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How To Pack for Vacation Like A Pro

How to Pack for Vacation Like a Pro - The Kreative Life

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.

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How To Pack For Vacation Pro Tips

1. Don’t Bring Your Entire Closet

How To Pack Like a Pro for Summer Vacation

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

How To Pack Like a Pro for Summer 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:

  • Deodorant
  • Body Wash/Soap
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • 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

How To Pack Like a Pro for Summer Vacation

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
  • Foundation/Concealer
  • 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

How To Pack Like a Pro for Summer 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?

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  1. I am SOOOO bad about over packing. I guess my motto is that I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

  2. These are some great tips on how to pack for summer vacation. I think the hardest is: don’t bring your entire closet. Guilty! Its hard for me not to do that, but less is more! I agree! I need to work on that!

  3. Packing is my least favorite part of going on vacation, especially since I am forced to pack for the whole family. What a great list!

  4. I always seem to need help with packing. I either bring way too much and can never fit it back in my bag when coming home, or don’t bring enough and have to buy stuff while I’m away. Thanks!

  5. Great tips! We aren’t planning to go anywhere this summer, but there may be a quick trip or two so this is great to keep in mind!

  6. I am an avid business traveler – on the road 70% of the time, so I totally splurge on the packing when I’m on vacation. It’s a free pass. Luckily, I have status with all the airlines so I don’t pay for checked bags, but believe me, when I have to, I can pack ten days of everything in a carry-on LOL!

  7. Ditto with Robin. I tend to bring a lot thinking that we might need it and end up not needing it at all.

  8. lol! Love vacation face! It is important to not pack too much, I hate carrying it all around, so these tips are great for consolidating.

  9. I have the best luck to travel to places with laundry. then I bring 3 outfits max, per person. Nobody else cares if iI wear the same clothes all week!

  10. Last weekend I overpacked the worst I’ve ever overpacked, I think. I just didn’t know what the weather was going to be. I’m going to bring along a smaller purse from now on like you suggested.

  11. My toiletries are in a separate bag that always stays packed. I just grab and go. I love these tips for clothes though.

  12. These are some wonderful tips. Learning to not overpack was the toughest thing for me when I first started traveling extensively. I was always thinking about everything that I might need which of course led me to bring half my closet! But over time I’ve learned to be more pragmatic and it really does make for a more peaceful journey when you’re hauling around less stuff.

    1. Yes, planning makes everything so much easier! Thank you for stopping by, Megan!

  13. This makes me immediately want to go on a summer vacay. Great ideas for packing things for a vacation. The one that best sticks out to me is not to bring your entire closet.

  14. These are some great tips that you have shared here! I agree with your point and I only pack what I think are essential for the trip. I recently went to UK for a trip and packed lightly. I also booked Go Comfort’s airport taxi as the chauffeur helped me in carrying the luggage and the whole ride was very comfortable and hassle-free.