As the weather has gotten chilly in most parts of the nation, around now is the time I notice lots of people heading somewhere south in search of a little break from the cold weather. After all, winter seems to be the season for travel. Now, while I can’t plan your trip for you, I can help you with some do’s and don’ts for packing for your vacation that will leave you even more excited to get to your next destination.
You don’t need to pack light (let’s be honest, it can be hard to squeeze all the clothes, shoes, and accessories all in one suitcase!), so pack smart instead by maximizing space and planning your vacation wardrobe far enough in advance so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. Whether you’re getting ready for a trip, planning for one in the future, or are just dreaming of going on vacation, here’s my ultimate guide to functional and fashionable vacation packing.
First things first, plan ahead. Sometimes this can be harder if you book a trip last minute, but either way you should definitely try to envision what you want to bring at least a week in advance. Then, at least 3-4 days before you leave, take out all the things you want to bring. Try to pair it down, then wait 24 hours and pair it down again. Trust me, I know how hard it can be to do! Think about what you want to wear — imagine yourself waking up on holiday and pack what comes to mind when you think about what you are most excited to wear. This will ensure that you pack things you will actually wear, not things you think you might wear.
What to Pack?
Choose a color scheme of 3-4 colors so that each of your clothing items can be mixed and matched for convenience. Ideally, you want to include a few neutrals with some brighter colors and patterns, which will allow you to create multiple outfits with less items. Pick these colors based on two things: where you are going and what you already have. If you’re going somewhere warm or tropical, choose white or light cream/beige as your neutrals, and brighter tones such as turquoise or coral. When you use a color palette, you know that all your clothes are guaranteed to match so you won’t have to panic over what goes with what.
Also, use what you already have in your closet! There’s no point going out and splurging on a whole new ensemble (although there’s nothing wrong with sprucing it up with a few new purchases). Utilize what you already have because you know what looks good on you and what makes you feel most confident. Choose fabrics that are versatile and are less likely to wrinkle.
Another great tip is to pack your clothes by outfit. When you think about where you’re going and what you have planned, pack specific outfits that match your itinerary. This way you will only pack items that have corresponding pieces to match (such as a dress with a light sweater or an activewear outfit). When you envision what you will be wearing in terms of completed outfits, you will eliminate the possibility of getting home and realizing you didn’t wear half of what you packed.
Pro Tip: Roll everything!
You won’t believe how much space this saves, AND it minimizes creases. Give it a try, and you’ll never to back to that lay-and-stack method.
Try not to pack too many shoes. Every time I’m packing for a vacation, I can never resist packing so many different types of shoes. But, it’s important to limit your shoes to just the essentials. Go for shoes that are super worn in that you know won’t give you blisters. This is especially important if you’re going somewhere where you know you’ll be doing a lot of walking. There is nothing worse than having bad blisters that ruin your feet for your whole vacation! Pack a couple comfortable versatile shoes along with something dressier such as a heel or wedge.
Accessories are Key
Accessories are a travelling essential, because they are your secret weapon to making your outfits more versatile. Think of your gorgeous jewelry as the cherry on top to all the amazing outfits you’ve planned. A few key accessories can elevate and enhance the look of an entire outfit. Most importantly, pack all your jewelry in a travel case to ensure it doesn’t get ruined or tangled on the way. You should spend your trip on the beach, not inside your room detangling your necklaces!!
On the Plane
To me, there is nothing better than having an organized and stylish carry-on. I love when all my travel must-haves each have their own place in my bag so that I can stay organized yet fashionable throughout my travels. Here are some of my jet-setting must haves:
Hair Ties (travelling can make hair a tangled mess)Toiletries such as a toothbrush, mini hand cream, and face wipes (these become especially important with inevitable delayed flights)Headphones (perfect for tuning out loud passengers)Travel Pillow (because no one wants to wake up with a neck cramp)Something Cozy (whether it be a scarf, socks, or sweater, planes are known to be chilly so it’s good to have something cozy to put on just in case)
For shorter trips, consider bringing a piece of luggage that is large enough to fit all of your essentials but not so large that it’s a major hassle to have to lug around for just a few days (it’s different from going on a week’s trip where you are more likely to plunk a suitcase down in one place for 7 days). With shorter trips, it’s important to only bring the basics that will maximize your travel (and fashion!) needs.
If you’re going somewhere warm, pack light, flowy fabrics that are also versatile so you can get multiple outfits out of only a few items. For a weekend getaway, try packing 6 items: 1-2 dresses or skirts, 2 bottoms, and 2-3 shirts/blouses. Make sure that you are packing complimentary items, so if need be, you can mix and match shorts with blouses to create the illusion of a brand new outfit.
Wherever you may be going this winter, I wish you happy packing and the best of travels.