Ahhh.. This one. This one question ALWAYS comes up when I travel with friends. “What are you taking? What are you wearing? What size luggage are you bringing?”… And the questions go on! LOL!
Once upon a time, I was an over packer. I wanted to fly Southwest all the time because they allow 2 checked bags, PLUS your carryon, PLUS your personal item – all for FREE.
But ever since I took my first solo trip, the flight that I bought only included a carry on. So I had to either pay extra for a checked bag, OR figure out a way to fit enough clothes, shoes and travel accessories for a week’s worth trip.
I know, I know, “EASY!” You will say. But like I said, it was my first time taking a solo trip, so I wanted to take everything with me. It is not like I could ask my friend for some shampoo, or to let me borrow her hair curler. Also, I kind of had an itinerary, but also, I didn’t because I wanted to enjoy it and go with the flow. So I was stressing out on what to pack.
However, I managed to fit everything I needed in a regular size carryon. YAY me!
After that, I learned how to pack lighter and smarter.
I don’t know about y’all, but I have a list of items in my notes of things to bring every time I travel so I don’t forget.
Especially when I travel alone.
Of course it depends where I am traveling to. If I am taking my annual skiing trip, then I do take my big luggage since my snow boots and ski clothes are bulky and take up a lot of room. Plus, I have to take extra layering clothes, and coats.
These are the bags I use the most when I travel:
- Regular size Carry On with wheels (any brand)
- 35L Osprey Fairview Backpack
- Hershel Classic XL Backpack
- Regular size Luggage
And of course, I am able to organize and fit everything I need using packing cubes.
I did some kind of research on which packing cube was the best at a good price. And honestly, I just went with the one packing cubes that had good reviews at a good (affordable) price.
I ordered them through amazon. Nothing fancy. Nothing expensive. Nothing crazy. I am sure there are other great brands out there and maybe cheaper ones too, but just wanted to share what has worked out for me and haven’t had any issues with them.
Anyway, back to the main question – HOW TO PACK?
Well, these are some tips that I think will make your life a bit easier.
- DO NOT OVER THINK – Just take whatever is comfy for you and the climate you are traveling to. Don’t worry about what your friends are wearing! (You do you boo boo!)
- Try on clothes before packing – This has helped me A LOT. You will already know how it fits and what type of underwear you’ll need.
- Do not pack 89140 extra undies – trust me, you will not need that many. This goes back with trying on your clothes. That way you know what color or fit of underwear you will need with that dress… or those jeans…!
- Try to pack solid color items – It will make it easier to mix and match.
- Wear your jacket or sweater during your plane, train or car ride -That way it doesn’t take extra room.
- Stuff your undergarments in your shoes – if you decided to pack an extra pair.
- Roll your clothes! – This is MY preference. I’ve tried both, folding and rolling. But I have found that rolling works best for me.
- Pack your Pajamas.
- Use the travel size toiletries – Don’t be the mom of the group and bring the big bottle “just in case someone forgot”.
- If you happen to forget something, it is not the end of the world. You can always run to the store and buy a new one. (Unless you forget to bring your prescribed glasses and your last pair of contacts rip… I am sorry! You are on your own! LOL!)
I hope these tips help you pack what is really necessary. I understand that we are all different and some people have different necessities. For example, medication, certain skin routines due to treatment, or maybe you are attending an event that requires you to take clothes like a nice gown, tuxedo, etc…
So tell me, what type of packer are you? Over packer? Under packer?
Do you have any additional tips that have worked for you? Share with me in the comments!