When we left for this trip, Peter and I knew we wanted to pack in carry-on size luggage. We wanted to be as mobile as possible, and there was nothing exciting about lifting and lugging heavy bags from place to place.
I decided to leave with a carry-on roller bag, and a purse built as a camera bag, that could fit my camera and computer. Peter and I planned to both carry half of my diabetes supplies (just in case one bag was stolen), and to squeeze those supplies into our carry-on bags. (For some more background, I wrote about my packing plans here and here.)
After starting the trip, I quickly realized that plan was NOT working.
Because we were trying to fit clothes, toiletries and diabetes supplies into our bags, everything became intermingled, confusing and unwieldy. Because everything was loose without packaging, nothing had a “home” where it was always supposed to be packed. And when we reached into our bags, we didn’t know if we’d pull out a t-shirt or a pump reservoir.
A few months into our trip, I added a third bag to my collection – the JanSport backpack in the image below – dedicated just to diabetes supplies. And I haven’t looked back since.
With the third bag in play, my other bags became much easier to pack and zip, and I know exactly where all of my diabetes gear is housed. It’s also easier to organize and analyze how many supplies I have left.
And when we have to leave our bags in some sort of checked area, it’s easier to make decisions about whether to hold the diabetes supplies on us for that period for safety, or to leave them in storage.
It does mean that most often I have to check my carry-on sized roller at airports, because the airlines won’t allow three carry on bags…however, that has been completely worth it to me.
In case you’re curious, the JanSport bag holds a little over six months worth of OmniPod insulin pump and Dexcom CGM supplies. And as it empties out, it’s a great place to store extra souvenirs. 😉