four step packing guide

the general rule of packing for a trip on the move is if you pack it, you’re carrying it. if you’re anything like me, packing light consists of a back up outfit for every outfit you bring. outfit options are a girls best friend, right? turns out they are a girls worst enemy when on the move. i guess we can call them a frenemy. [hah]

okay, but really. when i travel somewhere new i want to see as much as i can. climb every mountain, search high and low, follow every byway, every path you know.[sorry. i couldn’t help myself]. seeing different sites and exploring nearby cities means lots of moving around and being on-the-go. for trips like this, limiting yourself to one carry-on suitcase and a backpack is the way to go. if you’re prepared and pack smart, it will be more space than you’ll actually need.

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make a list:

for my italia trip i started with a list. i wrote everything i would need — plus a little extra, again.. i couldn’t help myself. i wrote my list about 2 days before actually packing and added to it as things popped in my head. this helped me think of any last minute things i would need such as travel toothpaste, an umbrella, etc.. it also ensured i packed only what was needed. think about where you’ll be going, what you’ll be doing and always take into account what the weather will be like.

remember, if it’s not on the list, it’s not invited on the trip. 

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try it on:

this step can be fun. make the most of it. turn on some music and have your very own fashion show with a girlfriend and enjoy yourself. trying on all of your clothes and outfits before packing them will help prevent you from packing something you won’t wear. if you aren’t feeling those skinny jeans a couple days before you leave, chances are you won’t be feeling them on your trip. so ditch them and bring something you will wear and confidently rock. once you have all of your outfits chosen, fold them up nicely and lay everything out.

outfit tips:

go for more neutrals that you can mix and match. for example, a black tank that you can wear with a pair of shorts or throw it on with a pair of jeans and a jacket and you have an entirely new outfit. if it’s warm, i love packing summer dresses. they take up minimal luggage space and are comfortable to walk around in. i’ve linked some great options below.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 

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pack it:

i am a huge fan of space saver bags. i love them. first of all, they save space. second of all, they keep your clean clothes clean and lock in any odors from your dirty clothes. this really ends up being a life saver if you’re staying at hotels and don’t have any access to a washing machine.
pack your whole outfit as a group into your space saver bag, so when reaching for the outfit you only need to open one bag, maybe two. this will save you time getting ready and eliminate the need to constantly re-pack your bags. bring along an extra empty bag so you can load all dirty clothes into it and keep them separate from clean ones.

for ease of traveling, i pack all of my clothes on one side of my suite case and shoes on the other. my electronics, valuables and make up bag go wherever i go in my backpack.

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get ready to go:

once everything is packed, clothes, shoes, toiletries, electronics, etc.. cross it all off your list. throw on some comfy clothes, i go for leggings, a loose tank and a sweater. now all you have to do is say a prayer for safe travels and enjoy your trip!

t i p s:

* if you’re staying at an airbnb read the listing to see if there is a washing machine available. take full advantage of the chance to carry around clean clothes instead of dirty ones if there is.

* stick a dryer sheet in your bag to keep everything smelling fresh. just one will do it. two can be overkill.

*pack shoes that don’t take up much space. [of course i’ll always pack at least on pair of wedges] sandals are always a great option and so are bendable flats. i’ve linked some great options for these above.

*if you’re staying at a hotel, skip out on a bringing a hair dryer. if you’re staying at an airbnb type location, message them before hand so you’ll be fully prepared.

*if you’re traveling overseas consider purchasing a cheap hair dryer/straightening iron from the country you will be traveling to. if you can go with out, then power to you– go without it! there are many horror stories of blown out fuses and fried, damaged hair. don’t become a statistic. when you factor in the cost of an adapter and converter [which still runs a risk of ruining your flat iron] plus the valuable luggage space for it all, buying one from a local convenient store may just be the way to go.

*when packing toiletries pack everything in travel sizes. i save up all of my sample perfumes, lotions, etc. and keep them in a bag. they are the best to take when traveling! they take up minimal space and can be thrown away after being used. [they’re also great to keep in a guest bedroom.]

the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

lao tzu