How do you feel about packing? Love it? Hate it? Does it make you want to karate kick your suitcase? I’m not exactly sure why, but I love packing. I have always gotten a cheap thrill from laying out my clothes, planning my attire for a new adventure and packing them in my luggage. I find that it not only relaxes me (perhaps how cooking does for some), but also creates an exciting buzz for the impending travels that await! Every time I tell someone this, they ask if I’ll come over to their house the next time they are preparing for a trip and pack their luggage. As much as I would seriously love to do that and have free reign in their closet, I clearly can’t. So, the best I can do is offer up some tips I’ve picked up throughout my traveling days. Now, there have definitely been some trials and errors along the way. I did a killer job packing a backpack for our first-ever, month-long trip to Australia, however, I feel I did a bit of a shotty job for our most recent six-day-long trip to Colorado. And I know why, I waited too long to finish packing and I didn’t trust my gut. I asked too many people about weather and what I should bring because I had never been to Colorado in the summer. I haven’t been to a lot of places we go to, but this time I let too many chefs in my packing kitchen. I’m not going to let that happen again. But, more importantly, I want to help you avoid that crap too. So, if you loathe packing, I’m hoping these tips will help you hate it less and enjoy it more. Here’s what I’ve got for you:
Don’t wait until the last minute. This is the worst thing a traveler can do. Doing almost anything last minute sucks. When in a hurry, we are often forgetful and make decisions too quickly. Give yourself ample time to pack and prepare for your trip. Whether it’s a weekend trip or a week-long adventure, begin your prep to pack at least a week in advance. It’ll help you to not stress.
Check the weather. Duh. This is obviously a no-brainer but, again, sometimes we forget the most important details. Doing this will make or break your packing game.
Know your itinerary. Have some sense of what you will be doing on your trip. Will you be brunching all weekend long? Is your friend taking you on a 10 mile hike? Do you think you’ll be poolside all weekend but, unbeknownst to you, your significant other actually has plans to go on every tour the city has to offer? Knowing your itinerary will benefit you greatly. You don’t want to bring only heels if there is a big-ass hike in your near future.
Bring the basics. Think blacks, whites, grays and denims. Things that can be worn with one another and can be jazzed up with a cool-ass accessory, like a colorful scarf. The longer the travel, the more basic, in my opinion. If you’re doing two days in Vegas then, shit, bring all the sequins, bikinis and nipple tassels your little heart desires! But, if you’re planning a month-long hiatus from reality and going on an adventure…the simpler the better.
Lay out your outfits and ensemble ideas. This is one of my favorite parts! I love creating my outfits and laying them out on my bed. Say, perhaps, I am bringing a denim skirt–which tops, shoes and accessories will I pair with it? What if the weather calls for warm temps during the day and will be chilly at night? How will I create one basic outfit that can somehow accommodate both temperatures? Seeing an outfit visually laid out will help the mind gather an idea of how it will look…which brings me to my next tip.
Try it all on. As time consuming as this sounds, taking the time to try your outfits on will help ease the “will this work?”, “hope this looks okay” worries. There have been many times I try on an outfit and thank my lucky stars I did because it would have been a serious waste of luggage space. Ain’t nobody have time or space to waste…
Don’t fold it, roll it. This here was one of my biggest game changers in packing. A few years back, I read a packing tip online suggesting that rolling clothes instead of folding them was the way to go. Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! The amount of space it saves is unbelievable. I’m not certain the exact science behind it, but I can confirm that I haven’t folded my clothes since I read that article on HuffPost.
Packing cubes will change your life. This right here will not only change the way you pack but also change the way you travel, forever. We borrowed my aunt’s packing cubes on a whim for our Australia trip and, holy shit, did they make our travels and packing/unpacking a freaking dream come true! Packing cubes will allow you to separate your attire accordingly: delicates, undergarments, gym/hiking essentials, tops, basics, etc. So, not only will you be extra-organized, you will save time packing, unpacking and getting ready. If you have more than one stop in your travels and, perhaps, you’re on a mini-road trip or a once-in-a-lifetime adventure traveling around Europe, you will experience a much more seamless traveling experience. Trust me when I tell you, you want to consider getting a few of these. Eagle Creek are a fan favorite in our house. PS. It helps to have a few different sizes as well.
Get decent luggage that you actually like. We’re not talking Louis Vuitton over here, we’re talking head over to Nordstrom Rack and get a medium size suitcase that suits your travels. Keep it basic and spice it up with a super colorful, kick-ass luggage tag so you can spot it in the baggage claim easily. Having luggage you like will add to the excitment of packing and toting it around.
Ok fellow travelers, I gave you the best that I’ve got! Traveling is one of my biggest joys in life and, if I can help make packing any less miserable for fellow adventures, then my job here is done. If you have any tips I need to know about, please drop them in the comments below. Happy and safe travels to you all!
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