Who loves traveling?! Go ahead, raise your hand.
Okay, now… who loves packing!? –Hands Down–
Joe & I (Megan) recently traveled around Africa & Europe for 6 months and we packed, unpacked, and repacked our bags more times than I can count — thus I have come up with these tips to help you pack like a pro for your next trip. Nothing can weigh down a trip like packing too much, and nothing can inflict more anxiety than not have what you need when you arrive at your destination! The trick is packing smart; your trip will be much more relaxed if planning is involved while packing.
FIRST OFF: PLAN. Ask yourself: ‘During my time away, what activities will I be doing?’ Then, plan a specific outfit for each activity/day. This will ensure those extra 6 shirts, 3 dresses, and 2 pair of shoes don’t sneak into your bag taking up unnecessary room and weight. Also, once you arrive you won’t be agonizing over what to wear with more options than you need… WIN-WIN. Consider what climate(s) you’ll be in, and definitely make a point to add your destination to your weather app. This way you can make sure you check the weather a couple days before & pack that extra sweater or rain jacket accordingly.
SECOND: PACK IN THE SAME COLOR PALETTE AND ACCESSORIZE WISELY. I find it helpful to pack in neutral colors like grays, black, navy, white, camel, & forest green, and then to accessorize with pops of color such as a chunky necklace or a floral scarf. If you don’t want to pack in neutrals, pack in the same general color palette so you can mix & match items to create several different outfits with the same pieces of clothing. Accessorize wisely to make versatile outfits and pack statement items like sunglasses, fun necklaces, earrings, and a watch, which can change up an outfit look and do not take up a ton of space or weight in your bag.
THIRD: MAKE LISTS. Whether you are a list person or not, make packing lists. Here is a simple tip: create a note in your phone on your notes app or through Evernote so that you can jot down memos as you think of them. Sometimes I’ll be driving, working, or at the grocery store and I’ll think of an outfit I want to pack or an item I don’t want to forget. I’ll immediately pull out my phone and add it to the note for my upcoming trip. That way when I pull out my suitcase all my thoughts are in one place. This isn’t to say that your smart phone note will be an all-inclusive packing list, but it’ll at least be a place to start!
FOURTH: GO WITH TRAVEL SIZE ANYTHING. Do not pack full sized toiletries. Don’t. You will not be using 32oz of your favorite shampoo in a week…or two weeks for that matter. One tip would be, however, invest in a good set of travel bottles and refill them. Travel sized toiletries are totally overpriced for the amount of product you are actually getting. If you buy a new set of travel sized cosmetics for every trip, you’ll be wasting money in the long run. I personally use GoToob bottles and LOVE THEM. They are worth every penny.
I hope you found something in this post useful! Hopefully next time you get ready to pack you’ll have a little less anxiety about it! Happy packing = happy travels!
What are favorite packing tips for packing smart? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below!!