Does the idea of packing for a vacation really stress you out? On this Travel Tuesday, I bring you seven tips for packing your suitcase. I'm no pro, but I rarely get somewhere and realize I don't have something I need. I also traveled for two weeks in Europe with just a carry-on, so I feel like I must be doing something right!
1) Before you start, make a list.
You've decided on a vacation destination? Great! It's time to research the weather in your destination and make a list of the essentials. Go through your day and write down every single item you use. Decide if you'll need it for your vacation, and go from there. Don't forget things like sunglasses and a camera!
2) Be prepared for confusing weather.
Regardless of where you're headed, bring an outfit that would suit the opposite of the weather you're expecting. Headed to Aruba? Throw in pants and a cardigan. On your way to Iceland? Bring a skirt, just in case.
3) Consider a carry-on.
You'd be surprised how much you can pack into a great carry-on. Like I said, I spent two weeks touring England and Ireland with just my overhead-bin rolling suitcase. If you pack appropriately and are willing to re-wear outfits, you can easily get through one week with a carry-on. Bring a packet of detergent to use in the hotel sink, and you're golden for two weeks. Especially if you're going between cities, it's just so much easier not to have multiple pieces of luggage to carry around.
4) Use a capsule wardrobe.
To help you limit your packed items, use a capsule wardrobe. What does this mean? Settle on one or two colors that go well together and pack outfits that match this theme. For instance, on my honeymoon, all of my clothing was pink or blue. I had one pink maxi skirt, one blue maxi skirt, a pink t-shirt, a blue t-shirt, pink jeans, a white sweater, white sneakers, blue sneakers...you get the idea. It made getting dressed very easy, because every article of clothing went with virtually every other. I'd highly, highly recommend this strategy.
5) Check your airline regulations.
Be sure you know which size baggage is permitted in front of and above you on your particular airline. Also, many airlines are moving away from one checked bag being included, and are starting to offer deep discounts on fares without checked baggage. Follow up before you fly to make sure you know which fare you have and what is allowed.
6) Use your shoes.
Fill any shoes in your suitcase with rolled socks or loose articles like watches, cameras, or scarves. It's a great space-saver!
7) Always pack a grocery bag.
Whenever I travel, I always pack an empty plastic grocery bag. I use it for dirty clothes, leaky bottles, wet umbrellas, shells from the beach--you name it! You never know when you'll need an extra bag! While you're at it, you might as well pack two!
And there you have it--seven essential tips for packing your suitcase. Are you planning a vacation? Where are you headed next?
Happy Travel Tuesday!