I travel a lot and I used to dread packing for trips. I would wait until the night before, stay up until 2 a.m. just staring at my suitcase and clothes, and end up with a bunch of random things thrown together in my bag. I always forgot something (after forgetting my makeup bag once, I’ll never do it again) or packed the wrong things. I finally came up with a WAY more efficient and less stressful way of doing this 🙂
If you’re in need of new luggage, you’ll find my all-time favorites here. I don’t buy super expensive luggage because it gets thrown around anyway, but cheap luggage falls apart way too easily. I have this 2-piece luggage set in a chic white marble print. It’s amazing quality and has lasted longer than I expected, it spins and rolls easily, and it stands out from everyone else’s at baggage claim! For most trips I use the large (30 in.) size, but the smaller carry-on is good for weekend trips or as an extra bag.
For my Italy trip (6 days), I took my large suitcase plus my carry-on for some extra room to bring things home. I usually start planning and putting my outfits together a week before my trip. I start out by packing the basics that I’m going to need on my trip like sleepwear, socks, etc. and get that out of the way. A few days before, I plan for every day of my trip and lay out an outfit for each day in order. So for day 1, I create a flat lay of the top, bottoms, shoes, bag, and accessories I’m going to wear and take a picture before folding it into a pile.
I start by choosing which bags, shoes, jewelry, and sunglasses will go with most of what I own. I always bring my tote on the plane and pack 1 or 2 smaller crossbody/backpack/or belt bags. For expensive bags or jewelry, I pack them in my plane tote to make sure nothing happens to them. The only two bags I wore in Italy were my black and gold mini quilted backpack, and this tan faux leather backpack. In addition to the bags, my statement earrings and sunglasses (these too) were interchangeable with all of my outfits.
It’s rare to see me dressed up at the airport. I prefer to be comfortable so I always wear athletic sneakers on the plane, but I also pack my favorite pair of casual white sneakers because they’re sooo versatile and chic. You can wear them with jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses…honestly anything. I wore mine almost every day and night in Italy – I never even put on the wedges that I packed for dinner! All in all I usually pack a couple pairs of sneakers, one pair of wedges or chunky heels, and one pair of sandals.
I lay all of my clothes out by day. So for my six day trip, I laid out a daytime and nighttime outfit for each day. I make traveling easier by taking pictures of each outfit (clothes, shoes, accessories) in the order I’ll be wearing them, so that I can quickly reference what I packed and how I planned to wear it. It makes things sooo much easier, and when you look back your pictures you realize what can be interchanged or what’s unnecessary to pack. I then pack the clothes I’ll be wearing towards the end of the trip on the bottom of my suitcase, and the ones I need sooner on the top. I try to pack all of my clothes on one side of my suitcase – but don’t forget to take pictures before you pack everything!
On the other side of my suitcase, I pack all of my toiletries, hair products, make-up, and shoes. I’ll typically pack my curling iron, flat iron, (blow dryers are a waste of space), toiletries/hair spray in Ziploc bags, and my makeup bag. I’ve never had a problem with my makeup breaking or spilling! As long as the lids are on tight and nothing is packed too loosely, everything should stay intact. Just be sure to obviously put lotions, liquid bottles, and hair sprays in sealed bags. Sometimes, if I have room, I actually bring my makeup bag on the plane in my tote. Most make-up bottles are small enough to take on the plane.
What I’ve learned from my years of overpacking, is to plan! Planning out what you’re going to wear for each day makes vacation less stressful, & having those pictures to reference for styling changes everything! Hope this helps 🙂
an OCD packer