Packing Light for Woman
Ok! You have your trip all planned and you’re super excited! But you sit back and think “How the heck am I going to fit 7 days in a carry-on in order to avoid having to pay for my checked bag and do I really want to lug a huge bag around during my trip?” No, you don’t! Especially, if your trip is to Europe or to a adventurous country like Costa Rica- where the streets are cobbled or dirt. Trust me, the less you bring the better! Planning your days and outfits are the key to becoming an expert packer. Here are some of my travel tips for packing light…
1. Plan Plan Plan: make a list of the amount of days you’ll be on your trip and what you’ll be doing on those days, so that you plan outfits accordingly. I make sure to try my best to color coordinate in order to pack less. So for example:
- Outerwear: I’ll bring a sweater or jacket, but make sure that I can wear it during the day or at night with multiple outfits. I could dress it up or down. I like to bring one black blazer if it’s during that time of year where it’s a little breezy at night or when I get sun on vacations I tend to get cold in restaurants at night and like to have something that matches it all.
- Shoes: I bring two pairs of heels usually black & beige and plan my night outfits to match those shoes. I bring two dress sandals that match the dresses and outfits I brought, one pair of beach sandals that are comfortable and one pair of tennis shoes.
- Clothes: I love to pack dresses on beach vacations, because their light weight and its hot! You’ll have sunblock on during the day and bug spray on at night. So sticky works best with loose clothing. It makes for lighter packing and folding a dress takes up less space than jeans.
- Shorts, Pants, Skirt: I bring two pairs of shorts that are causal and 1 pair of dress shorts. 1 pair of jeans that can be dressy or casual. I bring one long maxi that I use on the first day in and let it air out (or wash it if I need to in the sink) and wear that same skirt on the way home.
- Bags: I love cross-body satchels on vacations for many reasons…security, comfort while walking, dancing, drinking and taking pictures. So, I bring a day cross-body. I love my Tumi Nylon Crossbody bag! I’ve had it for some time now and it still looks brand new. It’s great incase it rains, I can fit my Nikon and it has tons of pockets for storage! For at night I bring a dressy one in black, so it matches it all. I bring one beach bag that I can also use as a travel bag, so if I bring a back pack I’d use that at the beach or if I bring a beach tote I’d use that to travel with. I like to make my travel/beach bag a dark color, so that it doesn’t look dirty throughout the trip. I put my day bag in my travel bag on travel days.
- Undergarments: I know that I’ll need a black bra and a beige bra & have one of those be a convertible strapless. For a 7 day trip I’d bring 12 pairs of underwear.
- Bathing Suits: 3 bathing suits.
- Jewelry: I like to lay all of my outfits out on the bed and plan necklaces/earrings to mix and match with the shirts and dresses I’m bringing and limit my self to two dressy necklaces, and my everyday necklace, pack 5 earrings to match. I love stud eating on vacation as they take up less space. Bracelets that aren’t bulky and go with the necklaces as well.
- Cosmetics Bag: Bring shampoo and conditioner in a small 3 oz bottle, perfume in a sample size or a roll on tube to save space, face wash and moisturizer in a small 3 oz or less, travel size deodorant, tooth-brush, travel tooth paste, q-tips in a small zip lock bag, 2 travel size SPF’s, travel size bug spray.
I’m going to use a 7 day trip to the Caribbean as an example. I separate my days into: Day and Night outfits, so I know that I’m planning on having two outfits a day.
- Travel outfit during the day- Long Maxi Skirt, Tank top, Jean Jacket or Sweater and flip-flops that are comfortable that can also be used to wear at night dressed up.
