Last week, I gave you some short tips for being a better packer in my Instagram stories, so I thought I’d transcribe them as well as some of my other expert packing tips here for your next trip! Ironically, my next trip starts this Thursday…yep, leaving Chicago again for sunny California and some downtime with my family.
1. Lay out all your clothes day by day before putting them in your suitcase.
This is my number 1 tip for all time. It really helps eliminate wasting space and also overpacking. I will lay out my outfits literally day by day that I will be somewhere. For example, I’m going on a trip this weekend so I will lay out my clothes from Thursday plane outfits to Sunday plane outfits and everything in between. This includes laying out accessories and shoes! This way you don’t forget anything at home and you have no confusion about what to wear moment to moment. The only issue is that you are then required to wear what you bring, so I usually bring one back up outfit just in case something doesn’t speak to me while I’m gone. But ONLY ONE.
2. Minimize how many pairs of shoes you bring by picking outfits that share similar shoe choices.
Even if you’re just bringing a carry-on, that carry-on can get mighty heavy if you are dragging around multiple pairs of shoes. So to mitigate that problem, I usually try to wear outfits that share similar shoe choices. The only time this is hard is when I’m traveling for work and know I need to be on my feet a lot. It is usually nice to switch up your shoes daily to avoid your feet feeling like actual death. If you need a lot of shoes, then I recommend lighter clothes 🙂
3. Pack each section of your suitcase by when you’re going to wear it.
When I get somewhere, I don’t always love unpacking my suitcase especially if I’m only there for 2-3 days. So I usually like to pack bottom to top based on the days I will be there. Put the items you know you won’t need until the end of the trip at the bottom of the bag and work your way up. I try to keep my first outfit, pajamas, underwear at the top of the suitcase for easy access and then use a drawer in the hotel for my dirty clothes until the end of the week/weekend and then dump all the dirty in together!
4. Include your heaviest items as part of your plane outfit.
This usually only pertains to the winter months, but I usually like to include my heaviest coat or shoes as part of my outfit for the plane so they don’t take up a lot of space in my suitcase that can be used for more important things like my hair styling tools. Heaviest shoes, or just ones that take up a lot of space, are either booths or running shoes. Running shoes that rarely ever get used by the way, but I bring them everywhere like I will suddenly be someone who works out when they travel.
5. Always have your bathing suit, underwear, and toiletries at the top of your suitcase.
There have been many times I’ve been asked to check my bag last minute because it’s a small plane or there isn’t room on a connecting flight if I show up late, and my luggage has been lost a gooooood amount. So I’ve learned that when that happens, I usually grab the important things from my bag before handing it over. This means they need to be at the top! If I’m traveling somewhere tropical that means grabbing my swimsuit (I’ve been in St. Thomas for a week with no bathing suit…it was horrible),