On a recent girls’ trip, friends were surprised that I was able to bring so many things yet avoid checking my bag.
First, a confession. I would rather spend the $50 it costs to check a bag on a pair of shoes (no surprise there!). However, even though I usually fly Southwest (with no bag fees), I still feel the need to fit all of my belongings into the overhead bin. I’ve never had a lost bag experience to confirm this sentiment – it’s more the challenge of it that I love. It’s weird.
Below are my simple packing rules to live-by:
- Prepare in advance. I know…this is ironic coming from me (a serial procrastinator). But it has been my experience that it’s best if you have tried everything on before pulling it out of your suitcase upon arrival at your destination. Trying not only ensures that you like your outfits but that they’re put together. When trying on, you then can consider accessories and shoes. Advance preparation also gives you time to have anything cleaned or repaired before you go.
- Roll & stuff. I recently read a packing guide that suggested you keep your clothes on a hanger and neatly layer them in your suitcase. For those of us not traveling with our Louis Vuitton steamer, I would instead recommend that you first neatly fold and then roll your clothes into bundles that can easily stack in your suitcase. You would be amazed at just how much space this can save. Likewise, stuff any shoes or handbags with smaller items like undergarments, socks, and/or sports bras.
- Start with your footwear. Shoes are usually the crux of your packing strategy. Although I often plan an outfit around my favorite accessory, this may not be intuitive. Consider what you will be doing (for example, sight-seeing will require comfortable shoes; conversely, a nice dinner out or an event may require heels). Depending on your activities (and thus your foot wear), you can build an outfit from there.
- Simplify your beauty routine. Again, planning ahead can help you pare down your beauty staples. First, sample and travel sizes are a life saver. Particularly if you are carrying your bag on, you want to make sure that your liquids comply with the FAA requirements. Also, when you are traveling, it is not the time to pack every beauty product in your arsenal. For example, if you have a special event, try-out your look in advance. Preparation will allow you to only bring what you will use rather than lugging every potential product. Likewise, if you are planning a casual get-away or a beach vacation, you may not require all of your products (just more sunscreen!)
- Carry-on jewelry and other valuables. This may seem obvious but it’s worth a reminder. I suggest separating any necklaces that can be snagged on other jewelry (earrings in particular can be infamous for snags). Put them in their own pouch or seal them in a ziplock bag. I save the cloth pouches jewelry is sold with for this very purpose. You can then put these pouches in a clutch, cosmetic bag, or another safe spot in your carry-on.
What’s your packing game like? Please leave me a comment with any additional tips or tricks. I’m always looking to improve upon my sport!
Do you follow me on Instagram? I document my daily adventures there, including all of the photos included in this post.
Lastly, don’t forget about the Shopbop Friends & Family sale! (See Tuesday’s post for my selections). You have until 11:59pm PST tonight to save 25% on most everything. Enter SPRING25 at checkout.
Thanks for reading! ~Jenn