How to Pack a Carry On For a 1-Month Trip

How to Pack a Carry On For a One Month Trip to Asia | Thyme is Honey
Tomorrow we’re heading to Asia for a 30-day backpacking trip. The first two weeks we’ll be in Japan and Thailand, but the last two trips are up in the air, which is really exciting! I’m going to keep this post pretty simple, but just wanted to show you how easy it can be to travel with a carry-on, even for a lengthy trip. See the bottom for a quick video of how I got everything into my Osprey Porter. I’ll update this post after we return with feedback on how I did as far as packing and gear.

How to Pack a Carry On For a One Month Trip to Asia | Thyme is Honey

STEP ONE: Get good gear and invest in quality footwear. We bought our Osprey Porter backpacks a couple years ago and have been using them non-stop ever since. I think it has been at least 5 years since I last checked a bag. I love the shape , their ability to compress thanks to the stiff sides and strapping system, and the fact that they seem to somehow magically hold so much more than you think they can. Along with the Osprey Porter I also use Eagle Creek Packing Cubes and their zippered pouches. I swear these things are the secret to carry-on packing. For shoes I chose Adidas Boost tennis shoes, Madewell Sandals and Teva Originals.

How to Pack a Carry On For a One Month Trip to Asia | Thyme is Honey

My tips for packing clothing are: 1. Be well aware of the weather conditions and the culture, and pack accordingly. 2. Pick a color palette and then select basic pieces that all work together. I like to basically say that if you reached into your bag with your eyes closed and pulled out an outfit, they should be able to work together. 3. There are various types of “backpacker” underwear available, but my favorite ones are actually Victoria’s Secret Raw Cut Hip Huggers (5 for $27.50). They are made out of a super thin material that is fast to wash and dry by hand, plus they are lightweight and easy to pack. Clothing: 4 pairs of shorts, 7 tank tops (love these Mossimo ones from Target, $6 each), 2 t-shirts (love these Mossimo ones from Target), 2 long sleeve knit shirts (again, I love these Ribbed Mossimo ones from Target), 1 pair of Athleta Metro Slouch Pants (my go-to travel pants!), 1 black knit skirt, 1 light jacket, 6 pairs of Victorias Secret Raw Cut Hip Huggers, 1 sports bra, 1 bralette, 1 light jacket, 2 bikinis, 1 rashguard. Not pictured: 3 pairs of socks, Nike Spandex Shorts.

How to Pack a Carry On For a One Month Trip to Asia | Thyme is Honey

Some people manage to travel without much tech gear, but not me. I travel with my iPad Pro + Apple Pencil, my Nikon D5300 + a 50 mm lens and a 55 mm lens, a (amazing) selfie stick that truly is the best one I’ve tried, aTravel Tripod and myJoto Waterpoof Pouch for iPhone for my iPhone 7 Plus. We also have this time capsule that we put together 5 years ago and are bringing along to read throughout the trip.

Before packing I removed the light jacket, 1 tank top, 1 long sleeve shirt, the Adidas, a sports bra and a pair of socks to wear for the flight to Tokyo. The rest went into the Osprey Porter. The packed bag weighed in at 21.5 pounds and was completely condensed, leaving plenty of room to expand the bag throughout my trip.

Alright so, curious about how all of this fit into the bag? Here’s the video. Happy Packing!

Dog Friendly Travel: Milwaukee, WI

Dog Friendly Travel: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of the most dog friendly cities in the US! Itinerary, video and google map to help you plan your trip!

Looking for a great destination to travel with your dog? For dog friendly travel look no further than Milwaukee, Wisconsin! This Midwest city is bustling with great food, entertainment and, of course, beer. Milwaukee is located on the eastern coast of Wisconsin, with beautiful views of Lake Michigan stretched along the cities lakefront.

I have loved Milwaukee since the first time I visited, and I love being a quick drive away! Milwaukee has a great vibe with the beautiful lakeshore, beaches, old buildings, and the various rivers winding throughout the city (there’s 3!). Perhaps you already knew all of this about MKE, but did you know that it is also among the most dog friendly cities in the US? It is, and for good reason! We recently partnered with Travel Wisconsin to put together a dog-friendly itinerary for Milwaukee, and we had no trouble finding plenty of places to eat, drink and be entertained with #WalterBtheJRT in tow! See below for our Dog-Friendly Weekend Itinerary for Milwaukee, our short video recap and our interactive google map!


  • Check in at The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Your dog will be greeted with his name on the chalkboard in the lobby, treats and dishes in the room, and a staff that is just as crazy about him as you are!
  • The bar area at  The Journeyman Hotel is dog friendly and on Fridays they host a dog-friendly wine hour from 5-6PM.

