Travel with Me, Part 1: Packing

When is it too soon to pack for a trip? I’ve been checking the weather, daydreaming our daily itineraries, and thinking about what I’ll need to pick up at the store before I go- do I have a travel toothpaste case? In reality, I started packing almost 2 weeks ago because I was eager, and overly excited to put my things into my suitcase, because then, well, the trip’s beginning is a reality!

When my husband asked surprisingly, with a bit of disbelief, “You’re not packing now, are you?” I immediately shot back with, “No, I am cleaning out my closet.”

Sneaky, huh? I did end up cleaning out quite a few of my possessions, giving a variety of things I no longer use to a clothing drive, so technically I wasn’t lying. In all of this, “is it too early” to start packing drama I began thinking about some value in teaching vocabulary related to packing, because even that word alone (to pack) has often been unknown by some of the students I’ve come across over the years. Many students fumble (have difficulty) with the words, especially if they’re trying to translate from their own language. If you are translating from Portuguese, for example, you’d say you were “making/doing your suitcase”. And trust me, making a suitcase is much more difficult than packing one!

These thoughts of writing a blog post about packing brought me to the idea of this next blog series, “Travel with Me” where I will lead you through various English skills related to my upcoming 20 day journey to Austin [Texas], Sydney and some surrounding cities in NSW, Australia!  Stay tuned for some fun music from Austin City Limits (ACL), and cultural insights as I travel to the world down under, do they really eat shrimp off a Barbie? You can follow the trip, and learn through this blog or via social media. If you’ve been following English Outside the Box for a while, you know I love Instagram.

In part 1, as you may have already gathered (understood) from the post’s title, we’re starting with the beginning of a trip. Before it even begins we must pack, and to pack a suitcase is the process of putting your belongings in and organizing them in a way that you are able to zip the luggage shut. I am going to go through this process, highlighting some vocabulary of everyday items you use and would need to bring. These may be new, or might be a review, and I will provide some synonyms of common words (indicated in italics & with / ) , definitions (followed in italics & parentheses), as well as pictures of the words! In addition to this vocabulary review,  you’ll receive reading comprehension, too! Double win!

You have your trip/vacation/journey/holiday/travel all planned. Are you going by plane/airplane? Do you have your ticket, otherwise known as a flight? (never: flight ticket) Perhaps you’re traveling by car- did you rent one for the road trip (a long journey done in a car, van, or truck)?  Are you traveling in an RV (recreational vehicle)/motorhome/camper van? Or are you going on a cruise (a large ship with sleeping accommodations and restaurants that travels to different locations)? Were you given an itinerary (a document with the dates, times and places you’ll go during a trip) or are you making one yourself? Are you traveling solo/alone, or in a group with a tour? Are you following all of this potential new vocabulary?

In my case, I am traveling with my husband and meeting up with various friends and family along the way. We have a very rough itinerary (one that is not precise or exact, it doesn’t include all of the details), are traveling by plane and have our e-tickets ready to go! We had to get a visa, so that was already arranged, and are traveling to 2 places, that are in completely opposite seasons so that always makes packing interesting! What should I pack? Crop tops, tank tops, tube tops, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, sweaters and/or jackets? Should my tops/shirts be more casual or formal, like a blouse(a  formal shirt for females)? Do I bring a peacoat, a normal jacket, or a cardigan sweater? What about a vest or a kimono? I think it’s too warm to consider a beanie or ear warmers, but I’ll pack scarves! I’ll need to consider dresses, long skirts, and something formal for a wedding, perhaps a maxi dress. In Texas, I’ll probably need shorts, but I should pack jeans, pants, and leggings for the cooler Australia. I don’t think I’ll need tights/panty hose, but I am going to pack a variety of shoes: boots, sandals, flip flops, and tennis shoes/running shoes/athletic shoes. In case we go hiking, I’ll bring athletic clothing, like sports bras and some running shorts, and comfy pyjamas/jammies for bed. Since we’ll be spending time on the beach, I will need a few of hats, such as a sun hat, trucker hat, and a baseball cap, and some bikinis/bathing suits. I won’t, of course, forget my socks, underwear/panties, and bras! Last but not least, I can not…will not forget my accessories: jewelry [rings, bracelets,etc..], and belts.   (Check out this photo gallery for pictures of most of the words above.)

That takes care of the clothing/clothes being packed in my suitcase, but what about all of my toiletries (things [soap, lotions, shampoos, etc..] that are used to clean and make oneself look neat). I will need a toiletry bag, one that is made from plastic and able to zip shut in case anything spills or explodes during my flight. These items cannot go in my carry-on(a small piece of luggage that can be carried onto an airplane), so will need to be checked-in (given to the person at the counter when registering for my flight at the airport to go underneath the cabin [where people sit] of the plane). I have plenty of space, because I can take up to 2 suitcases/luggage/baggage. I will need to make sure it’s not over-weight, which is anything over 50 pounds, otherwise I will have to pay the necessary penalties/fees at the airport. Check out the photo below for some common toiletries and their names underneath the photo.


Everything in the photo above is travel size (smaller products/packages fit for carry-on), so would be “travel size toothpaste, travel size bar of soap, etc..  With that said, below will just be the products name:


  1. face wipes/makeup remover wipes
  2. Q-tips/cotton swabs
  3. cotton balls
  4. makeup bag
  5. compact/face powder
  6. bar of soap/bar soap
  7. gel face wash
  8. facial bar soap (in a dish)
  9. shampoo
  10. conditioner
  11. mouthwash/Listerine
  12. baby powder
  13. lotion/body moisturizer
  14.  sunscreen/suntan lotion/sun block
  15. nail file/emery board
  16. (stick) deodorant
  17. travel toothbrush case
  18. toothpaste
  19. floss
  20. hairspray
  21. dry shampoo (a spray shampoo [in powder form], used with needing water)
  22. lip gloss and mascara combo
  23. Chapstick/lip balm
  24. hair tie/ponytail holder/hair elastic/hair band
  25. bobby pins
  26. hair clip
  27. natural 😉 suntan lotion
  28. first aid kit with:  a) feminine hygiene product/tampons   b) band-aids/plaster/adhesive bandage    c) medicine, pills [ex: pain reliever/Tylenol, Benadryl/anti-histamine, etc…)
  29. toiletry bag

I have to make sure I leave some space for the souvenirs(gifts for people from a particular place) I am planning on bringing home, and maybe some treats/special things I pick up for myself, but I think I am good to go for the packing.

What do you think? Am I missing anything that you think would be necessary? What items do you always bring on vacation? Share with me in the comments below! I am looking forward to traveling “with you” over the next couple of weeks and hope you are excited to be a part of the journey… as always,

Happy Studying! ♥

Sharing is caring, so please share this post with someone you know who is learning English, just loves the language, or has a love for travel!

xo Jennifer


  1. Luiz on July 1, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Wow!! I’m exhausted! Too many things to think about. Too many stuff to pack. Great lesson! Enjoy your trip Jen!!!

    • Jennifer Nascimento on July 3, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Is there ever “too much” to learn!? 🙂 🙂 Or… too much to pack? I am proud that I actually did really well this trip! My son and I shared a suitcase, and he had more than me! 🙂

  2. Luiz on July 1, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Wow!! I’m exhausted! Too many things to think about. Too many stuff to pack. Great lesson! Enjoy your trip Jen!!!

  3. […] in our checked luggage. Rule number one of traveling is to always keep the important stuff in the carry-on in case of lost luggage… silly mistake, wasn’t […]

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