Friday, May 18, 2012

Pack it

I love packing. I don't know what it is, but something about the compartmentalization, the excitement of the trip, and the challenge of efficiency really does it for me. After 3 years of travelling, I feel like I've got it down to a bit of an art form, so I thought I'd share some of my insights with you guys.

My first rule of packing is that if at all possible, I don't check bags. I've traveled to Asia for two and a half weeks with only a carry on.  So here are my tips for packing lightly, efficiently, and still looking cute:

Coordinate: This is my most important tip. Everything you pack should go with everything else. No odd men out!!!! I lay everything out on my bed, and make sure that I can wear everything with everything. This generally means that I'm sticking to a pretty limited color palette and a limited look.

Statement pieces: I make sure I have a couple wow pieces with me. For this trip, I'm bringing a mexican embroidered shirt and dress. I can dress them up or down and I've coordinated the rest of my outfits around these two pieces.

Pack only for what you know you're doing: Don't bring your prom dress in case you suddenly get invited to a prom.  You wont. Don't bring heals if you're going hiking. Pack only for the purpose of what you know you're doing.

Pack your trusty favorites: If you don't normally wear it, don't pack it! Just because you are in Thailand, doesn't mean you're going to wear that dress that's been hanging in your closet for 2 years. Pack your favorite, most worn clothes. The worst thing for me is carrying something around for 2 weeks and getting it home never having worn it. You don't have room in your suitcase for that!

Accessories are your friend: I'm not a big accessorizer, but I've found that if I bring a couple light weight scarves with me, I can make your limited wardrobe look bigger than it really is.

Layer your outerwear: If the weather is a question mark, I like to bring outwear that's layerable. For this trip, that means a light-weight fleece moto jacket, a puffer vest, a scarf and poncho (it's England after all!!!). This way, I am ready if it's hot or cold, rain or sunshine.

Bag it: I like to bring a couple light weight canvas bags, for things like undies and computer cords. As the trip progresses, I keep all my dirties in a separate bag.

For the plane: I always bring a pair of comfy leggings, toiletries, a change of undies and t-shirt and sleeping mask for the plane ride (and sleeping pills!). I change into my comfy-pants as soon as I board.  About 1/2 hour before we land, I change back into my jeans, new undies and t-shirt, and freshen up in the bathroom. This way, I'm not only comfortable on the plane, but 'm ready to go as soon as I land.

Wash it: I found these super travel-sized detergent packets at the drug store. I bring them with me, and then if i have the chance, I do a little load of hand-laundry while I'm gone. I always pack light-weight undies, so I can wash them if I need to. I love these lace undies from Aerie. 

Toiletries: I have learned not to skimp on toiletries. There's nothing worse that being away from home and running out of your favorite shampoo or moisturizer. I like to use these little tubes, that you can always get the very last drop out of. I also love these new q-tips, with the make-up remover inside them. Genius!

Business travel extra: When I travel for work, I like to travel with my own coffee, tea and mini-french press. Pretty much every hotel has a kettle, and that way I know I can always wake up with a good cup of coffee. If I'm going to be there for an extended amount of time, I also like to  stock my mini-fridge with healthy snacks, fruit, milk and cereal. That way I know I'm not going to break into the $5 mini-pringles at 2am.

I hope you enjoyed my tips for packing light and stylishly :)

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