I just wanted to do a follow-up post to update you on our little experiment of only taking one carry-on and one personal item each while traveling to Mexico for 6 days. Those of you who know me well (I am certain) were a wee bit skeptical when I wrote the first post. I, myself, had some carry-on doubt.
A loader was called in to pick Luke’s jaw up off of the floor when I told him we were doing this – (cue wrestling reference) almost like the time when Joe Colon pinned Tony Ramos at Midlands (This is my hidden phrase to see if my husband really reads my blogs. Maybe I should’ve put it towards the bottom. He’ll probably just stop right here). I heard, “But what about my beard oil and hair stuff?”. Babe, they make travel sizes (eye roll).
When we first packed our bags, I was bragging to Luke about all of the extra room I had in my carry-on as he glared at me and angrily shoved rolled garments into every nook and cranny in his suitcase. I had not taken the time to consider that boys’ swimwear can take up more room than girls’. His board shorts are bigger, he wants a new pair for each day (bless his heart) and he needs a different t-shirt for each pair. Also, he sweats like crazy and usually requires and undershirt for every shirt he wears. The amount of laundry he creates is maddening.
Even with all of this, he was such a good sport and went along with my idea. Truthfully, I had already written the blog post before I had told him what we were doing. Oops. He is incredibly supportive of anything I do and I love him dearly for that. XOXO
So… after I got the hubby talked into doing this experiment with me I had to really think long and hard (that’s what she said – Sorry. We are in the middle of re-watching the Office for the 19th time) about what I actually needed. See my tips in the Carry-On to Cozumel post. I bought a cute new carry-on so that Luke could have my old one (that is the only reason, I swear) and a lovely new weekender bag, both from Target. (I am well aware of my level of basicness. ) I had them delivered to my door just in time to pack so that I wouldn’t have to go into the store and be tempted by all of the other perfect things that I would NEED for my vacay. I was bound and determined to pack only what I had and make no further purchases.
Then winter storm number 9,452,608 was predicted and we had to head up to Minneapolis 2 days earlier than expected to make sure we could make our flight. We only have one Target in our area within 50 miles so I got a little star-struck by the fact that there were 6 Targets within a 10 mile radius of our hotel. I tried to hold off, I really did. Luke tried to keep me occupied but then wrestling came on and he got distracted so that I was able to slip out of the hotel room. I mean, what’s a girl to do with that many Targets just staring up at you from your google Maps? Luke darn near gave me permission to buy more clothes when he mentioned that we should get some Dramamine. I grabbed an Uber and headed to the biggest Target nearby. Let me tell you that as far as Targets go, I hit the flippn’ jackpot! I lost all control. I found a new pair of shorts, a pair of beach pants, a tank, some jewelry, a scarf that matched my weekender bag, a coverup, and the worlds most flattering jumpsuit. I had to buy it all. Luke just shook his head when he watched me repack in the hotel room. I swapped out the shorts I had packed and removed the least flattering dress and had plenty of room to spare.
Fast forward to Mexico. We stayed for 5 nights. We really needed 7 nights and what we had packed would’ve been plenty. We both spent most of our time in beachwear. In fact, I wore my beachwear to dinner and to lunch! A one-piece looks a lot like a bodysuit and my bikini top passed for a crop top. Not one person noticed or made mention of it.
As far as excursions go, I am happy to inform you that I was not forced into some dirty ATV adventure. After several recommendations from friends, we decided to rent a jeep (and a driver – responsibility, folks) to take us around the perimeter of the island. We stopped at some charming cantinas, had chips and fresh salsa and sipped on hands-down the best Mojitos that have ever touched my lips. I had never seen the method the bar tender used to muddle the mint in the Mojitos and will now only use this method at home. I will need to invest in a mortar and pestle . I would have loved to purchase one in Mexico but they were actually banned for carry-on baggage (wahwah). For our excursion, I chose to wear a one-piece under my shorts and kimono. I stayed cool and had the suit for stops at beaches.
So, was the carry-on experiment a success? Yes! A thousand times yes! The best moment was when we landed in MSP exhausted and ready to be home with our pup. We got through customs so quickly and then blew past all of the non-mouth covering coughers and sneezers (gross and rude) from our flight that were waiting (not so patiently) for their checked baggage to come spilling off the conveyor. It was a moment of pure satisfaction for me. I asked Luke on the drive home if he thought it was a success and he said that he didn’t even wear everything he had packed and that he wouldn’t go back to a checked bag.
My Aunt Koral sent me a text after reading the first post. She had some really good tips too that I thought I would share. She ALWAYS tells me not to bring make-up and that I don’t need it BUT I am her favorite niece (wink) and so I take the fact that she is biased into consideration and I disregard that tip. Here are some of her tips that I will be sure to try in the future:
- Stick to 3 colors of clothing and mix and match your pieces.
- Use a swim suit as a top (checked that one off and HIGHLY recommend).
- Don’t take much jewelry – buy it there for a great souvenir that you will appreciate and use long after your trip.
- Pack shoes and clothing that you want to wear for the last time and leave them behind for the cleaning staff. I did this the last trip with all of my full sized shampoo and other liquids and our housekeeper was ecstatic. This creates extra room in your suitcase as well. (I can never get my bag packed quite as neatly for the return flight and I am always afraid it will burst.)
Keep your next trip Simply Sophisticated.