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Packing for a Domestic Trip

While planning my trip to Alberta to visit my cousins, I compiled a list of must-haves while travelling on a domestic flight. Check it out in today's post!

Pit stop along the side of the road in Jasper National Park. I couldn’t help but wade into the beautiful blue-green water lake and reach out to those warm rays of sunshine above the mountains.

While planning my trip to Edmonton to visit my cousins, I compiled a list of must-haves while travelling on a domestic flight with Air Canada, within Canada, and it’s been fairly easy to sort out. I have a serious problem when it comes to condensing my wardrobe into just a personal item, a carry-on bag, and a single luggage; in fact, I’m notorious for going over the weight limit. This trip however, I absolutely refused to pay any extra baggage fees for my unnecessary over packing. This is why I limited the number of things I allowed myself to bring by making a list that I could not exceed. However, because there was about a week during my stay that we were on the road travelling through Alberta, I needed to pack a few extra things due to a lack of washing machines.

That being said, this task did render some kind of difficult simply because warm weather (it’s summer) and cold weather (hanging out in the provincial park mountains) travelling means a lot more material taking up space in your luggage.

Accessories, makeup, and a plethora of jackets and shoes can be kept to a minimum. It’s not impossible, guys! If I could do it, then anyone can. Seriously.

Personal Item.

Air Canada‘s size regulation: 33cm x 16cm x 43cm

Maximum weight allowed: Not specified

My weigh-in: 11.8 lbs

Your personal item is typically a purse or a bag, but I’ve found that the ideal personal item is a backpack or giantpurse. When I traveled to Europe in April of 2012, I had picked up the largest purse that I could find in Prague; not only was it a souvenir for me to hold on to, but it was also big enough to carry many of my non-liquid souvenirs. I prefer using my backpack because it has a padded section for my laptop, which I prefer to keep on me (so I can be sure that it doesn’t get crushed or banged around), as well as is spacious enough to fit quite a few other items. This is what I brought on the planes on my last trips to and from Tampa Bay, as well as Paris. I also used the same this time around when I visited Edmonton.

Make sure you include:

  • Laptop and external hard drive. I needed my laptop to keep up on my online course that I’m enrolled in until mid-July, but also to upload my many photos taken during this trip. The external hard drive is crucial to move the photos onto, so that my (then pretty old) laptop doesn’t lag too much.

  • Your wallet with ID in it. Especially your driver’s licence, health card, and student ID if you have one.

  • Also keep any cash, debit, and credit cards in the wallet. You want to have this on you in case you need to buy anything at the airport, and especially want to keep on your person in case your luggage gets lost.

  • Plane tickets (to and from your destination). This is a given, no?

  • Passport. Even though it’s a domestic flight, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Your cell phone, as well as your phone’s charger. You may want to charge your phone either on the plane or in the airport, and you can kill time on the fight by playing games on it. Also, perhaps more importantly (ha ha), someone important may try to get in touch with you while you’re in the airport, either before you take off, or once you’ve landed.

  • iPod and headphones/earbuds. I don’t think I could get through a flight without my iPod.

  • Sunglasses and case. It’s always good to keep a pair of sunglasses in your personal item, in case you’re not in a window seat and the person beside you wants to keep their window’s blinds wide open.

  • Lip balm. For one, you don’t want it to melt or get gross in your luggage. Also, it’s just important to keep lip balm on you, so you can moisturize your lips as needed…that should be at least once or twice during your flight, if not more; airplanes can get pretty dry and no one wants crusty lips.


Carry-On Item.

Air Canada‘s size regulation: 55cm x 23cm x 40cm

Maximum weight allowed: “must be light enough that you can store it in the overhead bin unassisted”

My weigh-in: 15 lbs (I can lift it)

When I flew to Paris, there were very strict weight guidelines for my carry-on, so I had to be careful in packing for that. However, thankfully Air Canada’s only weight restriction is, as per the website, that the bag “must be light enough that you can store it in the overhead bin unassisted”. This means I was able to put some of my heavier non-liquid items in my carry-on with me. Your carry-on should also include any essentials that you didn’t pack in your personal item.

Be sure to include:

  • All your medication. Like I mentioned before, if your luggage gets lost in transit, it’s super important that you have your prescription medication with you in your carry-on, so that you don’t go without. Bring them in their original bottles, so that security can cross-check what the medication is with the bottle itself

  • Glasses and case. When my contacts aren’t in, I would be pretty much blind without my glasses on. Forgetting these would be an absolute disaster.

  • 2 pairs backup sunglasses. I won’t even lie, this is because I “need” extra sunglasses in case one doesn’t match very well with whatever I’m wearing. Also, again being completely honest, I like spicing up what I’m wearing, so it doesn’t look like I’m being repetitive in all of my blog/travel photos. I keep them in my carry-on so that they don’t get crushed in my suitcase.

  • Toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste. In case I need to freshen up while on the plane/getting off of the plane. My plan is to buy a full tube of toothpaste once I arrive in Edmonton, or to share my cousins’.

  • Deodorant. Is this not a given? I really hope that it is. I need to keep this on me in case I feel the need to reapply, because there is nothing worse than smelling other people’s BO in a tight, confined area that only uses recycled air…that is, nothing worse than being the cause of the smell.

  • If needed, some feminine hygiene products. I use the DivaCup, which when not in use, is in it’s little pouch in my purse at all times (just in case of emergency). You should also pack some panty liners as well, to be safe.

  • Hair brush. In case of unkempt plane hair, the nearly unavoidable result of passing out of fatigue during the flight. Because my flight leaves at 6.30am and I’ll be at the airport by 4:30am…I’ll have to be awake by 3:30 in the morning and will definitely not be able to stay awake for the duration of my 4 hour flight.

