How I’ve Been Doing Food and Clothing on This Trip

Since we’re transitioning from our Food Series to our Clothing Series, I thought I’d share how I’ve been handling both food and clothes on my current Book & Teaching Tour (Plus Vacation!).

First, some numbers:

  • 13 days
  • 4 cities
  • 8 flights
  • 1 bus
  • 4 dresses
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 pashmina
  • 1 jacket
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • 1 pair of workout clothes
  • 12 bra/underwear components
  • 1 bag of Huel
  • 1 refillable aluminum water bottle
  • 1 box of Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer Tea

First of all, packing my own tea is a game-changer and I am never taking another trip without tossing a box into my bag. I’m writing this post on Monday, and I’ve already consumed three cups of tea and will very likely have a fourth after I finish teaching my evening class. I know that there are way better teas than Celestial Seasonings and sometimes hotels even offer those teas for free along with their individually-wrapped servings of regular and decaf coffee, but it’s so nice to just have my own tea, that I like, that also has B vitamins in it.

Second of all, when I made my outfit grid for this trip, I also made a meal grid. When would I eat Huel, and when would I purchase food?

As of Monday afternoon, when I’m writing this, there have been 24 meal opportunities and I have only paid for four of them. Two of those meals included treating my friends to dinner, but I also got treated twice, which leaves 22 meals that I have consumed without having to pay for restaurant or plane food.

To be fair, not all of those meals were Huel. My first hotel had free breakfast, which I turned into “free breakfast and lunch” by carrying an extra plate back to my room and stashing it in the minifridge. I also spent two days staying with friends, who invited me to eat anything I wanted from their kitchen — except they also had a stash of Huel, so I mostly ate that. I’m paying it forward by leaving my half-empty bag of Huel with my friends in Juneau before heading off to Anaheim and Disneyland, since they wanted to try it and I am all about converting people to Huel.

As for my outfits — I wanted something that would work on planes, buses, classrooms, bookstores, and rides, and I wanted to look good doing it all, so I spent $75.96 on four Hount Women’s Summer Sleeveless Striped Empire Waist Loose Midi Casual Dress with Pockets (one in each color) and have been wearing them exclusively. I’ve handwashed some of the dresses in various hotel rooms, and I did a load of laundry at my friends’ place in Juneau, and so far my strategy of “wearing the same thing every day” has proven just as effective while traveling as it did when I started wearing a uniform back in February.

Here’s one of the dresses — and me — in action:

Traveling is very YMMV, of course (PUN INTENDED), but I’ve found that the more planning I do in advance, the better I do on the journey. There’s still room for spontaneity; I don’t have to follow either my outfit or my meal grid, and I’ve adjusted both during the trip (see “giving my bag of Huel to friends before leaving for Disneyland,” which was immediately followed by “making a reservation for a Disneyland character breakfast,” and I am so excited for that). I also give myself the freedom to be a little less frugal if I want to — after days of drinking bathroom tap water in my refillable bottle, I indulged in an ice-cold Dasani from the hotel vending machine — and I have the reassurance that no matter what happens, I’ll be able to make myself a cup of my favorite tea.

I’ll let you know next week how much all of this travel cost me, including the Huel and the dresses.

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