Tag: how to travel light
I know I’m not the only person who’s got travel plans for this summer, and with travel plans come great big bags and hefty baggage fees. In order to avoid those fees, I’ve figured out a few tricks to packing light for any occasion and still look amazing.
1. Plan it out. Know where you’re going. Know what you absolutely need.
Example: You’re going to Vegas for a weekend with the girlies. I know this means you want to sport a different outfit every night, BUT consider this: When you come home, everything is going to smell like the inside of a casino. So pack accordingly. Bring things you can mix and match, that easily go from day to night and you’ll have no problem. Also, bring one extra outfit to travel in, so you don’t have to stew in that stink for the entire ride home. Hell, you could even skip the day clothes for the most part because all you really need is a swimsuit and a light cover up, right?
Planning it out lets you figure out how many days/activities you need clothes for, and where you can pare down on one or two things. And having a list of the outfits you’re going to pack means you can coordinate your kicks so that you pack the most optimal pair that you can wear all the time (or pairs, cos I often bring a pair of sandals too).
2. Keep it Simple. Add pieces you can coordinate, like a couple lightweight solid tees. They don’t necessarily need to be neutral, but they do need to be things that you can dress up or dress down according to your destination.
Example: During my London trip, I had a stash of tees (a couple bright, a couple neutral) that could be worn with pants or skirts. When we went to explore, I wore skinnies and tees with a blazer and flats. When we went out dancing, I paired that same outfit with fun jewelry and outrageous shoes. In the blog-world you hear so much about how you can dress up jeans and a tee, or dress down – I took that to heart when packing, knowing that staple items look good either way. And since tees are knits, they’ll resist wrinkles and roll up nicely into your luggage.
Example 2: A thing I read recently said bring along summery high-waisted skirts. The author mentioned that she loved local t-shirts when traveling, and ended up wearing them tucked into skirts to make the tees less “tourist” and more like a fashion statement. I kind of liked that idea – you get a souvenir and a stylish addition all in one. Of course, pack accordingly if you plan to purchase local.
In the same vein, if you plan on going out, an easy “day to night” dress simplifies everything when packing. Opt for a dress you can put on for the beach or your daytime activities, then throw a blazer or cardigan over it to wear to dinner. The same goes for your makeup – if I’m taking my makeup, I usually pick one eye palette, one eyeliner, foundation and a translucent powder (if it’s summer, maybe bronzer), and then I get creative with that combination. One of the reasons I like buying pre-made eye palettes is that I can do that. I can take one set, and run with it. Think what will transition from day to night.
3. If you want to get wild, go with accessories. Use pieces like headbands, scarves, necklaces and earrings to instantly change the mood of an outfit. Accessories take up little space in your suitcase and when packed in zipper bags, can be stuffed into your extra pair of shoes. They’re your key to dressing up outfits, and adding a little “flair”. The great thing is – accessories are easy purchases wherever you are. They’ll have awesome souvenir value, you’ll use them over and over, and they’re easy to pack into your luggage to take home. I loooove the sunglasses I got in London (a late birthday present from my friend Sean) – I wear them all the time, and they were so easy to pack in and out.
Also, treat your bag like an accessory. I often pack a small purse inside a larger tote bag. The small purse holds my wallet, glasses, keys, phone – and can be pulled out at a moment’s notice. It also doubles as a lightweight handbag/clutch when needed and the larger tote can be used as a beach bag or shopper.
4. Shopping while you’re there: If you’re going to do it, go unique. My #1 rule of thumb is this: If I can buy it at home, why should I buy it in another country – UNLESS it is a necessary item that I cannot live without until I get home.
For example, say you forgot socks – go ahead and buy the cutest pair you find. But say I walked by an H&M – I’m not going to shop there, because there’s one down the hill from my apartment. When I shop, while I’m out, I will look for fun jewelry, goofy tourist tees to pair with cute outfits, etc. And unless I’m in town only to shop, I’m not going to be making purchases that I could otherwise make at home. Know why? If you’re out of the country, you’ve got transaction fees and exchange rates to think about. If I’m in the next state over – well, I don’t really need it that bad, do I? Because it’s going to be a beast to bring back home in an already-stuffed suitcase. I also have more money to do things (not own things) while I’m on vacation. You know, they say people appreciate experience more than belongings. Don’t get me wrong – I like belongings, but I can see the wisdom in saving my pennies for fun adventures.
Got any more summer travel tips – packing or otherwise? Share ‘em here!