“On a long journey, even a straw weighs heavy”…
Okay, I admit I was totally that woman at the airport with way too many pieces of luggage and on top of that my luggage always weighed over the 50 lb limit. And then I would try the batting of my eyes to say “please its only a few pounds over”, well it usually worked but not always! 🙂 I would be going on vacation for a week but it looked more like I was going for a month. This was my thoughts as I was packing…”well I made need this top and I need these shoes for this dress, and these earrings for this outfit”. My packing would continue like that until my suitcase was so stuffed I would have to get another one out. Eventually, I learned that half of what I packed I never wore and on top of that who wants to look a mess in the airport, I could barely even carry everything! It is never a good look to be struggling to carry your bags, although it may snag you a cute guy to help you but most likely you will just look really unorganized and not put together. And if I am not mistaken as a woman, we should always look put together, organized and of course stylish with little to no effort.
It is not uncommon for women to struggle when packing between wanting to be prepared for every eventuality or fashion whim and needing to actually be able to carry their luggage. Packing is truly a serious game of give or take, while common sense tells you just to pack less, your fashion sense tells you pack everything you may need. I am sure you have thought “come Saturday night I may be yearning for those blue pumps or that black top”. You are now in a fashion and packing dilemma but fear not I am here to rescue you from packing hell!!!! Below will be your packing bible, be ready to take notes because I am going to teach you how to pack smart and chic for any vacation trip! With a little planning a lot of organization you will have created a vacation wardrobe of mix- and-match basics that cover all your needs while even leaving room for those great accessories you cannot leave behind and maybe even one or two special pieces. Packing smart will in-turn allow you to travel in style and that is the whole idea! So here you are ladies: this is how to pack and travel in style…
3 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL PACKING:
- Do your research: Meaning read the guidebooks and travel sites for your vacation spot, check the weather for your entire stay and call your hotel to see what amenities they have (this may allow you to leave some amenities behind such as a blow-dryer, iron etc.). Doing these three things will help you decide what to bring making packing already that much easier. You should be able to weed out certain items you may have considered taking before.
- Make a list: I know this may sound really tedious and time consuming but trust me when I say, this will help immensely. Make a list, day by day of all your planned activities and even possible activities; such as shopping, horseback riding, sunbathing, dinner, dancing, etc. Then pick out an outfit for each event. This is also great because you will have a record of what you packed, just in-case anything should happen to your luggage.
- Edit your choices: Okay brace yourself this is the hardest part! Once you have decided what you would LIKE to bring, lay everything out and create ensembles; this includes lingerie for each outfit and accessories. Now look at all your outfits and see where you can overlap or where you may have duplicates of something similar. This is where you cut back and limit yourself to one base color, this will force you to mix and match creating outfits maybe you wouldn’t have thought of in-turn you will get more than one wearing out of almost everything you bring (and look your becoming more fashion savvy while packing who would have thought). I consider the chicest woman to be the one who can work a sweater in three or more ways.
- Take precaution with shoes: Chose very wisely, this is where a lot of weight can come in. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT bring a pair of shoes that can only go with one outfit! The only exception is if you are going to a special event such as a wedding other than that, these shoes must stay at home. I know it will be hard but I know you can do it! What you need to bring are a pair of comfortable walking shoes (flats, etc) and something for evening. Try your best to only bring two pairs, definitely no more than three.
- Add color: Since your base is neutral add color through scarves, thin knits, colored belts, statement jewelry and t-shirts. These items will enhance your wardrobe and will take up little space in your suitcase.
- Fashion show TIME: Now that your wardrobe is complete its time for a mini fashion show in your room, check for missing buttons, stains and falling hems.
- Mini toiletries: Prepare a small bag with all miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, moisturizer, etc. This should always be ready for travel, this will save you a lot of time later (fill everything back up when you get home from your trip so you are ready for next time).
- Close all closures: Zip, button, snap all closures on every item to insure each piece lays flat.
- Layer: Pack all your heaviest items first and anything you will need immediately when you get there pack last.
- Wrinkle safe: To insure the least amount of wrinkle, turn your dresses, jackets, and shirts inside out. If you have room stuff your jacket and blouse sleeves with tissue paper and most importantly line everything in plastic before folding. (Also, if you need a quick steaming of your clothes hang them in the bathroom turn on the shower and shut the door!)
- Roll-and-stuff: This is the best way to get the most use out of the space in your suitcase. Small items such as underwear, socks, sleepwear, scarves, t-shirts and anything wrinkle resistant should be rolled and stuffed into the dead spaces in your suitcase (example, inside shoes).
- Pack to the max: Try your best to not leave excess room in your suitcase so chose the appropriate size suitcase for your travel needs. This will keep things from wrinkling and moving around to much while your suitcase gets abused at the airport. 🙂 If you plan to shop stuff an empty duffel bag in your suitcase.
- Weigh it: No more than 50 lbs is your goal! Weighing your bag ahead of time will save you money and time at the airport. A great device is the Digital Luggage Scale, I swear this has become by packing buddy, it has yet to fail me! If your luggage is over weight reevaluate what you packed if there is something you can leave behind do it if not try to reorganize your carry on and swap things around.
- Lock and buckle: Its always a good idea to put a lock on your suitcase just to be safe. Also, to make it easier when you are at baggage claim and ensure no one accidentally takes your bag put a suitcase bright colored strap around it (mine is lime green).
- Preparing for air travel
- Be comfy: DO NOT I repeat DO NOT wear a sweatsuit to the airport I do not care if its Juicy Couture. Lets not fall in the “fashion police” category! I will consider you a “hot mess” for that! Yes, I know I said be comfy however, you still want to look stylish so be comfy but in style! 🙂 Wear something that can be mixed and matched with what you brought, preferably fabrics that are wrinkle resistant and I encourage you to also wear pants not a skirt or dress.
- Wear bulky: If you are traveling somewhere cold wear your jacket, boots, etc these items will be a deal breaker when it comes to weighing your suitcase.
- Flats not heels: Maybe you are a heel girl all the way but please lets make an exception here and wear FLATS! Not only do you look more at ease you actually look more chic, you are wearing the appropriate foot attire for traveling. Nothing is worse than a woman running in heels trying to catch her flight (now you should be early anyways because as a chic woman you are well prepare for your travels but just in-case lets not look a mess in the airport!)
- Carry a shawl: Well thanks to new airline changes, blankets and pillows are no longer provided. So, not only will this keep you warm on the plane it can serve as a mini pillow too!
- Bring little treasures: Airplane cabins are notorious for being dry so to keep yourself looking great pack lip balm, eye drops, bottled water and lotion!
Dressing bulky, great outfit for the airport!
See the shawl! This is a perfect example!
Travel style: DO (Cameron Diaz) & DONT (Cheryl Cole)
BEST LUGGAGE: Now that you know how to pack in a chic and successful manner it is only right that your luggage is of best quality! I highly recommend Tumi luggage as its considered to be the most durable and functional luggage brands around. They have great packing accessories if you like to be extra organized as well as the option to personalize your luggage too! They have a lifetime guarantee and specialized carry-on bags when traveling out of the country. Check it out here: TUMI LUGGAGE
If my fashionaholic boyfriend can do it so can you, that man can fit a whole months wardrobe in a carry on! Now start packing…