Over packing is more common than you think. Besides the fact that people are often packing for the fantasy person they think they will be on vacation (Ellen DeGeneres Relatable plug), I find most people I know including myself often get this wrong. Worst thing is paying the overage fees or even a checked bag fee.
I do have my moments but I’m pretty good about getting 2 weeks worth of clothes into a carry on. I’ve proven my methods on fall trips to Europe or a couple of days on a beach.
Plan and Organize
First thing you need to do is start by planning your outfits by occasion or day and organize that on to a list. I do this in many ways: using my Reminders App on my iPhone, pulling clothes like in a fitting, or physically writing out my list. The idea is to brain dump. Get it out of your head so you’re not constantly thinking about it. Also, if you have a central place it’s easier to go back to it to add things, rather than having it scattered or trying to remember everything.
Disclaimer, this may be a tough feat for those that aren’t uber planners, but start small with a weekend trip to see if this technique works for you.
I try to make it fun colors and markers. You can tell in my picture I used a a lot of inspiration: my Canon T3i, Quay High Key, a candle and some kombucha to attempt a last minute cleanse. The inspo helps keep me excited about packing and my upcoming trip. For my recent trip, I created a template to jot things down as I remembered them. Since I can’t use my phone at work I needed to go with old fashioned paper and pen, and my hand.
The Perfect Packing List can be found on my shop. Click here to take a look. It’s honestly flexible enough for my custom needs but still colorful and cute.
Pull and Edit
Next you need to pull the items you’ve listed. I typically do this minimum of 3 days before I fly out. This allows me to visualize and try on the outfits. Most importantly, this is where you start to edit down. The idea here is to be thoughtful and realistic of what you need to bring and will actually wear.
My equation for a 6 day trip to Dominican Republic is:
- 4 dinner or going outfits
- 5 lounge/ beach outfits that I can mix and match
- 2 hats for the beach
- 7 days worth of under garments
- 2 purses
- 5 shoes (2 sandals, 2 sneakers, 1 pair of heels)
Roll, Roll, and Roll
Lastly, roll everything to save space in your luggage. This is THE best trick I’ve learned throughout the years of travel. My life changed the moment I found it. I honestly had to sit myself down, like what were you doing before.
The idea is by rolling you save on unwanted space that can be better used in your suit case. What I have also found is by rolling there are less wrinkles when I unpack, I can create an empty space for toiletries so less breakage or spills, and I can roll outfits together so I’m more organized.
You can also follow the Marie Kondo method. This is how I normally fold my clothes. Here’s an awesome video by Lavendaire with step by step. We’ll save the deep dive for another post but I swear by this method. It’s tried and true!
Hope these tips help. Remember to use what’s best for you and to enjoy the journey.