Travel with purpose.
As the holidays are approaching many of you are making plans to travel. Snowbirds will be flocking down to warmer weather. And for those of you in the deeper south you’ll be looking for holiday snowfall. Whether you’re getting away for just a weekend or week long stay, packing takes time and planning. With the Christmas rush and long list of to-do’s, things are likely to be forgotten. I want to share some simple packing tips I’ve learned from my travels, especially when it comes to packing light and keeping organized. These practical solutions will help you pack only the essentials and save you the stress, and possibly having to check in a bag.
PACKING TIP #1: How to coordinate your outfits.
Stick to a narrow color palette and build your outfits around that. You’ll be surprised with how much you can do with less. On my recent 10 day trip I planned 5 outfits (and travel day outfit) focusing around the colors red and black. Trying to figure out what to wear takes thought and can be stressful. So many things go into planning an outfit: top, bottoms, shoes, jewelry and jackets! Narrowing down my color palette helped limit the number of clothes and shoes I had to pack, saving me luggage space for other essential items like my curling iron and hair straightener. I had actually forgotten a pair of pants and a top (not pictured below), and was still able to create additional outfits on my trip because everything I packed was versatile and easy to mix and match.
*Style Tip: Colder seasons are one of the hardest times to pack for. Everything is bulky and takes up space. Save room in your luggage by just wearing or carrying your coat to the airport. For comfort and warmth I wore a workout outfit that went well with my heavy jacket.
PACKING TIP #2: How to pack delicate items (hats, shoes, accessories)
I find shoes to be pretty durable. But for my delicate or more expensive shoes I prefer to keep them in shoe bags for protection. I typically pack them in the netted pocket inside my luggage. This keeps my shoes organized in one place and makes pulling them out for outfits much easier.
*Style Tip – For weekend getaways I like to use my shoe bags to store my undergarments in or for my dirty laundry.
- Jewelry – Velvet jewelry pouches aren’t just pretty, they’re soft and gentler on your jewelry (this may be my personal preference). I’m embarrassed to admit I used to pack my jewelry in plastic ziplock bags. Eek! There are pockets and places inside your luggage you can place your accessories in but for those expensive pieces I suggest keeping them with you in your carry-on.
*Style Tip- Pack ONLY what you need – a couple of necklaces and earrings that easily go with each outfit.
- Hats – You learn to get a little creative with packing hats. There are a couple of ways you can do it. The first way is the simplest, pack them in your carry-on tote. Or the second way…On my last trip to the islands I brought a sunhat. I laid my hat upside-down on the flat side of my luggage and packed socks inside so it didn’t cave in. You can also pack scarves or a couple of tops inside them too. If you plan to bring more than one delicate hat I recommend packing them inside one another by size. Then place everything else around the crown of your hat in your luggage.
PACKING TIP #3: How to keep your essentials organized
Give everything a home. Clear plastic pouches keep like items together and make them easy to find. I can’t tell you the number of times I left behind a phone charger or couldn’t find an item I needed because it was hiding somewhere under a pile of folded clothes. That’s the worst when you need something in a flash. For smaller accessories like nail polish, toiletries, makeup or sunglasses use smaller pouches. For things you need a quick access to like your phone charger, iPad, passport or credit cards use a larger pouch. I love the transparency of clear pouches. You can see what you need and they look chic.
*Style Tip- For higher quality and TSA approved pouch sets shop these favorites!
In need of trusty carry-on bag? I’ve been very pleased with my classic Samantha Brown travel bag. I used to watch TLC’s “Passport to Travel” with host Samantha Brown. She has traveled around the world and knows a thing or two about travel essentials and luggage. You can imagine my excitement when I learned of her stylish travel collection. I got my bag as a Christmas gift about 4 years ago. It has stood the test of time and travel. This travel bag is versatile and also makes a great weekender bag. I use it all the time. When traveling durability and weight is important. This has both, and its exterior is water and stain resistant.
These tips just go to show you don’t have to compromise style for being practical. You can purchase Samantha Brown’s travel 3-piece set online at HSN or for a discounted price at the HSN outlet store in Brandon, Florida.
Do you have other travel related questions or tips you’d like to share? Comment below. I’ll be happy to cover them on the blog.