“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ~Susan Sontag
Lately I have been thinking about taking a vacation, abroad, on my own. Naturally, a ton of reservations cross my mind: Safety, Boredom, Loneliness, will I get stuck in another country?
So, in an attempt to take a “trial run” I decided to head to California, alone, on my first SOLOcation. My trip out west was planned right after I was laid off. What better time to go on a 2 week vacation than during a time where you don’t have to clock in to a cubicle, right?
My SOLOcation included a week long stay in San Diego and 5 days in the Bay Area. Two different areas of California, with two different types of weather. You can imagine the struggle I went through while packing, not to mention, the fees I paid because of overweight luggage.
Let me walk you through how I packed for this trip.
Of all the apps in app land, the one that I will gladly lay my life on the line for is the Stylebook Closet app. I don’t have the time or space to tell you all the goodness of this app, but I’ll try. This app is a virtual closet. So, here is how it works…
Upload a photo of every item in your closet and separate the items into categories and subcategories, i.e. tops, long sleeve tops, blouses, bottoms, jeans, skirts, etc. This process can be very time consuming, BUT since I do a lot of my shopping online, I just use the photos from the stores where I make the purchase.
After you have uploaded your items, including the brand, color, material, and/or price, you can start to create as many outfits you choose! This helps me keep record of what I have in my closet. Once you actually wear an outfit or plan to wear an outfit, you can add it to the calendar. The app also informs you of the dollar amount per wear you get from each item. So about the packing part. One of the features on the app is the “packing” feature. You create a trip and add the looks you have planned to wear on that trip. The app creates a packing list, by category, from the outfits you included! Once you actually pack the item, you check it off on the app.
So back to my packing for this SOLOcation. Once I created “looks” on the app, I pulled every item from my closet and started the elimination process, removing items that I knew I wouldn’t wear and pieces that could possibly take up too much space in my suitcase.
A little much, right? Don’t worry, I didn’t take everything pictured, but I didn’t eliminate much, either. I ended up paying weight overage charges for every single flight. No bueno and never again. I bought some amazing luggage from Amazon, for a great price, click here, and these pretty awesome packing cubes by HOPSOOKEN. Since I spent most of my time in San Diego, I wanted to separate the clothing for San Fran. The cubes were helpful because they allowed me to compartmentalize my clothing by categories.
This SOLOcation was absolutely amazing, and I would absolutely do it again. The best part of traveling alone was that I was able to do whatever I wanted to do without having to consider others and their needs and wants. It also afforded me the opportunity to meet and talk to new people. Because this trip was so long and filled with so many amazing trips to tell you about, I decided to break the posts up instead of one long essay. You’re welcome. I hope you enjoy Southern and Northern California through my eyes. Stay tuned for my San Diego post!
PS – If you are thinking about taking a solo trip and are a bit hesitant I recommend you just go for it. If needed, take a mini trip to somewhere in the States first.