How I pack… without stressing out

I love traveling. But packing… not my fave activity.

It used to cause stress and overwhelm until I realized I need to do what I do with most other stressful/overwhelming things: create a list!

If you’ve been following along, March was a month of travel and this past weekend involved travel as well as we took a 2ish hour trip to Cleveland, NC for one of my best friend’s weddings.

I want to share some of my tips to help make packing a breeze.

Tip #1: Pack from a list

Not only will this make packing quicker, but you’ll be less likely to forget something. Create the list once then you can modify for all future trips!

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This list is generic so you can modify and adjust as you need. Depending on the destination, these categories may require different things. For example, shoes for a tropical getaway will be much different than shoes for your winter trip to the mountains. Check out the weather before you go and consider the types of activities you’ll be doing as you’re planning your apparel choices.

Tip #2: Pack ahead of time

There’s nothing worse than panic packing. I know there’s those of you out there where this is your usual, but that is even more stressful to me! You’re likely not thinking things through and then you’ll be ever more likely to overpack or, worse yet, forget something important. Plan and pack as much ahead of time as you can.

Of course there’s those items that you can’t pack ahead – toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, etc. For these types of items, lay them out on your counter with its bag and then pack as you’re getting ready. This is will a way to double check you have everything you need while giving yourself the peace of mind that you’re mostly packed and ready to go.

Tip #3: Coordinate with any travel companions

This will not apply if you’re going on a trip alone, but if you’re traveling with others, coordinate! There’s no reason for every person to bring a hair dryer. Sharing is caring 😉 Identify items that are easy to share and designate an appropriate amount of people to bring that item. It’ll make packing lighter and have less clutter once you get to your destination. Win win!

Tip #4: Keep it simple

I try to keep my travel outfits and other items as simple as possible. I’ll opt for dresses and pieces that can be worn in multiple ways instead of super specific items. I don’t usually wear a lot of jewelry or other accessories on vacay, but just bring my favorite pieces. This may seem pretty obvious, but it helps a lot! When you can mix and match items, you’ll have a lot more outfits without taking up all the extra space and you won’t have to put as much thought into what’s going to match what. Keep it simple and when in doubt, it’s probably best to leave it behind.

Tip #5: Unpack immediately 

This is a post trip tip, but it’s still useful. Once you get home go ahead and unpack. This is especially important if you have another trip soon after. You’ll want clothes washed, any necessary items restocked, and bags cleaned out. Plus, you don’t want this hanging over your head. So just get it done!

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Happy, organized travels, yall! Share your best travel tips with us below.

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