I used to be a terrible last minute packer–throwing in random items that I would soon realize once at my destination were completely unnecessary. Or worse–only packing tops–forgetting bottoms. Thankfully over the years my packing skills have improved and now I consider myself somewhat of a pro. Since traveling for a month in Europe with only a carry-on a couple years ago, I’ve gotten this packing thing down to a science. Here are my top 12 tips:
1. Lay out your outfits and cut out any unnecessary items. Be realistic with yourself–are you packing that dress to take an instagram (guilty)? Is it worth taking up valuable space? If I’m going on a longer trip I’ll always pack items based on their wearability. Choose items that can be worn and mixed with each other (a sweater or top that can be worn with both pants and a skirt). I often stick to neutral colors (although this is most of my wardrobe anyway) so that everything I’m packing can be paired together.
2. Wear your bulkiest items (if you can) on the plane. Your coat, your boots, and scarf.
3. When in doubt, pack extra layering tanks or tees. Kain* makes my favorite ones. They’re super lightweight and can be rolled up into a very small corner. Perfect for sleeping in, under sweaters, bathing suit coverup etc.
4. Cut down the amount of shoes you take. For me, I try to only pack 2 pairs and wear 1. This cuts down on a lot of room in your suitcase. Another tip: If you have an old pair of sneakers–pack these instead of your new Nikes and toss them at the end of your trip. Making room for any fun purchases you might be carrying back on the return.
5. Stick to wrinkle free clothing options. Leave the silk at home.
6. Opt for thin cashmere sweaters for layering over thick and bulky knits.
7. If you travel often keep a packed toiletry kit ready to go at all times with your favorite products. You may remember that I always bring along my glycolic face wash (saves me from breakouts), Clarins spf, EOS shaving cream (ultra moisturizing for my crazy dry skin), Oribe dry shampoo (the best), and Kiehls eye cream to name a few.
8. Save all testers, samples of your favorite lotions etc., and buy travel size toiletries of your favorite products. Don’t rely on the hotel’s shampoo and conditioner.
9. Buy reusable containers for bringing along your special face wash, shaving cream, etc. And wrap these in zip locks because they can leak.
8. Keep all cords, chargers etc. in a zipped pouch. I started doing this just this year and it makes keeping my electronics organized and packing everything so much easier. Whether I’m heading to the coffee shop two blocks away or on a week long trip I know I just need this electronic pouch and my laptop. No more dead iPhones or missing camera cords!
9. Bring a backpack or purse large enough to fit (hide) your camera. Nothing screams tourist more than a bulky DSLR hanging around your neck. Would you have even known I had my big camera with me here?
10. If traveling overseas pack an extra electrical adapter so you can charge multiple items at once (or curl your hair while charging your phone etc.)
11. Bring a small bag for dirty clothing.
12. Bring a couple trash bags / zip locks with you for any product explosions, misshaps or dirty shoes.
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