I love traveling. I love going to new places, experiencing new things, tasting new foods, meeting new people. Everything that traveling is about – I dig it.
I love the physical part of traveling. I like airports… people watching and wondering where they’re headed to and where they’re coming from. I love take off and always need a window seat so I can watch the world grow smaller as we soar higher and higher. I love traveling by train. It’s such an antique way of traveling, if you know what I mean. Watching the world pass by as you sip a glass of wine from the Café Cart is all so historical.
What I hate… is packing.
I am notorious for packing not just the night before, but the morning OF my departure. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve packed in a half hour and am running out the door. But as much as I hate packing, I am a PRO at it.
I once packed for a full month abroad in just a carry on. I am all about the ease and convenience of getting out and about. The less you have, the more mobile you can be. The easier it is to get around, the more you will enjoy yourself and the experience of being somewhere new.
So it’s only appropriate that my flight to LAX is less than 24 hours away and what am I doing (instead of packing)? Writing this post.
Maybe if I write about packing, then my bags will magically be ready to go? Anyway, here are my 10 tips for packing like a pro for your next trip:
- Plan Ahead.
Even if it’s just mentally planning what you think you might want to pack and wear, do that. As you’re driving to school or commuting to work, mentally pack. I always physically wait until the last minute, but once I finally step into my closet I already know exactly which pieces I want to throw into my bag.
- Reusable Basics.
This is essential to “packing light”. Pack jeans that can be worn with multiple tops, or basic shirts or sweaters that can be worn with multiple bottoms.
- Color Theme.
Neutrals typically work best, that way you can mix and match with a variety of other clothes and therefore cut down on how much you actually need to bring. My color of choice? New York Black.
- Roll It Up.
Folding your clothes kills the space in your bag. Roll instead of fold and you’ll have double the room.
- Shoe Space.
The shoes you pack are great cubbies for little things like socks, chargers, deodorant, whatever will fit. Every inch of space is precious when packing!
- What the Clutch.
Put valuable things like your jewelry and accessories in your clutch or any small bag that you’re packing. That way you know where all your gems are and you eliminate the need for an extra pouch.
- Bring vs. Buy.
Have you ever actually used all 38 travel size toiletries you pack? No? All the more reason to leave them behind. You can almost always find toothpaste, lotion, hairspray, band-aids, etc no matter where you are traveling. If it doesn’t fit, skip it. Buy them when you get to your destination.
- Zip It.
This tip is great if you’re going abroad, especially for a longer period of time. Using zip-loc bags (or any large plastic bag) is perfect for organizing you’re stuff, and helps decrease space. Put your rolled clothes in, press out all the air, and voila… you have an air tight bundle of clothes.
- Layer Up.
It’s also important to remember that whatever you wear while traveling will be with you the whole trip. Throwing on a tank top underneath your shirt will mean one less article of clothing you have to put in the bag.
- The Personal Item.
When flying, you’re usually allowed one carry-on bag AND one “personal item”, AKA your purse. Use a large tote or a backpack for extra space to store stuff in! No brainer.
My current situation…
This will soon be transformed into a Coachella-ready weekend bag and I’ll be off to JFK before we know it.
*UPDATE* I was able to get all my things backed into a little leather weekend bag! Outfits, bathing suits, shoes, jeans, everything for 7 days in just a carry-on bag. Pretty good, huh?!