Four Tips for Light Packing
This post was intended to go live months ago, but due to a little procrastination, this post was delayed. Sincere apologies!
I think I was 19 when I took my first solo trip with friends. It was for my birthday and we went to Acapulco, Mexico. I remember it took weeks of begging my dad to let me go, but after much consideration and won’t-go-crazy promises from my friends, he finally said yes.
From there, JL and I got an itch for travel, so in 2008 we traveled to New York and Japan. Later that year I left to study abroad in Paris and did some traveling in western Europe. A couple of years later we went away for two months to explore China and Southeast Asia. Since moving to New York we’ve done a few small trips here and there between going home to El Paso, visiting family in Mexico City, and Chicago. Last year we went on our honeymoon to Croatia, and we just returned from a two-week trip to Budapest, Russia, and Turkey–so six cities in 14 days–eek!
As you can see, I’ve done quite a bit of traveling, and by now I feel pretty confident when it comes to the whole packing ordeal. So whether you’re a jet-setter or you’re about to take your first trip ever, I’ve jotted down a few tips I’ve personally learned along the way. By no means is this expert advice–it’s just the way I like to pack and what I've found works for me.
Plan Each Look Accordingly
I like to plan every outfit as detailed as possible. Not only does this help me not overpack, but I also get ready faster during the trip which is ideal since I want to spend as much quality time as possible doing whatever activity I have planned for the day. If I’ll only be going away for a weekend and I more or less know what I’ll be doing each day, then I plan accordingly and maybe throw in an extra top or bottom. I like to take a couple of options in case I want to make any last-minute changes. This also includes accessories–so jewelry, bag, sunglasses, etc. I also only take one or two sunglasses and bags for all looks.
Take Sample Size Everything
If you follow me on Instagram Stories then you know I’m a little obsessed with beauty products, which is why I only like to bring the necessary ones along–serum, eye cream, moisturizer, sunscreen, plus a few makeup essentials. I learned the hard way that not all countries allow you to travel with as many products as long as they’re 3 oz. , and that you need to read their travel policies even if it’s only a layover.
Fun fact: I once had to pick and choose between products because I was only allowed ONE plastic bag out of London, and there I was with three Glossier pouches filled to the brim (one was hair, makeup, and skincare) throwing a mini tantrum of how this was only a 30-minute layover. Lesson learned.
I typically like to save a few sample sized jars (I clean them out first!) and use those for face moisturizer, my can’t-live-without Belif witch hazel toner, and makeup primer. If there’s a travel size version of any of my must-have products, then I like to stock up on those as well. Sephora has a great selection of minis, which are perfect for long trips or just to carry in your bag.
No More Than Four Shoes-Even That’s A Lot
My weakness is shoes so this is still a challenge for me at times. That’s why I’ve made it a rule to bring no more than four shoes.
It all depends on the trip I’m making, but for our recent trip to Budapest and Russia, I took three pairs of shoes and only used two of them, which were my Converse and Teva sandals. The third was a pair of block-heel sandals in case I needed something dressy, but this just wasn’t that kind of trip.
Pack Nice and Neatly
Trust me this will make all the difference. Have you ever just thrown everything into your suitcase and then felt as if nothing fits? Welp, I have. But then I learned it does fit and it doesn’t take any magic! As long as it’s organized correctly and you’re not trying to fit more than what your bag can carry, then all should be good. I personally like to lay out everything so that it’s as flat as possible and fill the corners and sides with socks, underwear, swimsuit, my pj’s, or any super thin tops that can be rolled up–basically I try to fill every crack and corner to make the most out of my suitcase. I usually fit my straightener in one of the sides, and I like to put my jewelry in small drawstring bags and put those inside my purses.
I hope you find this just a tiny bit helpful. Feel free to share any tips in the comments below! I’m always happy to learn of any tips and tricks that’ll simplify my life.