How to Pack for a 5 Day Trip

My husband and I are blessed to have such wonderful children. In a few days, we will be in the air headed for Okinawa, Japan. One of our daughters purchased our airline tickets so that we can be there for her upcoming military graduation from leadership school.

This trip will be my opportunity to share with you my travel experiences. The first thing I will share is…

How to Pack for a 5-Day Trip

Check-In and Carry-On Bags

For those not familiar with traveling by plane, knowing the difference between a check-in bag and carry-on bag is essential.

CHECK-IN BAGS are your larger luggage, suitcases, other various cases or bags that are held in the cargo area of an airplane. When you check in for your flight at the airline counter, you also check-in these bags which are then tagged and delivered to an airline for transportation. Depending on the airlines, your first check-in bag may be free while other airlines charge anywhere from $25 to $200 per check-in bag. Passengers have no access to check-in bags while en route to their destinations. Upon arriving to your destination, they are retrieved at the determined carousel in the arrival’s area.

Dimensions and Weight Limits: A typical check in bag is: 27 inches x 21 inches x 14 inches. Typical weight requirements for check-in bags is 50 lbs (23 kg).. When traveling or first or business class it is 70 lbs(32 kg).
However, some airline carriers will allow overweight, oversize or additional baggage for additional fees.

CARRY-ON BAGS or hand-carries are smaller bags including back packs permitted in the passenger area of an airplane. These bags should also fit in the overhead bin inside the airplane. If necessary, passengers could have access to their carry-on bags during a flight.

Dimensions and Weight Limits: Typical carry-on bags should be no more than 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 centimeters x 35 centimeters x 56 centimeters) including handles and wheels. Depending on the airlines, there really is no weight limit but passengers must be able to lift it into the overhead compartment.

Personal Item

In addition to check-in and carry-on bags, passengers are also allowed one personal item they can take on the plane.

Personal items are even smaller than carry-on bags. They include but are not limited to handbags, purses, briefcases or laptop bags. It should be able to fit under the seat in front of you on the plane.

Dimensions and Weight Limits: Some airlines may have restrictions on the dimensions of personal items and may state that maximum dimensions for your personal item be 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm).

Start Packing

So, my husband and I are taking a 5-day trip and we need to start packing. Between the two of us, we are bringing one check-in bag, 2 carry-on bags, and 2 personal items.

Our check-in bag will be filled with goodies for our daughter. When I say goodies, I am actually talking about prepackaged foods, including frozen items, from home that she isn’t able to find in Okinawa. Packing food items is something my husband and I normally do when we go to visit our children. Some may find it strange to pack foods into a check-in bag but it’s one of the few ways we can transport these items. We are very scrupulous when we pack food items. If necessary, we vacuum seal items to preserve their freshness and to help with keeping the items from becoming damaged during transport. With the frozen items, we ensure that they go directly into a freezer once we get to our destination.

Our carry-on bags will strictly be for our clothes and shoes this time since it is a short trip. We have recently upgraded our carry-on bags. My husband will be using a Samsonite and I will be using a Penguin brand.

Things to Consider

Some things to consider when packing clothes and shoes for your trip:

Purpose: For example, our main purpose for this trip is to attend a military graduation. So, we have to be sure to pack semi-formal outfits for the occasion.

Weather: Always be sure to check what the weather will be like while you are there at your destination, Even though you might be headed to an island destination, you might still need some clothes for an unexpected monsoon.

Activities: Pack according to the types of activities you will be engaging in. If you plan to do some hiking, be sure to bring along your hiking boots. Going to do lots of sightseeing? Bring along some great walking shoes and comfortable clothes. Going to be in the sun? Bring lots of sunblock and sunglasses.

Unexpected Excursions: It’s always safe to bring along a dressy casual outfit just in case someone invites you out to a nice dinner or an out on the town where jeans and a t-shirt won’t make do.

My Personal Packing

Based on the above-listed considerations these are the items I will be bringing:

  • (1) Dressy casual outfit with heels
  • (1) Pair of Jeans with (2) possible casual and cool blouses
  • (1) Pair of shorts with (1) casual top
  • (3) Pairs of leggings with matching tops
  • (1) Travel outfit to wear back home
  • (1) Pair of running shoes

Plus, I have the pair of slip on shoes that I’ll be wearing on my way over. Of course, I’ll be bringing along my unmentionables to last for the duration.

Also, I went through my wardrobe to find as many wrinkle-free travel clothes as I could based on a previous article I wrote…

Ready to Go

That is “How to Pack for a 5-Day Trip”. As the song goes, “all my bags are packed and I’m ready to go”. We are all set to check-in for our flight to Okinawa and I can’t wait to share my travel experience with the world. After all, this site is called Travel Away Life. I hope that you find this article enjoyable as much as it is useful. I would so love to hear about your travel experiences, as well, and you can share how YOU pack for a 5-day trip. Please leave a comment because I absolutely love hearing from my readers and followers!


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11 Replies to “How to Pack for a 5 Day Trip”

  1. Oh my gosh, I really wish I had had this article on my last vacation, especially when it came to the airport information. It is so important to know this stuff and they don’t always let you know sadly.

    1. Airlines have been so restrictive lately. There was a time when we even had to check in our carry on bags because there was no room left in the overhead compartments. It can be very stressful for passengers.

      I am so glad that you found some value in this post even though it is a little late for you. At lease next time will be easier for you.

      Thank you for visiting my site. Best wishes to you.

  2. I did a lot of research on packing for a 7 day cruise a couple of years ago. Here are two pointers that you might like. First, roll your clothes. I take, say, a t-shirt and fold it lengthwise, then starting at one end, I roll it up. It takes up less space overall. I did as many of my clothes as I could this way. Second, if you don’t want to roll, I understand from those who travel a lot that those little packing cubes are helpful because you can pack all of a particular type of clothing in one and it makes them easy to find when you unpack. I really enjoyed your site. Lots of good info and I could feel your excitement about your trip in the way you wrote.

    1. Thank you for visiting my site, Jack! You have also given some great packing tips for all of us. Rolling clothes is definitely the way to go!

      It was an extremely exciting trip and I can’t wait for my next travel adventure. I might be heading back to Okinawa in the near future.

  3. Wow! I would love to visit Japan one day. Such a gorgeous country. My wife and I travel whenever we get the chance because we love to see new places. And to be honest, she insists on packing our bags but I still help her of course. I will remember the vacuum seal idea if we ever need to transport food items. Thank you for that idea and for writing such an informative post.
    Hope ya’ll enjoy the trip!

    1. Thank you for visiting my site, Billy! I had a great time in Okinawa. It was a very interesting travel experience and I’m sure to travel there more. Japan is definitely a place to visit. There’s so much to experience.

      I’ll be sure to keep your suggestion of vacuum sealing food items for next time.

  4. Great and very useful article for people who don’t do a lot of traveling with an airplane. You shared some very useful information such as the difference between check-in and carry-on bags. Also, you have explained what does personal item means.

    I like your advice on what people should consider before they journey and pack accordingly to the activities they plan to do and the weather.

    I actually plan the same and always check the weather pack depending on the weather and on what I’m going to do during my trip.

    I hope you will have an amazing trip to Japan and can’t wait to hear about your experiences from the trip.

    1. Thank you so much for visiting my site, Marius! I definitely had an amazing experience in Okinawa and I’ll be posting about it soon. I am so happy that you enjoyed my post and found some valuable information from it.

  5. Dear Geri
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is amazing that you show people where to start and what steps to make towards their dream-like travel. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.
    Kind regards,

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