For those who know me, it is not a secret that I am the ultimate over-packer. In the past I felt as though I needed at least two outfits for each day that I was gone, no matter where I was going. I would justify my packing habits by saying “you never know the weather” or “who knows what we will be doing and may need”, but the truth is I was just indecisive and always wanted to be prepared no matter what may have popped up. This over-packing lifestyle all changed last year. I still remember my first visit to see Jared in New Mexico over a year ago. I was only able to bring a carry-on and thought for days about how there was going to be no way that I would be able to fit everything I need in a little carry-on. Granted, I was only going for three days I was still stressing. Looking back that is such a minuscule thing to worry about in the grand scheme of things. But guess what? Since there was no option for me to bring a larger suitcase I had to make the carry-on work, and I did and I got good at packing. I got so good that five months after this trip I went to California for 8 days and was able to fit all of my clothes in that one little carry-on. With my old habits I would have needed at least two suitcases, but having to pack light every month to visit Jared taught me many tricks, and I am going to share these 3 tricks with all of you. Maybe I can help a fellow over-packer and traveler.
1. Roll with it
This is probably my biggest piece of advice. When packing roll your clothes instead of folding them. Doing this will help in multiple ways. First you will be able to pack a lot more. By folding your clothes they will take up less room and you will be able to squeeze more together as folding the clothes compacts each outfit. Folding also prohibits the clothes from wrinkling. The last thing you want to do or worry about while on vacation is ironing. Make this worry a thing of the past by rolling your clothes.
2. Always Fresh
I used to have to wash my clothes immediately after taking them out of the suitcase no matter if they were dirty or not because I hated the way the clothes smelled. I felt as though they smelled like an airplane, nothing horrible yet still not fresh and clean. This all changed after I was sitting by a lady on a flight (making friends like I always do on planes) and she shared the same pet-peeve. She said that she puts dryer sheets in her luggage to help combat this. The next flight I put two dryer sheets in my suitcase, which made a huge difference. A month later I was traveling again and went to get some dryer sheets when I had another idea. Why not spray fabric refresher on the clothes in the suitcase? This was the answer that I had been looking for. I spray three sprays of fabric softener into my carry-on after packing my clothes and my clothes continuing smelling fresh throughout all flights I take.
3. Beat the Heat
I always seem to get ready and style my hair last minute before leaving for the airport. This means that my curling iron and straightener is still hot when needing to pack them away in my suitcase. In the past I used to pack them hot and hope for the best. This was nerve wracking as I was scared that they were going to burn my clothing or melt the luggage, but since I typically am running late I had no other choice. I was watching a talk show a few months ago where she mentioned this trick. The trick is that if your styling tools are still hot when needing to pack them then place them in a hot pad. Hot pads are made to withstand heat, so they can handle the heat radiating off of your tolls. This was a game changer and gave me one less worry to have when traveling.
When packing I pack two pairs of pants maximum. This is because you can style many different outfits with the same pair of pants or shorts by simply switching the top. In the above pictures I wore three different outfits with the same pair of shorts in California. This saves space so that you are able to fit all of your necessities. I also always try to bring neutral colors as they seem to go with everything and can be worn no matter what the occasion may be.
I hope this helps your stress when it comes to packing. Traveling can be fun, exciting and adventurous so do not let the stress of packing ruin your vacation vibes.