If you’re anything like me, your packing goes something like this:
I’m guilty. I over-pack. I am a woman. I may not pack 7 kimonos for 48 hours, but my suitcase could fit a grown adult (and a weeks worth of clothing). Seriously. Airport employees make fun of it, and those guys see a lot of luggage. So after years of bi-coastal travel I have devised these tips for packing.
Tip #1: Make a List
I am obsessive with lists. I admit it. But there’s something so fulfilling about checking off a to-do list. The same goes for packing. Start your list out by itemizing your outfits by days. I figure out what I’ll be doing each day then start planning accordingly. If you have more than one event, you can pack according to your day and night list. Be thorough. I include which accessories I’ll be wearing, which bra (ladies you know what I’m talking about), and which shoes. My lists look something like this.
Monday Day (seminar): Black silk shirt, gray pencil skirt, black tights, black flats. Black bauble necklace, gold watch, gold studs. Black lined bra, underwear.
Monday Night (dinner): Hudson skinny jeans
Sorry if that’s a bit too much detail for you, but that’s what I require.
Tip #2: Lay it Out
Make sure your outfits are complete. I try to pack the same way I get ready. I make a physical and mental checklist to be sure I’d be ready to walk out the door. Again I do it down the accessories so you won’t forget anything!
Tip #3: Mix and Match
If you’re going on a business trip, make sure your business clothing can translate into your evening clothing. In my example I switch out a pencil skirt and tights for a pair of jeans. I stick with the same color scheme so it’s easy to mix and match pieces throughout the week and re-wear items in a new way. I usually pack a lot of black so in case I spill (which I often do) no one will notice. Black is a great color to match with most everything (the rules with mixing it with brown and blue have been stretched, by the way). Mixing up your accessories is another great way to change-up an outfit. A different color scarf or new piece of statement jewelry can completely change the look of an ensemble.
Tip #4: Check the Weather
This may seem like common sense, but that 5 day Florida vacation may not be all fun in the sun. It could be raining the whole time. Checking for unusual weather patterns can help you save your clothing by packing a small umbrella, or bringing a sweater instead of a tank top.
Tip #5: Check Accommodations
Are you staying with friends and family, or at a hotel? It can make all the difference. If you’re staying at a friend’s and happen to forget something like a hairbrush or hairdryer its no big deal. However, if you’re staying at a hotel remember to pack what you would need to get ready. Most hotels have small toiletries, combs, razors, hair dryers, etc. readily available, but checking what they offer online beforehand can save you time, money, and suitcase room! And always be sure to fold clothing properly to make sure you don’t have to iron. We love a portable steamer to go with our HangerStation! If there is not a HangerStation in the hotel I stay at, I usually recommend it or provide a little feedback to the front desk, as it is ideal for me when I travel.
Tip #6: Pack the Night Before
Plan as far ahead of time as you want. Make a list the week before so that your items are washed and ready for your trip, but hold off on packing till the night before. This is more for personal reasons that I recommend it. If I’m packed and ready to go, I just glance through my closet to make sure I didn’t miss anything (which I didn’t, thanks to my list). But then I start thinking about more options, and how “I might want to wear this sweater… and I mean I can fit it if I roll it up.” Or maybe “Just one more pair of jeans… just in case.” And you start to play that game. So once you’re packed, be done with it. I even go as far as to pack the morning of, but that might be a bit too excessive for you.
Tip#7: Use Your Carry On
Checking bags is expensive. It’s one thing if you can expense it, but something completely different if you can’t. I recommend using a soft duffel bag as a carry on. Often times the hard “carry-on luggage” you find in stores wont fit in that crazy metal cage that we all know is much smaller than the actual overhead compartment!
If you can expense your bag, and you’re nervous about lost luggage pack your first 2 days of outfits in your carry on. That way if they lose your bags, you’re sure to be set until the airline returns them.
Tip #8: Edit
Okay, so I know this should be tip #1, but I had to save it for last. Editing means lots of things. I mentioned before to mix and match, but really think about if you NEED 2 pairs of jeans or just one. Pack a pair of shoes that works for any occasion (I like nude or black flats). It’s OK to re-wear clothing on vacation. Believe me, you’re the only one who cares.
I hope these tips have helped for your next vacation. Bon voyage!!