Most people take their vacations in the summertime, but regardless of which season you prefer to travel, being able to pack like a pro can save you time and money! Not only are bag check-in fees expensive with most airlines (all except Southwest), but packing in more clothes than you truly need can cause a headache when you are trying to figure out what to wear.
The CGS Team loves to travel, and we encourage women to get out there and see the world. However, we wouldn’t be comfortable sending you on your jet-setting way without a proper packing job. We are sharing a few tips to help you pack like a pro while still making sure you have everything you need!
5 Steps to Pack Like a Pro...
Step 1: Know What You’re Working With
Did you know that the average 22-inch check-in suitcase comfortably fits two pairs of jeans, three sweaters, two dresses and five shirts? Unless you are staying somewhere for over 1 week, that’s more than enough space. The best way to begin is to decide what you will be wearing each day.
Giving yourself 3 different options for each day can quickly fill your suitcase. Instead, plan ahead of time. If you know you are going to a beach during the day and a nice restaurant at night, plan those outfits before you pack.
According to Kathleen Ameche, author of The Road Warrior, for a five day trip, you’ll likely only need five shirts, two pairs of slacks or jeans, and one skirt. Since bottoms can be used more frequently than tops, opt for bottoms that go with many things. Also, day to night outfits are great when traveling. A fun day dress can easily be turned into a night dress by adding heels and the right accessories. Always pack in an extra outfit or 2, one that you know you will be comfortable wearing no matter what the day throws your way!
Step 2: Packing Your Clothes
We love that knits, wools, and cottons are wrinkle-resistant! Not only does it making packing these items a breeze, but it also eliminates the worry of you having to iron everything in your suitcase. While some knits and wools are not designed for every season, cotton can be worn any time of the year.
Silk and polyester (which most nice blouses are made of) wrinkle very easily. Avoid packing too many of these types of materials, or mentally prep yourself for major ironing! Items like jeans, underwear, t-shirts, cotton or knit bottoms won’t wrinkle when folded tightly. Fold these materials and line then at the bottom of your suitcase.
Clothes that need to be folded (think stiff fabrics like blazers, slacks, dress skirts and starched items) should be folded neatly and placed on top of the rolled items. Skirts, shorts and other short items should be laid down next. Any immediately used clothes or items should be placed on top.
Step 3: Don’t Forget the Shoes!
Not that forgetting your shoes would ever happen, but always bring one casual sandal, one pair of sneakers, and one pair of heels. That may be too few, but having one of those three will allow you some versatility on the trip. If you want to go for a run, you have sneakers.
If you need to take your heels off, you have sandals. Before packing your shoes, stuff them with small items like chargers or sunglasses. When you are ready to pack your shoes, line them along the sides of your suitcase. This will help reserve enough space of your clothes.
Step 4: Proper Jewelry & Cosmetics Packing
Any chance you have to bring travel size beauty products, do it! Travel size deodorant, toothpaste, hairspray, shampoo and more can easily be purchased at drugstores. You can also fill your small, empty bottles with products that you don’t want to buy. Group similar items in ziplock bags.
For example, all of your hair products should be in one bag and all of your skin care products should be in another bag. Pack your most used make-up in a mini cosmetics case. You wouldn’t want to lug around your huge make-up bag, especially if you won’t use it all anyways.
Necklaces and long-drop earrings get tangled quickly. Avoid dealing with a tangled ball of jewelry by placing long pieces in their own plastic bag, or a 7 day pill box. Rings, studs, and cuffs can be packed together without worry. If you are traveling with any valuable or special jewelry, make sure it’s with you in your carry-on. You don’t want to give anyone the chance to take your sacred belongings.
Step 5: Leave Room for More
If you are a shopper and love to pick up souvenirs when you travel, then account for that when you are packing. Leave yourself some room to bring extra items back home with you. An overstuffed suitcase can cost you unnecessary fees if it crosses the weight limit. You may also be forced to take items out and ship them home. Avoid the headache ahead of time by giving yourself extra space.
Packing doesn’t have to be a pain, especially if you know what you are doing. Plan your outfits ahead of time, properly place your clothes, and give yourself some extra space! You will be thankful you did! Do you have any tips for packing? Have you had any bad experiences with over-packing or under-packing? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.