My 2016 Summer Suitcase Mission

I was going to title this post, “4 months, 1 suitcase” but my boyfriend informed me that I was unknowingly eluding to a popular poop fetish porno called, “2 girls, 1 cup”

Look it up… or don’t.

I didn’t.

Anyways, this summer I have a lot ahead of me. Over the next 4 months I will be traveling between 3 major cities.

Sounds great, right? Wrong.

The problem is that as a coastal college student, my personal belongings tend to be scattered. So while I technically live on the West Coast, everything I own is on the East. This living arrangement makes packing rather difficult–especially considering that all of my things are currently locked away in a DC storage unit.

Thus, My 2016 Summer Suitcase Mission was devastatingly simple: find a way to pack enough clothes to cover 4 months, 3 states, and 3 climates — all in 1 single suitcase.

San Diego: May 3-18/ May 26-June 5

san diego beach

The first part of my trip will take me to one of my favorite beach towns– San Diego. Interestingly enough, I only have 3 things on my itinerary:

  1. Tan
  2. Eat
  3. Workout
  4. Repeat

That being the case, I focused on packing lightweight, breezy clothing. Basically, if I can’t wear it on the beach, I won’t be wearing it at all.

Tucson, AZ: May 19-25


My trip to Tucson is set to be very brief (a little under a week). My central purposes for visiting are:

a) Visit mi Madrina and Nana (te amo Tanny)

b) Attend various graduation ceremonies

For these reasons I needed some nicer clothes (maybe a dress or two) and some heels. However, if you know anything about Tucson you know it’s bound to be hot. Like… somewhere between 90 and 100 degrees. So when I packed, I made sure I included items which gave me (and my pits) breathing room.

New York City: June 6-August 17


The last part of my Summer will be spent in none other than Midtown, Manhattan where I will be taking a 10-week Latin Intensive at the CUNY Graduate Center. This portion of my trip would be the longest, busiest, and most stressful. Thus, when I packed I included lots of comfy, casual clothes which will easily transfer between everyday and business casual.

Thus begins the process of detailing my packing experience.

First, I will detail exactly what I put in my suitcase.

Secondly, I will include some basic packing tips.

Lastly, I will discuss what I would have done differently if given the opportunity.

First things first,

Packing List-

  • (3) Jeans- dark, light, black
  • (4) Shorts
  • (3) Leggings
  • Slacks
  • White button up
  • Flannel
  • Black blazer
  • (3) Tshirts- incl. “I Love My Blackness And Yours”-Deray (link below)
  • (2) Tank tops
  • (2) Crop tops
    • bc I have no self-control
  • (2) kimonos
  • (3) Summer dresses
  • (2) Everyday dresses
  • (2) Black mid-legnth fitted dresses- strapless, long sleeved
  • Leather jacket
  • Jean jacket
  • Hoodie
  • Sweatpants
  • Swimsuit
  • Nikes
  • Birkenstocks
  • Black Pumps
  • Sandals
  • (15) Pairs of underwear
  • (4) Bras- incl. 1 sports bra
  • Toiletries

Basic Packing Tips-

  1. Before doing ANYTHING, make a checklist. Doing so ensures that nothing is forgotten.
  2. Separate suitcase into quadrants. When packing for long trips such as this one, there are going to be clothes layered on top of others. Consider making the top-right section for shirts, top-left section for jackets, bottom-right section for pants, and bottom-left for dresses. By creating sections for each type of clothing, you alleviate later confusion when you’re trying to dig up specific items.
  3. Roll, roll, roll, and roll some more. The only way I was able to fit all of these things into my suitcase was by rolling each individual item and placing them carefully into the case.
  4. When you begin putting things in the suitcase, start with the bulkiest items and work your way up. This means jeans, jackets, and blazers should go at the bottom on the case.
  5. Place bras and underwear in the mesh pocket attached to the suitcase lid. This frees up space within the suitcase itself, and keeps everything nice and organized.
  6. Long trips require you to do laundry. Remember this, and be prepared. Refrain from packing items which are dry clean only, always have a wash pouch for delicate items, and, if need be, bring along a roll of quarters.

    rolled clothes
    No this is not my suitcase (I didn’t have an opportunity to snap a photo) but it is a wonderful representation of the roll-to-pack method

Overall, this packing experience is one for the books. It was my first time packing for such a long period of time and I was concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to find the right balance.

When all was said and done, my suitcase weighed in at exactly 40 lbs.

What would I do differently?

Not much actually.  This trip was a lesson in what it is that I do and do not need. As crazy as it sounds, I think I might have packed too much! If anything, my 2016 Summer Suitcase Mission has made me more of a minimalist. Hopefully this is a theme which translates into more areas of my life.


Bon Voyage,



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