- Night- Casual Dress, with dress sandals or heels (one of the heels I brought that would match all outfits)
- Day- (Lets say you have an Excursion/Tour this day) Work out shorts or Capri workout Pants with a tank or a T-shirt (beach shirt) and tennis shoes
- Night- Nice Dress, with heels or dress sandals
- Day- Sundress and beach flip-flops
- Night- Dress Shorts, Nice top, heels and blazer if it’s chilly
- Day- Shorts, with a tank and beach flip-flops
- Night- jeans, comfortable shirt and sandals
I think you get the idea with these four days as an example. So here’s the total list of what you’re bringing:
- 1 Sweater or Jean Jacket & 1 Blazer
- 2 Pairs of Heels, 2 Dressy Sandals & 1 Pair of beach flip-flops
- 1 Pair of Jeans, 2 Causal Shorts & 1 Pair of dress shorts
- 1 Pair of work out shorts & 1 pair of Capri workout pants
- 3 Casual dresses, 2 Dressy dresses & 3 Sun dresses
- 2 Portofino style shirts, 3 Dress shirts, 3 Tank tops & 2 Shirts to go with workout outfits
- 1 pair of pajama pants, 1 pair of sleeping shorts & 2 Sleeping shirts
- 2 Bras, 14 Pairs of underwear (they’re small, so I rather over pack than under pack these) & 2 Pairs of socks
- 2 Cross-body purses & 1 Beach/travel tote or a light weight back pack
- 1 Small makeup bag (I love the small ones from Vera Bradley) & 1 Large Cosmetics bag (Vera Bradley)
- 1 Flat brush and 1 rolling brush
- 1 Small travel size flat-iron
Lay it all out on your bed, so that you can make sure you have it all before you pack and to also make it easier to plan your jewelry with your outfits. Here’s an example:
2. Jeans tip if you’re not going to wear them on your travel day, then try this below: if you can fold them in half and they fit on the bottom of your suit case perfect. Pack all of your clothes on top of them. If they don’t fit along the bottom folded once then I recommend rolling them and place them in corner where there are space gaps.
3. Divide your carry-on right down the middle, so you have two sections. Fold all of your dresses neatly the same way, so they fold the same size and then place that stack all the way to the right. Place all of your beach cover ups on top of your nicer dresses. Put all of shorts neatly to the left. On top of the shorts place all of the dress shirts. Then I put the Pj’s in last to the left (so if you get in late at night it’s onto for easier access).
4. Buy shower caps or big zip locks and put your heels and shoes in them to protect your clothes from dirt and germs. Place those shoes towards the front of your bag just like how you’d get them right of the shoe box from the store to save space. Do your heels as the first layer in front of your stacked clothes pile and your sneakers on top. I put my sandals in the front zipper pocket to save space. 5. Also, to save space put your socks inside your tennis shoes.
6. Ok ladies you must make some sacrifices and your hair appliances is where you’ll have to start. Call your hotel and make sure they have hair dryers in the rooms, they usually do, so you can leave that bulky heavy hair dryer at home. Now, decide whats more important your straightener or your curling iron? When I’m at the beach I prefer bringing my straightener, because with the salt water and the ocean breeze your curls will end up loosing up anyways. To save even more space go on Amazon and order yourself a cute little travel size straightener. You might have space to bring your regular sized one, but if you want even more space that’s a great option.
7. Visit the Container Store! I”m obsessed with their new travel section and their travel organizational products. Some must have’s are: Shoe-Ins, velvet jewelry roll, Laundry bag, travel sleep mask,
8. I love Vera Bradley for my cosmetics bags, because they are durable and light weight. I have a Medium for make-up and a Large for all of my liquids and cosmetics. They do have a new 3-1-1 Cosmetics bag to fly throughout airport security, but I can honestly say I don’t remember the last time I had to take my liquids bag out of my carry-on. I just make sure that the 3 oz bottles are in a quart bag inside my large cosmetics bag just incase the make me take it out and, so that nothing spills inside my bag. I place those on top of everything when I’m done packing.
9. This is easier said than done, but I’d suggest to just bring one cross body purse that can go with everything if you’re very limited on space. I’d go with a brown color, so that it can match everything and still keep your style (Of course still bring you beach/travel bag).
10. Leave packing your blazer or very nice dresses for very last and place those onto of everything laid flat. So this is Everything:
11. Don’t forget to put your list of outfits on a note in your phone, so you can go back to it and lay it all out on the bed before you start to get ready! This will save you some time as well.
12. Put your camera, all of your camera chargers, phone chargers, and any electronic’s in your travel tote and not in your carry-on. I also like to put my makeup in my travel tote to save space sometimes if needed. Also, if you’re leaving early in the morning you can go with minimal makeup and then just add a little more before you land to freshen up. Leave it all ready to go for your travel day!
These are just some of my tips, I’ll keep more coming on a regular basis! I hope this helps simplify your travels!!! Trust me, once you get a hang of it you’ll thank me for all the time you’ll save while on your vacation!!
Happy Travels my Friends!