What I’m Packing for Belgium

Okay, so we are officially eight days away from our trip. AH!! We are getting SO pumped. I thought it would be fun to show you all what I’m packing because it has been my mission to keep my packing as light as possible.

The reason I wanted to pack as light as possible is because I usually pack a TON of extra, well, everything. This lends me to feel overwhelmed by the amount of choices I have once I arrive, which is the last feeling you want on vacation. I made sure to pack clothes that I could wear twice and that I could layer together. Also, I don’t know if it’s just me or not but I really like buying new clothes/outfits before vacation. It’s silly right? You know you’re going on vacation and will be spending money but you want something new to wear when you’re there! Maybe it’s just me!? Please tell me it’s not just me.

I’m lucky though because my mom let me raid her closet and she has awesome taste. We pretty much wear the same sizes and since Steve and I are on a tight budget right now, I opted to steal borrow as much as I could from her. Thanks, momma!

Details for planning

  • Length of time – 10 days, one location as a home base
  • Average weather – 50-55 degrees
  • Bag limits / checking – we’ll be flying Delta so we can both have a carry on + personal bag and together we can have one free checked bag.
  • Activities while there – lots of walking, photography, and probably a LOT of tasting craft beer, waffles & chocolate. In fact if every day included all of that, I’d be fine.
    • We aren’t planning any hikes but will look for parks / trails upon arrival
    • We’ll tour some museums
  • We want to be comfortable on our feet all day and with a backpack on for day trips.
  • Is there a washer/dryer – yes, for some reason we are lucky but if there wasn’t I usually travel with a little detergent so we can wash a couple things in the sink (or get out stains as that is inevitable).

what I packed

  • One pair of jeans
  • One pair of solid leggings (I say solid because they’re sturdier than my at home, loungey leggings)
  • One pair of soft black travel pants
  • Three T’s/Tanks (total) – 1 gray long t-shirt (not pictured), 1 long black tank, 1 long white tank
  • One cardigan – I chose my charcoal Toad & Co cardigan that is so soft and layers over pretty much any color
  • Four light long sleeves – these could be layers or worn on their own
  • One tunic long sleeve – this is almost a dress but I wouldn’t wear it without leggings or jeans
  • One thicker sweater – (light brown in photos below)
  • One light gray basic dress – this can then have lots of changes either with jewelry or practically any long shirt I brought can go over it.
  • One scarf – This helps to change up a look, they pack nicely, and can be an easy addition if its cold out
  • One jacket – my mom let me borrow her nice wind and rain proof jacket that is perfect for the weather we should be having + it has a hood
  • One pair of tennis shoes – these I’ll wear on the plane
  • One pair of flats – cause fancy.
  • One pair of light gray boots – I’m still debating on bringing these or not.
  • Two regular bras / one sport bra
  • 4-5 pairs of undies (easy to wash/fast drying)
  • 4-5 pairs of socks – I wear a lot of SmartWool socks that you can wear multiple times and not have any smelly issues 😉

Misc.

  • Phone / charger / outlet convert
  • Camera
  • Purse – again, borrowing from my mom. Super sturdy and big enough for me to put my camera inside of it
  • Couple of easy travel games
  • Steve’s small computer
  • Kindle
  • Toiletries
  • Glasses / Sun Glasses

There you have it! It’s a complete list of what I’m bringing. All of which fits just in my two carry-on’s! But we will still check one bag so that we can bring back goodies or put dirty clothes in there towards the end of the trip. I am honestly quite proud of myself because even while I worked on this post I thought, OH what about that shirt? And that one? And that dress? And those pants? and that skirt? No. No thank you, I will travel minimally for the first time and be proud of that.

Have you every tried to pack as little as possible? Does it work out? What helps you travel minimally? Also, we’ll be in Belgium (and some other parts of Europe) so if there’s something I missed, please share!

How to be Healthy while Traveling

Hi friends, it is the first official day of Spring! I can’t believe the first quarter of the year is coming to an end soon but I CAN believe that it’s almost time for Steve and I to go to Belgium!! We are so excited for this trip! We have never been abroad together and Steve has never been to Europe. Make sure you follow me on Instagram cause you can bet my stories will be flooded with photos from our adventure! Oh, and if you want to know what I’m packing then stay tuned! That post will be here in a few days 😉

In the spirit of traveling, I get asked a lot by my clients how to be make healthy choices on vacation. If you’re someone who is a “diet” this can present a challenge because to be “on” a diet means you can “fall off” a diet. My first suggestion is that you revisit your thoughts on the word diet, could you think of what you’re doing as a way of life? A healthy outlook? This way, when you’re going on your vacation you’ll be able to focus on the adventure and not the number of calories you’re eating.

