Whether you’re going home for the Holiday’s or you’re headed on an all-inclusive beach vacay to avoid all that the Holiday’s bring- your drunken uncle, spending too much time with your in-laws, crying babies, etc., packing an arsenal of essential items to get you through is absolutely necessary.
Packing has always been a truly miserable experience for me, between packing way too much stuff, packing not enough and actually FORGETTING all my makeup, having to rearrange pieces between bags at the airport due to overweight luggage, I’ve really been through it all.
If you’re like Goldilocks and the 3 bears when it comes to packing... here are The Talko's tips to packing your bags just right.
11 Utilize your carry-on luggage
Always be sure to pack a couple of outfit options in your carry-on along with socks/underwear, makeup, a phone charger and whatever else you couldn’t live without if your luggage was lost for a few days. I also like to include items that will make my flight more comfortable such as headphones, a neck pillow, water, mini bottles of moisturizer, hand sanitizer, and a rose water aromatherapy spray. Remember that there is a limit to how much liquid can be brought in a carry-on so stick to travel-sized items and leave the big bottles in your suitcase!
10 Choose versatile pieces
Pack versatile items that can be worn in a number of combinations and use the 54321 rule (when applicable.) The 54321 rule is very simple and is a great packing habit to adopt. Basically the 54321 rule allows for you to pack 5 tops, 4 bottoms, 3 accessories, 2 pairs of shoes, and 1 bikini! The rule can be doubled or tripled and edited depending on where you're going and how long you're staying at your destination!
9 Get fancy with your packing methods
Don’t fold your clothes- roll them! This will save on space and it’ll also keep your pieces wrinkle free! I like to roll my smaller pieces like shirts, shorts, short skirts etc. and create a layer on the bottom of my suitcase, I then roll more pieces and add another layer on top of the first and so on. When I run out of pieces to roll, I begin laying the bulkier pieces on top and arranging them around all four sides of the suitcase (first, the top of the item faces you, then the top of the next item faces left, the next item faces away from you and the last item faces right.) I then repeat this layering until all of my clothes are packed, and in the same clockwise rotation, begin folding the pieces hanging over the edge of the bag (like long skirts, the arms of your sweaters, the legs of your jeans etc.) When you're finished you'll have a neatly packed origami-esque suitcase that you won't have to sit on to get it to close.
8 PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
Plan out your outfits in advance so you know exactly what to pack and what you can leave behind (I promise you that you won’t ACTUALLY wear those wide-legged palm print pants, no matter how many trips you bring them on- I may or may not be talking to myself here.) There's an amazing app called StyleBook that allows you to bring your closet to life, organize your pieces and even create outfits on your phone that you can save in an album to refer to later. StyleBook even includes a personalized packing list based on the pieces in your closet and allows you to upload pictures of your outfits into a calendar so you can plan even further and you don't get caught wearing the same thing twice!
7 Limit packing pieces that can be purchased at your destination
Remember that you can always purchase items when you arrive at your destination! Books, toiletries, food and other items are available EVERYWHERE- so don’t go on a shopping spree pre-vacation. This also helps for saving money, you will only buy what you need when you get there, rather than shopping excitedly before your trip when you are more likely to overspend.
6 Minimize your beauty routine
While you’re away, try to cut down on the products you're using for your hair, face, and body. Not only will it save you time getting ready but it will also significantly save space in your luggage. Swap your usual skin care and foundation routine and kill two birds with one stone with a tinted moisturizer! Be sure to pack travel-sized items when you can!
5 Limit your baggage size
Use only a carry-on when you can! When there’s more room to accommodate those heels that you probably won’t even wear, you’re gonna pack them- it’s inevitable. When you’re forced to work with a smaller space you’ll get real about what you really need and what you can do without (sorry, too-high-heels!)
4 Dont pack your bags last-minute
The number one cause of over-packing is last-minute packing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve packed 12 hours before hopping on a plane and have resorted to completely emptying my closet and throwing items I’ve never even worn recklessly into my bag. Packing in advance will give you time to plan and edit pieces in your suitcase.
3 Limit your accessories and shoes
Pack neutral shoes and bags so you can wear them with every outfit. Once you start packing multiple purses- it’s game over. I recommend packing one black purse, one pair of sandals, one pair of running shoes, and one pair of heels (depending on where I'm going I'll switch out the sandals for winter boots... you get what I mean.)
2 You can always do laundry
Don't get hung up on packing a large number of pieces so that you don't have to do laundry. I definitely recommend utilizing laundry services. Local laundromats are very inexpensive and easy to use. If your destination is your moms house, maybe you can convince her to do you a solid like the good old days! Mom's just do laundry SO much better than we do, am I right or am I right?
1 Become BFF’s with scarves
Scarves have endless uses and take up little space. Going on a picnic? You have a blanket. Need to take a nap on the train? Woah, it’s a pillow! Not to mention, scarves are the best way to dress up or dress down a look! I always keep a neutral scarf in my bag for all of the reasons above plus I find them the most handy when I'm unsure of how to dress for an event. If I show up to an event a little overdressed in a dress and heels I throw on my scarf and the look becomes instantly more casual. If I'm feeling a little underdressed I like to put my scarf around my shoulders and wear it as a shawl.
Bon Voyage, you efficient little traveler. Tell Drunk Uncle Al we say hi!