Packing Smart – Tips & Tricks

Morning everyone, and happy Friday!

I have a couple of trips coming up in the next few weeks and I couldn’t be more excited. But if there’s one thing I’m not excited for – it’s packing.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am the biggest procrastinator when it comes to packing. I don’t travel nearly as often as I would like to either, so I’m not exactly a professional. However, I did some research and I’ve done some deep thinking about what can make packing easier for even the most procrastinating types – myself in particular.

First, plan ahead.
This might sound obvious, but taking the time to actually sit down and think about your trip – where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, what the weather will be like, how long you’ll be there – will help you out tremendously. I’ve been known to be that “just in case” type of packer, so half the things I end up throwing into my suitcase don’t even get used (I’m working on it though!). So, this would be the smartest thing to start out with.

Make a list.
Ok – this is probably the second smartest thing you can do. Especially if you’re the procrastinator, making a packing list will be your life saver. I love writing things out (or typing things out) because it helps me stay organized. The sooner you can start your list, the better! That way, the hard part of your packing will be done.

Since I’m also the over packing type, I’ll go over my list when its finished and start crossing off the things that I really don’t need. Keep in mind though the types of things that you’ll need based on your trip (how many days/nights you’ll be there, the weather, activities, etc).

Which clothes to pack.
I learned that having a color scheme for your trip makes choosing your outfits even easier, because you have the option to mix and match! This will help you get the most out of the clothes you pack. Plus, it’ll help utilize space in your suitcase.

Lay out your outfits.
I’m such a visual person, being able to see an outfit laid out really helps give me ideas of what all I can mix and match, plus seeing what outfits I’ll actually need. A trick that I try to stay with is pairing bottoms with at least 2 different tops (dark/ripped jeans, leggings, etc.). Layering is a good thing to try too, because it also helps you get the most out of your outfits.

Roll, don’t fold.
My number one rule that I could swear by is rolling your clothes, not folding them. Doing this alone will give you almost 50% more room in your suitcase. I swear. Fold everything long ways, hot-dog style, then tightly roll and pack away. This in particular will be very helpful, especially if you have a lot of things that need to be packed – this is also nice for utilizing room just in case you bring a couple of things back with you from your trip.

Keep your shoes separate.
Shoes are dirty – period. This is why I try to keep my shoes separate from all of my clothes. Not that they necessarily need their own suitcase, but a lightweight bag – or even rapping them in a thinner towel – would do. This is something I would recommend doing if you have nicer shoes (like heels) that you want to keep protected, plus keeping your clothes protected from snagging on them.

Something I learned (which completely blew my mind, by the way) was using the space IN your shoes. Example: if you’re packing booties, use the space in your boots to store your socks or other undergarments – it’ll also help keep them protected. Ok, if you already knew about doing this, you’re a genius because I literally never through of it! That’s an amazing little hack that I will for sure be trying.

Keep it travel size.
If you’re one of those who packs an entire bottle of shampoo and condition – knock that off. Almost all hair care products have a travel sized option. But something that I personally like doing is fill an empty travel size bottle with whatever it is I need to bring (shampoo/conditioner, etc).

Why I do this – you can buy empty travel size bottles at Target (or anywhere, really) for like a dollar. Then you’ll have a bottle that you can use strictly for packing, and you can use it for whatever, whenever! Sweet and simple, and it’ll save you some money from buying a whole new product. I always keep these things in their own separate bag – like a zip up shower catty, which I totally recommend investing in if you don’t already have one.

Keep your Carry On tidy.
Your carry on shouldn’t be something that you fill up. I don’t know about you, but the idea of carrying around some heavy bag does not sound like a good time – especially if you have multiple flights to catch. Keeping your carry on organized is also important, you should be able to access whatever you need while on the go.

I use my Nike book bag (something I got forever ago, I love it) that has plenty of space for whatever I’ll need, and it even works like my purse – there’s a slot for my laptop, a smaller section for all of my personal things and paper work (passport, plane ticket, wallet, etc.) and a big enough section where I can keep a hoodie (I’m always freezing on flights) plus some water and whatever snacks and magazines I pick up at the airport.

*That’s all I’ve got as far as travel tips and tricks, but maybe after traveling for a while I’ll pick up some more, but hopefully everything I mentioned will be some use for some of you! If you have any other tips and tricks about packing, feel free to share them. And as always, feel free to send me a tweet, DM, or email!

– Thanks for checking up! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

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