote, but since I knew we’d be walking around a lot and trekking through Boston on foot, I wanted something easier to manage, since my tote doesn’t have a shoulder strap or anything.

We bought a packable backpack last summer that we’ve gotten a lot of use from, so I decided to pick up one of my own without spending a ton of money on it. VenturePal’s Large Hiking backpack fit the bill at just under $13. Initially I thought I’d just throw it into my tote and deal with switching things over once we got to Jersey, but I ended up doing the opposite – packing into the backpack and throwing the packed tote in, just in case. The forecast for the weekend was shifty – rain expected, of course – so I packed in a way that I thought would be optimistic, just in case things were sunny instead.

On the plane, I wore jeans, a t-shirt, and a lightweight C9 track jacket. I really wanted to wear my favorite Crocs sandals, but since the weather forecast showed rain, I stuck with my trusty Sperrys.

What I Packed

Clothes

  • Two pairs of socks (I packed these “just in case,” and didn’t use them since it didn’t rain)
  • Four pairs underwear (extra underwear is something I’m always going to tote.)
  • Two sports bras
  • One pair sleep shorts (I wouldn’t have brought sleep stuff, but we stayed with a friend in Boston and I think everyone appreciated that I wore clothes to bed)
  • One sleep tank top
  • One pair Uniqlo drape pants
  • One pair Uniqlo Relaco shorts
  • One t-shirt
  • One Uniqlo sleeveless tank
  • One black popover shirt

Toiletries

  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Single face wipes to remove makeup (I didn’t use these. The first night in the hotel I used a washcloth and the second night I passed out with makeup on. Whoops.)
  • Body wipes
  • Dry shampoo
  • Meds for both of us
  • A couple random ziploc bags
  • Two lipsticks
  • Mascara
  • Foundation
  • Sponge
  • Contour
  • Welly first aid kit (I’m a sucker for branding and Welly is great at it, but I don’t recommend the band-aids. I used a fabric one while we were on the trip and it started fraying within an hour.)

Comfort and Entertainment

What Did We Buy There?

  • Dramamine (I had some at home but didn’t pack it. I would probably have been fine, but wanted to ensure a nap on the bus, so I grabbed some from Target on the way)
  • Evan forgot hair stuff, so he picked up a small hair pomade thingy

The organization of the bag was perfect – I don’t like a lot of pockets, and this one only has three, including the main space. Even though 50 liters is more space than I really need, I was glad for it because I could easily throw in the few purchases I made on the trip (another set of Uniqlo drape pants and Relaco shorts, and two shirts from the shows.)

I will say that this bag doesn’t look super touristy so if security is one of your concerns, I think this bag would fit the bill quite well. It would also be a fine daypack, too, if you wanted to offload some things where you were staying and set out for the day. It’s definitely durable, but not waterproof, and it probably wouldn’t be my primary bag choice for a week+ trip. But for a weekend where I specifically wanted to feel well-organized and mobile, it was really great, and I’m so glad I’m learning how to pack less!

Are you a minimalist traveler, or a “just in case” packer? What must-haves do you always pack?

May 20, 2019
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19 unique ideas for father’s day

Posted in Living by
This post contains affiliate links. Dollar Shave Club and TRTL provided samples for review, but all opinions are my own.

19 unique father's day gift ideas

“Desi, why are your gift guides always 19 items,” you ask? 19 is my favorite number. Always has been – probably because it’s my birthdate. Even though I consider myself a great gift giver, I’ve always had trouble shopping for my dad. Despite that, I still have some great gift ideas! Here are 19 creative and unique ideas for your dad – no matter what his interests are!

Zubaz tie: Zubaz is one of my favorite things. They aren’t just for the 90’s throwback anymore – they have a ton of great sports gear, sandals, and more. If he’s a suit wearer, this tie is a great way to add some fun and color to his wardrobe!

Hangry Kit: This one would be a hit in our house since emotions run high when blood sugar levels run low. A snack box full of sweet and salty snacks would be perfect for the garage, the office, a road trip, or even tucked next to his favorite chair when he needs a little treat.

Beer of the Month Club: After all those snacks, he’s sure to be thirsty. If he likes to try new things, deliver 12 new bottles of beer to his doorstep. He might find his new favorite brew, and you become the new favorite child.

