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  • Writer's pictureCait

Packed for Success! || 20 Tips for Packing

Hello and welcome back to the blog!

We are headed on vacation soon, and I wanted to quickly do a little write-up for you all on some of my methods for packing. Enjoy!


1. Research your trip

I have been doing this method for a few years now, and it NEVER fails me! I'll sit down, take a pause, and really think about every single activity I'm about to embark on for my vacation. If I'm going to a foreign country, I'll research the local culture and clothing expectations: I'll of course, research the weather, look into all the activities I will be doing, and think through every single detail, from the terrain I will be walking on, to the types of restaurants we will be attending.

When I went to Israel for a month, I made sure to meticulously research the climate, the weather, and all of the sites we were going to see. And honestly, I have to say, it was pretty nice waltzing around the country in a tunic and linen wide leg pants paired while everyone else was struggling to blend in with their Lululemon yoga pants and flannel shirts. Tsk tsk. (Yes, I know. I'm a packing brat.)

2. Write a list (check it twice)

Obviously write a list. We all do this when we pack (I hope.) As long as I can remember, I have looooooved packing lists. As soon as the teacher sent home the packing list for the class trip, I could not wait to look through each detail and plan everything out. I'm still the same today, but now, I like to write my lists on Google docs, and reference it the week before we leave. Nothing is more satisfying than checking off a packing list!

3. Pack ahead of time

This seems obvious: we all have to pack before we leave the house! But I'm talking waaaaay ahead of time... like 3 days ahead of time! Of course, you can't exactly do this with your toiletries, but I have found that packing ahead of time always allows me a little wiggle room to figure out what I need, if I need to purchase anything, and what might need to be adjusted.

4. Pack your purse

This is an overlooked region of the travel aresenal, but I do NOT believe in having a messy purse full of ancient granola and chapsticks rolling around like tumbleweeds on the floor of your Kate Spade. No no no. Clean out your purse, set aside what you want to bring, and leave the rest. Pack it with your essentials, then add in some special extras like some extra concealer, a mascara, and anything else you might need for touch-ups along the way.

5. Clean your house

Before I go on a trip, I always clean the house. This is nice for the house sitter, but also gives me peace of mind when I return, that I don't have a huge mess waiting for me. Returning home from a vacation can sometimes feel depressing, and there is no need to add a depressing house mess on top of that!

6. Check your dirty laundry pile ahead of time

Ideally, you are going to want to leave your home with NO dirty laundry because when you return, you're going to have a lot of laundry to do anyways, but if this is unfeasible, I encourage you to at least make sure that nothing you were planning on packing is hiding in the dirty laundry well in advance of your departure date. We've all played out the scenario of running around our home looking for that one specific black long sleeve we were planning to bring on vacation, only to realize it's lurking underneath three weeks of wet towels and dirty socks. Yuck.

7. Pack the car the night before

This advice comes to you courtesy of my husband. He got me into packing the car the night before, and I gotta say: I love it. We wake up on the day of our vacation, toss our freshly zipped toiletries case into the backseat, and settle into the car with our thermos of hot coffee and the sunrise on our faces. It is a relaxed and peaceful way to start a vacationnand it leaves you with a strong sense of security, as you can definitely double check you have everything the night BEFORE the trip, instead of the morning of.

8. Do a test-run of your outfits

I always always always test run my outfits. I try on what I plan to wear, see if I like it, and if I do, it goes in the bag! I can usually gauge what I'm going to want to wear based off of my favorite recent outfits, but just to be safe, I will test run the looks and see what works! This is also helpful if you plan on packing light, because you can switch up your looks and mix and match the pieces as you go.

9. Don't forget a technology bag

We always bring our technology with us when we travel, as I often have work to do, and it's nice to have a computer to watch movies on. We pack this up in advance as well, and always make sure that everything is secure, especially for air travel!

10. Pack the entertainment

This will be different for everyone. I used to bring physical books and things on vacation, but now I just download a few books from my library app, download some podcasts, and make sure I have all the games on my phone I want. Of course, this means bringing headphones, extra phone chargers, and any other technology-related entertainment. So bring what works for you, and try to plan it as if you had no access to LTE or wifi, just in case.

