Yes, yes, summer is over and with that our vacations. So why am I talking about traveling and packing right now?
Well, I think it is the best time. You just came back from your trip and you realized (again) that you overpacked as usual.
I know how you feel. I was a girl who would pack two suitcases for two-day stay (you never know what you might need I guess). And I know how annoying it is to have tones of stuff that you need to pack, unpack, clean (and sometimes things that ends up damaged or lost), and that just because you overpacked.
And while I still have my moments when I pack a “little” bit more, I learned how to keep things minimal.
And therefore, here are my 5 tips for smart packing.
THINK ABOUT YOUR DESTINATION
Now you must be thinking that I am going crazy. Of course you will be thinking about your trip. That is, probably, the only thing you will bee thinking about.
Well, what I mean is that you think what kind of trip are you going on and what will you do there. Ask yourself questions like is this a vacation or a business trip, are you going on the mountain or a beach? Will you be relaxing or having busy schedule of events?
This will help you determine what majority of clothes you need. Your beach vacation will require more coveralls, kaftans, and bathing suits, but at the same time your backpacking through Europe will require more comfier clothes and shoes. You getting where I’m going with this? Yes? Okay, now, lets start packing.
START FROM THE BOTTOM
From the bottom??? Shouldn’t you start with the clothes first and then work your way to the shoes? Well…no!!
When you pick your shoes first you will not pack to many things (because you have to pick only things that matches your shoe choice). But then you can bring to many shoes, you say??!!! Well…again no.
If you start with the tip #1 in mind, then it is easier to make your smart decisions. So, for example, you are leaving for a fabulous beach vacation in a fabulous resort. Majority of your days will be spent at the beach or near the pool. For that you need flip-flops and some sandals. Even at night those sandals (even some fancy flip-flops can work), but if you want to dress fancy and go to some fabulous dinner you will need just ONE pair of heels (pick the neutral ones so that can match with almost everything). Yes, it is hard to pick just one, but that will have to do (unless you have a wedding or something). And for travel use sneakers or some beautiful flat shoes that can also serve as the shoes of choice for those exploration trips and sights seeing.
You see, now you are down to two big pairs of shoes (your heels and sneakers), and one of those you will wear on your feet while traveling, and some flip-flops and sandals, which do not take a lot of space.
And now you are ready to start packing your fabulous clothes.
ONE PIECE WONDERS
One piece what??? One piece wonders, that is the name for all your one piece clothing. Jumpers, rompers, dresses…all fabulous one pieces that you do not have to worry how to match. And not to mention that they will take less space in your suitcase.
So, with the tip #1 and your shoes choices laid in front of you, pick the one piece wonders that will fit the most. Choose those ones which can work for day and night first, because that will spare you extra outfits to carry or to plan for. For example, think if that dress can be worn to dinner and on some other day as a beach wear. Will it work if you just accessorize differently? Then, and only then, pick pieces that can be worn only once. Those ones that you can wear just for the beach or just for the dinner. As I mention, all this will help you pack and also, will help you with your dressing when you are already there, because you already thought about how to style each piece.
GO SIMPLE AND THEN MIX IT UP
By now you should have more than half of your wardrobe (if not all) packed. All that is left is maybe just couple of outfits that you need to pick. So, as the title say, go simple and then mix it up. Agin, try to find the pieces that are simple and in the same color combination as the others items so you can easily mix and match everything (those two blouses that can be worn with the pants and the skirt also, for example).
Next what you need to pack is your accessories and some bits and bobs (like underwear, makeup,etc. ) and you are ready. With your accessories use the same rule as when picking your outfits. Look at the color and theme, and do not choose anything that you cannot wear with at least two different outfits. That will cut everything in half.
And now you are ready. But fist to pack the most important bag, which takes us to the last tip.
YOUR CARRYALL BAG
And now I confused you totally. How can your carryall bag be the most important one? Well, that little bag can save you of a lot of headaches if you pack it smartly. And what do I mean with this?
Well, as a blogger I like to read other people posts, especially the ones “What is in my bag” kinds, and I saw a lot of girls packing their carryalls bags with magazines, laptops, headphones…you know the things that I’m talking about. And those are great if you are driving to your destination. Bug if you are flying…no…for those things use a huge purse, and pack your carryall smartly.
More than once did I arrived to my destination with my bags missing. What can you do, s#*t happens. And we all know, for airline to “find” them can take from couple of hours to couple of days. And if you are in the first group, then you are lucky. But what happens if your bags do not arrive until the next day…or couple of days? I hope you do not want to go on your vacation and spend first hours running to the store and buying new clothes?
That is why I always pack (depends of the kind of trip) in my carryall, some clothes that can serve me for first couple of days, like (I’m still referencing my example of beach trip), bathing suit, kaftan, a dress or two, sandals…those things that will help me at the begging. So if anything happens, I am ready.
Also, I always pack in my carryall, all the things I cannot bear to lose. Like my expensive shoes or bags, my jewelry, or anything that is irreplaceable. Because there are times when some things go missing from the bags. And as I said, I would rather pack it all in advance in my carryall and not to worry and have a headache after the fact.
BONUS TIP FOR WHEN YOU ARE TRAVELING WITH FAMILY
And while we are talking about the smart packing and missing your luggage, let’s talk about packing when traveling with the family. When we pack, we usually pack each family member their own suitcase. Which is great, it is easier, you know who’s things are where. But…and there is a big but, there are those situations of missing luggage, and as the luck can go, you can get all your luggage except maybe one. Which means, one family member will be out of luck. And if you did not packed smartly their carryall…well…they will have to spend first days of your vacation in their traveling clothes.
And just imagine if that person is one of your kids?!?!? How will you tell them that they cannot go swimming with the others because their bathing suit is lost? Or that they have to wear same clothes for two days straight. Unless you want to go shopping right away.
So my tip is…mix everyone’s clothes in every suitcase. Which means, in every suitcase put little bit of everyones clothes, and then you are safe. Every piece of luggage had everyone’s clothes, your carryall is smartly packed, and you are ready for any mishaps you might have.
And here they are, 5 tips for smart packing, with the bonus one. 😉
I hope these tips will help you the next time when you pack for your vacation. And I would love if you let me know if they do, and please let me know if you have some additional tips for smart packing.
And if you need some inspiration of who to travel in style, just click HERE.
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