Dog Friendly Travel Milwaukee Wisconsin Kimpton Hotel

  • Dine al fresco on the patio at Cafe Benelux. Fido will enjoy people watching while you browse through their extensive beer book! Benelux is a region comprised of Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, so you’ll find a host of Belgian beers along with regional favorites such as mussels, pannenkoeken and frites! Was fun for us, since exactly one year ago we were in Belgium stuffing our faces with frites!
  • Meander across the road to the Wicked Hop for their specialty cocktails and dog-friendly patio!
  • If you’re feeling up for a nightcap, Camp Bar Third Ward is dog friendly indoors and out. If you’re lucky there’ll be live music!
  • If relaxing and retiring early is more your game, head back to The Journeyman and enjoy a relaxing night with your best furry friend!


Travel Fosters Human Understanding

"Travel fosters human understanding, and empathy for people whose lives are unlike your own; it opens your eyes to otherness, including other cultures and religions. Serious travelers are among the most open and tolerant people I know; their frequent encounters with difference make them expansive in their thinking. Travelers are, ultimately, the enemies of terrorists, and what they believe works against terrorists’ aims, person by person and little by little. I am proud to count myself among these travelers and to work every day to inspire them—and to create more of them." - Nathan Lump, Travel + Leisure

It happened again. We were traveling during a terrorist attack. Is that weird? We found ourselves wondering if we have a knack for traveling during attacks, or if they just happen so frequently that it seems they always fall on our vacations.

Our return from Exuma was particularly humbling, as the crowd down there was a melting pot of nationalities. We actually encountered few Americans during our travels. On our last day in Exuma we woke up to the news of the attacks in Brussels, and as we watched coverage in airport terminals throughout the day I couldn’t help observing and listening to the people around me. As unfortunate as the situation was, I remember being struck by how interesting it was to be contained to a terminal watching a tiny cross section of the world’s population react to this horrific news.

As soon as I read this letter from Travel + Leisure I was struck by Nathan Lump’s words and how they resonated with my experience.  Not only my experience on that unfortunate March day, but my experience as a traveler of the world. Each trip I take opens my eyes and heart to the people, cultures, and values surrounding us. The differences are beautiful and they are worthy of understanding.

Please take the time to read Nathan’s letter, “Why Tuesday’s Terrorist Attacks Shouldn’t Make you Stay at Home” in it’s entirety here, and then please plan a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Remember, the trip doesn’t have to be far or expensive. New cultures and experiences are literally next door to you.

"Travel fosters human understanding, and empathy for people whose lives are unlike your own; it opens your eyes to otherness, including other cultures and religions. Serious travelers are among the most open and tolerant people I know; their frequent encounters with difference make them expansive in their thinking. Travelers are, ultimately, the enemies of terrorists, and what they believe works against terrorists’ aims, person by person and little by little. I am proud to count myself among these travelers and to work every day to inspire them—and to create more of them." - Nathan Lump, Travel + Leisure

Travel Guide: Kayaking and Camping the Exuma Cays

Kayaking and Camping the Exuma Cays, Bahamas: itinerary for 4-day kayaking trip, packing list, outfitter guide and suggestions for your stay in George Town.

In March of 2016 we kayaked 23.6 miles to island and beach hop through the Exuma Cays near George Town, Bahamas. We’ve had some amazing vacations, and I’m not sure I could pick one to call our “favorite”, but this was definitely up there! If you follow me on Instagram, then you got the gist, but I also put many more photos in this album, which you are welcome to view. Below you’ll find our full Travel Guide for Kayaking and Camping the Exuma Cays.

Exuma Cays Photo Alubm

Our Itinerary: We flew into George Town, Bahamas, located on the island of Great Exuma. Great Exuma is very low-key, with a population around 3,000, and a limited number of restaurants, bars, and not much nightlife. We spent four days sea kayaking the Exuma Cays and Brigatines, and camped on the beaches. We ended the trip with two more nights in George Town to relax and unwind and highly recommend arranging your trip so that you have a few relaxing days at the end! Here’s what our trip looked like:

