I have been asked a few times what my summer plans are this year, and outside of running this little corner of the internet, my answer is travel, travel, travel. That is definitely #HowiSummer. In fact, we are leaving today for a family trip to NYC to celebrate Lily’s 13th birthday. I am so excited and can’t wait to show the kids all around the city. With as much travel as we are doing this summer, I will also be packing and unpacking my suitcase quite a bit in the upcoming months. I have shared some of my packing tips on Insta-stories, but today I want to share a few of my best tips on packing for a vacation or any trip for that matter.
First things first. I am by no means an expert. I am a CHRONIC over-packer and the worst procrastinator in the world when it comes to packing. If our family is leaving on a 6 am flight, you are guaranteed to find me frantically pulling everything together at 11pm the night before. It literally drives Steve N U T S! However, we have traveled enough over the years that I have developed a pretty good little system that I stick to when I pack. And in my defense, I have also become much better about over-packing. Here are some of my tried and true tips for you guys when it comes to packing.
PACK ON HANGERS
I know it sounds crazy, but this is my number 1 tip. I always keep all of my clothes on the hangers and put them directly into the suitcase. They come out of my closet, go into the suitcase, go into the closet at the hotel, and then whatever I don’t wear on the trip goes right back into my closet when I get home. Easy peasy. I love that it is super easy for me to unpack when I get to my destination because all I have to do is grab a wad of hangers and shove them in the hotel closet. It makes both packing and unpacking so much quicker and is a huge time saver for me. As an added bonus, I find that my stuff gets less wrinkled in my suitcase when I pack on hangers.
WRITE IT DOWN
I always write out our itinerary so I know what we are doing each day and what types of clothes I will need for that day. For instance, Friday- travel day, Friday night- dinner at fancy restaurant, Saturday- sight seeing, Saturday night-dinner and a show, etc. Seriously, if only I could be this organized in my everyday life. I know it seems a little bit OCD to write it all out, but it really helps calm my outfit anxiety and helps me feel more prepared and organized. I absolutely hate the panicky feeling I get when I feel like I don’t have the right outfits for the occasion. It also gives me the opportunity to research the weather and aesthetic of the places we are going to be visiting so I can make sure that I have the right clothes and am prepared.
BRING THE BASICS
There is a list of basics that I always bring with me on every trip because I know they are going to work no matter what. I also like to keep everything in a similar color palette so that I can mix and match things for different days and outings. Here is the list of things that always come with me: a pair of dark denim, a black blazer, black heels, white shirts/tanks, comfortable walking shoes- slides, loafers or cute street sneakers, and neutral layering pieces for weather changes. I then add in accessories and a couple of statement pieces that I can mix in to my basic wardrobe to create a stylish, but really comfortable look. Once I have all of my basics put in, I can then go back and check the itinerary I made in the last step and see if there are any special occasion outfits, shoes, or accessories that I need to include based on what we are doing.
RESEARCH YOUR DESTINATION
This might sound silly, but I really like to fit in to the overall vibe and “look” of the city I am traveling to so I don’t stick out like a sore thumb with the word tourist tattooed on my forehead. Research the aesthetic of the city and try and match it. For instance, when I am in NYC I tend to wear a lot of black, if I were going to Martha’s Vineyard I would pack a lot of stripes and white, if I were going to San Diego I would pack more beachy clothes with a boho vibe. See what I mean. Also, I feel like traveling is a great way to try out a trend that might be popular in the city you are going to, but you wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable wearing at home. This is your chance to be bold and take a few more fashion risks then you normally would, so go for it!
THE BEAUTY BASICS
How frustrating is it to get to your destination and realize you forgot you favorite eyeliner or worse yet, your deodorant. I pack all of my toiletries and make-up the morning the trip and I literally put each item in my bag or make-up case as I finish using them, so I know I am not forgetting anything. I also keep a few basic things in my toiletry bag at all time so I don’t even have to think about those things-lotion, hair ties, Advil, etc. In addition to my daytime make-up look I also add in a of darker or shimmery eyeshadow and a darker lipstick for evening wear.
Let’s be honest, most times you are going to be coming in from a day of touring and you are going to have about 15 minutes to switch over your make-up look from day to evening before the hubs starts getting impatient. I find that it is sometimes just easier to apply a few key areas of make-up directly on top of my day make-up to take me straight into the evening. Also, I always bring my own hair dryer because let’s face it-most hotel hair dryer’s BLOW. Seriously, I can not stand to be standing there for 20 minutes blow drying my hair with a machine that has about as much power as a gnat flitting around my head. So frustrating!