Packing can be stressful if you wait until the last minute, and over-packing can ruin trips while costing a few more pennies for checked bags.
Solve this problem, and save your coin, by pre-planning and thinking of packing as an organized project.
I have some best practices that help me get ready for any kind of trip: long, short, camping, clamping, you name it - this method helps because regardless of trip type, a smooth trip relies a lot on having a suitcase that is TSA approved with a wardrobe and toiletries that I can depend on.
These are my 5 steps for successful packing:
Invest in Your Luggage
I have a soft case MUJI that I am very loyal to, however I recently made the upgrade to Away suitcases because of the durability and the extra bells and whistles.
Invest in a good hard shell suitcase since a soft suitcase won’t protect your clothes if you are stuck in the rain, which helped in London, Dublin and Paris where it rained nonstop.
I have both the Away Carry-On and the Bigger Carry-On, and are my favorite suitcases to date. These suitcases are double-sided (linked below), so one-side holds my shoes and toiletries, and the other side holds my clothes. It even has a laundry bag for wet swimsuits, and a portable charger.
PULL OUT YOUR 'LOOKS' IN ADVANCE
Spend less time in the mirror, and more time in the world
When I get ready for any trip I always prep a rack of looks a couple of weeks beforehand. I have an old clothing rack from my last apartment that didn’t have a closet, so now it’s my favorite thing to pull out when I need to re-organize or pack.
This first thing I do is pull all my favorite things out and let them sit on the rack. When you see things everyday you get tired of prints or colors and put them back in your closet
PUT TOGETHER A CAPSULE COLLECTION
BRINGING LESS STUFF LEAVES MORE ROOM FOR SOUVENIRS
When I get closer to my travel date I try-on, mix and match, and edit what I have. I end up editing down and swapping things out, but it’s a helpful dry run of what I plan on wearing. Recently, I was traveling to climates that went from 34 and rainy, to 91 and no clouds, I had to be really thoughtful about what I brought. Each piece need to have multiple looks and layering options.
You should start pre-packing 2 weeks before your trip, if it's a long one. Try-On, and edit it down to your favorite pieces that you don’t have to suck it in for, or pose a certain way for it to be flattering. Pack when you still have a weekend in between your travel date - its good if you need to run errands last minute.
Also, you don't need to bring 5 pairs of shoes, unless you are doing 5 drastically different things. I survive with a sneaker and a pump on most of my trips.
Don’t pack clothes just for Instagram, it’s a waste of space - unless it's an Instagram kind of trip, then do you research on the color schemes there will be.
FLAT LAY PACK
(GET A VACUUM BAG IF YOU ARE FANCY)
Everyone says to roll to not wrinkly your clothes and to save room, but I flat lay instead. I'm able to fit more in when then are laid flat on top of each other instead of rolled in balls.
I layer my suitcase like I layer up in the winter, starting with pants and dresses at the bottom, then following up with shirts, sweaters, and then fit in the stragglers in soft spaces.
My grandmother use to make us put our clothes in plastic grocery bags, tie them tight and sit on them to make all the air come out. DYI Vacuum bags! There are ones you can buy in for suitcases now, however - if you have a great Capsule collection, you shouldn't need it!
TSA APPROVED MINIS
a mild obsession
I had a self-made mini explode in my suitcase and ever since then I buy my mini's and travel kits of my favorite products.