April 29, 2014

pack it up pack it in

Have a trip coming up??  A few of my friends are headed over seas in May and they asked me how I went to Europe for 10 days with a carry on and a back pack:  So here's my packing routine and a basic packing list below:

Suitcase:  They come in all shapes and sizes but I think the most crucial asset is the straps that tuck your clothes in.  This keeps clothes from tumbling around and wrinkling but it also helps maximize the space inside your case because they really hold things down.

The Container Store has a great selection of suitcases and Baggalini bags during their summer Travel sale.  I love Baggalini nags because they come in all sizes and have great pockets for organizing inside.

Pick an outfit for each day you will be gone. To maximize space, use the same pants and sweaters more than once, pick a color scheme to mix and match with less items, or pack some detergent and do laundry abroad.  Lay out each outfit with everything you will need to go with it, shoes, underwear, jewelry, and accessories.  Include swim suits, cover ups, pajamas, etc.

Fold each outfit and keep everything together except for shoes and accessories. Don't over fold! My rule of thumb is to keep it within the dimensions of your suitcase.

Open your suitcase and place all your shoes on the bottom.  If you can nest shoes inside of each other do so.  For instance, sandals and flip flops can fit inside of each other and then take up less room.  If you are traveling in the winter months, lay boots on their side or stuff your socks and underwear into your shoes to save room.  I always try to plan my airplane outfit so I am wearing my chunkiest shoes.

After shoes and any socks and underwear you stuffed inside, lay your pile of folded clothes on top if your shoes, dividing them in half if necessary.  I like to lay jackets and sweaters on top unfolded as they are usually pretty chunky.  After you have them all layed in, strap them in and pull it tight!!!

The other side of my suitcase is dedicated to toiletries, makeup and hair products.  I like to put everything in it's own bag so I can grab and go so I have a make up bag and a jewelry bag.  Big items like shampoo and conditioner I just leave out.  Once, I forgot to pack them and ended up just buying some when we got there which was pretty helpful after all.

Anything left is like playing Tetris.  Try to find areas of your bag that have open space and put in items that fit the mold.  Most people try to put everything right on top and then can't close the lid!

Below is a fun little packing list pad I got as a gift one year.  I know it's pretty common sense, but don't we always forget the most obvious things??

Happy traveling!

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