  • Hair ties. Can be easily stashed in your carry on and takes up very little space. It can help controlling the catastrophe of sleepy plane hair, but also is necessary for the duration of the trip. There’s no way my hair is staying down for my entire vacation.



Air Canada‘s size regulation (maximum linear dimensions): 158cm, calculated by adding together its

greatest outside height, width and length – wheels and handles included

Maximum weight allowed: 25kg / 50lbs

My weigh-in: 46.6 lbs

I should note that my original weigh-in was 49.9 lbs, but with some rearranging of items thanks to Marta, she was able to bring it down to 46.6 lbs! Do I ever owe her!!!!!!

  • Empty purse. I try to fold it up as much as possible (on top of collapsing it). I only bring one purse with me on my trips, and try to make it take up as little space as possible in my luggage. The contents of my purse will all be in my in-flight personal item.

  • Camera. Would I be able to go on any trip without my camera? The answer is a definite “no”.

  • Camera case. To hold my camera and protect it, of course. I’ll be putting the camera as well as all of its accessories in the case to save as much luggage space as possible.

  • Camera batteries and battery charger. 100% a necessity, if I plan on turning my camera on.

  • Camera lenses and lens hood. Depending on what I’m photographing, I like to be able to switch between my lenses. Also, the lens hood is important in case it decides to rain.

  • Extra memory cards for camera. I may not always be able to get my pictures and video on my laptop straight away, so it’s good to have back-up memory cards to continually capture my trip.

  • 2 books. I like to read before bed, and might want to read on my flight back home, since it will be in the evening. About two average-sized novels (or maybe one longer novel) should be good enough to last the three week trip.

  • Hand sanitizer (refill bottle before leaving). Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve spent the vast majority of my time downtown and taking public transit, but I couldn’t go anywhere without my hand sanitizer.

  • Hand cream. Of course it’s stressful that you can’t keep a big tub of lotion in your carry on due to restrictions on liquid, but at least it’ll be waiting for you in your luggage when you land. It might be wise to bring just enough lotion to last the duration of your trip, so that you don’t feel so bad about leaving it behind when you go back home (thus emptying up space and weight from your return flight’s luggage)

  • Cards Against Humanity. I feel the need to bring this game everywhere because it’s hilarious and so much fun to play. Maybe that makes me a bad person (it probably does). You can buy it or download it for free by clicking here.

  • Contacts and solution. Since I preferably like to wear contact — they don’t fall off your face, can’t get broken while you’re gallivanting about the town, make you look better, etc. — remembering to pack these is crucial.

  • Makeup. As I mentioned in a previous post on my everyday makeup routine, I don’t use that much makeup. This is easily stashed in the center of my luggage, so as not to be effected (potentially) by the fluctuating temperature changes of being at such a high altitude.

  • Makeup removing wipes. I often switch between using baby wipes and feeling like I’m scrubbing my eyes off, and proper makeup removing wipes, which make the whole thing a lot easier. I’ve decided to just pack the proper ones to avoid the hassle and make sure that everything is cleaned off of my face before I go to bed.

  • DivaCup wash. As I mentioned before, I use the DivaCup instead of pads or tampons because it’s easy to use, lasts up to 12 hours, is cost-efficient, and most importantly, because it’s environmentally friendly. With the DivaCup however, it’s important to make sure you use the proper soap to clean it/ Though there are other products that I can use, I just use the DivaCup brand to wash mine in between each use.

  • Bobby pins. Sometimes necessary. Even though I’ll probably lose some, if not all, of them by the end of my trip.

  • Body mist/perfume. I’m obsessed with using the Vitabath grapefruit vanilla mist that I get for like $10 at Shoppers Drug Mart. People are always telling me how nice I smell, so I make sure to always stay well stocked with the product.

  • Razor. Do not want there to be Bigfoot sightings in Edmonton that coincide with my visit.

  • Jewelry. I have some jewelry that I use near-daily. I go between two chokers and my silver heart locket that I’ve had since I was five, four Pandora rings that one of my best friends bought me for Christmas, a Pandora charm bracelet he got me for Valentine’s Day, and a little thin infinity ring my mom got me for my birthday last year. I also have several watches that I like to switch between, my three favourites being this Michael Kors one (it’s been discontinued on their actual website and isn’t available on Amazon), this Kate Spade one, and this Anne Klein one (I’ll be bringing the three with me).

  • Clothing. A given, obviously. Here is a list of what I’m planning on bringing. It may seem like a little much, but as I mentioned before, there will be some days where I won’t have access to a washing machine, so I’ll need to have several sets of clothing to bring across Alberta with me:

  • 2 long-sleeved shirts

  • 4 t-shirts

  • 2 blouses

  • 1 sweater

  • 4 undershirts (x2 white, nude, black)

  • Leather jacket

  • 2 pairs jeans (blue and ripped)

  • 2 pairs shorts

  • 1 or 2 pairs bicycle shorts (for under skirts/dresses)

  • 3 skirts

  • 5 dresses

  • 10 pairs underwear

  • 10 pairs ankle socks

  • 3 pairs higher socks

  • 2 pairs of pajamas (one warm, one light)

  • 2 bathing suits

  • Running shoes

  • 3 pairs flats


And there you have it! It was a lot easier than I imagined it would be. I’ll be compiling an international travel list and possibly do a vlog on packing up in November, when I make my way to Manchester to visit my friends. Hang tight, and that’ll be on it’s way!

What do you think of my packing list? Is there anything else that you bring as a must-have during domestic travel?



*Originally posted on Emulating Emily


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