Packing…. Maybe the only part of a trip that is no fun to me.
Planning a trip is fun, It involves combing through information looking for the perfect fit to the experiences I want to have.
The actual traveling… well that takes me where I want to go, and brings me home to the people I love. Packing though, bites!
I have been an “over packer” my entire life, and my bags were always overweight. I have endured endless teasing for showing up to a weekend trip with two full bags, claiming “ I don’t know what I will want to wear, so I just brought everything”. I was willing to take the criticism because I wanted all my clothes and shoes with me.
And then…. I quit packing everything. Because I have traveled so much the last few years, I have also realized that like home, I wear the same exact things every time. I would bring bags full of clothes, endure carrying it all, waste time checking a bag, picking it up at baggage claim, and all for the sake of a lot of clothing I never even put on my body!!
Recently, I went on a weekend girls trip with a lot of my beautiful friends. I knew they would look gorgeous and fabulous, so I fell into my old habits and packed way too much. And Guess what… I wore the same exact things I wear at home, and brought a bag full of clean clothes back with me.
So now, Forever more, I am a carry on girl. I have given up a few items that I know will be at the hotel, and have learned to pack what I will actually wear. So here it is,
HOW TO PACK IN A CARRYON FOR A 3-5 DAY TRIP.
- Toiletry, and hair products.
- Curling Iron
(I gave up the blow dryer because I know all hotels will have one in the room. In the case you are going to a location without one, consider dry shampoo, air dry, or a compact)
- 1 Light Pair of Jeans
- 1 Dark Denim or Black Pair of Jeans
- 2 Pair Black Leggings – Wear 1 Pair When Traveling there and 1 When Traveling Home
- 1 Pair Workout Leggings
- 1 Tank Top
- 1 Blouse – Dressier type of shirt for a dinner out
- 4 Favorite T Shirts – Wear 1 T Shirt traveling
- 1 Button up Long Sleeve Shirt – You can throw this over a T Shirt as an extra layer, or wear as a dressier shirt with jeans
- 1 Skirt – I prefer a pencil skirt that I can dress up, or wear with a T Shirt to dress it down
- 1 “Black” Dress – I often end up at a business dinner. I bring a dress that will go with my wedges, and can be dressed up, down, or worn as a cover up at the pool
- 1 Swim Suit – I search for water, even if its a spa:)
- 1 Cover up – I pack a “black” light weight short jumper that can be worn as a cover up or substituted as an extra outfit
- Underwear for each day
- 1 Black Bra – Wear it
- 1 Nude Bra
- 1 Sports Bra
- 3 Pairs Socks – Wear 1 Pair
- 1 Belt
- North Face Black Jacket – Pack in your purse
- Wedges or Booties
- Sandals or Flip Flops
- Tennis Shoes – Wear These
- Heels – These are optional and will require a little configuring but fit just fine
- To Travel: I wear my Black Leggings and a T Shirt. I wear my Nikes, and pack my North Face in my Purse, it folds up like a dream
- Maximize your space!!! Roll your clothing, Fill your Shoes with your underwear and socks, and pack your bag like a Tetris game.
- If its Cold, and you need boots, Play Tetris Again, fill the Boots with Clothes and Maximize your space. If they don’t fit, Wear them to travel!!!
- Lay out your clothes ahead of time. Make sure what you choose will mix and match easily. I stick to Black/White/Gray with a few T Shirts with some color, Unoriginal…but easy to pair!!
- Your Loved ones / Friends care more that you packed light, and saved time and hassle, than what you actually wear on the trip.
- If it takes 10 extra minutes to blow dry your hair because the Dryer is not your powerhouse from home, over… checking a bag on an airline, chances are everyone will pick the 10 extra minutes!
- I can be my own worst critic. Give yourself a break, and focus more on the experiences your having than if you look perfect.
- Find one good jacket to bring that suits all needs. I am usually cold. I need a jacket that will look dressed up, go to the gym, and be cute casual. I have settled on my North Face Jacket. Over the years, I have brought others, but this jacket is warm enough, and light enough to meet all your needs.
- Bring your cutest, but MOST comfortable shoes. Find some that fit both categories. I have settled on my Tom wedges, and my Nikes. If I have a little extra room, I will throw in my Vans. But I constantly remind myself that even though I love my Vans, I don’t necessarily need them. I prefer Nikes (Black and White) because they go with anything, I can wear them to the Gym, and with my jeans.
- In 99% of all situations, I stay clean. Don’t be afraid to wear your pants multiple times. If by some chance you do get dirty, use it as a reason to buy a new pair:) or, if you are my husband, wash them in the tub and hang them to dry.
- Save a little room for an extra bag. I have become aware that if I pack an extra, empty bag, I can fill it with anything I buy! Bam, Perfect Packing:)
- If you feel you need two jackets, remove a shirt, etc. Don’t start adding, or you will add yourself right into a checked bag!!
- I have my favorites in my closet. Pack those, so you are guaranteed to want to wear what you have!
- Pat yourself on the back when you travel light, and focus on Fun!!