Carry on luggage only! The benefit and drawback to visiting South Africa in Mid-August is that they are in their winter, and starting to come into their spring months. Great coming from our Texas torture of 100 degree days and not sweating through three sets of clothes everyday. The downside is packing heavier clothes take up more space in a carry on. After slightly overpacking for Turkey, which was the same temperature and length trip, I was committed to further narrowing down my wardrobe and personal items for the trip.
Here are the major takeaways before we get into the nitty gritty of what I packed:
I wish I ditched all but 1 pair of long leggings
In the United States, I live in leggings or jogger pants in the winter. Maybe a sign of maturity or just an attempt to be more culturally sensitive, I ended up wearing my jeans almost exclusively for any non-workout activity. Even while doing light exploring around the cities where leggings may be called for, I opted for jeans. If you have a pair that are comfortable, they are such a great investment and so versatile for travel. These are the jeans you will see in every picture, and worth the price!
I also overestimated the amount of times I would run outside. Mostly I stuck to treadmills or doing an alternate form of exercise. I ran outside twice in 3 weeks! Certainly didn’t call for more leggings, rather I wish I brought more biker shorts for the steamy hotel gyms.
Flip Flops are Always a Must
I brought them from a practical standpoint of going down to the hotel pool or outside to the outdoor pool. Similar to having basic house shoes, it is nice not to “get dressed” to go get something quickly from the hotel lobby or wherever. The economy of space is strong for flip flops and I always end up wearing them regardless of swimming abilities. I had 3 pairs of shoes for the trip; Running shoes, short black boots and flip flops. All three heavily utilized and none excessive.
Three Tops + 1 Pair of Jeans = Perfect
I get this would not be for everyone, given it is a 3-week long trip, however, we went in the winter timeframe so the only thing you would see in pictures is my jacket anyways! You would be way more economical with space to change up accessories rather than the base layer cute top you have on. The three tops I brought rarely made an appearance. This is something I vividly remember from our trip to Turkey. I overpacked blouses and it ended up being a huge waste of space.
Packing Cubes are GREAT!
This was my first trip with packing cubes and dare I say it, my life has changed?! I ended up using 2 of the 3 packing cubes, the small and medium size as together they equated to the height of my roller board carry on luggage. The large is also the height of my carry on by itself, but I filled my boots with socks and underwear which filled up a “layer” in my suitcase. This is how I organized my cubes:
- Workout Clothes & Accessories – Anytime I am working out I have all the stuff in one cube. This includes my swim cap and sports bras, socks, etc. The purpose is slightly defeated if I’m dugging through multiple cubes
- Cute Clothes – This was in the smaller cube and included my jeans, 3 tops, dress, tights and scarf. Easy enough!
Multipurpose Items are Your Best Friend
This is a bit obvious, but requires Marie Kondo-ing your suitcase before take off. What this meant for me was packing a two piece workout bikini from TYR. This allowed me to not only workout without my bottoms flying off, but also served as a cute suit for poolside leisure. Yes, you could do this with a one piece too, but sometimes you have to appease your travel companion 😉
I also multipurposed my long sleeve workout tops since I was rarely running outside. They flowed through the daily rotation of my “cute” tops because they weren’t even visible with my jacked on the entire time.
Don’t Be Afraid to do Laundry
We did laundry three times while on our trip, and 2 of the 3 were entirely free to us since we stayed in a few boutique bed and breakfasts. This is my largest travel hack always, and people forget it exists! Almost every single hotel, bed and breakfast, hostel, airbnb has a way for you to get your laundry done. The annoyance of lugging around a massive suitcase and paying $75+ to check your luggage is not worth it when you could spend $0-30 doing laundry throughout your trip. And who wants to bring home a stinky checked bag full of dirty clothes?
And now without further ado, my packing list:
Anything you would have added or skipped from the above? Would love to hear your thoughts!
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