Traveling is so exciting, but packing is always everyones least favorite part of the whole experience. I personally used to hate it. I would always end up just throwing a bunch of things in a suitcase the night before and be done with it; sound familiar?
I used to be a terrible packer! I always felt like I needed more because of the "what if". What if I need it, what if our plans change. I better pack it just in case, is what I used to tell myself. Well about 5 years ago I stopped doing this. I had to many past experiences where I either utterly over packed, under packed or completely packed inappropriately for the trips itinerary.
Raise your hand if you check your bag for a weekend getaway, if you raised your hand, you need help packing and I am going to give you all my tips.
1. Know the weather for highs and lows, humidity levels, chance of rain, etc. All these details matter in what you should pack.I cant tell you how many times people do not check the weather. Just because you are visiting southern California doesnt mean it's going to be sunny and hot. Or Just because you are going to a ski resort doesn't mean the weather is going to be freezing. Climate can change and it does frequently.
2. Know your trips itinerary.wether you are traveling for leisure or for a special occasion (bachelorette, wedding, birthday, anniversary) you should have some idea of whats on the agenda. You should have some list of things you might want to do while at your destination. i.e. attractions (amusement parks, ball games, museums, etc), activities (hikes, bike rides, runs, workouts) and any restaurants you might want to eat at.
3. If you are not using packing cubes, start now. These are the ones I use. I love them so much, each family member now has their own set. Yes, including Easton. I was skeptical about using them at first, but you will be surprised how much stuff you can fit in them. They will help you stay organized. It's like having specific drawers for all you stuff. Below are the two ways I use them.
* Pack like type garments together just as you would store them at home. ie. Tops, bottoms, dresses, undergarments. When you get to your destination, and you need something, you know where it is, instead of digging through your entire suitcase you find what you need. (I use this method most of the time.)
* If you are doing a multiple stop trip, like I did for italy, You can pack each stop in specific cube. When you get to your destination, you only have to unpack the cubes you need and leave the rest in you suitcase. Packing like this helped me keep my sanity and made unpacking and repacking so much easier.
4. Pack two outfits per full day. A day outfit and a night outfit. A swimsuit & coverup is considered an outfit if your day activity is a "pool day or a beach day". Consider that an outfit. If you are going hiking, your hiking gear is your "day" outfit. Even if your day activity is "visit museum" you should pack a night outfit. I know a museum visit would generally be calm, and uneventful, but what if it happens to be really hot in there and you sweat, or you spill something on yourself during lunch. You'll be happy you packed an evening outfit. And if you don't need that evening outfit, then you have an extra outfit.
5. Pack outfits or complete looks. This is probably the hardest of my tips. Yes, I want you to commit to packing exactly what you are going to wear! I learned this trick from celebrity stylists. This is how they pack for their clients. They go to their homes, help them put together outfits, take pictures of the outfits and only pack what is needed. None of this, what if they need it crap. Pack your outfits and stick to them. You are packing two options per day, that should have you more than covered, trust me.
6. 3-4 pairs of shoes max! Shoes take up a lot of room in your suitcase so limit them to your 3/4 favorite pairs. This does not include specially shoes like ski boots, Trust me, you'll probably end up wearing the same two pairs all weekend long. Here is what I always pack
*Warm weather: a slide (this is my "flipflop"), a dressy strap flat sandal somethng that can be dressed down or up) a neutral heel and a sneaker (fashion or athletic)
* Winter: Broken in flat ankle boot (something comfortable) A neutral high heel boot; ankle, knee or thigh high.depending on where I am going. A sneaker (fashion or athletic). A neutral heel.
* Always pack a light coat when going to warm climate. * pajamas, lounge clothes are a personal choice. pack what you need to be comfortable.*travel with one multi purpose makeup palette.
**When you settle on your outfits, I recommend logging them in some way. You can snap a picture or what I like to do is log them in a spreadsheet like I below.