Packing Light for Overseas Travel — House Sitting Tips

Packing Light for Overseas Travel

Packing Light for Overseas Travel

This is Us getting ready to Travel The World House Sitting

When Terry and I made the big jump to follow our dreams and travel, we got rid of just about everything!  And  I mean everything.  We sold our house completely furnished.  When the new owners moved in, they not only had furniture, they had sheets, towels, kitchen utensils   and enough tools to fix anything that went wrong in the house.  We needed to be Packing Light For Overseas Travel.

We also let go of all most of our clothing.  We had both become quite the “Clothes Whores” with the cheap prices of clothing in Panama.  Our Spanish teacher, Jasmine, was given many garbage bags of clothes and shoes to give away at her church.  We were going to Travel The World and did not want to be tied down by anything!

Not only did we get rid of all of the physical “stuff” that we had accumulated during our five years of Panama, we gave up personal mementos.  The number one thing being photographs of our family that was stuffed in boxes.  I carefully scanned all the photos so we would not lose those and trashed them.

This is all we own!

All we had left when we left Panama to Travel fit in what you see in our “Bon Voyage Picture”.  Two small carry on sized suitcases and a backpack for each of us.  This is how we Travel The World House Sitting! We knew that we would be moving very often and did not want a bunch of “stuff” to slow us down.  Terry wanted to be responsible for her own luggage and not depend on me to help her out with things.

Also, we had friends who had decided to do similar things and pared their stuff down to “almost nothing”.  I say almost because they stored some of their cherished things in a storage unit or someone’s garage.  Invariably, they would end up going back to where they stowed it and had to deal with it a couple of years later.  We chose not to do that.

Here is a Rick Steves Video discussing “How to Travel Light”

For Luggage, We chose to use two IT lightweight carry on sized suitcases

Packing Light for Overseas Travel
Packing Light for Overseas Travel

We felt that having two smaller light weight suitcases would make it much easier to handle when traveling through air and buses alike.  They are “carry on sized”, but we normally check the two suitcases when we fly and our backpacks are our “carry on luggage”.    We felt that a full size suitcase would be too heavy  and Terry would have a hard time lifting it and dealing with heavy it.

By doing  our research, we found a company that made a durable lightweight suitcase.  So, we ordered four of those!  They are made by “IT Luggage”, a well known luggage company that is known throughout the world for their style, durability and ten year warranty. Terry had also hard that they manufactured the lightest weight luggage out there.


The next thing we needed were Back Packs

We chose to go with “Laptop Backpacks” or “Student Backpacks”.  We chose these for the extra protection it offered for the computers as there is a lot of padding to protect our computers.  Also we liked the different compartments that it offered to organize our belongings.

Packing Light for Overseas Travel
Packing Light for Overseas Travel

Things changed as we traveled and I realized that Terry just needed more luggage space than I do.  The way we have it now is that I carry all of the computer related items and electronics.  My backpack has become our “portable office”.   In it, I carry both computers, all the equipment as well as everything I need to charge up things.  This entails power strips, plug convertors (electric plugs are different in all countries) and things like a mouse for the two of us and power cords to power the computer.

Terry carries her cosmetics and toiletries in hers.  Also, she keeps a supply of medications and supplements.  She is also the smart one and keeps a change of clothes and a sweater in hers.


Packing Cubes — The way we keep things organized in our suitcases.

Before we left the states, Terry insisted on getting Packing Cubes for her clothing in her suitcase.  I thought she was being silly but I knew better than to argue.  She seemed happy with the way she packed her suitcase.  I struggled with my packing trying different ways to do it.

Packing Light for Overseas Travel
Packing Light for Overseas Travel

I finally got online and ordered my own set of Packing Cubes from amazon.  WOW!  What a great way to do things!  We separate our clothing into different cubes.  I have four cubes that fit my suitcase.  I have them broken up into four different categories.  Pants, Shirts, underpants and socks.  Of course my cubes for socks and underwear are considerably smaller.

When we get to the house sit, I pull out my cubes and I have four little drawers of clothing set out.  I know exactly where everything is at all times.  Yes, I should have listened to Terry in the first place on this one.  Packing Cubes are the way to go!

Before you purchase your packing cubes, you need to take careful measurements of your suitcase and buy a set or sets of packing cubes that will fit into the suitcase.  Keep in mind that they can be made to fit if they are a little bit oversized.  Here is a Review I have done on the Packing Cubes that I ordered.  Check it out and see if they might be the fit for you.  If not, look around on Amazon and find some that fit your suitcase.


“Day Trip Back Pack”

Packing Light for Overseas Travel
Packing Light for Overseas Travel

This is a much smaller back pack that I carry on Day Trips.  I do not fill this bag on plane trips.
It is rolled up in my luggage.  This is only used when we are out exploring or walking the dog.

I carry a rain coat and an umbrella for the two of us.  Also a couple bottles of water and most important, an extra battery and memory card for my camera.  Also I have a battery pack for my cell phone.

Anything else we need of course is thrown in also.  Such as tourist information and maps.  The good new?  You won’t be spending much money on this item!


Hanging Toiletry Bag for Men & Women

Packing Light for Overseas Travel
Packing Light for Overseas Travel


I have had many toiletry bags and I felt like this is one of the best I have had.  Ample room for all of my stuff, and sturdy enough for my clumsiness in handling things in the bathroom.  It has a nice strong hook to hang it.   It has a lifetime warranty and does fold up nicely to put in my luggage!


I hope you have enjoyed seeing close up and personal how we travel.  Hard to believe that we are living so simply with a heck of a lot less “stuff”.  When you Travel The World House Sitting, you have to travel light!

This Link is a table gives the free baggage limits for a standard economy passenger on these airlines.

Note that for trans-pacific routes, the standard baggage allowance for most airlines increases from 20kg to 32kg, and may include two checked bags. Approach the table below with some care, realizing that airlines may change allowances or fees charged unpredictably.  Up-to-date, detailed baggage allowances can be found on each airline’s website, or on baggage resource websites such as or note links to airline web sites offered by SeatGuru.

Click HERE for the Table and Article on


Packing Light for Overseas Travel

If you have any suggestions, questions or just want to say Hello, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you like this post, please like it on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or other social networks.





2 thoughts on “Packing Light for Overseas Travel — House Sitting Tips

  1. Hi Clyde,

    First up congrats mate for living life on your own terms, something many will never do. You have me very curious now. How long do you normally stay in any one place?


    1. Thanks for checking out my Web page and sending me a comment!

      Because we are house sitting full time, our goal is to fill the Calendar. We have done house sits from three nights (London) to six weeks. We find we enjoy the two and three weeks sits as we are ready to go to the next one!

      Remember, you can also do this for a one time vacation!
      Check this link out

      Thanks Again!

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