Packing 101

I often get asked how in the world I manage to pack for a week long trip bringing only a carry on and a bag or backpack.  This includes ALL electronics!

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Well, I will break it down for you right here! 😀

First, I carry all of my cameras, computer, chargers, converter, medication, documents, snacks, travel journal & magazines, toiletries and one full change of clothing on the plane with me in either a big bag or a backpack.  If I am going somewhere cold I wear my big bulky boots(i.e. uggs) and jackets on the plane and just wear or carry them(the jacket) if I get too hot.  If you MUST check a bag you ALWAYS want to have an extra set of clothes on your carry on, your medication(s) and basic toiletries in case your luggage gets lost.  This has happened to me before and let me tell you, it is NOOOOO fun being stuck with only the clothes on your back and no toiletries!  The airline, lost my suitcase AND snowboard while on a 5 day snowboarding trip to Colorado, I got my stuff back on the 4th day.  Needless to say they ruined my trip.

Of course it all depends on the weather but for example; on my last trip in January to Mexico, the weather was expected to be mostly cool with chilly nights. In my shoulder bag I carried the above items and in my carry on I packed more snacks, makeup, 2 sets of things to sleep in like t-shirts and yoga pants(easy to make small).  In this case I brought one set of the previously mentioned and I also brought my onepiece because it is cozy and I get cold easily.   1 pair of skinny jeans, 1 pair of fleece leggings, 1 pair of carpis in case it was warm one day.  I always make sure my pants are a basic color, one black for sure and maybe a khaki as well so I can mix and match with my shirts.   I brought 3 shirts as well, light and blousy usually,  a few long tanks and a sweater.  Of course undergarments for the full 7 days were packed.

I realize I was going on a 7 day trip and only brought 3 outfits . . . . so it seems.  Not so though, by bringing basic colored pants you can easily make 12 outfits by mixing and matching your pants with your 3 shirts. I also had access to laundry too so that helps with cleanliness. 😉

To change up an outfit/look even more I bring accessories, they don’t take up much room at all.  I sock bun & headbands are also crucial!  Different hair and make-up can make for a WHOLE NEW LOOK!   The only other things I bring for my hair are a wide tooth comb and a flat iron.  I don’t know how to curl my hair so I don’t even bother bringing a curling iron and I don’t own a blow dryer because I do not use one so I definitely don’t bring that.  For those of you who do though, most places have blow-dryers in the rooms.  My not so secret tip now for curls on a trip is getting my hair done the night before or morning of leaving on a trip.  I get it curled so I can have curls the first couple of days then when the curls no longer look cute, I wash my hair and then either use the sock bun for an up-do, braid my hair or straighten my hair with my flat iron for a sleek look.  This is how I have different hair styles without having to bring so many hair appliances! 😀

Now for shoes, TOMS,TOMS, TOMS!  They are cute and easy to pack, I also ALWAYS bring a pair of rubber flip flops like haviannas for walking around the hotel, hostel, B&B etc.  I also refuse to get into a shower without my flip flops.  Call me OCD, its ok.   I am . 😛  One pair of althetic shoes is also a must for me, like my new balance minimus cross trainers.  You never know when you might want to work out, here is where your pj’s can double as workout clothes, yup, another packing tip.

I do not travel with a purse, I usually bring along a very small cross body satchel that I can fit my passport, phone, cash, credit card, snack bar and lip gloss in.  You really don’t need anything else when you are out and about exploring a new place. A water bottle you can easily hold and a camera you can also throw across your body with the camera strap.  This is pretty much hands free exploring! 😀  There is no better way to get around in my opinion. 😀

Another important factor in making everything fit is ROLLING YOUR CLOTHES!!!  You cant fold clothes the way you do at home and expect them to all fit in your backpack or suitcase.  You must roll them, they take up MUCH less room this way.  My mother taught me this trick YEARS ago when I was packing for a 5 week backpacking trip to Europe and was having a meltdown because I couldn’t get it all to fit.  There was NO WAY I was going to get everything in my backpack the way I was packing so she unloaded it and showed me how it is done! 😉

I have a few other travel tips as well like, take one eyeshadow palette instead of individuals, perfume samples rather than full sized ones(new tip I learned), travel sized toiletries are a no brainer and always remember, it is OK to NOT bring everything you need.  You can always buy deodorant where you are going if you forgot it. 😉

I hope these tips help you pack lighter and focus more on your trip rather than keeping track of a bunch of stuff you will never even pull out of your suitcase!!! 😀

Thanks for stopping by!!!

– The girl with the map tattoo

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