11. Bring the little things

These are the little things that are specific to you. For me, this would be downloading a few podcasts for the flight, making sure I have an extra pair of underwear in my purse in case I feel grimy during travel, and usually a journal and pen for when I want to get creative or thoughtful. We all have little things we like that are specific to our personalities and idiosyncrasies: pack them up!

12. Combination Packing

My husband and I always pack into one suitcase when we travel. It streamlines everything, and makes it cheaper when we do air travel! I pack him on one side, and mine on the other, and will employ packing cubes if necessary. Keeping things neat and tidy in the suitcase is an important aspect to having a great trip!

13. Pack your house up

My husband and I go through a checklist before we leave, locking all the windows, giving our house sitter a key, and throwing away the trash, pouring vinegar down the kitchen sink drain, and leaving the dishwasher and laundry machine open to breathe. We also make sure that the fridge doesn't have anything gross in it, and that we have the temperature at the right levels. Can't be too careful!

14. Pack your pet in advance

I always get the dog ready for the trip a couple days before as well, and I have an ongoing checklist for her so that we don't forget anything at home! It might be easier to pack for a dog, but it still requires some finesse. I always pack her food, treats, dishes, toys, and brush ahead of time so that we won't forget them!

15. Hair, makeup, skin, & accessories

I pack a separate bag for each of these things, but I do make sure to whittle down to only the necessities. I pack mascara, eyeliner, an eyelash curler, blush, foundation, concealer, and one small palette of eyeshadow, with a beauty blender and three brushes. Keeping it to the minimum makes life SO much easier. I also like to put my liquids and gels into cute travel-size carriers.

16. Shoe protectors are key

A little trick I've learned is to wrap your shoes in plastic bags or shoe protectors when you travel to avoid getting your clothes dirty from any leftover shoe gunk!

17. Phone, keys, wallet, ID, REPEAT

This is what I repeat to myself as I walk around the house the morning before. Pro tip as well, if you know you will be needing your passport when you book your vacation, don't wait until the week before to check if it's still up to date! Get all that done ahead of time and cut out allllll the stress. I like to keep my keys on a cute keychain, secure my phone in a special purse pocket, and only take the essentials in my small snap-wallet. My Wallgreens rewards, Starbucks gift cards and library card do not need to travel with me to the Rocky Mountains thank you very much.

18. Hats, hats, hats

Hats are the underrated clothing accessory of the CENTURY. Ever since they went out of fashion when big permed hair took over in the 80's, we have seen less hats than ever before in history and it is honestly depressing. I like to bring a few hats with me when I travel to help fight the weather elements, tamper greasy hair, or even to hide my identity if I'm feeling shy. Hats are great, hats are amazing, and everyone should bring at least 3 hats on vacation. I said what I said.

19. Germ killers

I do NOT leave home without antibacterial gel on hand. I know that it is NEARLY impossible to avoid germs when you travel, but we should not give up the fight! I like to wear driving gloves if it's winter, for most of the flight, and use my antibacterial gel when I can't wear gloves. I also keep a medical face mask tucked away in my purse in case I get into a hairy situation with a coughing seat mate, God forbid.

20. Pack your attitude

This is my last bit of advice, but you really should manage your attitude before a vacation. Vacations and trips are INVESTMENTS. They are investments into your happiness, and investments into the concept of making memories and exploring or relaxing during your time here on earth. When you enter into a vacation or a trip with a sour attitude, you are essentially robbing YOURSELF of your own investment, not to mention the fact that you are also robbing everyone around you of their investment. If you have a bad attitude on a trip, are prone to acting bitchy or rude when you travel, or have any other sort of unpleasant behavioral tendencies when it comes to vacations, knock it off. You will be happy you did.


Alright! That is all I have for you today. As you can tell, I'm quite excited for this ski trip. I'm going to be powering down this laptop and heading over to my closet! Auf wierdersehen my loves!




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