I love to travel – explore new cities and countries and find all there is to do in this beautiful world. But I must admit, I have taken way too much stuff with me along the way, and it has taken me a LONG TIME to perfect my travel packing. Here are a few tips I’ve learned the hard way:
Make an Advanced Wardrobe List
Planning is really the secret to easy packing. I literally make a wardrobe plan for EVERY DAY that I am on the road. Take items you can wear more than once and layer with different things. Pick two colors and make those the staple of your wardrobe. That way, everything will match. Get creative, and don’t bring anything that is not on your list. Plan to do laundry on the road ½ way through your trip.
Shoes take up so much room and they are the most essential item in your wardrobe when you travel. Bad feet make for a bad trip, so be practical about your shoes.
- On short trips take two pair, and on long trips, limit yourself to three pair of shoes – you DON’T need more than that.
- You need a good pair of walking shoes like tennis shoes for every day.
- For warm climates take a good pair of walking sandals that can go from day to night
- If you are gone for a week or more, a third pair of casual slip-ons will be helpful to give your feet a breather
- Don’t take new shoes. If you haven’t worn them for at least a month, they will not be of any use to you on your trip. They will cause blisters, so just don’t bring them.
- Wear your bulkiest shoes while you travel – that leaves more room in your suitcase for essentials
- If going long distances, take a pair of slippers in your carry-on bag. Feet swell during air travel, and no one wants you to walk around the airplane in bare feet. A simple pair of slippers will keep your feet comfortable and clean on the airplane.
Don’t take Good Jewelry
Thieves love to target tourists, and you don’t want to tempt them. If you want to take some bling with you, find some good imitation jewelry, and leave the good stuff at home. You would be devastated to lose an heirloom on a special vacation.
Shop When You Get There
If you are going to a place that has easy access to shopping (for example, New York City has a drug store on every corner), leave some essentials at home that you can purchase when you get there. Things like hair spray, razors, shampoo, and aspirin can be picked up when you get there and then left when you leave. This is especially helpful if you are not checking your bags. Purchasing your liquids when you get there eliminates the need to put them through security.
Simplify Your Beauty Routine
Before you leave, take a few days to practice simplifying your beauty routine. You don’t need your entire beauty regiment for a vacation, just enough to keep your face clean and fresh. Take makeup compacts that have everything in one pack – multiple eye shadows, powders and blushes in one. Use a combination foundation and sunscreen and rely on the hotel for things like shampoos and soaps.
Leave Extra Room
If you are like me, you pick up things along the way that make packing for home a challenge. There are two ways to handle your packing for the return home:
- Leave extra room in your bag when you pack so you can fill it up with goodies from your travels.
- Pack an extra bag that you can check on the way home.
Some essentials I take with me every time I travel:
- Scarves are a great way to change an outfit. I usually pack two to mix and match.
- A grey or black cardigan is a must – it will go with everything, be a cover-up for the morning, a wrap for a chilly evening and a go-to for every outfit.
- A pair of skinny jeans and a pair of black pants are ALL you need. White pants are great, but they are not too practical for travel, and take up space in your suitcase. If you want a lighter color – go for khaki instead of black.
- A good hat is necessary for sunny travel.
- Different colored tank tops are a great way to add a pop of color to your neutral travel wardrobe and they can be rolled up and packed easily.
- A poncho or pashmina for the airplane is a must. They dress up any outfit and they are easy to throw into your carry-on bag.