perfectly Priya's Basic Packing Tips!

Friday, August 7

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pack smart, and avoid looking like a disgruntled tourist when you're traveling!

No, not #basic.

Everyone seems to be blogging about packing these days. I think it's apparent that packing for a trip is something we all a) do frequently and b) struggle with. I know I do! I've only gotten better at preparing for a trip in an organized fashion; and subsequently have ended up better prepared for travel, and overall, enjoy my trips more. I've even managed to pull together a few packing lists (for a long weekend // for a week-long trip [Winter] // for another long weekend) to share here on the blog!

So here's MY two cents on the subject. Some of these are pretty simple, some I'm sure you've heard before, and many I've already mentioned on my blog. These are meant to skim the surface of my strategies for getting ready for a trip (maybe I'll do a deeper dive or related post later?) Now presenting, perfectly Priya's Basic Packing Tips!

1. Start early | This is coming from a former self-proclaimed "procrastination packer" (I packed for college the night before I left.) If there is one thing I've learned while trying to pack smarter, it's that the earlier I start planning, the more time I spend on it, the easier things are for me later. Even getting my suitcase out, or thinking about what I might like to wear a week before I leave makes a big difference for me! Then, allot some solid time to just get your stuff together. You'll thank yourself later!

2. Think about where you're going | Obviously, but hear me out. Look up the forecast for wherever you're going! Then reflect on just how much what we wear depends on the weather. Consider things like; even though it's Summer, will you need long-sleeves for a cooler evening? Are you going to a city where walking shoes are a must? Or any kind of water, where flip-flops are essential? This one is closely linked to the next one...

3. Pack for what you're doing | I've started to map my trips out by activity, which has made packing approximately one trillion times easier. Take this weekend: I know I'll be road-tripping, GNO-ing, and bridal showering. Each of these are mapable points that I can plan outfits for first. I know it's impossible to plan for every minute of every trip, but even a general guess is helpful. Every time I go home, I know I’ll be hanging out at my parent’s house. This could mean laying on the couch, helping my mom make dinner, or playing ping-pong in the backyard. Is there an outfit I can bring thar will work for all three options? Bingo!

4. Pre-pack your toiletries | I cannot tell you how much this has helped me! After throwing these together last, in a panic, and then not having what I need later; I finally decided to have a pre-packed toiletry bag on standby at all times. Now I put this in my suitcase first, and I always have my bases covered while I'm traveling. It's also super handy for when an overnight pops up last minute, and I can grab it on my way out the door.

5. Keep make-up/accessories to a minimum | I like to pack my accessories first. Pick out the everyday studs, simple necklace, and watch etc, you'll be wearing as a default, then think about what statement pieces you'll need. I typically bring a scarf, sunglasses, a tote bag, and a small cross-body bag as well (depending on the trip.) Setting these aside first somehow takes away the stress of accessories being an afterthought. 

As far as make-up goes, Sydney said it well; narrow your routine down to everything you can hold in one hand! Keep it minimal. Now's not the time to wear a full face of make-up, remember, you're on vacation. Take products that can double or triple as something else, pick out ONE or TWO lip colors that can be your signature for the weekend, and skip your foundation! Another strategy: pick your (small) make-up pouch first. Anything that fits in the bag gets to come with you (ipsy bags are perfect for this!) And use up those samples/trial size products you've been hoarding! I travel almost exclusively with items I've received through ipsy or Birchbox. *If you're dealing with a small bag/long trip situation, you'll probably want to maximize your accessories. So maybe ignore this.

6. Choose items you WANT to wear | Here's what I mean by this: traveling is the best time to find your signature item, wear out your clothing, AND give items a trial/final run. I've rediscovered certain items simply by wearing them all week long on a trip. I've also realized that I've hated an item, and left it there :) packing minimally will make you feel like a rugged all-American hippie. And then you get to come home to your closet full of clothes!

7. Pick a number and stick to it | This is a popular strategy for packing light! Many people follow the "number of days = number of items" rule, but that’s not always practial (long weekend --> 4 items, no way!) For the last packing list I shared, I somewhat arbitrarily chose to pack three tops and three bottoms, and then just filled in the blanks! Giving yourself a quota to fill, instead of free reign, will help you when reigning in your choices.

8. Choose items you can wear more than once | The most basic tip of them all. Now is not the time for your one-hit-wonders, leave those at home! Pack items that can be remixed for more than one activity, or easily transitioned from day to night. This is especially hard (and important!) with shoes. I try to pick one pair of each type (sneaks, heels, flats.) You might end up making some new styling decisions that you wouldn't otherwise! 

9. Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane | Purely from a logical standpoint. Isn't it wonderful that running shoes can be street-wear these days?? This is actually so comfortable you guys. 

10. "If you pack lightly, you live lightly!” | As the great DvF once said. What is the goal of packing smart? Why bother? I’ve been on too many trips where over-packing, last minute packing, or disorganized packing have been a detriment to the experience. It may seem silly or vain, but being unprepared or uncomfortable gives me anxiety that really detracts from where I am. I want to be able to enjoy my trip, without the burden that packing usually is. I don’t want to have a panic attack when I open my suitcase and think I have nothing to wear. I want to over-think before hand, and then forget about what I’m wearing!


And there you have it, my basic packing tips that ended up being much more thorough than intended. This is all coming from a recovering over-packer, done with my days of throwing items into a bag, with fingers crossed that an outfit works out. I sincerely hope they are helpful to you, next time you're scrambling before a trip!

As this post goes live, I am putting this advice in action; away for a long-weekend to celebrate Jacqui’s bachelorette & bridal shower. Stay tuned for my packing list from the weekend, and thanks for tuning in.


How do you pack smart for a trip? What are your tricks to staying organized, and enjoying what you wear later? Share with us!!

3 comments :

Sara Strauss {Sincerely, Sara} said...

Haha, so true! Everyone is talking about packing right now! I always, always start packing early, but I think that's just because I don't like to procrastinate! These are great tips! I like the idea of packing for what you're doing. I generally get dressed on how I'm feeling or what I feel like wearing, but when you're traveling you definitely have to pack for whether you'll be walking a lot or not!
~Sara
Sincerely, Sara

Lauren @ Exploring My Style said...

These are great trips, spoken like a true travel pro! The heavy shoe tip is one I always use, especially in the fall when I'm wearing boots!

tsbjf said...

Love this! And I also have a packed toiletry bag ready to go, it is such a time saver, isn't it! Your family certainly does a lot of traveling as well, you guys are probably all pros. Thanks for the tips, pro packer Priya!