Dollar Shave Club: I love this company, and they aren’t just razors and shower products anymore! Gift your dad the Big Cloud line – the daily face moisturizer and lip balm have SPF to keep him sun safe when he heads out for a day of golf, fishing on the boat, or mowing the lawn! (You could keep the hand lotion for yourself – it’s super creamy and luxe. I keep mine in my carry-on to help with plane dryness.)

pCloud: Similar to Dropbox, pCloud is a cloud storage system. If your dad works from a lot of different locations, this kind of digital storage can be super helpful so he can always access what he needs, no matter where he is. Or maybe he has a huge music or photo collection – no matter what it is, you (or he) will get an extra gig of storage when signing up with this referral link.

Yellow Submarine Mug: Heat-activated mugs are my favorite. If your dad is into music, grab this mug!

19 gift ideas for father's day

TRTL Travel Pillow: This has quickly become something I can’t live without, and it’s perfect for a guy who travels a lot. Much less intrusive than the normal u-shaped travel pillows, the TRTL pillow tucks away easily and provides the perfect amount of support to grab a few zzz’s on planes or trains.

May Designs Notebook: I love May Designs, and I know this doesn’t seem like the manliest gift, but hear me out. They recently added a whiskey notes insert set. If your dad likes whiskey, this would make an awesome (and super unique) gift basket with a tasting set of different whiskeys to try!

Sumojerky: Lots of food related ideas on this list – I guess it’s pretty obvious what the preferred gifts in my family are! Monthly jerky shipments from a variety of makers right to his door so he’ll always have something to look forward to.

Classy Playing Cards: Cards are such a “dad” thing, aren’t they? Up his game (literally) with these black on black cards – then spend some time with him and don’t hustle him too hard.

Lapel Torch: My dad is outdoorsy in a “non-traditional” way – he spends a lot of time in the garage working on cars, often late into the night. In a rural or under-lit area, a Lapel Torch would be a great way to shed some light on the situation! Perfect for camping too (its intended use.)

That Wrestling Club: I’ve slowly been revealing myself to be a wrestling fan – the athleticism is unmatched in any other sport. If your dad is into it, gift him a subscription – he’ll get both current and classic memorabilia (and you can bond with him over that Savage/Steamboat match from the 80’s.)

Watch: Keep him in style and on time with a fashionable and affordable watch. If he’s a chronic watch loser, Amazon even has a ton of inexpensive options so he won’t feel bad if he loses track!

Amazon Kindle Unlimited: It’s no surprise that I’m an avid reader, and the dads in my family like to read as well. Our tastes differ so much that I’d have no idea what books to pick out for them. A Kindle Unlimited subscription lets him pick his own books as often as he wants – win/win/win, to be honest.

Nice Pen: Bourbon & Boots is one of my favorite spots for unique gifts. Class up dad’s desk with a Bourbon & Boots wooden pen. The steampunk one is super cool, and would be a great conversation piece for the office! If he’s not a pen guy, check out their creative bourbon gifts!

Skin Hero balm: This hemp balm works great on a ton of ailments – bug bites, sunburns, cuts & burns, eczema and dry skin, and the list goes on. Since it’s unscented, it’s great for guys (or anyone else who is scent-sensitive.) Its small size makes it easy to tuck away in the car, desk drawer, or work bench – anywhere he might need a little bit of skin relief.

father's day gift ideas

Bag Organizer: This is definitely a product that any dude on the go doesn’t know he needs. Let’s be honest – work bags or briefcases get super messy and disorganized. A bag organizer like this will give everything its own place so he’ll always look like a pro when reaching for his phone, pen, or files!

Cheese BBQ Utensil: If he’s a grillmaster, he’s probably always looking for new and unique utensils for his domain. This is something I didn’t know I needed until I saw it: it lets you barbecue a layer of cheese. I’ll take three.

Sunglasses: These floating sunglasses mean he’ll never lose a pair on the lake again. If they fly off on a wave or while he’s pulling in The Big One, they’ll bob back up to the surface. Save his eyes from squinting for the rest of the day, and saves his wallet from replacing yet another pair!

Fitbit: I just upgraded to the Charge 2 model, and it’s really revved up my desire to get active again. Fitbits are a great way to challenge friends and family, so this could be a fun way to feel connected even if you’re far apart!

June 5, 2017
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