Day 1  – Travel and arrival in George Town, Bahamas. Grocery and supply shopping. Water taxi to Stocking Island for dinner at the Chat n Chill. Stay at Two Turtles Inn. If you stay at Two Turtles Inn the Exuma Market and a liquor store are right next door, so it’s super convenient to just check in and then walk over to get your supplies.
Day 2 – Equipment rental, supply check, and transportation to Barraterre provided by Out Island Explorers (40 min drive to Barraterre). Packing up the kayaks and launching!
Day 3 – Paddle 2.3 miles from Barraterre docks to see the Blow Hole on Blow Hole Cay. Paddle an additional 5.3 miles to Lee Stocking Island and beach camp on twin beach. Take the sand trail from the beach to the top of the island for amazing views of the cliffs along the Atlantic coast. Snorkel out near the rocky coastline past your campsite.
Day 4 – Paddle 3.2 miles to Norman’s Pond Cay. Here you have 2 miles of white sand beach to yourself. We set up camp near the trees so we had a spot for our hammock. At high tide, paddle down the beach where you’ll eventually encounter an opening to a small river that leads you into the mangroves. At high tide you can enter here and paddle inland to a salt water pond. Snorkel off the beach in the evening, this is when we encountered a 5-foot black tip shark. I also had a small shark swim up to me while I was washing our dishes out in the water. You can find sand dollars in this area too.
Day 5– Paddle 4.4 miles across to the Brigatines. During this stretch we had a big dolphin come up next to our kayaks. Spend the afternoon out on the sand bars that appear off Lily’s Cay at low tide. Camp on the beach at Lily’s Cay and if you want to snorkel or spearfish there are several great areas just off the shore along with a lot of starfish. We also saw a sea turtle off the shore from our campsite.
Day 6 – Paddle 2.3 miles from Lily’s Cay to Cluffs Cay. Stop to hike to the abandoned estate and see the iguanas. Paddle an additional 6.1 miles towards Barraterre through the mangroves to be picked up. Enjoy an afternoon sailing lesson with Out Island Explorers and then devour a fresh lobster dinner at Peace & Plenty (1 block from Two Turtles Inn)! Stay at Two Turtles Inn.
Day 7 – Breakfast in George Town and then take the ferry to Stocking Island for lunch at the Chat n Chill. Enjoy an afternoon hike to the Atlantic side of Stocking Island. Stay at Two Turtles Inn. (we had planned to do a 1-day sailing trip. But we decided we’d had enough time on the water and the weather wasn’t ideal).
Day 8 – Depart George Town.

Why You Should Go: If you love beautiful water, are adventurous and physically fit, this vacation is for you! My husband gets really bored at resorts, and over time I’ve realize that I much prefer action-packed, adventurous vacations to lying on a lounge chair. The three nights we spent out camping were amazing. We saw a few people on our first day. On our second day we had a short chat with a guy on a sailboat and then another kayaking couple who passed by our campsite. After they passed by we didn’t see another person until we returned to land on day 4. The islands we were stopping at were entirely uninhabited. The water was crystal clear. The sand was white and we had the beaches to ourselves. We had some of the most incredible experiences. One evening we were holding hands and snorkeling just off the coast of our campsite, when a 5-foot black tip shark came out of the shadows. We had a dolphin pop up next to us while we were kayaking across open water early in the morning. We saw a sea turtle go zooming past while we were wading in shallow water. We saw dozens of stingrays and manta rays. On the mainland we ate delicious food and had incredible conversations with people from around the world. Every aspect of the trip was just amazing (even a thunderstorm!).


The Best Beach Cover-Up by Swoon Swimwear

The best beach cover-up! So brilliant, simple, and Made in the USA by Swoon Swimwear!

How many tropical destinations do you have on your “Travel” pinboard? I know, me too. It’s almost embarrassing how frequently I pin white sandy beaches and turquoise water! Fortunately, I’m closing in on a sunny, beachy, warm vacation, so I’ll have my toes in the sand before long! Naturally I’ve been doing a bit too much bikini shopping and I can’t stop perusing all the cute swimsuits and cover-ups from Swoon Swimwear. Aside from the fact that they design and craft some of the cutest swimsuits I have ever seen, they are also made in the USA and based out of Milwaukee, WI! Pretty awesome. I cannot get over the brilliant simplicity of this beach cover-up, which has to be the best beach cover-up I’ve ever come across! I also nearly died when I saw it was only $20! And then the bikinis…oh man, the bikiniiiis!

Adorable reversible bikinis in fun patterns Made in the USA by Swoon Swimwear!

They have reversible bikinis, which make it so easy to travel light! But being able to mix-n-match the patterns helps you feel like you brought at least 3 different suits! For our upcoming trip I’ll be getting by with a carry-on…and then surviving 4 days in a sea kayak, so packing light while still having some adorable beachwear is going to be very necessary!

If you’ve got a spring break getaway on your calendar be sure to pop over to Swoon Swimwear to support an American Made label!