Happy Summer All!
Kitt and I just wrapped up our Summer Packing Series, and now we’re breaking down our top tips for packing and preparing for a trip.
Click below to watch the first video in our series!
We know it can be both thrilling and exhausting to plan for travel, especially when there are multiple family members involved. So, here’s hoping that this will help to reduce some of the stress and simplify the process for you.
Please note: some links in this post may contain affiliates. For more information, please read our disclosure agreement.
Without further ado, tip number one is…
PACK AHEAD OF TIME
And by ahead of time, we don’t just mean the night before.
Kitt and I are early packers. For bigger trips, our packing process can begin as much as a week prior to our departure.
While it might sound crazy to pack your suitcase a week early, just remember that the last thing you want to do before rushing to catch a plane or jump in the car is to haphazardly pack a bag and forget the essentials that will make your trip comfortable.
If a week just isn’t feasible, try to give yourself at least two days… but the more, the better! Sometimes you need an extra day to mull over what you’ve packed. Maybe you don’t need that third party dress?
And on that note…
We can’t emphasize this enough — use a list when you pack! It’s so much easier for me to pack when I’m not having to reinvent the wheel each time around.
We don’t have a specific list of items that we think you must bring, since packing is such a personal process. Instead, we recommend that you create your own custom list for your next upcoming trip that you can continue to revise and reuse for future traveling.
When you’re making your list, think about what you’ll actually wear… are you likely to just throw on leggings and t-shirt each day, or do you prefer to feel more dressed up while you travel?
Be sure to consider elements like the material and weight of your items… will you have access to an iron for clothing that wrinkles easily… will you really want to iron? Cold weather clothing takes up more space.. can you re-wear those items more than once while you’re away?
Thinking about these things while you are creating your list will help you curate it to perfection.
And if you need a little assistance, check out our customizable packing lists here!
Pro Tip = Edit your packing list BEFORE and AFTER you travel! Maybe you didn’t have enough tops but too many pants — or perhaps you wish you’d had a neck pillow? Record these notes and make edits to your packing list as soon as you get back home so that you’ll be more prepared the next time around.
UTILIZE PACKING CUBES
Packing cubes are favorites of mine and Kitt’s because we always feel strongly that every item needs a home — and the inside of a suitcase is no different!
Regardless of how you like to pack — by day, by item, by activity — packing cubes help you keep your items separated. And the bonus? This method also compresses clothing to give you just a bit more space, which no one ever doesn’t want!
File folding and rolling are both great ways of storing your clothing in the cubes, as items will take up the least amount of space and wrinkles will be reduced as much as possible.
Pro Tip = Consider layering clothing pieces made of extra delicate fabrics with tissue paper and placing them on the very top of your bag. Watch me demonstrate this in our Packing Cube Video above!
PLAN OUT YOUR PERSONAL BAG
Sometimes our personal item can be an afterthought. The trip is booked, the suitcase is packed, the house is clean… what else is left?
Don’t underestimate that planning out what to bring in that small bag can really pay off. Whether you’re traveling by plane or car, this is the bag that you’ll have the quickest access to. If you devote just a little time to thoughtfully packing it, we really think that you’ll be happier in the long run!
Our top tips for this item are:
- Bring A Change Of Clothes – You never know what can happen, and having an extra set of clean clothes can be a game changer in a number of scenarios (oh, the stories we could tell you!) Store these extras in a packing cube or reusable bag of some kind… just make sure they’re easy to access.
- Wrangle Your Cords – Use cable ties and zippered pouches to contain your cords and electronic accessories. You’ll thank us later!
- Bags Within Your Bags – Utilize smaller bags or zippered pouches to contain and separate items so that it’s easy to find what you need. Think of these the same way that you would packing cubes, giving every item a home.
- Always Have Snacks – Do you have special dietary restrictions? Would a bar of chocolate feel like salvation during a long day of travel? Pack whatever snack will delight you and get you through those rougher travel moment.
These are just a few of our suggestions. Your personal bag is just that… personal. Only you know what you’ll need in those moments.
Finally, I know we keep emphasizing pre-planning, but at the same time…
DON’T GET TOO SERIOUS
Ultimately, we always want you to do what works best for you. Packing doesn’t have to be stressful. It can even be fun!
Pack in stages, revise as you go along and stay excited about your travels.
If you’re feeling inspired to uplevel your own packing systems and are looking for some product recommendations, we’ve got you covered right here.
Wishing you safe + happy travels!
For more inspiration, check out: