Planning, packing and preparing for vacation can, in and of itself, constitute a vacation. It can be stressful and time consuming to gather everything you might need and then try to fit it into a suitcase without smushing your favorite hat or tangling the perfect dainty necklace. So, what is a girl to do? I’ve found that that the right bag, the proper packing essentials and a few simple tips can maximize your suitcase space and ensure that you’re looking polished and prepared on your tropical vacation. Here are some things I do that help me cut the clutter:
1. Purchase a Jewelry Organizer
I used to think there was no way to pack my favorite jewelry without tangling, losing or damaging it. I had almost given up on packing jewelry at all, and then l I found this jewelry organizer. It has a place for everything and will give you some major peace of mind when you’re packing your accessories.
2. Use Packing Cubes
If you haven’t been turned on to packing cubes yet, now is the time. These cubes help organize your suitcase and make it easy to find things once you arrive at your destination. Instead of rummaging through piles of folded clothes, you can remove the entire cube from your suitcase without disturbing and unfolding the rest of your clothes.
3. Pack by Outfit
Planning makes perfect. Instead of packing by type of clothing, (i.e. shorts, tops, swimsuits, cover-ups) pack by outfit. This way you can quickly grab what you need for the day (from your cube!) and not worry with digging around and making an outfit. If you want to be really extra, try on the entire outfit before you pack it. This way you won’t forget if you need a certain bra, tank top or accessory to go with it.
4. Choose the Right Suitcase
If you are looking for optimal stretch and stuff-ability, choose a soft-sided suitcase. If you are more interested in a bag that holds its shape and protects your contents, a hard-shell bag might be right for you.
5. Pack Versatile Pieces
If you are trying to cut down on the contents of your suitcase, pack pieces that can be worn several times. Some of my favorite mixable staples are a denim jacket, black jeans, a white tee shirt, a simple tank top, denim shorts, white sneakers, a black dress and a pair of sandals. Speaking of shoes, wear your heaviest shoes to the airport and avoid packing more than 2-3 pairs of shoes in your bag. If you’re going on a tropical vacation, you should only need a pair of flip flops or sandals, a pair of sneakers and a pair of wedges or heels.
6. Pack Travel Size Toiletries
This may seem obvious, but if you put off packing until the last minute then you will likely forget to swing by the store and buy travel size toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. If you want to pack the products you already have, you can use refillable bottles to fill with your favorites and cut your suitcase weight by a few pounds!
7. Pack a Carry On
Make sure that your carry-on contains the essentials: a change of clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, chargers and any must-haves, just in case your luggage gets misplaced. Be mindful of the TSA rules. Use a versatile tote as a carry on so that when you arrive, you can empty it and use it as a beach bag. Throw in a few snacks so that you aren’t dependent on gas stations or flight attendants for refreshments. I love this soft and versatile bag as a carry-on option.
The most important thing to remember when packing for vacation is that what you pack won’t make or break your trip! Just relax and prepare to enjoy time with your friends and family. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
For a comprehensive packing list that you can download to your phone, check out my Tropical Vacation Packing Guide.
Now, off to the Caribbean I go!