Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Pack Like A PRO!

This girl is finally ready to sit down and show you ladies how I pack for a trip. We travel fairly often so I feel I have acquired quite a knack for packing. So if you are in to list-making, OCD, and pure organization. Stick around because you might learn something!

A few things to consider before you even start packing...

1. Where are you going?
If you are going to a secluded place, it's best to pack everything you need. Don't even think about buying something once you get there because it might be very expensive and hard to find. If you are going somewhere warm, consider packing loose fitted clothing and flip flops. If you are going somewhere cold, you might need more than a carry-on bag to make room for everything.

2. Will you be driving or flying?
This is extremely important. If you are driving, HOORAY FOR NO TSA! You can pack just about whatever you want. Food, water, a pocket knife. Whatever! Anything goes! But if you are flying, ask yourself how you would feel if something was lost or stolen. Or TSA made you throw it away. Also consider saving $25 dollars and packing only a carry-on. If you can manage to pack only a carry-on and "one personal item" the chance of something being stolen or lost are greatly reduced. Plus, it saves money and you don't have to wait for your checked-baggage so you can be on your way faster.

3. What are the accommodations?
Are you going camping? Are you staying with friends or family? Or are you staying in a hotel? This is important when it comes to the basics like shampoo and conditioner. When I stay in a hotel I generally do not like their shamp/cond so I pack small travel bottles of my own. But when I am staying with friends or family I can use their items or go to the drugstore and pick some up.

4. How long will you be staying?
Knowing how many days you will be gone can help you prevent over or under-packing. I make a chart so I can visualize exactly what outfits I will need for each day. (See chart below.)

5. What will you be doing?
This is very important. Create and itinerary for what you will be doing each day of your trip. Again, the chart I mentioned above helps me. Once you have your itinerary write down what items you will need to wear for that time frame... i.e. a bathing suit, cover up, and flip flops for the afternoon at the beach. Then once you have what you need written down, pull those items and only pack that stuff. (I usually throw in one extra bathing suit, pair of shorts, dress, etc, but not too much.) Make sure you pack items you have already worn together or tried on so you don't have any surprises. Also, try to pack shoes that go with more than one outfit. I usually pack three or four different pairs of shoes so that my feet don't get sore from wearing the same two pairs of shoes over and over.

A few more tips...
specifically for flying

-Don't pack things you don't need. For instance, I use a facial peel at night when I have a little extra time. I wouldn't pack something like this because I am generally very tired at night when I am traveling and don't have that extra time.

-Clean out your purse. Daily bags can be full of random stuff that you just don't need while traveling... receipts, 10 lip glosses, your dog leash, etc. Always clean out your purse and leave things at home that you won't need. I even go through my wallet. I know I won't be needing my PetSmart or Sally's card when I'm traveling so I leave those at home.

-Make the most of your "personal item". American Airlines defines a personal items as a "purse, briefcase, or laptop bag". I generally use a backpack as my personal item and put my purse inside it. I pull out my boarding pass, ID, and a little bit of cash and put them in a zipper compartment in my backpack for easy access. Putting my purse in to a backpack gives me more room to pack other necessities that would not fit in my purse alone.

-Download apps that will make your life easier. I use TripAssist by Expedia to monitor my flight details. This app alerts me if my flight is delayed or canceled. It also tells me exactly what time my flight will land so I can arrange for someone to pick me up easier.

-When packing toiletries, use travel-sized items! Most products come in travel-sizes now and if they don't, you can make them travel-size. Use empty containers and label them accordingly. Also, dig in your stash of samples from Sephora! Take those tiny perfumes instead of a big bottle and try out a new face wash.

-When packing makeup, only bring your most used items. I doubt you will need a full coverage foundation if you are going to the beach and you won't need neon pink eye shadow. (Unless you are going to a rave.)
I pack my Naked 2 palette, which is sturdy and has all the colors I use regularly. Also, use the little containers you get samples of foundation and creams in from Mac and Sephora. That's a great way to pack just enough foundation for a short trip.

-Use small pouches to keep things organized. I love the bags from Clinique Bonuses.

And now for the actual PACKING!

Start with the small stuff. Put items like thin shirts, undergarments, or swimsuits in to the gaps in the bottom of your suitcase. This space holds a lot of stuff and this will level the surface for clothing items.

Next, layer your clothes using as few folds as possible. Try to fold the item so that it takes up as much of the area of the suitcase as possible. Also, alternate silky fabrics with cotton and denim. This way items won't shift as much.

I packed all of this, plus one more dress, one pair of jeans, two more tank tops, and a pair of wedges in to my carry-on with room to spare.

And right when you get everything packed, don't leave your suitcase open and leave the room for 20 minutes or else your cat will make him/herself very comfortable.

Moving on...
I save all of my Target bags to pack my shoes. I put each shoe in to a bag separately so that the heels don't damage each other or my clothing. Also, this prevents any dirt on the bottom of your shoes transferring to your clothing.

And then after I cram in my hair straightener, curling iron, blow dryer, little bag of goodies, a bra, and my hairbrush it looks like this.

So that is everything that goes in to my actual "carry on". Let's move on to my "personal item". I use this backpack that I got from Sam's Club. It has a bunch of little zipper pockets and I freaking love zipper pockets so this backpack and I are besties.

Here is most of the crap I cram in to it:

The green bag has my bathroom stuff like toothbrush, razor, headbands, Clarisonic, etc.
Three pairs of sunglasses.
My eyeglasses.
Tampons in the orange bag.
Phone charger.
Some jewelry.
Phone case, Wet Ones, and my favorite coozie.
My one liter baggie of liquids.
My little Louis.
And my purse.

After I took this picture I managed to cram my computer in there, too!

And I won't lie... I had to put my makeup bag in Tyson's backpack and his one liter baggie of liquids is full of more of my stuff. Yes I'm that girl that needs two baggies. Oh and I'm putting my DSLR in his backpack, too. Thank God men pack light.

So that, my friends, is how I pack for a trip. Specifically a trip on a commercial flight without checking a bag.

(I might also mention that I always wear a light jacket on the plane and bring a neck pillow. But those don't count as additional items.)

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! Thanks for reading.


  1. Do you not have to put liquid make-up/foundation/concealer in the Ziploc? I saw it in the previous pics but not in the Ziploc.

    1. Usually, I do not put my foundation or concealers in the Ziploc. I have only had one TSA agent say something to me about it but he said it was fine and didn't make me throw it away.

  2. Love these types of posts. I hate how when you're going through security you have to pull all electronics and any liquids out of your carry on. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes traveling is very frustrating sometimes! Wears me out. Thanks for reading!


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