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Vacation season is here and that means taking trips on planes, trains, and in cars. Besides all of the ticket reservations, itinerary making, and hotel booking, you have to face the dreaded task of packing for vacation, which consist of putting all of your life into one, two, or three tiny bags (at least in my mind there aren’t bags big enough to carry what I want to bring).
Over the years, I’ve made rookie mistakes like packing outfits for everything that I thought we may do, bringing a bag just for my shoes alone (a girl has to have her shoes), and throwing my toiletries into one huge bag and having to search through it all when I needed something.
You know, I’ve also had the problem of not putting my clothes into the suitcase properly and having to put my weight on the bag just to try to get it to zip up ten minutes later. We’ve all been there!
Now that I’ve traveled extensively and quite often, I’ve learned a trick or two and I want you to know how to pack for vacation like a pro, too.
How To Pack For Vacation Pro Tips
1. Don’t Bring Your Entire Closet
I know it’s hard to do when you’re packing for vacation. It was even hard for me to do in the beginning (and that’s why this is least of my favorite packing tips). I would bring multiple outfits for each day. I never even considered mixing and matching my clothes.
Now, I follow a few simple rules to pack lighter. Here’s all you need to bring:
- 2 Pairs of Jeans/3 Shorts, Skirts, or Dresses- Jeans can be worn multiple times before being washed. Just change up your shirt and you have a new outfit!
- 3 Pairs of Shoes- Wear one pair and pack two. I always bring one pair of sneakers, a pair of flip flops or boots (depends on time of year and climate we’re traveling to), and a nice pair of heels or sandals for vacation date nights.
- 7 Shirts/Tank Tops/Blouses- This may seem like a lot, but if you have little ones it makes sense. I get as much food and dirt on me as they do because their sticky little hands like giving me great big hugs. I’d rather pack extra shirts than walk around with peanut butter and jelly hand prints.
- 8 Pairs of Underclothes (panties, bras, socks)- This is the last thing that you want to run out of while on vacation. Depending on what we have planned (hiking, gym time, etc.), I bring more sports bras then regular bras. I may bring one or two regular bras, but not too many because I can go braless with some shirts and dresses.
- 1 Jacket/Hoodie- I get cold very easily, so I always wear this when we’re traveling. I never put it in my suitcase because I need it to be easily accessible.
- 2 Pairs of Pajamas- One pair of pajamas can be worn more than once, but sometimes I get sweaty at night. I bring the extra pair because I don’t want to sleep in sweaty clothes from the night before.
- 2 Bathing Suits- I know most people may bring just one suit, but I always bring two. Sometimes I like two swimming sessions in a day and I hate having to slide into a wet bathing suit. Ugh!
2. You Definitely Can Have Too Many Toiletries When Packing for Vacation
I know the airlines want you to have your toiletries packed in Zip-Loc bags, but I still do this even if I’m traveling by car. It saves space and makes you reconsider things you really don’t need.
Related From The Kreative Life: 7 Ways to Keep your Home Safe While Traveling.
In the past, on top of my everyday toiletries, I would pack 4 or 5 body sprays or perfumes (I didn’t know what I wanted to smell like for the day, so I needed options), an entire makeup bag, and an arsenal of jewelry.
Can you say excessive?!?!
Now I’ve learned to pack fewer items and still have everything I need. Make sure you bring travel sizes of:
- Body Wash/Soap
- Face Wash
- Lotion/Sunscreen/Face Moisturizer
- 1 Favorite Perfume
- Cotton Swabs/Balls
- Travel Toothbrush/Tooth Paste
- Bath Pouf
- Hair Brush/Comb/Hair Ties/Bobby Pins
- Flatiron (I don’t bring a curling iron because I can use my Chi flatiron to bump the ends of my hair)
- Feminine Hygiene Products (I bring these whether I think I need them or not)
3. Don’t Forget Your Vacation Face
I don’t wear that much makeup, if any at all, when I’m home. However, vacation is an entirely different story. If we’re not hiking, at the gym, or snorkeling I like to get all dolled up.
Yes, I would be completely prepared with every single piece of makeup and jewelry I’ve ever owned! I didn’t know what I was going to wear for the day, so how did I know what color of eye shadow to bring? That’s why I brought them all!
This was cause for overstuffed bags and a lot of complaints from my husband. Now, I’ve minimized the amount of makeup and jewelry that I bring and I haven’t heard another complaint yet. Now I pack:
- 1 Small Multicolored Eye Shadow Pallet/1 Mascara/2 Colors of Eye Liner
- 1 Blush with Brush
- Makeup Sealing Spray- You don’t want your pretty face sweating off
- 3 Pairs of Earrings- I pack gold and/or silver because they will go with any outfit I choose to wear. I no longer bring bracelets or necklaces because they are too bulky and sometimes get tangled.
- 1 Sun Hat- I have to keep the sun out of my face and look cute while doing it
4. Use Your Purse as Another Suitcase To Pack For Vacation
For vacation, I would carry a (much) larger purse than I would if I were at home. For airlines, it’s not considered a carry-on, but a personal item.
I carry my wallet, keys, pen, notebook, and lip gloss, but there are a few extras that I throw into my super-sized purse:
- Another Purse- I definitely don’t carry around an overgrown purse while on vacay, so I stash a smaller one to use when I make it to my final destination.
- Electronics- Earbuds, phone chargers, tablet with sleeve
- Something good to read- 1 book and 3 magazines to help waste time while on the road/plane or just hanging out by the pool.
What packing tips do you have that make your trips easier?