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Luggage Expansion After a Trip to the USA


You might all remember me talking about my backpack and packing tips for the USA last week, right?

Well, it looked a little bit like this:

packed for usa

My luggage pre-USA travel.

And it looked a little bit like this when I had it on:

Brooke all packed up.

Brooke all packed up. You might notice my plane outfit being worn.

All in all, this came to around 10kg, which was within the carry-on restrictions of JetStar (my flight to Hawaii).

Now, I already mentioned that America is a shopping wonderland, so I did do my share and buy plenty of clothes and goodies!

Of course, I had to keep it within reason as I knew I was traveling to San Diego and then back to Hawaii, but here’s my new luggage upon leaving Peoria, Illinois!

luggage from USA packed up and open

Yep, and this is after I worked my hardest to pack it down tight.

Bags packed after the USA.

Bags packed after the USA.

You might notice that I expanded my Ebags bag to its full capacity, and also that I ditched the little daypack for a classy cabin bag with more room.

And, I should’ve had more, but a package I ordered while at home didn’t actually arrive in time — but that’s OK! This heavy bag killed my back!

Trying to carry this gear... ugh, this is why I usually pack very light!

Trying to carry this gear… ugh, this is why I usually pack very light!

Last year when Pat and I ventured to the States, we actually brought back an entirely new suitcase packed to the brim with cheap clothing and such. Ahhh… great times.

How much extra space do YOU keep when you travel to the USA?

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If you like my classy leather cabin bag, you can pick that up from Ciao Bella Travel with a 10% discount. Just enter BVTW10 at checkout.


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18 Responses to Luggage Expansion After a Trip to the USA

  1. Melissa December 4, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    When I go to England, I only take a half full bag because I know I’m going to be going to Primark, Selfridge’s, and Top Shop within 48 hours of landing and buying a bunch of stuff. No sense in taking a full trip’s worth of clothing when I’m just going to buy it there!

  2. Melissa December 4, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    One time, on a trip to NYC, I packed my small carry-on suitcase inside my big one because I knew I’d be going shopping and didn’t want to have to buy a 2nd bag while I was away or pay the baggage fees on an empty case going down. Worked out well. Other times I’ve packed a completely collapsible large bag inside my suitcase as an emergency overflow bag. Haven’t used it yet.

    • Marc December 7, 2012 at 12:07 am #

      I’ve totally done that before! Pretty sure it was when I went to Florida.

      • Brooke December 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

        It’s so fun! If I hadn’t been going to Hawaii first, I would have packed even less for the trip out 🙂

  3. Rebecca December 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    When my family came to visit me in New Zealand, I had given them a list of food to bring me and unfortunately, we had to drag it around with us for our whole vacation in what we coined “who has the brown bag” because it was all in this old brown jansport bag my mom has had forever! They then used the brown bag to bring home all sorts of goodies for themselves, so it all worked out well!

    • Brooke December 5, 2012 at 1:46 am #

      Big fan of bringing extra bags to fill with goodies on the way home!

  4. Lindsey December 5, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    I feel so lucky – I’m only taking a 40ishL backpack with me to the States… but because I’m moving there for a year I’ll be able to create a whole new wardrobe for a fraction of the cost of Sydney! I’ll be looking forward to it after months of the same clothes. Any suggestions of the best stores to shop at?

    • Brooke December 5, 2012 at 1:43 am #

      What part of the States are you going to? There are SO many good stores – seriously, you’ll be amazed that you can buy Levi’s jeans for just $40! I’m a big fan of Kohl’s as you can usually get a lot of the brands that you can find at shopping mall chains for cheaper.

  5. Anita Mac December 6, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Not sure about the US, but I had to buy a new suitcase on my way home from Spain earlier this year! Truth be told….it was in the plans before I left! I walked the Camino de Santiago and didn’t want too much excess on the trip. Knew I wanted some funky Spanish new clothes and made the most of it! Thank you Spain…your prices are outrageously low and I love what I found! I had to stop myself before needed a second suitcase! HeHeHe!

    • Brooke December 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

      Sounds like a fun trip! Is Spain really that cheap for shopping?

  6. Suzzane from Travel Universally December 6, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Brooke , initially your bag was around 10 kg right? what was the wait after you made a shopping? I am asking because you said , it almost made you feel the pain in back!

    • Brooke December 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Hi Suzzane! Yeah, my backpack was 8kg and my daypack was 2.5kg on the way to the States. On the way back, my backpack was about 14kg and my carry-on was another 7.5kg. The reason it killed my back is because this bag doesn’t have a great hip belt to support the weight. It was worse when carrying the carry-on bag with it. And I HATE a heavy bag – hate it 😉

  7. Paulina December 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Hi Brook,

    I’m from Mexico, I always go to the States for shopping, they have great stores and great prices.

    What I usually do is just take whatever I’m wearing the next day and other then that just fill up my bag with new cloths. Plus I love going to Target and finding tons of cool stuff.

    Happy travels!

    • Brooke December 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      Hi Paulina! That’s a shame you don’t have Target in Mexico – great store. I’m a huge fan of Kohl’s, so if you come back, I’d suggest going there 🙂

  8. Jo Karnaghan December 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Tut, tut Brooke. I prescribe a guest post from me to remind you about how to pack and shop! But with AUD what it is who can blame you? You obviously had a great time! Welcome back (I won’t say home…..)

    • Brooke December 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      Haha! Did you see my bag on the way there?! So light. You cannot go to the States without a plan to fill your bags for the way back. I mean… Levi’s for $40!


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