BUT I totally understand the desire to want to make travel a bit healthier and I’m all for it! Here are some different ideas to make traveling work for your and your goals. For more ideas, try these roasted ranch chick peas, or any of these snacks that some RDs sent each other in a snack exchange.

Travel Day (planes, trains, Automobiles)

  • Bring snacks that will keep you full, satisfy you, and are easy to pack.
    • Fruits – grapes, apples, bananas [do not put in the bottom of your bag!], & clementines pack well.
    • Veggies – carrots, bell peppers sliced, sugar snap peas, sliced zucchini, celery, jicama, or cucumbers pack well.
    • Pre-packed nut butters like Justin’s brand or individual serving containers
    • Hummus – again you can get pre-packaged or fill your own little containers
    • Trail mix – it’s cheaper to buy a big bag and separate it into portions
    • Pretzels – again, cheaper to buy a big bag and separate it out
    • Granola bars
  • Emergen-C – yes, it’s an excess amount of vitamins and you’re not going to absorb everything but I won’t travel without them because airports, trains, and cars for that matter are full of germs.
  • If you’re driving/taking a road trip look into a tiny fridge or cooler that plugs into your call to keep some pre-packed sandwiches, yogurts, cheese, etc.
  • Packets of oatmeal – grab a hot cup of water from a coffee store (they might charge you for a tea, etc) and dump in your oatmeal instead of the tea especially if it’s a cinnamon tea!
  • Water bottle + any flavorings if you’re someone who will typically want something more fun than plain water on a trip
  • Hand sanitizer – again, germs.
  • Tea – I also travel with 1-3 of my favorite brand of tea called Throat Coat. I don’t want to plan on getting sick but if I get a sore throat then this tea is my go-to.

At your destination

  • Look for a nearby grocery store so you can purchase some basics or plan to cook a meal or two.
  • See if you can stay somewhere with a small kitchenette – Steve and I notoriously use Air BnB and make sure we have a little kitchen to prepare some meals.
  • Look for a local farmers market – when we went to Hawaii this was a fantastic way to try new local foods/produce
  • Check if your hotel/Air Bnb has a gym or a local walking path. If you’re going to a resort, there might even be free fitness classes
  • Take advantage of free breakfast! I love when hotel’s have continental breakfast offered. Take a look and find a filling, balanced breakfast. Most hotels will have oatmeal, milk, bananas, and sometimes small containers of peanut butter. It’s very possible I snag a couple of those little mini peanut butter containers when I travel… 😉
  • Continue your movement – it doesn’t mean you have to exercise but do consider at least adding some stretching to your day. After traveling or sleeping in a foreign bed, you might feel stiff and you do not want a sore body for all the adventuring you’re going to do.
  • Tune out from social media and allow yourself to unplug from reading any work emails too.

Eating out

  • Try looking at menus in a new way. Focus on what your body wants – does it sound good because we’re looking for the biggest bang for our buck? Or are we looking for what sounds great and makes us feel great too?
  • Don’t skip calories/meals. Instead of not eating all day, continue having mindful balanced meals. These will keep you fueled and keep your hunger balanced. This will also help prevent from bingeing later on.
  • Fiber, fiber, fiber – it is very common to get thrown off from your normal bathroom routine when traveling. Typically my first goal when I travel is to stay well hydrated with water and have fiber with each snack/meal.
  • Remember that if you choose to indulge then INDULGE and enjoy. There is nothing wrong with having an extra indulgence because you’re on vacation. Don’t bring shame on your vacation with you.
  • If you’re going to a buffet / conference with tons of food options, think about balancing your plate. Observe what all of the options are first, then think about filling it up with vegetables, fruits, a grain, lean protein and hey maybe some dairy too.
  • Research your restaurants! I know some clients who feel best when they look at the restaurants menu ahead of time so they don’t feel rushed into make a decision when they go out.

I hope that was helpful! When Steve and I travel, we often take road trips. We really enjoy this time in the car together and we’ll also bring things to keep it fun. We’ll make new CDs of music, bring mad libs games, and sometimes comedy audio books too.

What do you do when you’re traveling to stay healthy? Are you going anywhere this Spring Break or this Summer? Share below!