As much as I enjoy organizing, planning and making lists, packing can be stressful. It requires you to be decisive and have a general itinerary in mind to know what you might or definitely need. It can be time-consuming, rushed and overwhelming. It is especially difficult when traveling to unfamiliar and varying climates. Since traveling often in the past few years, I’ve picked up some tried-and-true packing tips I hope will help you prepare for your next trip!
- Do your laundry and start your packing list the weekend before your trip. This way, you’re not doing laundry last-minute or wearing anything between doing laundry that you want to bring on your trip. I personally don’t iron much before packing, but if you do, this is yet another reason to start thinking ahead.
- Use a packing list! I have never and will never be the kind of person who simply “throws” things in a suitcase. With a list on paper, a note on my phone, or a proper checklist, I know I’ll never forget anything. I ALWAYS have a “morning” list right before a trip – toothbrush, hairbrush, daily medicine, etc. I think of things as I’m trying to fall asleep and can easily add them to the list. I created a downloadable PDF packing list for men and for women here!
- Choose a color-scheme or general theme of your travel style. When I went to Chicago and Toronto, I packed primarily greys and blacks. This made it easier to pack less handbags and shoes, while still having room for more accessories like scarves or jewelry. For my cruise to the Bahamas, I packed bright and patterned blues, greens and whites. This also makes it it easier to mix and match while you’re there should you need to re-wear something.
- Have a short list of musts, regardless of destination or occasion. I have never regretted packing comfortable walking shoes, a scarf/pashmina, loungewear pants, dark jeans, a basic t-shirt, extra undergarments, and cold medicine. These multi-use or comfort items allow you more versatility. You might get soaked in the rain, go to a cold restaurant, have blisters from your other shoes, get sick and want loungewear for the hotel, etc.
- Carry-on, always. Accumulate travel-size toiletries over time, utilize packing cubes to condense everything, and know that if you can’t fit everything into a carry on then you’re probably packing too much or not going by rule 3.
- Don’t change the products in your routine just because you won’t be home. This is my newest realization, as I would always without fail break out or have skin issues during or after my trip. What I’ve done instead is start using the products you are going to travel with a week or two before your trip. You can be less worried about natural, gentle face cleansers, but more so get your skin used to chemical/physical exfoliators, serums and oils. I’ve featured some of my current favorite beauty products to travel with here!
What are your tried-and-true packing tips? I’d especially love to know how you pack differently for longer trips (for this)!