I just got back from an incredible three week vacation in Italy! Aside from my usual “What to See” posts (which will be coming your way shortly), I figured I would also quickly share some of my favourite packing tips with you! I’m sure a lot of you will be going on vacation this summer so hopefully you will find the following tips helpful!
1. Make a list: I think that writing up an extensive list of things you are going to need for your trip is crucial in order to stay organized and to ensure you won’t be forgetting anything important!
You can make a basic list on paper or in the notes app on your phone but I like to use an app called “Packing Pro”. This app is great because it can generate sample lists for different types of trips (camping, business, female, etc.) to give you an idea of certain items you may need for the type of trip you are planning. You can then, of course, add on anything that may be missing from the standard sample list. Afterwards, you can begin ticking off all the items you’ve packed as you go along.
2. Lay out all possibilities: Lay out all the clothes you may want to bring with you onto a large surface (like your bed or the floor) so that you are able to clearly assess all of your options.
3. Try things on: Make sure you are actually trying on the clothes you are planning to bring before packing them up. Perhaps there is a piece that you haven’t worn in a while and you had forgotten that you don’t actually like the way it looks on you, for example.
4. Create outfits: I also think it’s really important to put outfits together with the pieces of clothing you selected. You want to try to avoid items that aren’t versatile. Select clothing that you can create multiple outfits with!
I really like to use an app called “Stylebook” to help me with this process. You’ll need to dish out about $5 for it but I think if you are obsessed with organization like i am, it’s worth it! The set-up for the app is quite tedious as it requires you to take photos of all the pieces in your closet (I simply took photos of the items I was planning to bring on my trip to shorten the process, for now). Once all your clothing has been photographed, you can put outfits together and even plan out your months or weeks in outfits.
I don’t know if I’ll be using the app on an everyday basis, but I find it exceptionally useful for packing purposes. For the record, I did actually use the app during my trip to plan my outfits for the day!
5. Eliminate: Eliminate anything that isn’t to your liking or that isn’t versatile enough to create multiple outfits with! I know this process can be hard, but just think that you’ll probably do some shopping when you get to your destination! ; )
6. Place everything in packing cubes: I mentioned packing cubes in my Eurotrip planning post but I will say it again. Packing cubes are crucial to keeping your suitcase organized and will prevent your clothes from getting shuffled as you move around.
Now that I’ve taken you through the essentials, here are a few extra tricks to make the process as easy as possible.
1. Travel jewelry case: I know there are a ton of tricks out there for efficiently packing jewelry (like using straws to keep necklaces from getting tangled, for example), but I have an excellent little draw-string travel jewelry pouch from MYtagalongs that works wonders and doesn’t require any “crafting”.
2. Small carry-on: If you aren’t going to be moving around a lot, I wouldn’t worry about this point too much (although it does make traveling much easier!). However, if you do have multiple destinations, I would highly recommend having a small carry-on. You don’t want to be lugging around a massive bag through every airport or train station. I find it to be an added stress and prefer to carry something smaller. Only bring what you REALLY NEED!
3. Pack an extra bag: Although having a small carry-on is super convenient, it does limit the amount of things you can bring home with you. That’s why I would recommend putting a larger bag in your luggage so that at the end of your trip, you can use it for the extra items that wouldn’t have fit in your smaller carry-on. Of course, if you’re not planning on making many purchases, you can skip this step!
I am by NO MEANS a packing expert, but I do feel like my skills have improved over the years! I’m always looking to become a more efficient packer so I would love to hear what some of your favourite tips are!