Packing 101

I don’t know about you, but growing up my mother always had at least 3 bags when traveling. The big suitcase that had clothes mostly, the smaller carry-on suitcase that had shoes/hair styling things, and an over-sized purse that probably had a smaller purse in it. So naturally that’s how I always packed, with too many bags for too many things. Well that came to big stop when I was going to Africa and my family told me I could only bring ONE SUITCASE that had to have everything in it. YIKES. When I say I had anxiety I had no idea how to make that happen. So many family members decided to chime in and help me.

  1. Roll don’t fold. Common misconception that as long as they’re flat it helps take up less room.. but that’s a lie. Rolling them makes them rather small and easy to stack.I personally like folding, BUT if you’re packing a lot of stuff rolling does help make it compact. (below I folded but I’ll probably roll when I come back with stuff)
  2. Don’t underestimate travel size. Get a traveled size lotion, conditioner, shampoo, hair products, and toothpaste; then refill them as needed. They take up such little space and can just be tossed in any bag. Don’t be too bougie for the dollar store (they have a great mini selection), and Target has a great selection as well. Also with travel size items (which need to be under 3.4oz) you can pack them in your carry-on and don’t even need to worry about checking in your bag or having them thrown out. The airport suggest you put those items in a plastic bag so it’s easier for them to go through if needed.  
  3. Plan your outfits accordingly. Example: I’m going to Vegas in a few days for 5 days. That’s 4 daytime outfits, 4 bathing-suits, 4 club outfits, 1 fancy outfit (for a possible fancy event or dinner),  MAYBE 2 extra outfits to add to variety cause you never know what may happen. Oh yeah, and don’t forget underwear, if you wear them. 
  4. Bring  a light jacket, or a cardigan, even if going somewhere warm. It can get breezy on the plane, in the airport, or wherever it is you’re going. You never know when you’ll need it, it’s come in handy plenty of times.
  5. Have at least one outfit in your carry-on. Just in case, God forbid your luggage gets lost (knock on wood), you have a clean outfit to pass the day in waiting.
  6. You only need maybe 3 pairs of shoes. Don’t shoot the messenger, if you’re a fashionista. But seriously why do you need more than 3 pairs. One comfy everyday shoe, a cute everyday shoe, and one good for the party life. granted it’s subjective to where you’re going. Like with my upcoming Vegas trip I’ve packed 2 heels, 1 flat and 2 sandals. When I did my Europe trip for 10 days I wore the same shoe every single day for every single event. I had black combat boots. So it changes up but be smart.
  7. Make a list. Simple, but honestly people OVER and UNDER pack because they just don’t realize what they should pack or what they need. I’m a visual person, and much better with tangible things. So write down the number of outfits, the accessories you’ll need, beauty items, etc. and then check em off as you pack. This little measure will save you so much time and grief I promise.

I’ve gotten pretty good at packing light, so if possible, I often try to pack just a carry-on (on shorter trips). This makes traveling a million times easier. No check in lines, no baggage claim waits, in and out.

Anyway, I’m going to Vegas this weekend for the 2nd time (yes Repeat Offender) but this’ll be my first time going for memorial weekend, and first time going back in 5years. Here is my suitcase.

So I don’t know if you can see my suitcase well enough but it has a built-in lock on the side. these type of bags are preferable because TSA can open them without destroying your personal lock or bag. My particular bag has 2 compartments on either side of the suitcase. One the one side as shown I have my clothes (one pile for pool party stuff, one of day tine outfits, and one for party outfits, and then one fancy dress for dinner) and makeup bag, the other side are my shoes, and the divider has my travel sized amenities (shampoo/conditioner for curly hair, de-tangler/leave-in conditioner, deodorant, contact case, sunblock, and boob tape) and underwear.

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