At the airport before leaving for Aruba
LONG TRIPS (4+ Days)
The longest trip that I have ever packed for/been on was my 7 day trip to Aruba. I always struggle between taking too much and not taking enough. Because I had been to Aruba before, as well as many family members, I knew what to expect with the weather. But being that I LOVE summer fashion I was torn between taking majority of my summer clothes or just 7 days worth.
I have always been an over packer. I never get to wear all my outfits or shoes that I thought I needed. This trip I wanted to pack as light as I could. Being that my aunt used to visit this place twice (or more) times a year she gave me great advice on what to pack. "All you need are bathing suits, maxi dresses, sandals, shorts and tanks." Simple, right? WRONG.
For some reason I took those simple instructions and made them difficult. For months, I had been putting options to the front of my closet so that I could easily get to my choices when it became time to pack. I considered those to be my "must have" items for my trip. After laying those outfits beside my suitcase, I felt like I didn't have enough stuff -- big mistake!
Tip One: When packing, don't over think. Pack enough clothes to allow you to change twice a day AND one or two extra outfits. That way if you don't change one day you will have more than enough options.
If you have an idea of what the weather will be like, if the weather is consistent in that location, then you know what type of clothes to pack. If the weather isn't consistent then make sure that you have options. It's all based on your personal judgment. Make sure you check the weather while picking out things to pack.
Tip Two: When you are ready to pack ROLL your clothes. Rolling your clothes saves space and allows you to pack more. Roll the outfits together, if possible. I try to roll my tops and bottoms together so that I know what goes together.
My mom and I decided that we would take two separate suitcases for clothes and toiletries(big ones like shampoo and shower gel) and share a carry on for shoes. A small suitcase and backpack. I'd like to consider myself the carry-on bag Queen, but I'm not, ha. Since we were traveling to a tropical place we didn't take that many shoes. And since we wear the same size shoe, we shared the collection of shoes (give or take a few pair).
Tip Three: If you're taking a carry on, put as many small items in there as you can so that you don't go over the 50 pound limit on your checked bag. Items like your toothbrush, hair brushes, etc can all go in your carry on, if you have the space.
Another thing you should always put in your carry on is an outfit (and all of its necessities) that match the shoes you are wearing. Just in case the airline loses your luggage and it takes some time for them to get it to you.
SHORT TRIP (1-3 Days)
I love short trips. A quick weekend getaway to a new place always brings me joy. Another plus is, they are pretty easy to pack for. It's just a few days and the stress on what to wear isn't as high as a longer trip, at least for me.
Tip One: Again don't over think it. Research the weather and the things that you have an interest in doing while on your trip and pack for that.
If you are going somewhere warm and your activities will mostly take place outdoors, pack for that. And give yourself an outfit or two for a change of scenery. If you are going to visit family or friends then the options are endless. When you pick out something cute, stick to it. I know its hard but stick to your guns.
Tip Two: Place your shoes in the bottom of the suitcase and again, roll your clothes.
I always roll my clothes. Whether I am going on a long vacation or a short one. Because for both occasions space is necessary. So save yourself the headache and roll your clothes. I promise it will make all the difference.
Tip Three: Only take carry on bags.
To keep yourself from packing 8 outfits for a 3 day trip, use smaller luggage. More than likely, 8 outfits cannot fit in a carry on sized bag. So that keeps you from over packing. Packing light always makes for a smooth adventure through the airport. Especially if you are running late. You can skip the check bag lines and get right to security. There have been many times where I was grateful for not having to stand in those long lines.
Overall, you have to pack the way that is best for you. Each trip is unique which means that each packing experience will be unique as well. I am not a packing genius, I am still learning what works for me. But I really hope that I have helped someone with their packing troubles. I know how much of a headache it can be.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. I hope that you enjoy this weekend with your family, friends and/or significant other. This weekend is about love and we ALL have that in our lives. Enjoy!