So, you finally got your shit together and booked that vacation. Good for you! You can go ahead and congratulate yourself because the hard part is over. Seriously, booking a trip involves so many decisions…when to go, where to go, what to do, where to stay, how to get there…quite frankly, it’s exhausting. The worst part, though, in my opinion, is packing. The good news is I’m here to provide you with some packing tips to make your life a little bit easier. I travel for work each month, and have been doing so for a good 8 years, so I know what’s up when it comes to packing. To say I’m an expert on the subject is the understatement of the year. Here are the tips I find to be the most useful. I also suggest you check out my articles on airline etiquette and flying in general.
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- ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, check the forecast and adjust your wardrobe accordingly. I don’t know how many times I have to tell people this. Let’s say you live in the Midwest and you’re going to Florida for spring break. Just because you’re going to Florida does not guarantee you great, warm weather. News Flash! Mother Nature has her own agenda and she could care less that it’s your first vacation in 10 years.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to get started, especially for long trips. If there are items that you already know you need, pack those in advance. Your liquids are a great thing to pack ahead because no circumstance will change the fact that you need your contact solution, for example. You can also pack your carry-on/tote in advance. Stock it with snacks, reading material, ear buds, charge your iPad and download some shows on Netflix for the flight.
- Hotels, especially those in humid climates often times come with free funky smells. To keep your clothes smelling fresh, spritz them with your favorite perfume before tossing them into the suitcase. It’s also one less thing you will have to bring with you. [Pro tip: Ask the perfume counter at the department store if they have any complimentary samples and bring those.] Perfume not your thing? Toss some dryer sheets in between your duds for a similar affect. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh laundry?
- Are you a germophob? If yes, then this next one is for you. Shower caps = shoe caps. A lot of hotels have shower caps available in the bathroom. Snag those every single time and don’t feel bad about it. They make great shoe covers for your sneakers, heels, etc. That way you’re not putting your dirty sneakers on top of your clean clothes. Gross.
- Pack versatile items that can be worn more than once. Let’s say you have a clutch that you love, but it only goes with one outfit. Leave that clutch at home and opt for one that can be worn with multiple outfits. The same goes for shoes, which can take up a lot of space in your suitcase. Wear your heaviest shoes on travel day so that you can also save a little weight. Truthfully, packing light has never really been my forte. My husband thinks I have a problem, but I just like to have options. For example, I may love a certain dress so I pack it. Then I may get to my destination, indulge in too many local eats and dranks and am therefore too bloated to wear said dress for the remainder of the trip. How was I to anticipate that fried pickle binge?!?
- Dear vacation hat, how I love thee…what I don’t love is when you get smashed and lose your shape. I used to always wear my straw hat the day of travel or set it on top of my tote/carry-on. This became a nuisance so I learned how to pack my hat in my suitcase. All you have to do is pack your hat upside down at the bottom of your suitcase. Surround the outside of the hat with clothes to support it and stuff the inside with smaller items like socks, undies, or swimwear. Make sure it is fully supported inside and out so that it won’t lose it’s shape.
- Don’t be that girl. Weigh your suitcase at home. This seems like a no-brainer, but I don’t know how many times I see people at check-in pulling stuff out of their suitcase because it’s overweight. It is downright embarrassing for everyone involved. Most airlines allow for a 50 pound bag, but do pay attention to that because there are a few (Allegiant Air for example) that only allow 40 pounds. Weighing your suitcase will also indicate how much room you have left for souvenirs. The is especially important if you plan to go on a little shopping spree.
- Don’t forget your lint roller. Vacay is no excuse to be a hot mess. I can’t stand it when I see someone covered in cat hair, so having a lint roller within reach at all times is a personal priority. And no, I don’t have a cat. And no, I don’t want one. They do make travel size lint rollers that can be found in the travel size section of any drug store and they are just as effective as the regular ones.
- Invest in travel bags to help keep you organized. Amazon has a nice selection. Load this puppy up with your favorite toothpaste, shampoo, etc. Keep a bag like this in your carry-on for all the small items you will need in flight or on your road trip (ear buds, chargers, chapstick). I’m sorry, but how freaking cute is that bag? Did you notice that you can get it with any letter on it? Kinda pricey but cuuuuuute. I also recommend these for your hot curling/flat irons and a case like this for your jewelry.
- Roll your clothes to prevent deep wrinkles on long trips, especially tanks and tees. Stick them along the edges of your suitcase to save space. And if you hate ironing, avoid packing clothes that wrinkle easily. You may also want to avoid the situation below.
This is 100% a photo of me in real life.
I hope that was useful! What are your favorite packing tips?
See ya next time!
-The Chic(ish) Chick